What Kind of License Do You Need to Hire a Rental Car in Australia?

January 17, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 

If you’re going to Australia for vacation it’s likely that you’ll be there for more than just a day or two, for an effective holiday halfway around the world you’ll need at least a week or more to have the full experience after you’ve recovered from the exceedingly long journey. Odds are, if you’re there for a week or ten days that you’ll have plenty of plans for fun things to do during your stay, most of which will probably require further travel of some variety.

Taxis are an expensive way to get around while you’re on vacation, especially if you’re going to be there for a while – if the event of a longer vacation it will save you a pretty substantial amount of money to rent a car and drive yourself where you need to get, but will you legally be able to rent a car in Australia, or any other country for that matter, without a valid drivers license in that country? Not many people know the answer to this question, but it could be crucial information to the overall success of your vacation to another country.

Some people think that simply having a valid driver’s license from anywhere in the US will be enough to allow them to rent a car and drive in a foreign country, but the truth is that many foreign countries don’t recognize a US driver’s license. If you thought that simply having a valid license in the US was going to be enough, don’t despair – just having a valid license in good standing may be enough to get you the documentation that you need to be able to drive and rent automobiles in Australia as well as in other countries.

In order to be able to drive in Australia you need what is known as an International Driver’s Permit, or an IDP. An IDP will give you the legal ability to operate a motor vehicle in more than one hundred and fifty foreign nations, of which Australia is one. You can get all of the information that you need regarding the application process and actually obtaining your IDP from either AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance, both of which are designated as authorized issuers by the US State Department.

Though obtaining an IDP is relatively easy, you do need to have a valid US driver’s license to obtain one and an IDP will not replace your US driver’s license – it will merely act as a supplement that allows you to operate a motor vehicle in another country.

If you are a frequent traveler or if you just want to maximize the experience you have during the times that you do travel, looking for a taxi is not always the best or most economical option. Having a rental car that you can freely and legally operate whenever you need to for whatever reason is the epitome of convenience and in many countries the only way to be able to operate a motor vehicle is by having an International Driver’s Permit.

Going through the simple process of obtaining your IDP at one of the many local offices of AAA or the American Automobile Touring alliance is much easier and more convenient than having to try and fight for a taxi every time you want to travel farther than what is considered a safe walking distance in many foreign countries. If you love to travel, it makes perfect sense to obtain an IDP before you leave on your journey – even if you aren’t sure that you’ll be renting a car when you arrive a your destination just having the security of knowing that you can if you need to will make going through the very simple process of obtaining one worth it.

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