Useful tips to rent a car for your trip
When it comes to make a tourist trip through a certain country where you are going to plan a route to visit different places, renting a car is, from my point of view, the ideal solution.
It allows you a great autonomy, not depending on public transport, and in practice becomes the only way to visit the most hidden corners.
Tips for renting a car
Car rental offers
Rental car companies offer very broad, and the prices and availability of models that offer you may differ depending on the country and the location where you rent it.
Therefore, when renting a car, will be necessary to make time looking for the best offer.
What car to rent
Car rental models that are offered are the usual ones in the country you are going to visit, so you can find a brand or model you may not know.
But in the end what you really have to hire is a type of model with a certain size and characteristics.
Book a rental car online
It is essential to hire the rental car online in advance of your trip, even more in high tourist season times.
This way you can analyze the existing great offer, choose the type of vehicle you need, find specific offers, and ensure that when you arrive at the destination already have a car booked.
If you leave it for the end, and you try to rent it directly in one of the rental offices of the destination, it will cost more expensive and you will have to settle for the model you have at that time … if there are available vehicles.
Driving rented car for several countries
When you rent a car for a trip, it is generally possible to use it to travel through other neighboring countries, except in some cases where it is not allowed.
Therefore, if you plan to visit another country with the rented car, you have to make sure in advance that it will be possible.
Of course, generally you should return the car in the same country where you have hired, and if they allow you to do it in another country, they will charge you an important surcharge on the price.
Type of car rental companies
International companies to rent a car
To hire a rental car, you can do it through international car rental companies (such as Hertz or Sixt), which offer a wide range of models that tend to be renewed with great assiduity.
They often have offers and price promotions, such as a discount if you book in advance, although, in general, their standard prices tend to be more expensive.
Local companies to rent a car
You can also hire it in small local car rental companies.
These last ones will offer you cheaper prices, although their models offer will be more limited, and surely you will not be able to contract it in advance via online.
Car rental comparators
From my point of view, the most interesting alternative are car rental comparators like Rental Car, which is the one I use regularly.
They work with numerous rental companies and usually offer the best prices since they can manage surpluses.
Prices and conditions to car rental
The prices of rental cars vary considerably according to the country you are going to visit, the type of vehicle you hire and the company where you rent it.
Car rental card payments
In general, when looking for a rental car on the websites of rental companies, although you have to provide the credit card number, the payment is not made until you pick up the car.
Of course, keep in mind that you may have an additional charge later on the card if you have to pay the franchise for an incident or a fine.
Online car rental payment
There are rental companies that if you pay online when hiring the car through its website, they offer you a better price with a discount of plus or minus 10 percent.
Also, in case of comparing websites of car rentals (RentalCar type), you also make previous online payment, and when you pick up the car you will only have to pay the rental company the supplements you can hire (second driver, franchise …)
Final amount to pay
Now, keep in mind that in the end of the amount of this supplement can be important, so get used to the idea that the amount you will finally pay can be almost double the price that they offer initially.
Which rental car to choose
When looking for the car, the important thing is to have well defined the type of vehicle you need and the size that offers you enough space for the number of travelers you are going to travel with.
And, above all, do not forget the space needed for luggage. Therefore, it is better to hire a larger vehicle than you might be satisfied with.
Car rental equipment
The equipment of rental cars is usually basic, but there are elements, such as air conditioning, which is important to determine.
There are other options, such as GPS, which can be very useful when traveling in other countries.
But regarding this I remind that if you are going to travel through a country in the European Union, you will have available data on your mobile phone without additional costs, which will allow you to access Google Maps, an option that, due to its efficiency, I prefer GPS that can be incorporated the rented car.
What insurance to hire for the rental car
Very important the car rental insurance topic.
In the price that you advertise the different companies, and for which you initially hire the car, includes only basic insurance for the case of collisions and theft.
Optional insurance for the rental car
But this insurance does not cover your own damages or other incidents, because they have some franchises that would force you to pay, in your case, really important amounts can range from 500 to 1,000 euros.
Therefore, and to avoid possible unpleasantness, I always prefer to extend the insurance coverage covering said franchise, in truth, with the relevant additional cost respecting the initial price.
Is it worth paying franchise for the rental car?
Another different formula is the one offered by some companies, specifically, car rental marketing.
You can hire an additional insurance franchise for which you will be paid the amount you can claim the rental company in case of having an incident with the vehicle.
The amount of this insurance of damage excess comes to suppose about 10 percent of the starting price. Of course, read the “tiny letters”, whether, the terms and conditions of this insurance to know the exceptions.
Requirements to rent a car
To rent a car you need to have a credit card as Visa (EYE, not debit), because that is the way of payment which they will charge all costs.
Such as both hired initially, as well as possible future expenses, such as traffic fines or repair costs of possible damages suffered by the vehicle.
The minimum age to rent a car is usually 25 years old.
Second driver in car rentals.
If during the trip you are planning to have a second or third driver, this is an additional service that you must hire in advance.
You must show the name and driving license number, and keep in mind that you will have to pay a small surcharge.
Overturn car rental reservation
If you are not going to travel at all and have to cancel the reservation, you can usually do it without charge up to 48 hours before the scheduled time for the vehicle picking up.
Rental car collection
The most usual place to pick up the rental car is usually the airport or the train station of the city where you travel, although you can also do it in the offices where are placed in the center of them.
When you arrive to pick up the car, you may not have available units of the specific model you have requested, so they will deliver a model of the same category (or size).
Even, it can happen that they give you a car of a higher category, or with better equipment from the contracted, but respecting the price.
Gasoline in the car rental
In general, the rental car will be delivered with a full tank, and you will have to return it in the same conditions.
Before delivering it, it is totally worth stopping at a gas station to complete the deposit because, otherwise, you will be charged an estimated amount of this cost, which is always much higher.
Another option they will offer you is that you pay the amount corresponding to, for example, 85 percent of the cost of filling the deposit, which will save you the time and the worry of filling the tank before returning the car.
Delivery of the rental car
If you rent the car at the airport, make sure you arrive early enough to avoid missing the flight.
Even up one hour before the advisable one for your arrival to the same one, because the paperwork of delivery can be delayed with the revision of the vehicle.
Also, the rental car offices may be located in an adjacent area of the airport, from which you will have to go to the bus station or internal service train, which will require additional time to get to the counter boarding
For example, at JFK airport in New York, after leaving the car, you must go by train to your terminal, and at Luton airport in London you must wait to take a bus line that circulates through many units of it.
Rental car delivery in another city
If you plan to deliver the car in a different place than where you have picked it up, in many cases you will be charged a surcharge.
Previously, you have to inform yourself of this point, because it can significantly increase the rent of the car.