From freedom to finances, there are so many reasons why hiring a car for your foreign getaway is a great idea. Say goodbye to the inconvenience of flagging down a taxi on the side of the road and say hello to the novelty of renting a fresh, new, reliable car. If you’re planning a road trip in peak times like December and January, car rental prices can be higher than usual and certain cars may be in short supply. One way to avoid disappointment is to book your car well in advance. Quick sellers often tend to be SUVs which are great for family road trips, or smaller cars perfect for couples and nipping around narrow winding roads. Our tip to you is to pick a car that works for you and your surroundings. If you’ve never rented a car for your holiday, here are 9 reasons why you should consider it:
1. Drive in disguise:
Want to hide your tourist-like qualities? Hiring a foreign vehicle allows you to fit in with ease. Your fresh, clean rental will not only get you respect on the roads but it can often prove to be the safer option as foreign number plates tend to run the risk of theft or break-ins. Another great way to ensure you keep a low profile on your road trip is to hire a car with a Satnav. Not only will you know where you’re heading without having to stop and ask for directions, but you’ll get access to updated maps which will save your mobile data and roaming charges too.
2. Forget the taxi:
If you plan on using a taxi to get from A to B abroad, the costs can quickly mount up. The downside to jumping in a taxi on holiday is unfortunately looking like a tourist can cost you. If you’ve fallen victim to being driven the long way around or even being charged twice as much for the same route as a local, you’ll probably be looking into hiring a car for your next getaway. Even ordering a taxi over the phone can be a hassle, thanks to location and communication barriers…it’s just not simple. All these issues can be solved by renting a holiday hire.
3. Freedom to explore:
Here’s your chance to take advantage of your new found freedom. Having a car abroad allows you to explore remote places more freely. Rocky mountain restaurants, hilltop landmarks and stunning waterfalls are all places that would be harder to reach by bus or taxi. Hiring for your holiday can take you to places your own car can only dream of. If you want to pull over to admire the fantastic scenery, guess what – you can! You’re the boss and you’re in the driving seat!
4. Save, save, save £££’s:
The amount you spend renting a car can be saved elsewhere by booking a hotel that’s further afield, out of inner towns and cities. The chances are you’ll have way more fun exploring at your own pace. You’ll avoid the traffic, plus it’ll raise your chances of stumbling upon stunning scenery that you just wouldn’t have spotted otherwise.
5. Experience the novelty factor:
Escapism – there’s no thrill quite like it. Sit back, relax and enjoy the novelty of exploring a new country in the comfort of your own hired car. Push the boat out and choose a car that really suits your personality. Have fun with it!
6. Trial out an extended test drive:
Switch it up! Depending on the license you have, if you drive a manual car at home use this opportunity to experience an automatic or vice versa. Holidays are all about new experiences so embrace it. In the market for a new car but don’t quite know if your choice is the right one? Renting a ride for a few days acts as the perfect extended test drive to find out first-hand if the car you’re renting fits your long term needs.
7. Fall in love with getting lost:
Things haven’t gone quite to plan? That’s the fun of it! Hiring a car abroad gives you the opportunity to see a country for what it has to offer and there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way! Although understanding some Thai road signs isn’t quite what you had in mind, it’s these experiences that can make a holiday one to remember (for the right reasons). When it comes to planning your road trip, make it a team effort and get the whole family involved.
8. Choose a green car to save you money:
Reduce the costs of driving abroad by simply going green by renting a small Eco car.
9. Witness fuel savings:
Have you noticed that your own car has the tendency to be a bit of a gas guzzler? A great advantage of hiring a car abroad is that the vehicle you’ll be driving is likely to be newer, more reliable and therefore a more sustainable model that holds great gas mileage.
So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it about time you experience the open road in style? A driving holiday offers escapism, freedom and more importantly that feel-good factor! Hit the road and hire your motor to discover the experience of a lifetime.
1. Hua Hin is Thailand’s oldest beach town and is a perfect getaway for the HiSo crowd from Bangkok. Situated on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand it became popular with the Thai Royal Family in the 1920’s and there still remains a Royal Palace there. A sleepy and refined town, Hua Hin boasts a magnificent sandy beach and great dining for the weekend visitor. There are specialist seafood restaurants that reach out like tentacles into the sea and are a must when visiting.
2. Ayutthaya & Historical Park is steeped in history and was the capital of Siam, founded around 1350. Four hundred years later it was one of the largest cities in the world with 1 million people. The city was destroyed by the Burmese resulting in the collapse of the Kingdom, fortunately renovations started in earnest in the 1960’s bringing back much of its former glory, with moats, canals and roads. The Historical Park is located on an island surrounded by three rivers where the old capital used to be. If you really want to immerse yourself into the deep history of Siam then Ayutthaya is the perfect place.
