Hiring a car for your holiday in a foreign country can be one of the best things you can do, as it provides you with not only the freedom to travel where you like when you like, but can be an extremely stress-free and cost-effective option as well. When making your choice of car hire, however, make sure that the following things are included in your contract.

One item that you absolutely must have in your car hire package is 24/7 breakdown cover, as this will save you an immeasurable amount of stress should you run into trouble as the result of a mechanical failure or an accident.

Although these are unlikely to occur, it is always best to have peace of mind and make sure that you are covered in an emergency. Ask your rental agency how their breakdown cover works, in which areas they will provide you with assistance, and within what time frame they can come and help you if you do run into unfortunate circumstances.

Along with breakdown cover, make sure that your vehicle is fully insured in the case that you have an accident. You may be a confident and very capable driver yourself, but it is always possible that minor scrapes can occur by accident when driving in a foreign country, so an all-inclusive insurance policy is the best you can hope for.

You will need to make sure that damage such as chips, broken glass, broken headlights and flat tyres is covered by the rental vehicle insurance policy. You will also need to check that you are protected against third party damage and theft, both of which can occur in virtually every country in the world, as there is no guarantee of being on the road with honest and careful drivers!

Another key item that you should check is included in your car hire package is unlimited mileage in the vehicle; this is especially important if you have to travel far to your accommodation, or if you have a number of exciting excursions planned.

Although some companies s will offer you low prices for their rental packages, these can often include sneaky caps on the number of miles you can do, which will then be charged at a premium rate. Instead, make sure that you thoroughly read the small print and make sure that you can travel as far as you like and need to.

One detail that can be easy to miss when looking over your car hire contract is whether or not there are hidden charges such as local tax that will be applied after you have been given your initial quote. Although a basic package price may be attractive, the total cost can shoot up if a local tax of around 20% or so is applied.

Again, read through your offer carefully to make sure that taxes and extras are included in the total cost, guaranteeing that you and your wallet will have no nasty surprises later on!

Finally, you may want to consider if certain optional extras are included in your package if you think they will be useful for you. One that is popular with couples, families and groups of friends alike is the possibility to have a free additional driver, which makes taking turns to drive much easier and more cost effective.

Many reputable companies offer items such as a baby seat or GPS devices for free, so if these are important for you, make sure they are either included in the package or are available at only a small extra cost.

Wherever your destination, checking that you have a complete and comprehensive car hire package in place is essential to ensure that you enjoy your trip as much as possible. Making sure that you have comprehensive breakdown cover, insurance, tax, additional drivers, baby seats and GPS devices included can go a long way in guaranteeing your peace of mind when driving abroad.