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Rent a car

Renting a car gives you a lot more flexibility than using public transport in Nova Scotia.(©ckasey, flickr.com)

Renting a car gives you a lot more flexibility than using public transport in Nova Scotia.

Renting a car is a great way to get around and the cost can be surprisingly reasonable if it’s split between two or more people.

Many rental agencies offer a door-to-door service. They’ll pick you up at your hotel and drop you back after the car is returned, so you don’t need to worry about how to get to and from the agency’s office.

Drivers licenses from Canada and America are accepted. For other countries, you don’t necessarily need an International Driving Permit but it’s a good idea if your license is in a foreign language. No matter where you’re from, you must be at least 21 years old.

When shopping around, check rates with small local providers, who sometimes offer excellent value compared with the bigger players.

Pay special attention to insurance. The quoted price may not include any insurance and adding this on at the rental counter can easily double the cost.

Many credit cards provide free insurance coverage for rental cars if you pay with the card, so check with your provider.

Check the car over carefully and ensure that any damage is clearly recorded on the paperwork before you get behind the wheel. You’ll have to pay for any scratches or other damage that happens during your rental period.

Once on the road, make sure to follow the rules. You’ll have to wear a seatbelt and provide a child seat for kids under 9 years old or less than 145cm tall. Make sure you’ve got a copy of the vehicle registration in the glovebox. You may need to show it to the police.

Before you return the car, refill the gas tank to the same level it was when you rented the car. Most cars come with a full tank of gas and if the rental company has to top up the tank, they could charge you more than the going rate for their petrol.