Car travel is becoming a popular weekend or vacation destination. People discover the beauty of their native country, travel around Europe, get to know the world. A characteristic feature of modern tourism is the mobility of travelers - they do not tie themselves to trains and planes, leave their own cars at home and rent a suitable car for travel.
Why is it important to plan your trip?
When going on a trip on your own, count on yourself. When buying a tour, the agency solves issues with accommodation, meals, transfer from the airport to the hotel, even the minimum excursion program is included in the tour program.
Independent travel needs to be planned by yourself, thinking through all the details. The key organizational point is the issue of movement - buying tickets to Europe or the USA and renting a car.
Book a car 2-3 weeks before the trip so that you have time to explore the rental market of a country or city in order to choose a company with favorable rental conditions. Otherwise, you will have to contact large international companies that have at their disposal a wide car park in all cities, but the rental cost is much higher.
Car sharing services (the so-called rental relationship between the owner of the car and the client) are offered by many companies, so it will not be easy to choose - you need to compare:
- daily rental cost and discounts;
- rent terms;
- the amount of the security deposit;
- services of insurance companies;
- car fleet;
- location and presence of representative offices of the company in Europe (if an international trip is planned) and in Ukraine (in cities that are included in the trip);
- customer reviews on third-party forums and sites.
Pay for car rental immediately for the rental period - this way you will save up to 20-100 euros, because most of the tenants issue a 10-15% discount for such clients.
If you are flying abroad, it is advisable that the car be delivered to the airport so as not to waste time traveling to the hotel and pay for a taxi (you should also return the car at the airport).
What is the best car to rent?
Choose a simple, safe and practical car that is comfortable for the participants of the trip. An important criterion is the economy of the car - you will have to refuel often, and the lower the fuel consumption, the more money you can save.
It is better to rent a car with a gasoline engine. In Europe and the USA, gasoline is cheaper than in Ukraine, and there are more gasoline stations than gas stations. The price of gas in Ukraine does not differ from the cost of gasoline - the difference is several hryvnias. But many gas stations sell low-quality gas that causes car breakdowns. And on the road, it is difficult to imagine a worse situation - you need to resort to the services of a service or call the company, change the route, waiting for help with repairs or arrange a new car.
If you are traveling with a family, choose a spacious car for the trip so that all passengers can comfortably sit in the cabin. Another condition is a roomy trunk so that all things taken on the road can be folded into it.
If you are traveling with 5 people, choose a minivan or minibus. The interior will be more comfortable for 3 adults sitting in the back than the interior of a conventional car. If children under 7 years old participate in the trip, the car must have child seats, selected according to the age of the little travelers. It is imperative to inform about this when renting a car, otherwise you may be fined on the road and stop traveling until there is a seat.
If you decide to rent a car in European car sharing, hire an interpreter to familiarize yourself with the contract, paying attention to the points:
- for what the fine is charged;
- the condition of the car, in which it was rented, and in which the tourist undertakes to return it;
- insurance validity.
Do not neglect the services of an interpreter, since an agreement is a document that protects your interests in case of problems.
All cars in the car fleet of the companies are in working order, but when picking up the documents for the rented car, inspect it again and ask the employee about the “weak points”.
What to look for when choosing a car for an independent travel?
When renting a car, consider the geography of the route. If the trip is related to business issues and meetings with business partners are coming, rent a model that emphasizes the status and financial condition of the renter - an SUV or a business class car.
If most of the trip is related to city sightseeing, the best means of transportation will be a classic sedan - Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio, Volkswagen Polo. These are common car models, so every rental company will be able to offer them to tourists,
If the vacation is connected with country trips, for example, in the rural regions of Italy and France, or in the regions of Ukraine, and the program includes all the elements of outdoor recreation - fishing, spending the night in tents, swimming on the river bank, a roomy SUV will be the best option for clients. ... Such a car copes well with off-road conditions, quickly picks up speed, behaves well on dirt roads. To solve such problems, it is worth taking Suzuki Vitara, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Kuga.
What documents are needed to travel abroad?
If the car is issued in Ukraine, to complete the contract and travel abroad, you must provide:
- passport with an open Schengen visa or a visa to one, specific country outside the EU;
- rights with the owner's name in Latin or English;
- identification code, which is needed to complete the contract.
If the contract is drawn up in Europe, the following documents will be required:
- passport with a visa;
- a driver's license of a new or old model with the mark PERMIS DE CONDUIRE and the driver's name inscribed in English;
- in some countries, an international driver's license will be required, without which you cannot drive;
- bank credit card with access to blocking the deposit;
- voucher if the car was booked online.
In principle, collecting these documents is not difficult.