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Renting a car during your cruise holiday is a superb way to see a port of call, especially when it come to getting around to visit the hidden gems that can only be found off the beaten track, for example quaint little villages and scenic sprawls of road. However, if you are not well prepared, a car rental can turn into a bad experience, so following these few tips will help you to prevent disaster during your cruise vacation.

Being prepared and reading the fine print is your first port of call when signing up for your hired car abroad. It is at the point that you receive the car keys that you will have your chance to inspect the rental car and highlight any issues that might become problematic later on. Check how many miles are on the clock and locate any features - such as SatNavs or GPS driving aid - that you believe the vehicle should be equipped with.


If you are planning to spend a long distance hire car while driving during the port call, it is worth ensuring that you know just what your travel insurance covers you for. While your travel insurance may protect your belongings if stolen when in your hotel room for example, the same may not apply if those same possessions are stored in the boot of your car. During your excursion in a hired vehicle, this is where your belongings and luggage will spend a lot of time unattended while you explore the local attractions, so read the travel insurance detail beforehand.

You are not going to be familiar with the routes you take while driving in an unknown country, so take your time, even if you are on what looks like a perfectly safe stretch of road: you never know where the next fork in the road could take you. Keep a map with you, even if you have a SatNav or GPS in your vehicle, as even the latest technology breaks down occasionally. Or it may just take forever to get online.

Be careful too when approaching secluded areas, especially at night if they are not well-lit. While many places will be perfectly safe, especially in areas favoured by tourists, you cannot guarantee this and so it is best to err on the side of caution. The usual rules of vehicle safety apply abroad as much as anywhere, such as not leaving your car unlocked while you pop into a shop and not parking where restrictions say you cannot.

Remember that the laws of the road may be different in a new country, so research these before you head abroad. The etiquette expected - or not expected - by drivers can also differ, so be careful around drivers and do not be surprised if you see locals driving in ways you consider dangerous or risky: this may just be how things are done where you are holidaying.

Obeying these tips should help keep you safe and back in time before your cruise ship departs the port. As with any pursuit, shopping around for car hire deals can ensure you access economycar hire and do not end up paying out more than you should for what you want that vehicle for. Have a great cruise vacation.