Are you excited to tour England? You probably know that many tourists prefer going about by rail, but it’s worth considering renting a car to explore the many wonders of the United Kingdom’s largest country. This applies in particular if plan on visiting historic sites, quaint villages, and the beautiful countryside. But renting a car comes with its own set of unique challenges. Here are five tips you should know about car hire to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
1) Driving orientation
One of the first things to prepare for is driving on the left side of the road. If you’ve been driving on the right your whole life, this can prove to be a bit disorienting. First, you must sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle, requiring you to shift the stick with your left hand. The good news is that the clutch, gas, and brake pedals are in their conventional positions, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Time and patience are necessary to get used to this kind of driving orientation. While you’re excited to visit as many tourist destinations as possible, take it slow initially and give yourself time to adjust.
2) Manual transmission
Most rental cars come in a standard transmission. Again, this can be a problem if you’re used to driving an automatic transmission. Thankfully, many rental companies offer automatic transmission rental vehicles, but be prepared to pay more. Apex Luxury Car Hire London, one of the leading car hire companies in the UK, offers a wide selection of both types of transmissions. If you prefer driving an automatic, it’s better to spend more than deal with the additional stress.
3) Roundabouts and narrow roads
You might be surprised at the number of roundabouts in England. These circular intersections are meant to keep traffic flowing, but they can be confusing at times. Make it a habit to look at the signs as you approach a roundabout to determine where you need to exit. Remember that traffic flows clockwise in a roundabout and use your signal lights accordingly when taking your exit.
Narrow roads are also commonplace, at least relative to streets in North America. Drive slowly and pay attention to a widening or a pullout/turnout in the road. Pull into the widening to let cars behind you go on ahead. While you can find alternate routes to avoid these narrow roads, it’s worth knowing that they’re often beautiful, leading you to quiet villages with surprisingly fun pubs and inns.
Car rental insurance in England helps you avoid paying for unnecessary expenses. Third Party Cover, which is more commonly known as Third Party Liability Insurance, covers damages to anyone or anything outside the vehicle in the event of an accident. Vehicle Damage Cover, meanwhile, covers the cost of any damages to the rental car. Be sure to review the terms, as some packages exclude damages to the tires, windshields, and other parts of the car. You can also avail of Vehicle Theft Cover, which covers the cost of replacing car parts or the car itself in case of theft.