Renting a car is the best way to see a foreign country quickly and comfortably. This is an ideal solution for those who prefer not to depend on other tourists and wants to plan their trip independently.
Car rental agencies can be found in any more or less large city of Europe. In popular places for recreation there are dozens of such companies. All of them are conventionally divided into international and local.
The international agencies Avis, Hertz and Europcar are considered to be the giants of the market. They are remarkable for their irreproachable reputation and extensive experience in providing their services.
The above companies actively compete with local rental agencies. Prices for local companies are much lower than for large distributors. The quality of services is approximately the same for both.
Offices of rental agencies are usually located on tourist streets, near sights, airports, railway stations. Companies whose offices are in remote areas offer their services at reduced prices.
To rent a car, a tourist is enough to provide the rental company with international standard rights and a passport. It will also require a bank card, on which the deposit will be frozen. Some European agencies do not take pledges from their clients.
Each country has its own requirements for tenants. In some countries cars are issued even to 18-year-old drivers, in others, the service of hire is provided only to persons over 21 years of age. The required driving experience varies from a year to two.
Before signing a lease agreement, it is important to carefully read the rules of the rental company. Many agencies require the return of cars with full tanks and in washed form.
The car rental service is popular in all the touristy developed countries, which is easily explained by its undoubted advantages.
First, the rented car gives you complete freedom of movement. You can travel all over the country and even travel to neighboring countries. Some rental companies forbid to travel to their cars outside the country, although this is contrary to law.
Secondly, having a car, you save time. For example, you can see the sights not during public transport hours, but early in the morning or late in the evening. In this way, you avoid queues.
Despite the significant advantages, renting a car in a foreign country has obvious disadvantages. First, if you travel alone, you need to constantly monitor the traffic situation. To relax and enjoy the passing landscapes can passengers, but not their driver.
Secondly, when renting a car, you should be completely confident in your driving skills. Ahead of you waiting for uncharted roads, new routes and not always tidy drivers. Although basic insurance is usually included in the rental price, it is better not to take risks and ride as accurately as possible.
Thirdly, on vacation you have to give up alcohol. As elsewhere, in Europe, there are impressive fines for driving in a state of intoxication. In case of non-payment of the penalty, you may refuse to issue a Schengen visa in the future.
Note to drivers
When traveling on a rented car, it is advisable to study the road maps in advance. It is even better to save them to your mobile phone. Although almost all European routes have road signs, foreigners often have difficulty understanding them.
Many rental agencies in Europe give their customers cars with built-in GPS-navigators. If such an option is not provided for by the lease agreement, it is better to be reinsured and pay it separately.
It is advisable to pay extra for car accessories or, even better, take them with you. In long travels, you may need a pillow under your head or a phone support.
When going on a trip, be sure to read the rules of the road in the country of arrival. They may differ from Russian ones. For example, in many European countries, dipped-beam headlamps must be kept switched on at any time of the day throughout the year. For the violation, drivers are not warned, but fines are immediately issued.
It is not superfluous to take care of renting a car in the country you are going to go to in advance. Tourists like to use aggregator sites - special services that provide a service of searching and booking cars around the world. They offer users low prices and give a guarantee of getting a booked car at a specific time and place.