It can be wonderfully relaxing to hire a car and leave the hustle and bustle of the city and other built-up areas. Youll get to see a lot more of your chosen destination by heading out in your hire car and exploring, and theres nothing better than fresh air, good weather and an adventure.
You can find some wonderful country roads in France, especially in the wine-producing regions, and if you hire a car you can tour the vineyards in Bordeaux and Bergerac. You can also enjoy some of the wonderful old villages such as Issigeac or drive out to the Medoc Forest. Italy also has some beautiful country routes just waiting to be explored, and hiring a car will enable you to take in the beautiful area around Florence, and Perugia in Umbria.
Here are some tips for driving your hire car on country roads.
- Roads are smaller and some country lanes are so narrow that only one car can fit through at a time. Take it slow, as cars may be approaching.
- Reduce your speed; just because youre in the country it does not give you license to race in your hire car.
- Slow down considerably when approaching any blind bends. Anything can be round the corner.
- Keep in mind that this is the country, and animals are everywhere, including on the roads. Look out for deer, horses, cows and even herds of sheep when touring in your hire car. If you have to pass an animal, slow down and give it plenty of space.
- Watch out for horse riders. Dont spook the animals. Again, slow your hire car right down and give the rider plenty of room.
- Drivers are not the only people out enjoying the country atmosphere - cyclists and walkers are also out and about, and there may be no footpaths.
- The hedgerows, trees and brambles are often overgrown, and can obscure your view of obstacles or the road ahead when youre driving your hire car.
- When pulling over to allow another vehicle to pass, be aware that undergrowth can conceal uneven ground or shallow ditches. Pull up where you are sure it is safe to do so to avoid getting your hire car stuck.
- Have patience if youre stuck behind a tractor or another farm vehicle when driving your hire car. Dont overtake unless you have a clear and long view of the road ahead.
- If the weather is wet, be prepared for roads and lanes to be muddy and possibly covered in a layer of slippery foliage. Take extra care in such conditions by driving your hire car more slowly.