Do you have an overseas trip planned? If so, you may be considering hiring a car or looking at motorbike rental Bangkok Sukhumvit. Either way, it pays to be prepared. In this article, we are going to take you through the various things you need to know before you rent a vehicle overseas.

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Can You Drive?

This may sound like a strange question, but in most countries, you will need to prove you can drive before you rent a vehicle. The standard age where it is legal to drive is 18. Some countries let people drive at 16 or 17, but don’t assume this is the case unless you have verified the facts. Even if you are legal to drive, not all rental companies will let you hire a vehicle unless you are at least 18 years old. Some don’t rent cars to anyone under the age of 21.

Apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you travel overseas. It’s quick and easy to acquire one, and it won’t cost you too much money. This should be carried with your regular drivers’ licence. As well as proving you can drive, an IDP is also a form of ID. You might be asked to hand over your passport when you hire a vehicle, so carry an IDP to prove your identity in the event you get stopped by the police.

Choosing a Rental Company

Some people prefer to book a rental vehicle in advance; others wait until they arrive and then look for a local company. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Booking a rental vehicle in advance means you can search for a good deal. Many international car rental companies run promotions online and you may find a coupon or discount you can use. Advance rentals also give you more choice if there is a specific vehicle you want, although it isn’t always possible to select a specific car.

If you do rent a vehicle in advance, you will probably have to collect it from the airport when you land, which might not appeal if you are flying long-haul and your flight lands in the middle of the night.

Looking for a local rental company may yield better prices. Local operators are often cheaper than big brand rental agencies. They are also open to negotiation and if you haggle, you may get a better class of vehicle for the money.

On the downside, there are fewer safeguards in place, so be vigilant for poorly maintained vehicles and rental staff who try and charge you over the odds for things you don’t need or want. That said, these things can still happen with larger rental companies, so don’t assume you are safe if you go with a big brand.

Straying Safe on the Road

Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel. It can be quite hair-raising driving in some countries!

Hiring a vehicle overseas is convenient, but don’t bother unless you are a confident driver.