Renting a car when abroad can give you flexibility and freedom to visit the places you want, when you want. It can also be the only way to get to some places. Renting a car for the first time could be a hassle especially with all the hidden costs and all the terms and conditions of the rental agency. At a first glance, renting a car usually presents itself as a very reasonable and cheap deal car until you get to the counter and you are presented with fees, insurances, and all sorts of things. Some say that the only misfortune of bad experiences is mainly down to the customer inability to read and understand the terms set out by rental car agencies, so we will try and point out, from experience, the things to look out for when renting a car abroad! These are only the important car rental tips to keep in mind:
Choosing a Car & Car Agency
It is important to know how many people you are going to be and for how long the car is needed. This is important as on these factors you will choose the right car depending on the people and luggage. If travelling with hand luggage only a compact car for three people would be enough. It gets difficult if you are four people and have more than four luggages with you. Always shop around for the best deal. The prices for the same car in the same city on the same dates vary a lot. Not just a couple o euro cents but a lot of euro. This is why its always good to use aggregators such as Skyscanner, Opodo, HolidayAutos, Auto Europe (and more) where you have all the companies compared to each other. Before agreeing to the price you are quoted make sure you read the terms and conditions of each supplier as these vary from one another.
Be careful about the extra or hidden fees that you might have to pay at the desk or after you have returned the car. Usually these are all stated in the terms and conditions. These fee would include charges for airport parking, when picking the car from the airport.
- Drop-off Fee: An extra fee is usually charged when renting a car from one location and dropping it off at another location. The fee varies from one company to another and from the location and distance. There is no
- Fuel Policy: Some companies would require you to bring in the car empty, others full. We recommend that you try and opt for the full-full tank policy, which means you get the car with a full tank on arrival and take it back to the company full again. This way you would know how much money you have spent on fuel and can search around to find the cheapest station. If you return the car empty, then you have agreed to be charged with the fuel charges the company charges. Most of the time this is more than the average price per litre of fuel on the market. Some prefer this, as they say it’s less of a hassle to fill the car up on the last day but if you allow enough time and plan ahead, you could save quite a few euro on just the fuel. Avoid the fuel stations right next to the airport where you are dropping off your car as the price per litre is considerably higher than the norm.
It is best to insure the car. This can be done in various ways, either through the website you booked the car or at the check-in desk when collecting the car. The advantage of booking it before is that it is considerably cheaper but some of the rental car agencies do not “accept” it and will want to block a huge amount on your credit card just the same. Depending on the company but this can reach a thousand euro blocked on your card. Booking the insurance at the desk is highly advised. This will give you piece of mind for the whole trip without any money blocked (or a minimum of 100) on your card. Make sure to check the insurance fees before signing any documents. Things that are normally not included in any insurance cover are loss of car keys and re-fueling with the wrong fuel. These two things are never told by the sales representative unless you specifically ask.