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Tips on hiring a car abroad this summerBack

HiringAbroadMany people will currently be considering hiring a car abroad this summer – it’s a great way to explore a town or city at your leisure, providing you are prepared before you get behind the wheel.

The Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) has this week put together some top tips on hiring a vehicle abroad to make your trip as stress-free as possible.

Be prepared

Take time to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road and laws of the country you will be travelling to beforehand. Driving regulations and restrictions will vary from country to county. For more information take a look at the European Commission website by clicking here.

Check procedures

Check procedures and telephone numbers in case you are involved in an accident abroad or your car breaks down. Should you commit a serious motoring offence abroad and get arrested, the Foreign Office has some useful information about what to do.

Driving licence changes

From 8th June 2015, the paper counterpart of the photo card driving licence was replaced with an online system, and anyone wanting to hire a car abroad might now need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding. To obtain it, motorists will have to log on to the DVLA website beforehand. But the code is only valid for 72 hours, so anyone wanting to hire a car more than three days into their trip may need to generate a new code while they are abroad. The code is not an official requirement so it will depend on the individual hire company’s terms whether or not it is required. For a comprehensive guide, click here

Inspect the vehicle

When you’ve collected your hired vehicle inspect it carefully. Look for any signs of wear and tear, damage to the bodywork, interiors, windscreen, wheels and alloy trims. If you spot any damage make sure the renter has marked it accurately on the car hire diagram. If you are concerned about anything that could compromise the safety of you and/or your passengers, speak to the renter about getting another vehicle.

Check the boot

Don’t forget to check the boot has compulsory equipment in it for driving abroad, such as a warning triangle, high-visibility jacket, spare bulbs, spare tyre and any other items legally required in the country you are driving in. If you are unsure about anything raise it with the renter promptly.

Check the fuel type

Check which fuel type the car takes and make sure you know what the words for diesel and petrol are in the country you are driving in.

Remember your driving rules

Remember that in most European countries you’ll be driving on the right-hand side of the road, so you’ll need to take extra care at junctions and roundabouts. Always re-join the main road from the right-side as joining from the left-side could unconsciously revert you to driving on the left. Joining or leaving a dual carriageway may also confuse you – take your time and think about every manoeuvre.

Posted by Leana Kell on 08/07/2015