10 Tips for Your First Time Driving Abroad

By Paul Riegler on 5 December 2017
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Leaving Italy, entering Austria

One of the great pleasures of traveling abroad is driving the magnificent highways and scenic roads, be it the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße in Austria, Route One in Iceland, the Stelvio Pass in Italy, the Trollstigen in Norway, or the Karakoram Highway connecting China and Pakistan. A drive is a brilliant way to get to know a country and its innate beauty at your own pace.

Whether you rent a car, do euro delivery, or do a short-term lease (details follow), it will give you freedom from train and plane schedules, however driving in unfamiliar parts of the world does present its own challenges.

Here’s what you should consider when planning a road trip abroad.

A new BMW makes for a great souvenir once back home.

A new BMW makes for a great souvenir once back home.

1.) What should I drive? Before even addressing the specific type of vehicle, it’s important to note the three options typically available to travelers. Most travelers rent a car from a rental agency such as Hertz or Avis, but there are two additional options available to those planning to drive in Europe. European or Overseas Delivery allows you to purchase a new Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or Volvo, frequently at a discounted price, have it rather ceremoniously delivered to you at the factory, and drive it while abroad. The automakers take care of shipping and customs paperwork at no cost to you and reunite you with the vehicle four to eight weeks after it’s dropped off in Europe for its journey home. The other option involves a car lease program designed especially for tourists such as those offered by Citroën, Peugeot, and Renault. Because it includes insurance, it is ideal for those planning to spend more than two weeks in Europe.

2.) What about insurance? European delivery cars come with insurance for the duration of the trip as do cars from Citroën, Peugeot, and Renault. In many cases, your credit card will provide for primary or secondary insurance for a rental car and, if you own a car at home, your auto policy may provide coverage as well. However, do your research before leaving on your trip. The counter at the airport rental car agency is not the place to figure things out.

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