To rent a car on vacation gives you freedom to go wherever you want. However, renting a car abroad can also cause stress and difficulties. How can you safely rent a car on vacation? How can you rent a cheap car abroad? Carhire-online gladly gives you the 13 most important tips on car rentals.
Are you considering to travel abroad with your electric car? Read these 10 useful tips.
Rent via a British website
Although renting a car abroad could be cheaper, the language might be a difficult barrier. As you can read in these tips on how to rent a car, reading the terms and conditions is an important part in a safe rental process. Not being able to understand the language abroad, might put your rights in the agreement in jeopardy.
The advantage of a large international car rental company is that you can pre-book the car before you trip in your own language. This will allow you to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions and to compare these with other car rental companies. Rent for example your car via Avis, Europcar or Hertz, who all have a world wide network.
Choose the all-inclusive insurance option
Nobody wants unexpected, unforeseen and additional costs of insurances. We therefore advice you to choose a car rental company that offers an all-inclusive insurance option. This will include:
- An unlimited amount of kilometers.
- Standard liability insurance up to a certain maximum (which varies per rental company).
- Insurance for damages caused by your own fault.
- Theft insurance.
- Window damages.
Renting a car can be a tricky financial thing, so better be safely insured to prevent unexpected surprises afterwards.
Be smart: One hour too late will cost a full extra day
Book smart. Check the daily return time of the rental company. If you need to return the car before 6 pm and you’re a little bit too late, you might risk having to pay an extra day. Instead you might prefer returning the car a bit earlier. Or perhaps you prefer to use the car the full extra day when you paying for it anyway.
Keep your credit card ready
Many renting companies require credit card details when renting a car. The credit card is used to pay for the car, but also as a guarantee for the deposit and possible damages and traffic fines.
Many rental companies therefor require you to authorize the rental company to deduct additional costs afterwards from your credit card. Although people generally don’t prefer this requirement, many international rental companies abroad have these requirements as the only way to rent a car. Problems with this requirement can be prevented when agreements are well documented.
Additionally, renting a car without a credit card is not possible at many car rental companies.
Choose a car that is spacious enough
Choose a car that meets your requirements concerning the number of passengers, including enough space for luggage. A free upgrade is mostly not given, and sometimes not even possible. As cars are generally reserved well in advance, many car rental companies don’t have a wide choice of alternative cars available for your renting period.
Many of us like to compare prices. Keep in mind that a cheap car is mostly a small car. Small cars don’t have much space for suitcases or luggage. If you’re with 5 persons and 5 large suitcases, and the reserved car appears to be too small, an upgrade on the spot will be an expensive additional and unexpected cost. Or possibly not even available.
Don’t always go for a budget car
A budget car might be economical, but is not always the best option. Driving through mountains with a small budget car might actually not be the most economical solution. With more passengers and luggage, a powerful, large car might be preferred. When planning to go off-road or to explore, a 4wd might actually be the best option.
Better not choose a budget car, but rather the most suitable car.
Select the Premium program
After a long travel or when traveling with children, skipping the lines for a premium service might be well worth the €15 euro’s.
Check the fuel requirements
Be aware of possible additional fuel costs. Some companies work with a full/empty policy. This means they will provide the car with a full fuel tank and you can return it empty. Do keep in mind that the (fuel) costs of this policy are relatively high comparing to normal fuel costs. Returning a car with a completely empty tank is quite difficult, meaning you basically provide them with free fuel.
A more economic policy is a full/full fuel policy. This means you receive the car with a full tank and you return it also with a fuel tank. This means that the costs for fuel are completely up to you. You can choose more affordable fuel.
Navigation or not?
When booking a car, you might have the option to include a navigation system for an additional price. Do you think you’ll need an external navigation system? You might be able to use a more affordable navigation solution on your smartphone while driving in another country.
Check the rental contract
The rental contract is a written confirmation of all the agreements, terms and conditions, signed by both parties. Read the contract carefully. Make sure it is correct and complete. Pay special attention to the small letters.
- When should you return the car?
- Can you cross a border with the car?
- Which insurances do you have?
- Which damages on the car are detected and are these included properly in the contract?
Prevent high, unexpected costs after returning the car by checking the rental contract thoroughly prior to the rental period.
Be precise when picking up and returning the car
Check whether everything is ok when picking up and returning the car. Record all damages and check whether everything works well. Have everything included in the signed renting contract. Take photos of all damages with your mobile phone or camera. We recommend you to not return the car outside office hours, as this might resolve in unfairly claimed, unexpected damages and deductions from your credit card.
Write down the emergency number
In case of an accident or damage, always inform the rental company as soon as possible and ask them about the required actions to take.