driving overseas

Driving overseas can be a memorable experience and a real highlight of your holiday, but if you haven’t done the preparation it can quickly turn into a nasty one. Here are five common mistakes people make driving overseas, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not taking the appropriate level of travel insurance

If you don’t have the appropriate level of travel insurance and something happens to your rental overseas, expect to pay through the nose. Take time before you leave to make sure your policy is comprehensive and flexible, to ensure you’ve got the appropriate level of coverage that will protect you if something goes wrong.

2. Not booking your rental in advance

If you rock up to the rental agency on the day, don’t expect to get a decent price. Rates are almost always higher across the counter and unfamiliar specs, language barriers and cultural differences can lead to these costs spiralling out of control. If possible, try to complete your booking while you’re still at home. This allows you to comparison shop for the best rate. 

3. Failing to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)

There are plenty of countries you can get around fine with a standard Australian driver’s license, but it’s worth getting an IDP just to be on the safe side. And IDP is recognised in over 150 countries and basically translates your qualifications into multiple languages. However, it’s important to remember to bring your regular license along also, as your IDP is not valid without it.

4. Not familiarising yourself with local road rules

From different overtaking rules to driving on the other side of the road, each country has a different set of driving rules that you’re going to have to be across. Even just taking a few hours to have a glance at what’s expected of your as a motorist in that particular country can ensure you don’t find out the hard way when you’re actually there.

5. Not planning your route thoroughly

With modern GPS systems (and even something as simple as Google Maps) it’s so easy to navigate these days, but that’s no reason to become complacent. Make sure you plan your route thoroughly when you’re travelling so you don’t waste time or end in tricky conditions. It’s also worth keeping a physical copy of a map nearby just in case you get lost without a charger.

Have you ever rented a car overseas? What advice would you give? Let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.

Have you arranged your travel insurance yet? Tailor your cover to your needs and save money by not paying for things you don’t need. To arrange a quote, click here. For more information about Over60 Travel Insurance, call 1800 622 966.

Related links:

Age restrictions and renting a car overseas

10 shocking examples of bad hotel etiquette

Travel insurance exclusions catching tourists out