Rental Cars Guide on Choosing and Driving Hire Cars

Well it can feel a bit like children at Christmas. All year you might be used to driving one particular car and then it's holiday time and you have to rent a car for practical reasons. Suddenly it hits you as you are on the website and all these models start appearing. You can imagine yourself driving along the beach with the roof down in the exotic convertible. You can picture yourself driving the rugged mountain path in the SUV. Finally you turn up to the restaurant in a Mercedes. Yes it can feel like Christmas. It doesn't look that expensive and you only have one holiday a year!!!.

Sorry to be the sensible one in the room, but you do have to be practical about which model group you choose. Family holidays can involve considerable luggage and you need enough space. Occasionally you see convertibles with the roof down and the suitcase sitting in the back. Okay in the sunshine but not in the rain. A big SUV will be a lot less efficient on fuel. As far as the Mercedes goes, I cannot think of a good reason not to hire one apart from the extra cost.

So the truth is you should work out what size you need before you hire it. If it is a family holiday how many suitcases are you taking. How many people in the car. How far do you need to drive as a larger car will be more comfortable if there are a number of passengers.

Here is our check list of tips which are obvious but worth remembering.

  • As stated in our other articles, when you rent a car. You usually choose a car group rather than the actual model although at some car rental locations this is possible on our search. The chances are you will be hiring a car that is different to your model at home. Even if it is the same model it may feel differently, so remember to drive it very carefully until you have got used to it.
  • Driving in most parts of the world usually means Driving on the Right for the British which is a challenge on its own.
  • Find out where the lights are. Even in the daylight you may go through a tunnel and be completely in the dark.
  • Is it petrol or diesel. Which side is the petrol tank. Does it have an internal lock.
  • Is there a boot lock.
  • Try reversing in an open space to make sure you familiar with the size before you try it in a crowded car park or street.
  • Test the breaks gently before you need to use them properly.
  • Check the speedometer to make sure you are not driving faster than you should.
  • What are the speed limits of the country.
  • What are the drink driving and other rules.

If you have any other tips that we have missed, feel free to email us.