It can initially appear to be incredibly convenient to fly somewhere, and then just pick up a hire car to get to your onward destination. However there are a few things you might want to check out in advance in order to make sure your trip goes according to plan.
The first thing is to make sure that you have booked the right type of car. Some countries, particularly those such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand will default to providing you with a manual car with a stick shift. Therefore check all of the options carefully as there is often an option you will have to select in order to choose to be provided with an automatic car. It is also worth noting that the hire rates for automatic cars outside of the US are often higher than for manuals.
Planning your route is very important, particularly if you are planning on driving in a country that drives on the left hand side of the road. Don’t leave it until you are sitting in the front seat with the sat nav to try and figure out how to get out of the airport! You can easily find maps of airports online with driving directions on how to get into and out of them, and you can also find easy to follow driving directions to and from hire car pick-up locations on their websites.
Even if you plan to have a sat nav it is also worth taking a hard copy map with you as well. While sat navs are generally reliable, they are not perfect and if for any reason your sat nav stops working you could end up in the middle of nowhere with no road signs and no idea where you are, however if you have your map you will be able to navigate to where you need to get to, or at least to somewhere you can ask for directions.
Even though hire cars are generally well-maintained there is always the possibility of getting a flat tire. Being able to deal with it yourself can save you a lot of time, inconvenience and money. When you get your car take the time to check out the trunk and see what is in there. Some new cars do not have a spare tire and instead have a puncture repair liquid that you can use to get you to the next garage. If you feel particularly worried, many hire car companies will offer you a breakdown service that includes roadside recovery so should anything happen, all you have to do is call out an expert.
The final hire car tip is to not set out too fast. Take some time when you first get into the car to set up your mirrors and seat position so that you are in a comfortable driving position. Check the locations of all of the different switches you may need, especially if you are driving in a right hand drive car and you are about to drive on the left. Follow this advice and you should have a happy motoring experience!