A third of hire car drivers don’t like driving abroad
A new survey has found that nearly a third (29%) of UK hire car drivers do not like driving abroad, with women (37%) much more reluctant than men (24%).
This may be due to the fact that a fifth are nervous about driving on the other side of the road (21%), and don’t like having to get used to a gear stick and brake on the other side (18%), but some just think that local drivers drive too fast and ‘crazy’ (18%).
The survey carried out by Opinium, and commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, which provides stand-alone car hire excess insurance, asked hire car drivers their views on driving abroad:
- One in five (21%) are nervous about having to drive on the other side of the road, perhaps not surprisingly when…
- Almost a fifth (18%) have driven on the wrong side of the road by accident;
- 18% don’t like having gear stick on the other side;
- 18% think that local drivers drive too fast and crazy;
- 17% don’t trust foreign drivers;
- 16% find parking rules confusing;
- 15% feel more likely to have an accident abroad;
- 13% worried that won’t know what to do if they had an accident or break down abroad;
- 12% don’t understand the road signs in other countries;
- 9% worry about breaking local drink driving rules by mistake.
However, many travellers are diligent in their preparation for driving abroad including: buying a map (40%) and planning routes before arrival (55%); ensuring they have cash to pay tolls (48%); checking that they understand the main road signs (32%); and buying the necessary equipment to meet the country’s regulations, e.g., breakdown triangle, high visibility vest etc (35%). Only 7% say they buy what they need for driving aboard at the ferry or Eurostar depot before leaving the UK.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “It’s understandable that some people fear driving abroad, but it’s a great way to explore a new country, and most people get used to driving on the other side of the road pretty quickly.
“However, it’s important that car hirers know the rules and regulations of the country they’re driving in. In France, for instance, you can face an on-the-spot fine if you don’t carry reflective jackets, a warning triangle and a breathalyser.
“Hire car drivers are also liable for the excess if a hire car is damaged or stolen, which can be up to £2,000. Excess insurance is available to protect drivers from this, but the cover offered at the rental desks is often expensive. Instead, drivers should buy it before they travel from a specialist insurance company, like iCarhireinsurance.com.”