If you’re a backpacker this may not apply to you, but in many countries a rental car — or hire car as they’re known abroad — can provide a nice sense of freedom. A TravelSupermarket.com poll cited by the Daily Telegraph used a standard one week’s rental of a medium family size car to determine pricing in different markets. In places like Tbilisi, Georgia, you could spend more than $1,000 on a rental car– ouch! A car in Zambia in southern Africa isn’t much better at $845 per week. On the island nation of Seychelles? About $808 per week.
The fact of the matter is that in some countries, cars are seen as valuable commodities, or the vagaries of the car hire business make it difficult for operators to continue without charging rates that would be excessive in other countries.
On the other hand, you could do better than trying to deal with public transportation. Speaking from anecdotal evidence, driving in a foreign country can be a lot of fun due to the differences in roads, scenery, and not to mention the freedom it can provide.
If you’re interested in trying your hand in a foreign country without using up all of your travel budget, Western Europe could be your best bet. Some cities and towns in Ireland, Spain and Portugal all allow you to rent an economy car for the equivalent of less than $20 per day.