Exploring new places, going on undiscovered adventures is a dream of mine and has been for many years, to just hop in the car and drive where the wind takes us. There is always a new experience waiting for you around the corner and having the freedom to do what you want and when you want is a luxury we strive for.
My long-time school friend and her husband decided to embark on a traveling chapter for their lives, plotting their starting point and date and simply following the road map from country to country. They didn’t have kids at the time and had the globe awaiting them.
Initially, they flew and used public transport everywhere they went but as we could have guessed the expenses soon added up. Even though he was working remotely and earning as they explored, a big chunk was going to travel expense and it soon became non-viable, so they began their car hire research.
After a few days of intensive research, they found a cheap run around being advertised by a local and who only needed a small deposit, the bare minimum of daily rate hire, and to have it returned with a full tank. It was a blessing that helped them make the memories they have today. They set off and the ‘rest is history’ as they say.
Renting a car, what to look for.
When you first see the vehicle you intend on using be sure to give it a thorough self-check inside and out, take photos of all sides and interiors so that if at the end of the usage period there are any queries you have photo evidence to back up your claims.
It may not seem an obvious action but my husband always takes a picture of the speedometer clock, how much mileage are we receiving the car at, and upon return how much we clocked. This way we have any documentation available should there be queries when we hand back the keys.
Take a quick drive around the parking lot or up the road and back, this way you can adjust and get familiar with the vehicle as all cars are and feel different, even more so if you have opted for an automatic but are used to a manual.
Ask what petrol or diesel it uses, know where you are going if possible to have some trace, and by all means, try to stay on the road and ideally main roads as they have cameras if anything happened. Once you are done return the vehicle on or before time in the same condition you received it and make sure you get your full deposit and insurance waiver back.
These are a few simple tips on what to do and which are recommended, but there are also things on what ‘not to do,’ read about them here https://www.smartertravel.com/10-things-not-renting-car/ and this way you know the pros and cons of renting a vehicle and it will make you a safer, smarter traveler.
Rental car versus public transport when abroad.
Having experienced this first-hand I am well aware of how taxi drivers or private car hire companies overcharge people when they hear they are not local, they assume foreigners are blaze about costs and simply pay what they’re told once they reach their destination.
This is why for us when we are going on a reasonably long vacation where the hotel is not necessarily in the city center or near shops or malls we always opt for car hire over phoning taxis or Ubers each time.
We have the luxury to change our minds last minute on plans, we can take extra luggage with if need be, and come home safely at any time of the night or morning without the tariffs changing rates.
Day time travel is easier no doubt as you simply hop on and off the buses as they come and go, but further tourist destinations or attractions not as popular but that you’d like to see may not have transport directly to the venue, thus having a car eliminates the stress of arriving on time or locating the venue, to begin with.
If you can spare a piece of the budget on car rental I highly recommend it, the trip is less stressed, you save time, and you have the option to drive a car you can’t necessarily buy outright, it’s a win-win.
This component of a trip can make or break the mood from the get-go if not executed correctly. There are plenty of stories about tourists pre-paying for their full trip car rental or putting down large deposits to secure specific vehicles for an extended period only to have been ‘scammed’ and the money has gone into an untraceable account never to be seen again.
Ensure the company you intend on hiring from is reliable, reputable, and if possible a well-known brand. It can be tricky with overseas companies but thorough searching and validating websites and contact details will make it less stressful.
The company should have a phone number you can call and ask questions to and they should have no issues answering any concerns you might have, this will show you the quality of customer service you are likely to receive from start to finish.
If the trip you have booked is a once in a lifetime opportunity don’t let the drain of a bit of homework keep you from choosing the right company, make the most of it.
For a highly recommended car hire business with positive reviews from satisfied customers daily, check out Go Autos Barcelona where customer care and service is a priority and what makes them so sought after. The best trip deserves the highest assistance.
If you ever have the opportunity to take a road trip then I suggest you add it to your bucket list immediately, the definition essentially boils down to a trip you take via the road, but the bigger meaning is an adventure filled with discoveries.
With the advances of modern technology, there are all sorts of applications you can use to plan and navigate your trip, you simply need to book and pay for the car hire (after careful research), shop for snacks (because no trip is complete without it), and create the best the music playlist of all time.
There is nothing more brilliant than a car full of people singing at the top of their lungs out of tune, while high on sugar from too many sweet treats and taking endless photos to enjoy when it’s all over.