Renting a car abroad

Renting a car in a foreign country

Having an international driving permit

If you are travelling to an English-speaking country, chances are you will be able to get by with an American or Canadian driver’s license. However, many other countries will ask that you obtain an international driving permit or IDP, which is basically just a piece of paper that translates your information into many different languages and is recognized by more than 100 countries. If you are planning to rent a car abroad, you may be asked to present one along with your regular license from home. You must at least 18 years old to get an IDP.

You need to have an auto insurance company and collision damage waiver

Check with your car insurance company to see whether a rental car abroad could be covered under your current policy. In most cases, you will not be covered in foreign countries, so you will need to purchase insurance from your rental car company at the time of booking or rely on the coverage provided by the credit card you use to pay for the rental.

Anyway, e collision damage waiver or CDW is a type of protection that limits how much a car hire company will charge for repairs. Find out what it covers and how much a bump might cost you. However, the collision damage waiver does not cover every part of the car. Car rental companies typically exclude any damage to the windows, lights, engine, gears, tires, interior and undercarriage. You would pay the full cost of repairs, not just the excess.

Know the rules of the local road

No matter which country you are visiting or your reasons for being there, knowing the local laws is essential. We know that every country has its own driving laws, and you can avoid fines or delays by knowing in advance even the basics. If you are travelling to a country that drives on the side of the road than your home country, then it is often worth getting some practice in before you set off. Remember too that many countries do not treat automatic transmission as a norm and you will have either to pay more for an automatic or be able to drive using a stick. Moreover, it is better to look at the cultural reputation of drivers. There are aggressive drivers in certain countries so we need to be prepared to deal with the differences in driving style.