Driving in an unfamiliar area, not being familiar with the rules of the road and driving on the right hand side are all cited as the top stress factors for British motorists while driving on holiday, according to a new poll by Carrentals.co.ukThe research found the biggest concerns British motorists have about driving abroad are being unfamiliar with the area (47%) and the actions of local drivers (26%), followed by not knowing the rules of the road (14%) and driving on the right hand side (10%).
The company's managing director, Gareth Robinson, said: “Driving in another country can be a little nerve-wracking at first, but simple things such as looking at your route on a map beforehand and allowing plenty of time can really make a difference, helping make journeys an enjoyable part of a holiday. Hiring a car offers holidaymakers great flexibility for travel plans and by booking early it can often work out as the most economical form of transport.
“Another important factor in keeping costs down is insurance. Policies for excess insurance are offered by all car hire companies at the time of vehicle collection, but these are often significantly more expensive, and not always as comprehensive, as those offered by third party insurers. Car hire companies will often insist customers take out their own insurance policies, but if they already have a third party policy in place this is not necessary – although it’s advisable to have a copy of this policy to hand at collection.”
To help motorists feel more at ease, the company has put together tips for stress free driving for agents to pass on to clients: Do your research – take time to read up on the driving rules and regulations of your destination and familiarise yourself with common road signs. Plan the route – as with any journey, if you know where you are going the journey is much more enjoyable. Look at a map before departure and make sure you have this with you in the car.
It may also be worth hiring a sat nav if map reading isn’t your strength or if you are travelling alone. Break up the journey – driving on holiday doesn’t just have to be about getting from one location to another. Breaking up the journey by visiting local attractions or scenic spots will allow you to discover new things about your holiday destination and provide a respite from concentrating on the road. Be prepared – in many countries, having your driving licence with you is a legal requirement, but even if it is not law, this is always advisable when hiring a car abroad.
It is also worth having the rental agreement and insurance details with you and if you are driving in winter conditions, make sure you carry a blanket, a torch and de-icing equipment. Make sure you’re covered - if you hire a car in the UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia, then you will be covered for Third Party Liability and Theft and Collision Damage Waiver, but destinations outside of these areas generally do not include insurance. Even if you do have some level of insurance, it may be worth taking out a more thorough policy with a third party insurer so that you are covered for all eventualities.
For example, Refundable Excess allows you to claim back any excess you may be charged should you damage the vehicle.
For more information visit www.carrentals.co.uk