We all know that there’s nothing quite like a road trip. The trouble is that driving abroad isn’t always as enjoyable as it looks on the silver screen. If you’re preparing for an adventure on four wheels in far-flung lands, here are some mistakes you don’t want to make.
Driving on the wrong side
Even the most experienced driver can come unstuck when it comes to navigating the roads when they are required to drive on the other side of the road. Before you jump in your hire car, check which side you need to drive on and make sure you’re ready for the trip ahead. It can take a while to get your head around looking for traffic in the other direction and moving the opposite way around a roundabout, so go steady, drive carefully, and give yourself plenty of time and space.
Hiring the wrong type of car
It may seem incredibly romantic to cruise along the coast in a classic car or to hire an old-school 4×4 at a local dealer in the middle of nowhere on a remote island, but it’s wise to use your head, rather than your heart when it comes to renting a car. Choose reputable dealers such as Burswood Car Rentals, read customer reviews, and avoid any deals that appear too good to be true. Make sure you check what is included in the fee. Sometimes, the lowest prices are not the best value offers, as they don’t include insurance. You may find that you end up adding a load of extras, which make the total higher than other quotes you received.
You may be used to trundling along the motorway at 70mph at home, but speed restrictions are not universal. When you’re in a different country, you need to be wary of the speed limit. Look out for signs, and read up on the rules of the road before you travel. It’s also worth noting that some countries operate in mph and others deal in kilometres. If you get caught speeding, you may not always be able to play the tourist who had no idea about the speed limit card, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Driving like the locals
If you’ve got a line of traffic behind you, or drivers careering past waving their arms at you, you may be tempted to adopt the same driving habits, but resist. When you’re new to driving in a different country, the car is unfamiliar to you, and you don’t know the roads, it’s better to be safe than sorry. As you gain more confidence, you can increase your speed, but try not to panic if cars are weaving in and out of lanes to get around you or they’re driving way over the speed limit. Keep your eyes on the road, and drive at the speed marked on the road signs.
Driving around when you’re on holiday is an adventure. If you have a car or a campervan, you can explore at your own pace, you have freedom to roam, and you can stop whenever you like, but there are potential downsides to consider. Driving in a different country isn’t always plain sailing, and it can be stressful. Hopefully, these tips will help you to avoid mistakes and ensure you enjoy a trip to remember for all the right reasons.