3. Kanchanaburi & Thai-Burma Railway features some of the most beautiful nature in central Thailand. It is home to several waterfalls, mountains, caves, national parks and last, but not least, the River Kwai. The scenic train journey along the notorious Thailand-Burma Death Railway from Kanchanaburi, via the Bridge over the River Kwai, to Nam Tok is one of Thailand’s most spectacular and popular train rides.
4. Rayong. For some Rayong is just a staging point to take the ferry across to Koh Samet, but Rayong has far more to offer than just that. It has some fine sandy beaches that you will find are a lot quieter than those of its neighbour Pattaya. There are some great historical places to visit with many Wats and Temples dotted about. The old market on Jinda Road is definitely worth a visit and there are many good seafood restaurants in the town.
5. Trat Province nestles along the border with Cambodia with the impressive Khao Banthat mountain range forming the border. Trat is synonymous with Koh Chang and there are 52 assorted offshore islands offering unspoiled long, white sandy beaches and exciting coral reefs. Trat is definitely somewhere you go to for a peaceful break, the small, sleepy province offers delightful scenery and tranquil hideouts for the lovers of nature. The city of Trat is home to a plethora of markets due to the near proximity of Cambodia.
New to the fleet
The Ford Fiesta Titanium is an excellent pick if you’re looking for a small car with lots of equipment that makes it easier to live with every day. While it does without a sporty body kit, the Titanium does get chrome trim on its exterior, eye-catching 16-inch alloy wheels, and bright LED daytime running lights. Useful equipment additions include power-folding mirrors, which won’t get smashed on tight streets and also have lights that illuminate the street around the car, so you can avoid stepping in puddles.
Once inside, you’ll find a premium stereo fitted with Bluetooth, auto headlights, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto wipers, foot-well lights and climate control. In fact, the Titanium comes loaded with so much kit, it seems best to opt for the PowerShift automatic, which takes the strain out of city driving. Interior space is generous up front, with a driver seat that easily adjusts for a wide range of physiques. The backseat is definitely on the tight side even for this pint-sized segment. The Fiesta sedan has decent trunk space for it’s size. The Ford Fiesta Titanium proves choosing to drive a small car doesn’t mean you have to do without the extra kit of a large saloon.
The Ford Fiesta Titanium looks good from outside, while its folding electric door mirrors are useful on tight city streets. Those same mirrors illuminate the sides of the car to stop you treading on anything undesirable. Climate control means the interior will always be the right temperature. The 1.5-litre engine is very economical around town. It has a sporty feel thanks to the 16 inch alloys and tweaked suspension which makes it very engaging and rewarding to drive. An all round good city car that can also hold it’s own on the highway. Why not come and try it out at Expat Car Rent.
My Suzuki Swift review:
The Swift fulfills a function whereby it provides a more chic and compact supermini than its competitors. You get some classic Swift design features, like the wraparound windscreen and the sloping roof, plus distinctive C-pillar treatment that now has a ‘floating roof’ effect. Even the light clusters front and rear aren’t that much different to the old car and a new front grille which might not appeal to everyone but I like it.
With the Swift weighing as little as 890kg it feels lively and alert, well-managed body roll and a real eagerness to flick-flack through direction changes. That speaks of a purposefulness that’s at odds with the Swift’s cutesy face. The ride is comfortable and there’s little to report in terms of wind, engine or tire noise when you’re on a steady highway cruise. I wouldn’t say it’s an absolute firecracker to drive but reminds me of that joyful go-kart feeling of old Mini’s. It’s a really appealing supermini, the Swift is a little corker that’s up there with the best in class.
It’s not exactly breathtaking inside, but it is all well laid-out and intuitive, and there’s plenty of space on board for four adults, although five might be pushing it, the back seats aren’t quite as roomy but they’re still better than most of its rivals’. The equipment levels in the Swift are generous for a budget supermini. Even the base model has air conditioning, six airbags & DAB radio as standard.
You don’t have to work this Japanese hatchback hard to get it to build up a good head of steam and, once the corners start coming thick and fast, it’ll hang onto its pace as much of as possible, thanks to a limber chassis with an excellent set-up. This is a fantastic little car from a company that’s fast becoming known for such things. This is my go to car when I need to nip around Pattaya & the Darkside for the corners. If you need to rent a fun small car I would highly recommend it for the fun factor. Why not come down to Expat Car Rent and give one a try, it may surprise you.