Renting a car

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Travelling by car can get you to places very difficult to reach by public transport or tour. It gives you the convenience of going your own way, in your own time, and it can in some cases be cheaper than public transport alternatives, at least if travelling as a couple or a group.
The downside is that in some places, traffic conditions may differ wildly from what you are used to, and foreign conditions can add stress to your travels that you can do without. See Driving in China for one example. In some circumstances, it may be better to rent a car with a driver. In countries where wages are low, this may not cost significantly more than the cost of the car alone. Traffic jams and congestion are also an issue: While you might save money by taking a car in some places, road rage is perhaps costing you twice that in sanity, avoid Jakarta at rush hour for one. Old towns are by their very definition not built for cars and if you have to drive a car, try parking it outside the old town proper and exploring the city center per pedes.
You should also consider whether you need a car. In many countries, public transport is perfectly adequate for most travellers and the time in a bus, train or boat can – at least sometimes – be used for rest, enjoying the landscape or getting yourself organized, much better than when one in the company has to concentrate on driving. If you will be visiting one or several (major) cities, expect parking to be both expensive and problematic. Finally, there's always the remote chance of your car being stolen or damaged.



Booking and haggling

Before you set out

Returning a car

Choosing an operator

Traffic direction

Stay safe

See also