Most, if not all, countries offer car rental services for both foreign and local travelers. The vehicle brands and types available for rental are usually the ones that are commonly used across the globe. For example, in the Philippines,Toyota Vios is a popular choice among car rental services. This is because it is a universally known and trusted automobile brand that people have no trouble using.
In all honesty, car rentals aren’t too big of a hit with locals. After all, if they’re in need of a car, buying one would be a much better solution or borrowing from relatives. The ones who are in more need of them are foreign travelers who want to explore the country.
That said, however, is it really necessary to rent a car during your trip abroad? If you’re currently asking yourself this question, then continue reading as we lay out the pros and cons of doing so and we’ll start with the former:
Gives You Freedom to Explore
Although public transport is well-developed and efficient in other countries, it can get a little restricting and limiting. Whether you admit it or not, the entirety of your out-of-country trip revolves around bus and train schedules. You have to wake up to catch the right ones that will get you where you need to go and return before the last one departs.
If you were to use a rental car, however, there would be no need to stick to these schedules. You can go exploring anytime and anyway to anywhere you want; you might even reach hidden places that weren’t part of your original plan.
Increases Travel Comfort
On top of giving you a little bit more freedom to explore the city whenever you want, renting a car can also increase your travel comfort levels. Since you don’t have to catch the first morning bus or train, you can sleep in for as long as necessary. You also won’t have to hurry back and miss other destinations in order to catch the last one that will take you to your accommodation.
Put simply, a rental car allows you to make the most out of all your vacation days since you won’t have to hurry to and from any particular place.
Helps Save Some Money
When you do the math, the cost of using taxis, trains, subways, and buses is almost equal to the cost of renting a car and using it throughout your trip abroad – gas included. Sometimes they may even cost more depending on the size of your group and the worst part is they can be absolutely inconvenient and uncomfortable to ride.
Trains are often filled with locals going to and from work, the same with buses and subways, while taxis charge ridiculously high rates especially during rush hours. So if you’re going to spend money, might as well spend it on a rental car that can give you additional benefits such as freedom and comfort.
As for the cons:
Difference in Driving Culture
Each country has a unique driving culture and you may already be aware of this and it might be one of the factors why you’re not renting a car abroad. Vehicle design also tend to differ from country to country. Some use left-hand drives like Toyota Vios in the Philippines while others use right-hand ones. There are also countries where people drive on the left side of the road and not the right. Driver attitude also differ for each area – some are rude and impatient while others are chill and nice.
You don’t have to worry much about this, though, because all you have to do to avoid any conflict and confusion on the road is to read up on road regulations prior to your visit – and to drive well anywhere you are.
Foreign Road Signs and Signals
Similar to driving culture, road signs and signals are also unique for every country. Although there are universal road signs, there are also those that are specific to and only known to a single country. You’d be left confused if you didn’t know what they are and may even end up breaking a rule or two.
However, as with the con above, all you have to do to eliminate such problems is read up and educate yourself on the road signs and signals present in the country you’re going to.
Need for a Designated Driver
The need for a designated driver is perhaps one of the biggest setbacks of renting a car abroad. As travelers, you surely want to have fun and that often involves going out for a couple drinks with your mates. If you’re driving to the destination, then one of you (if travelling with a group) has to be the responsible one and stick to water, soda or juice so you can all safely go home.
Now, if you have someone who doesn’t really drink then you’re in luck and won’t have this problem. If all of you have a love for drinking, then that’s where you may have a slight dilemma. Of course, you can always just drink in your rooms, but where’s the fun in that?
As with everything, there are pros and cons in renting a car abroad and it’s up to you to weight them and arrive at a decision. Our only part in this whole thing is to inform you of the things that you can experience when you do and don’t rent a car. Now that we’ve done our part, the decision is now in your hands!