Taking on the old dusty roads of a foreign country is probably the best way of getting to know it. Nothing like figuring out a foreign language through road signs or warning labels on the highway to really immerse you in the culture. You'll also enjoy the freedom of not being trapped in a hotel or subject to a tour guide's schedule.
Luckily for the driving traveler, the internet exists. You can now book your car online and make sure it's ready for you as soon as you step foot at the airport. And you'll be able to find some cheap car hire deals that way too. You should, however, watch out for possible mix ups and some smaller rent a car companies are a little dodgy when it comes to foreigners.
Another cool use for the Internet is actually finding someone or a group of people who have done what you're about to do and can give you advice on it. Hearing a local person talk about it is one thing, but having someone who was in the same situation as you talk about it and tell you how they survived it is a whole new level of helpful.