When you think of traveling abroad you don’t think about driving. Most places have amazing public transportation; especially the tourist spots. But sometimes when you travel you may need to do it for an extended period of time and that may mean you need a car. I am not saying you need to take your car with you but you may have to rent one while there.
Traveling in a foreign country is a lot different than traveling in the US. There are different laws and roads. Unfortunately, sometimes you being a foreign driver is a great way for someone to take advantage. I have put together a list of ways to stay safe when driving abroad!
Obtain an International Driving Permit.
This document is recognized by 174 countries and translates your drivers’ license information into 10 languages. If you’re pulled over or involved in a car accident, it can help smooth potential language barriers. Plus, an IDP duals as internationally recognized photo identification. Along with this thought, only obtain IDPs from authorized government agencies.
Study the driving laws of the country you are visiting
This will help avoid drawing attention to yourself for all the wrong reasons, exposing yourself to potential scam artists. Plus it may keep you from having very hefty fines or worse, jail time for not obeying the laws.
Never pull over for anyone, even if they are trying to alert you to car trouble.
This is a huge scam in some countries. They try to make it seem like you are having car trouble or maybe they need help. After they pull you over, they could rob you or worse. Stay in your vehicle and keep driving to a safe location.
Be aware of shady rental car dealers.
Opt for legitimate agencies over big savings. Take pictures of the vehicle, from all angles, before exiting the rental car lot. Then do the same when you return the car. This will protect you from being charged for false damages. Do not go for the upgrades, etc. They will try to upsell you to make more money.
Self-park when you can.
You have to be extra careful of valet scams. There are incidents where valets were fake and stole cars. Another huge scam is hotels telling you that the only parking available is in their lot for an astronomical price. The next day you will most likely find out there is public parking close for a 1/4 of what you paid. Always check everything before accepting valet parking.
With this tips you will find that driving abroad can be enjoyable and fun! Just like driving in the US it just takes care and awareness to stay safe. Enjoy your trip!