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5 Overseas Car Rental Tips for Travelers

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Any time you travel you have to weigh the costs and benefits of various forms of transportation to get you around once you reach your destination. But when you travel to foreign countries, you might find the task of renting a car more than a little daunting, especially if you haven’t taken the time to prepare appropriately before you head overseas. So if you’re interested in the prospect of renting a vehicle during international travel, either as a means of comfort and convenience or as a way to save money getting around, you need to make sure to cross a few items off your checklist first. Here are some tips for travelers looking to rent a car when they reach foreign shores.

  1. Get an international driver permit. There are several countries around the world that accept standard American driver’s licenses as proof of your ability to handle a motorized vehicle. But you don’t want to arrive only to discover that you do, in fact, need additional paperwork. In truth, an international driver’s permit, or IDP, isn’t that hard to obtain. All you have to do is fill out the application through AAA, provide passport-size photos, pay the fee ($15), and give yourself enough time to receive your documentation (4-6 weeks). You’ll get an IDP that basically translates your license information into several languages, allowing you to more easily deal with foreign law enforcement in the event of a traffic stop or an automobile accident.
  2. Call your insurance provider. Just because your auto insurance covers you on rental cars domestically doesn’t mean it will do so internationally. So it’s important to call your provider before you travel to see if you’re covered under your current policy or if you need to spring for temporary additional coverage while you’re overseas.
  3. Consider rental insurance. Even if your insurance provider assures you that you are covered when driving rental cars overseas, you might want to consider paying the extra $10-$15 per day for the rental car company’s coverage as well. The major benefit of this option is that you don’t have to go through the hassle and complication of filing an insurance claim while in a foreign land. When you pay for coverage from the rental company, all you have to do is turn in the vehicle, damaged or otherwise, and be done with it (provided the damages and/or circumstances are covered by their policy).
  4. Learn the rules of the road. Any time you decide to drive in a location you’re unfamiliar with, it’s important to take the time to learn the rules of the road. In some countries that means driving on the other side of the road. And certain places have rules about turning on red, driving in the passing lane, keeping your headlights on when the car is in motion, and so on. The more you know about road rules, the less likely you’ll find yourself in trouble.
  5. Rent for long trips or large groups. If you happen to be in a city that offers excellent mass transit options, you might not see the point of entering into an overseas car rental agreement. But if you’d like to move around the country with ease or you’re traveling with several others, renting a car could actually save you money over other forms of travel. And there’s no denying the convenience associated with Car Rental Portugal to. It’s just one option to weigh when you head out on your international adventure, and it could end up being the most economical, depending on your particular travel plans.

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