Bruce Ream: Hi, I am Bruce Ream, Managing Director of AAA Partnership Programs. Today I'm going discuss how to rent a vehicle in another country. The first step is to consider if a rental car will be a best mode of transportation. Spend time researching local driving conditions and laws as well as alternative forms of transportation. You can review road safety information for specific countries on the State Department website at travel.
Once you have determine that a rental car is the best way to get around begin researching rates and be sure to look at any available discounts. Walk up rates for individuals without a reservation can be expensive. Next investigate insurance. In general, the US auto insurance does not cover you abroad. Speak with your automobile insurance and credit card companies to see if any benefits are available.
Car rental companies overseas usually provide auto insurance, but required coverage maybe minimal and have a deductible. Consider purchasing additional insurance that is at least equivalent to what you carry at home. Be sure to bring the right license to drive. Some countries will recognize US license, but others require international driving permit in addition to your US license.
Be sure to study road signs, if possible, obtain a copy of the foreign countries driving laws in advance. These can be found at the foreign countries embassy in the United States, foreign government tourism offices, or your car rental company at your destination. If the drivers in the country you're visiting drive in the left side of the road practice driving in a less populated area before attempting to drive in heavy traffic.
When selecting a rental remember, European cars are smaller than we're accustomed to in the United States and the roads are often narrower. Be sure the vehicle you rent will fit your passengers and all luggage. Remember countries outside the US use the metric system, speed limits are in kilometers and petrol sold by the liter. To calculate travel times and the fuel cost you will need to be metric savvy.
Finally, be prepared and note the number to call for emergencies in the country you're visiting. So that's the basic of renting a car in another country. Safe travels!