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Considerations For Car Hire Abroad

Jan 7, 2008
When you consider the option of car hire there are many things to look into, particularly if you are going to be travelling out of your normal area.

You must familiarise yourself with all your responsibilities towards the hire firm and be sure of their responsibilities towards you. A thorough check of the car before leaving the car hire company is essential to safeguard any claims they may try to make later on.

However, there is one thing that many people do not check and that is the driving laws of the county or country they will be travelling through. They assume that if they follow the standard laws of the road, and they are all careful drivers of course, then they will be ok.

This is not necessarily so as laws vary and many, even the antiquated ones, are still very much enforceable.

Many of the laws wouldn't cross most people's mind but you can never have too much knowledge. Not many drivers would consider driving blindfolded in Alabama, just as well as it is illegal. If you were driving near a place that sold cold drinks and food after 9pm in Arkansas and honked the horn of your hired car, you could very well be arrested.

When you use car hire to drive through California, be careful to never leave your vehicle unattended, as no vehicle without a driver is permitted to travel at speeds exceeding 60 mph. And it's always useful to know that if you are driving through San Francisco and your car windshield becomes dirty, it is illegal to wipe any part of your car with used underwear.

That is, of course, if you have a windshield, because Luxembourg law does not insist you have a windshield but does insist you have windshield wipers.

If you intend to spit out of the window in Georgia, make sure you do it from a truck and not from a bus or car as this will get you a fine.

Some road traffic laws make good common sense that you hope nobody needs telling such as the law in Ohio that makes it illegal to travel on the roof of a taxi cab, Tennessee law that states you must not drive whilst asleep or in Denmark where you should check for small children beneath your car before you set off.

If you do decide on car hire through America and you happen to pass through Texas, steer well clear of all alcohol. It is illegal to drive within an arms length of alcohol - even that which may be in somebody else's bloodstream.

One traffic law I wish was in place when my children were babies was the one set in Iowa where the ice cream man and his truck are banned.

Before cars where as popular as they are now, animals were used for transport. However, in Washington it is illegal to ride an ugly horse but who defines ugly? And if you choose an elephant instead of a car in Florida and tie it to a parking meter, you must still feed the meter as if it were a car.

Massachusetts law bans gorilla's from travelling in the back seat of a car - makes you wonder how many times they have had to enforce this law. It must have been at least once for them to come up with that law in the first place.

If you chose car hire in Oklahoma it pays to know that the molestation of a vehicle is illegal.

Let's hope you never find out if they still enforce this law but it is always wise to check on the laws of the country you are travelling to.
About the Author
Travel expert Catherine Harvey looks at some of the things car hire customers should know before travelling. To find out more please visit http://www.car-hire-uk.com/
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