Tips for Renting a Car Abroad in 2024

Posted by: RideGuru Team Feb 13, 2024
Updated Feb 13, 2024


Traveling to a foreign country is always an adventure, and one of the most liberating ways to explore your destination is by renting a car. It offers unparalleled freedom to go off the beaten path, explore hidden gems, and create your own itinerary. However, renting a car abroad comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. Whether you're planning a road trip through the scenic landscapes of New Zealand or navigating the bustling streets of Tokyo, here are our essential tips for renting a car abroad.

Italy: Embrace the Charm, Navigate the ZTL Zones

Italy's winding roads, picturesque countryside, and charming villages beckon travelers to explore its beauty by car. When renting a car in Italy, keep in mind the Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL) zones, which are restricted traffic areas in many historic city centers. Be cautious of signs indicating these zones to avoid hefty fines. Additionally, opt for a smaller vehicle, as many Italian streets are narrow and parking can be scarce. Take advantage of the Autostrade (toll roads) for efficient travel between cities, but be prepared for toll fees.

Iceland: Prepare for Rugged Terrain and Variable Weather

Iceland's dramatic landscapes, including waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanic terrain, make it a popular destination for adventurous road trips. When renting a car in Iceland, choose a sturdy 4x4 vehicle, especially if you plan to venture off the Ring Road onto gravel tracks or into the Highlands. Familiarize yourself with driving in variable weather conditions, including strong winds and sudden changes in visibility. Always check road conditions and weather forecasts before setting out on your journey.

Japan: Decode the Road Signs and Navigation

Japan's efficient public transportation system might tempt travelers to forgo renting a car, but exploring the countryside and remote areas by car offers a unique perspective. When renting a car in Japan, ensure you have an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your valid driver's license. Familiarize yourself with Japanese road signs and symbols, as well as driving on the left side of the road. Invest in a reliable GPS navigation system with English support to navigate the intricate road networks and kanji-laden signage.

New Zealand: Plan for Scenic Drives and Road Etiquette

New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes, from rugged coastlines to snow-capped mountains, beg to be explored by road. When renting a car in New Zealand, prioritize booking in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure the best rates and availability. Familiarize yourself with New Zealand's road rules, including giving way to the right and adhering to speed limits. Embrace the Kiwi spirit of road courtesy by pulling over to let faster vehicles pass and respecting the environment by disposing of waste responsibly.

United Arab Emirates: Navigate the Urban Jungle and Desert Dunes

The United Arab Emirates offers a unique blend of modern cities, desert landscapes, and coastal highways to explore by car. When renting a car in the UAE, be mindful of the extreme temperatures, especially during the summer months, and opt for a vehicle with air conditioning. Familiarize yourself with driving etiquette, such as using indicators and adhering to speed limits, to navigate the bustling streets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi safely. If venturing into the desert, consider renting a 4x4 vehicle and joining a guided desert safari for an unforgettable off-road experience.

Renting a car abroad opens up a world of possibilities for travelers, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover hidden gems at your own pace. By following these tips and being prepared for the unique challenges of each destination, you can make the most of your road trip adventures around the globe. Safe travels!

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