Renting a car locally means ensuring that both your auto insurance and that of the rental agency covers all of the contingencies involved in operating an expensive piece of machinery that doesn’t belong to you; renting a car abroad is, by necessity, that much more complicated.
If you plan to travel outside of your home country and require a temporary set of wheels at your destination, check out these tips for obtaining auto insurance abroad, covering everything that you need to know when renting a car while far from home:
Figure Out Your Credit Card’s Coverage
Many personal- and business-class credit cards offer coverage and protection when you rent a vehicle and this tends to hold true when traveling abroad in many areas, as well. Before reaching your destination and beginning the rental process, you should take the time to research exactly what type of coverage and protection your potentially various credit card providers offer, allowing you to use the best possible card when making your payment and deposit.
Thankfully, most credit card providers offer customer service by telephone, allowing you to make a single call in order to garner answers to all of your questions. Those questions should include:
- Do you cover rentals in the country that I’ll be visiting?
- What types of vehicles and rental lengths, if any, are excluded from your coverage?
- Do you cover rental car collision, damage, theft and loss?
- Is your coverage secondary (i.e. will a claim need to be filed with your own auto insurance company in the event of an accident as well)?
- Do you cover extra fees that could be charged by the rental company such as loss-of-use and diminished value fees?
Answers to these questions, along with any other pertinent information that your credit card issuer can provide, are a crucial first step in renting a car in a foreign country.
Rent from a Reputable Company
Like it or not, tourists bring dollar signs to the eyes of every merchant in every port of call around the world and this often leads to shady business practices meant to pull every cent possible from visitors. From makeshift car rental businesses with no licensing to established businesses gouging on extras like insurance and upgrades, the risks can be high depending on which source you choose for your rental car.
While the above is true, it’s worth noting that every country the world over is populated with well-known and trusted businesses, presenting you with an array of rental options no matter where you visit. In order to avoid potential gouging, take the time to thoroughly review and investigate the companies available to you, keeping a particularly close eye on reviews by other travelers and judging which experience is likely to be most positive for you.
Purchase the Extra Insurance
You’re in an unfamiliar land, driving a new vehicle on roads that you’ve never driven before – it’s safe to say that you’ve got enough on your plate. With this in mind, you should always opt into the reasonable extra insurance offerings put on the table by the rental company. Assuming that you’re dealing with a reputable firm, these extras are less money-grabs than they are worthwhile, offering extra protection and helping to put you at ease while cruising the streets.
According to autoinsurancequotes.net, most car rental companies will offer you a range of temporary policies to cover you while you’re using the vehicle and this often includes what is typically called “peace of mind” insurance. Consisting of an extra daily charge that varies with each car rental company, this added coverage will allow you to walk away without being charged an extra cent, even in the case of damage to the rented vehicle.
Renting a car abroad can may seen like an overwhelming task given the many variables involved, but planning ahead and investigating all of your options will allow your rental experience abroad to be a smooth, safe and secure one while making the smallest possible dent in your wallet.
Photo credit: Audi rental courtesy © diego cervo – Fotolia.com