Traveling the world is an opportunity to splurge on luxury experiences. You could stay in a 5-star hotel or dine at Michelin Star restaurants, but your vehicle might be the first thing on your mind.
These simple tips make renting a luxury BMW overseas feel like a breeze. You’ll drive around the globe in style without any extra hassle.
1. Look Into an International Driver’s Permit
Your driver’s license allows you to drive your car anywhere in the U.S. legally, but it doesn’t mean much abroad. You’ll need to look into getting an international driver’s permit before leaving home.
The permit allows people to skip applications and driving tests in each country because the United Nations regulates the permit process. Getting the permit may take hours or weeks, depending on the country processing your application. Apply early to skip the wait and get your luxury BMW faster.
2. Prepare Your Paperwork
When picking up your luxury car, you’ll also need to present paperwork. It verifies your identity and that you’re legally allowed to drive. Arrive at the pickup destination with specific paperwork with updated information, such as:
- Your driver’s license
- Your passport
- Your international driver’s permit
You can also contact the pickup office or company to inquire about the necessary paperwork before your trip begins.
3. Consider the Size
Will you road trip through a country with tons of luggage and rental equipment? Maybe you plan to cruise around a city for a long weekend with just a few bags in your trunk. Estimate how much room you’ll need to carry your vacation supplies to pick the right luxury BMW model for your trip.
4. Research Rental Companies
Car rental companies operate slightly differently. Some will have more luxury vehicle models than others. The rules regarding who can rent them, what paperwork they need and the size of their down payments required at pickup also change with each brand.
Research the rental companies with pickup locations at your destination. They’ll have online catalogs of their various models so you can double-check that your preferred luxury BMW is available. If not, you’ll know you need to find a different rental company or another model.
Some companies also provide essential driving supplies while others don’t. You may need an ice scraper if you’ll drive in snowy climates or an atlas in case your smartphone battery drains completely. Inquire about provided supplies to determine if you need to bring them in your suitcase.
5. Investigate Insurance Options
Drivers need car insurance to cover their vehicle repairs if an accident occurs and rental cars are no different. You may also need more comprehensive insurance when renting a luxury model.
Check with your current car insurance provider to see if your policy includes luxury rentals. Many policies include rental car models, but that may or may not apply to luxury vehicles. If it doesn’t, the rental company may have stand-alone policies that extend through the length of your trip.
6. Map Your Mileage
Your luxury BMW model will change how much you budget for gas. Check the model’s miles-per-gallon ratio, then map how far it is from your lodging to each entertainment or restaurant venue you’ll visit on your trip. Mapping your driving distances and calculating the gas you’ll need to afford may reveal that you need a different luxury vehicle to fit your budget.
7. Double-Check Parking Arrangements
The latest research published by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation found that for every 100,000 people in a metropolitan area, 234 will experience motor vehicle theft no matter what type of car they drive. Renting a luxury vehicle may increase your chance of becoming part of that statistic because thieves can make more money off higher-end vehicles. Consider finding lodging with more secure parking arrangements than standard hotels.
Private parking garages with security systems and code-access gates in rental home neighborhoods may be available at your destination. They’ll make your BMW more secure while you’re resting between adventures during your trip.
8. Remember the Transmission
Luxury cars don’t always have automatic transmissions, so read the vehicle’s specifications before booking your rental. The M3, M4 and Competition models have manual transmissions, while others are only automatics. If you’ve only driven cars with automatic transmissions, that could change which company you rent from or the model you choose.
Find the Best Rental Luxury BMW
Traveling only gets better when you rent a luxury BMW overseas. Anyone can figure out how to drive their dream car using tips like these. Figuring out how to get your driver’s permit, how much gas you’ll need to buy and what model is best for your needs will help you rent the best BMW for your upcoming adventure.