To hire a car, or not to hire. That is the question.
When travelling internationally, hiring a car can be a daunting prospect. There are a whole new set of road rules and expectations that you need to make yourself aware of and it doesn’t take long before it starts to feel like you’re studying to gain your license all over again. If you’ve ever dreamed of the freedom of driving yourself around a new country, there are some pros and cons you should consider.
Pros to hiring a car overseas
Travel on your own itinerary
Hiring a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to travel on your own timetable. Forget about loud tour buses with rigid schedules that begin at 5:30am every morning, or fighting among the flood of tourists who arrive at each attraction at the exact same time. Having access to your own car means you’re able to travel how you want, when you want.
Hiring your own car can work out cheaper than getting around in a taxi or Uber. Hiring a campervan can also make travelling cheaper with your mode of transportation and accommodation in one. Planning on camping in Hawaii? Read our camping dos and don’ts before you make your booking.
Transporting luggage is easier
When you’re travelling around a lot and not staying in one place for too long, having a car makes bringing your luggage with you much easier. The longer your holiday, the more luggage you bring and having your own private car with its own private boot space can be convenient and back-saving.
Cons to hiring a car overseas
Driving on unfamiliar roads is hard
Whether you’re driving on the same side of the road as back home or you’re flipped on the wrong side of the car and road, driving on unfamiliar roads isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to driving in populated cities. No one wants to stress on their holiday. And while getting lost can often be part of the journey, it can also be very stressful and scary.
The costs can start to add up
Hiring a car comes with extra costs. You’ll need extra travel insurance to cover your car hire, and you may also need to apply for an international license or the right to drive, depending on the country. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of hiring the car itself, a bond you might have to pay to guarantee the safe return of the car, petrol and parking fees.
Takes a toll on the environment
The more travellers who hire a car to get around, the more pollution gets released into our Earth’s atmosphere. One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint when travelling is by relying on public transport. If you’re set on hiring a car or if it’s the only way to get around, consider hiring an electric car or reducing the amount of driving you do.
You’ll need a designated driver
One of the best things about being on hoiday is being able to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. However, if you’re driving, you’re going to need a designated driver who won’t drink or party too hard. While drinking might not be an issue, needing a driver who is awake and alert enough to man a vehicle is another factor to consider. Travelling can be exhausting and it’s never a good idea to drive tired.
If you are planning on hiring a car overseas, do your research first.
Have you hired a car while travelling overseas? Let us know your tips in the comments below!
Ash and Dave