If you’re planning to take a trip this summer, you may decide to rent a car. For travelers who want the freedom to make their own itinerary and see sites on their own time instead of a bus or train schedule’s suggestions, a rental car is the right choice.
Issues To Avoid When Renting A Car
Before signing that rental agreement and taking your car out on the road, be aware of these potential pitfalls.
Pricey Liability Issues
First, make sure you understand how your car insurance protects you when you drive a rental car in another state or country. Some insurers opt to leave you off the coverage if you drive a rental car.
In other parts of the world, you may also have a criminal problem if you cause an accident or damage something with your rental car. It’s best to choose a secondary insurance policy that specifically addresses car rental issues.
Unique Traffic Laws
Before going out onto the road in your vacation destination, make sure you check the local driving laws and regulations. Some places have unusual laws that could cause trouble if you accidentally don’t follow the rules.
This list of laws by CarRentals.com gives you an idea of some of the strangest rules governing the road that drivers could have potential issues with.
Poor Road Conditions
Smooth roads with wide lanes and visible markings aren’t always going to be the reality in many popular vacation destinations. Be sure to check out the road conditions before renting a car.
One option is to detail your route using an online map and use the street view selection to see what the road looks like where you’re going. In some parts of the world, it’s common to have large potholes, dirt roads, poor markings, and dangerous curves.
Some places are also known for having much more aggressive drivers than you may be used to. Different countries may have very little enforcement of traffic laws and drivers may ignore lights and signs.
If you’re planning to rent a car in a region that is known for aggressive drivers, you’ll need to be extra careful.
Ridiculously Tiny Streets
The width of smaller side streets may also be a challenge for drivers used to wide, multi-lane highways in their state. Some rural areas may only have roads that are one car wide, making it difficult for a larger car, such as an SUV or truck to get by. Be careful about potentially damaging the vehicle if you have to squeeze a car into a tight street.
Higher Property Crime
Property crime may be higher in some places that attract a lot of tourists. It’s always smart to be aware of areas that may have thieves working and watching parking areas. Never leave valuables in a rental car, and lock everything up completely before walking away from your vehicle.
If something does happen, and your car is broken into, file a report with the police and check with your insurance company for coverage.
Renting a car in a new place, such as a vacation destination, can be a great experience if you do your research before sitting behind the wheel. Being uninformed can cost you a headache and lots of unnecessary dollars if you find yourself having trouble on the road.