The idea of driving abroad can often be a daunting experience. With so much to think about and all the new regulations, there’s a lot to deal with. But, a driving trip can be a rewarding adventure, and with a bit of preparation will be a lot less scary than you imagine.
Follow our handy tips and you’ll be soon driving with ease in no time!
Make yourself aware of the countries rules, where you will be driving. Each country has different guidelines which must be followed, so a bit of research is vital before you get in the car. For example, in France, you must carry a breathalyser in the car at all times. Visit the AA website to get advice on local requirements and check what documents you need to bring with you before you travel.
Get the Best Deal
Shop around to make sure you are getting the best car rental deals. Choose a car that will suit your needs, and don’t go too big. Try to stick with a car similar to what you are used to driving; so if you normally have a small hatchback, a 4×4 might not be the best idea! If you’re nervous about changing gear, try an automatic car. They are ideal for anxious drivers as it is so hard to stall them. You can focus more on the road without having to worry about changing gears.
Get Used to the Car
When you pick the car up, take your time testing it out before heading out on the road. Build up your confidence by spending time driving around a quiet area, such as a car park. Familiarise yourself with the car’s controls, and practice using the auxiliary functions. If you will be driving on the opposite side of the road, it may take a while to adjust to the fact that everything is the wrong way around for you.
Use A GPS SatNav
Most car rental companies offer SatNav hire, and this is a handy thing to include. Without worrying about directions and getting lost, you can be much more aware of the car and what is going on around you. Your own SatNav may not have the correct maps, so check this before bringing yours.
Give Yourself Time
Be realistic when planning your schedule, and factor in that you will be driving a lot more slowly. Being in a rush will only make you panic and more prone to making mistakes, so take it easy and give yourself plenty of time.
Don’t Be Put Off By Locals
Depending on where you are, the locals style of driving can be very different from yours. They will feel much more confident and comfortable, so don’t let yourself be intimidated. If you feel flustered, take a deep breath and regain your composure. Remember to stay focused at all times and not respond to any aggression; they may not even be aware that you are a newbie!