SUMMER HOLIDAY TIPS: CAR HIRE AND DRIVING ABROADIntroduction

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The summer holiday is fast approaching, and you are excited that the long waited trip abroad is becoming a reality. If freedom and flexibility are what you are seeking then hiring a car should come as a priority. Needless to say, any trip abroad requires proper planning and preparation to avoid inconveniences. We have put together this essential guide on car hire and driving abroad to make your summer holiday worthwhile.

Pre-book your hire car

During peak holiday season such as school summer breaks, the demand for hire cars is usually on the rise as compared to the available supply. Car hire dealers and companies take advantage of peak periods to charge higher prices than would have been on low periods. Pre-booking your hire car will save you money. You will be at liberty of choosing the type of car you want as opposed to settling on the available cars at the pick points.

Pre-booking your hire car will also come with freedom and flexibility. This is possible by sharing your air ticket information with the car hire dealers. They will, in turn, get your hired car to the airport or the hotel you are staying at or any other location that you may prefer.

Insurance

Although insurance provides financial security and a peace of mind, we tend to leave it for last minute rash. Prior to travelling abroad it is important to check in with your insurer on the level of cover when driving in a foreign country. Various insurance policies offer comprehensive insurance cover while in other policies you may require to purchase an adds-on insurance cover.

Most of the car rental companies will hand you a car rental insurance that is charges on a daily basis. You may think that this will make your trip easier since it is made available at the check-out desk when you pick your hire car. The excitement ends when you discover what is excluded from the car rental insurance and you may be required to pay more, usually doubling your car hire cost. Purchasing a comprehensive car hire excess insurance cover in advance from independent car rental insurance companies will adequately cover you at a cheaper cost.

Here are some deficiencies that will make you avoid buying an expensive collision-damage waiver insurance.

  • Excluded areas – The collision damage waiver insurance regularly excludes some parts of the vehicle, such as the tires, roof, windows or glass and the underside of the vehicle. If a damage is incurred, the policy will only cover to the extent of the insurable parts and all the parts excluded will be covered independently by the customer. It is advisable that you avoid buying an expensive collision-damage waiver insurance and instead buy a comprehensive cover for you to enjoy your holiday without hitches.
  • Loss or damage, theft and loss of use of the rental car – They are mostly included in the collision damage waiver but generally comes with a weighty excess attached. The customer is then left with an option of purchasing addition insurance from the rental companies to cover the excess liability. To save on such extra costs and to avoid buying an expensive collision-damage waiver insurance, purchasing an insurance cover from an independent car rental insurance specialist will cover such excess liabilities.
  • Third party liabilities – Car rental insurance usually incorporates the third-party risk offered at the rental rate. However, some local legislations may cub the third party cover to a minimum and a top up cover may be required against third-party claims which can be an extra cost. Avoid buying an expensive collision-damage waiver insurance by exploring the various options that covers third-party claims to a large extent from the independent car rental insurers.

Driving abroad

You have sorted all your hire car issues and checked that the car is in a good condition. Make sure you have everything you need in the car. Different countries have different rules and regulations on what you need to have in a car. For instance the first aid kits, warning triangle and fire extinguishers. It is highly suggested to utilize the services of a driver if you are visiting a country for the first time. An advance arrangement will help you secure a driver who is well conversant with the destinations you wish to visit. A local driver will sure have much information on best places to dine and entertain yourself.

However, if you are confident enough to drive, make sure that your hire car has GPS gadget installed. You will need to do a bit of research on the road rules that pertain to that particular country such as the speed limits and drinking limits. Make sure to carry your local driving license as well as your international driving license. Most countries validates your international driving license based on your local license.

Additionally, be conversant with the roads. Driving in a different country offer varied experiences. Keep in mind the driving at the roundabout maybe opposite the one you are used to and right of way may change as well.

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