Which 4×4 to rent for your next off-road trip ?

How and where to rent your 4×4 vehicle to travel abroad?

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Renting a 4×4 is often the best option for accessing remote areas and exploring spectacular landscapes on your own. However, it’s crucial to consider certain criteria before choosing the best 4×4 model for your getaway: engine power, towing capacity, vehicle size and fuel consumption. In this article, we give you all our advice: the best 4×4 models available on the market, insurance options, etc.

Criteria to be taken into account

Fuel: prefer the local most common fuel. If you are heading off on a motorcycle and a car, ensure you retain two vehicles requiring the same gas (it may be useful in case of breakdown of one of the vehicles).

Tank: always prefer a 4×4 with a large tank (at least 90L/24 gallons) to avoid to be worrying with the next refill ! The Toyota 4×4 often has large tank (95L/25 gallons) and some are equipped with two separated fuel tanks, which is safer!

Drive wheels: 4-wheel drive is key for off-road success. Watch out re SUVs: “Sport Utility Vehicle” label is not enough to garanty your safety when driving off-road. Some SUVs are even only 2-wheel drive! You will find below our selection of the best rental 4×4.

Tyres : Check that tires are suitable for driving on tracks (unfortunately, it is quite rare on rental cars). Always check the condition of the spare wheel and the jack before heading off.

Car condition: It may sound weird, but stay away from brand new cars! Indeed, driving down winding roads is not risk-free for the car’s bodywork: one branch is enough to scratch the bodywork. The renter will be much more indulgent if he notices a scratch on a used car rather than on a new one!

What is the best off-road 4×4 for your next overland travel ?

– In the left column, we have listed the best SUVs among those you most often find in rental agencies.

– In the right column, you’ll see 4x4s of equivalent class (less frequent in rental agencies).

– More economical models such as the Renault DUSTER, SUZUKI, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Tahoe, etc. are not recommended if you want to go everywhere.

4x4 de location pour voyager au Kirghizistan
In rental companiesEquivalent
1Toyota Land CruiserNissan Patrol - Landrover Defender - Defender - Toyota FJ cuiser -
Jeep Rubicon/sahara
2Toyota PradoJeep Wrangler
3Mitsubishi Pajero SPORTLandrover Discovery
4Nissan PathfinderToyota 4RUNNER

Where to rent a 4×4 to go overlanding ?

AvantageInconvenient
International Agencies (AVIS, Hertz, Europcar, etc.)Availability and easy booking (with a comparator like Rental Car for example)Expensive in case of a small scratch or other, not equipped for off-road use. Sometimes no 4x4 model (in Central Asia for example).
Local agencyOften cheaper prices, possibility to find rental companies specialized in Off-Road. Check the reviews on the internet.
IndividualConvenient prices, 4x4 equipped for off-road use.Very few offers.

Which insurance for the rental?

Before you leave, check your credit card’s travel insurance!  Make sure that your coverage covers you for the category of the rented vehicle, the length of rental and the country you are visiting. Generally, the coverage offered by frequent flyer credit cards is limited to collision damage, the amount of which may vary. Of course, don’t forget to bring your insurance documents that prove you have the necessary coverage. Hirers may require to see them.

If you’re not covered, take out the insurance offered by the rental agency. They usually offer Collision Damage Waiver coverage that covers a portion of the damage to the rental vehicle in the event of an incident. We also recommend that you plan a small “repair” budget, a simple flat tire can quickly happen! 

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