Tips for Driving in a Foreign Country

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You may find that you are feeling quite nervous about the prospect of driving in a foreign country as a tourist or when you are on a business trip. To be fair, it is a daunting prospect, especially if the rules of driving are different from those in your home country. But it is often necessary to rent a car during a trip, so nervous drivers eventually have to face up to their fears. It is best to prepare for driving in advance; being anxious behind the wheel may not be the best idea. Here are some tips to get you ready for the road if you are going to rent a car in Manila:

1. Decide on the type of car.

Different types of cars

First things first, you are going to have to decide on a type of car to rent. Knowing about the place should help you make your decision. There is no point in renting a large SUV if you are mostly be driving within the city, and not going into the outdoors. But if the city you are visiting is famous for having potholes, renting an SUV may be a good idea.

2. Read up on traffic laws.

Traffic laws in each country are different. You need to make sure that you meet the proper licensing requirements. Some countries may expect you to have an international driver’s license, while others may accept your home license. Make sure that you are familiar with any unusual laws and parking laws to avoid getting fined or harassed by the police. Getting pulled over and not having the right paperwork can be a scary experience in a foreign country.

3. Download offline maps.

Getting lost in a foreign country is not a pleasant experience by any means. Make sure that you have downloaded offline maps before going out. Mobile data and phone carrier network may be spotty in certain places. This is even more important if you don’t speak the local language.

4. Read the rental contract thoroughly.

Reading contract of car rental

Always read the rental contract in detail before signing it. A lot of unscrupulous companies may put in extra charges or other problematic clauses in the fine print. In a foreign country, you cannot expect the legislation to protect you as a consumer. Do not sign anything if you are unclear. Make sure that the contract is in comprehensible English before signing.

5. Plan for emergency situations.

In spite of all the precautions you take, make sure that you still plan for any emergency situation that might arise. Know which numbers to call if you get into an accident, learn how to ask for help and directions, and find out what to do if you get into legal trouble. Always have insurance, and keep the rental company’s number on your phone, along with the emergency number.

If you follow these basic precautions, you do not have much to worry about. You can enjoy a convenient vacation while being able to drive anywhere without worries. Just make sure that you know about weather and traffic conditions ahead of time.

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