Travel smarter: top tips for hiring a car abroad

Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to travelling abroad, whether it’s the comfort of train travel, the affordability of coach travel or the convenience of a car.

All have their benefits and drawbacks; train travel can be a wonderful way to see a country from a different angle, but you often pay through the nose for the privilege. Going by coach can be cheap and relatively quick, but it’s by no means the most comfortable way to travel.

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Driving gives you the most freedom of any travel options, but taking your own car abroad can be costly. That’s why lots of people hire a car when they go away, to keep the convenience while driving down the cost. But what should you remember about hiring a car abroad?

Do your research

One of the biggest fears people have of hiring a car abroad is getting overcharged or ripped off, so it’s important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you put any money down.

Look into what car hire companies are available in the region or country you are going to, and compare their prices to find the best deal.

It’s also a good idea to try and talk to friends or colleagues who have hired a car in the same area, to see what sort average price you can expect.

Car hire insurance

It’s also a good idea to get car hire insurance to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident or theft of the vehicle. Most car hire policies will include this as standard, to protect both you and the car hire company, but it may be cheaper to buy car hire insurance in advance.

Try to read the policy before you leave as reading a wordy document after a long flight can be rather tedious and you may miss important details. The main thing to look out for is the excess on the policy, which is the amount you’ll have to pay towards a claim.

You might want to consider getting car hire insurance before your trip, so you won’t have to stump up potentially hefty excess costs if something goes wrong.

Credit card payment

To protect yourself further it’s a good idea to use a credit card when making the payment for the car hire.

By using a credit card you’ll be able to claim money back from your credit card company if the service offered by your car hire company doesn’t meet the standards promised.