When you are renting a car it is typically a simple process. You start out by obtaining quotes online or on the telephone, you then decide on which deal is best, next you make your rental reservation and lastly you arrive at the rental company and pick up your vehicle. This is a very simple and straight forward process, however if you are traveling internationally there are a few additional steps that you will need to take in order to rent your car for the visit.
The first thing that you should know about renting a car internationally is that, in most cases, you will need to obtain an international driving permit. Some countries that you visit will be fine with your renting the car with a license from the United States, others will not and require this permit and you drivers license is all that you will be required to show. Not only will you be required to obtain an international driving permit, you will also be required to show your license along with the permit in order to pick up your rental. The international driving permit needs to be obtained before you leave your country, therefore you need to look into whether or not this permit is require for your rental several weeks before you are scheduled to travel to your destination.
Next you need to find out if the country you are visiting requires an international insurance card, as proof that you are insured while driving your rental internationally. This is usually required for all international rental cars, so what you really need to do is contact your insurance company and inform them that you are in need of this documentation. Many insurance companies are regionally located so the insurance card that you receive will let the rental company know that you are a carrier of valid insurance, therefore you are eligible to rent your vehicle. Much like the international driving permit, you will be required to obtain this form in your home country, so you will want to check with your rental company several weeks prior to your visit to ensure you have enough time to obtain the required documentation.
Internationally there are many companies that will probably be familiar to you and it is advisable to use a company that is known to you when leasing internationally. It is also important to book any extras you will need in advance with your rental company. Whether you will need a child safety seat, ski carrier or a GPS you should reserve these items in advance. Don’t assume that they will be available when you arrive. And whenever possible do pay the extra amount and lease a GPS with your international rental. Since you will be traveling around a region that is unfamiliar to you, it will be handy to help direct you not only to tourist attractions and to your accommodations, but will also help you locate emergency services in the area you will be visiting.
International car rentals will go more smoothly if you arrange everything in advance and line up the paperwork you will need prior to your travel. This will ensure that when you arrive you can sign the paperwork and quickly be on your way.
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