What you need to know about renting a car overseas
Are you planning for a vacation in a different country but has a complicated transportation system? Want to explore on your own but there’s a schedule to follow? There’s no need to worry over these issues as you can simply rent a car to explore the country at your own pace.
Renting a car is far more convenient and cheaper than hailing a taxi or hiring a driver to bring you explore around the country. You’ll be able to explore off the beaten track on your own while basking in the freedom to choose your destination. Though you may get lost while exploring, cause your navigating system didn’t work or you missed a turn, you’ll still have fun as it’s all part of the learning process.
But before you rent a car, you need to bear in mind that the laws governing car rentals differ from country to country. You also need to consider the driving rules, travel insurance and driving permit. While these may seem complicated when compared to renting one at home, our tips before, during and after a car rental will help you have a smooth and fun-filled journey.
Before renting a car
Do your research
It’s common to do your research before you make a booking for things like accommodation, transportation, attraction sites and more, for a better experience that’s within your budget. Nowadays, information is easily accessible from the internet, allowing you to get instant information without stepping out of the house.
Aside from common road rules, there are small differences that you may need to be aware of like driving on the correct side of the road. In Singapore, people drive on the left side of the road. If you’re from countries where the people drive on the right, you may need to prepare yourself for a temporary change as the cars are designed to be driven on the left.
Make your booking early
Early bird gets the worm. By booking your car rental ahead of time, you may be able to secure your preferred choice of vehicle at a lower rate compared to a last-minute booking. Besides, car rental rates are usually higher at the counter as the service provider needs to earn some profit.
Instead of forking out more money than you should, try to make a comparison-shop between the numerous car rental service providers in Singapore. That way you’ll be able to secure the best deals for your trip. Besides, you get to choose to pay your car rental in your home currency rather than the local currency.
Avoid car rentals at the airport
You’ve just arrived after a long flight and renting a car at the airport seems reasonable as it’s right there at the arrival hall and you’ll be exiting the country via the airport. It may be convenient, but you’ll be paying extra to cover the airport fees that are passed onto the customers by service providers. Rather than paying extra to the service providers at the airport, you may hail a taxi to bring you to the nearest car rental service provider that isn’t on airport grounds. That way you’ll save some money for other aspects of your trip.
Prepare your International Driving Permit (IDP)
For you to drive legally in foreign countries, you’ll need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before leaving your home country. Endorsed by the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic, the permit serves to translate and certify your domestic driving license for easy communication with the local authorities at your intended destination. The permit will also come in handy when you’re prompted at the car rental counter or when asked by local enforcement officers.
Check your vehicle insurance
As a means to protect both the driver and rented vehicle, car rental service providers will usually advise you to get an insurance plan with them. If you’re reluctant to do that, be sure to check the coverage of your insurance before renting a car abroad.
There’s a high chance that your insurance doesn’t include overseas coverage, so you may need to get one from the car rental service provider. That way you’ll be able to safeguard yourself from harm and avoid paying unreasonable fees if you get into an accident.
While driving the rented car
Do a thorough inspection
Before driving off to your intended destination, you should inspect both the interior and exterior of the car, so that you won’t be held liable for any damages found on the car. Some car rental service provider may also provide you with a document which notes any damage on the vehicle. Be sure to do a thorough inspection to avoid being accused of causing any damages found.
If you have your doubts about the document, you should take photos of every damage that you found. Even if there’s no damage found on the car, you should still take photos of the entire car. They’ll come in handy when you return the car.
Stay calm and drive safely
Now that you’ve sorted out all the details, driving should be a breeze provided that you abide by local traffic rules and regulations. While it’s normal to be nervous when you’re driving abroad, you should be able to handle it as if you’re driving back home. Try to stay calm and go slow during your first few hours driving on foreign land. For a peace of mind, do some research into other drivers’ experiences and tips to familiarise yourself with local culture and driving habits.
After renting a car
Drop off the car on time
After going on a road trip that’s worth your time and effort, it’s time to return your rented car to the service provider and head home. Be realistic about your return time as it may take longer than you expected should there be any unforeseen circumstances. Chances are you’re not the only one who’ll be returning the car on that day.
Refuel the car
If you received the rented car with a full tank, it’s only right if you return it with a full tank. So before you return the car, be sure to fill up at the nearest drop-off location to prevent additional charges. You may want to check with your service provider to ensure that you refuelled the car with the right kind of fuel.
Clean up and review the car
Before you hand over the keys to the car rental company, be sure to clean up your trash and return the car in spick and span condition. Imagine that it’s your car and you rented it out to other people, you’ll surely want it returned in a clean condition. Once you’ve done that, you can return the car and work on your review. This will allow prospective drivers to confidently book their car rental for a similar experience.
If you’re looking to explore some of the best places in Singapore at your own pace, Edmund Vehicle Rental offers a wide selection of vehicles to suit your needs and preferences. You can choose from multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) to saloon cars. Book your car rental today by contacting us at (65) 6250 3339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.