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10 tips for using rent a car service in Europe

by Trip Instinct
tips_rent a car_trip instinct

tips_rent a car_trip instinct

We offer you 10 tips for using a rent a car service in Europe for the purpose of travelling for vacation or for business.

Renting a car gives you the freedom to travel anywhere you want and to explore new places in the destination where you are, without depending on the public transportation.

Many times when you are planning to go on vacation, you consider the option of renting a car, but you don’t know exactly what you should follow or which companies to use. You also don’t know the budget you should consider when renting, what conditions are in your best interest, etc.

Therefore, we made this article hoping that it will help you next time when you are searching to rent a car.

Use Rentalcars platform to book you car during your vacation or business trip! Click here or on the banner below:

Below you can see our 10 tips or our 10 recommendations for you:

1. Choosing the rent a car company

Most locations in Europe give you the possibility to rent a car using online platforms of intermediate companies. This gives you cars from big companies or local ones, working as a searching engine.

Another option is to use rent a car companies with their own fleet of cars.

As intermediate companies, we recommend you rentalcars.com or autoeurope.eu. As companies for rent, a car you can use Europcar, Avis, Sixt or Hertz.

Depending on the destination, you can use small, local companies for rent a car. We recommend taking into consideration the Google reviews, to check the websites and the renting terms before renting.

We used many times the local companies in the Greek and Spanish islands:

  • Rodos (Rhorent), Lefkada (Broumis rent a car)
  • Mallorca (Hiper rent a car)
  • Canare (Cicar sau AutoReisen).

Everytime there was transparency, reliability and we never had any issues.

We recommend you to book on-line, either on the company website or by sending an e-mail to ask for information about renting.

If you are already on vacation in a certain location, you have the possibility to go directly at a renting company office.

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2. Choosing a car for rent

We recommend you to rent a car adapted to your needs. In order to do this you have to consider the following aspects:

  • The number of people travelling;
  • The number of luggage for each passenger;
  • Who will drive the car;
  • Checking the road that you will travel onto (you can check it on google maps);
  • The gearbox of the car(manually or automatic)
  • Other options including the GPS, child seat, ski stand, other accessories, etc.
tips_rent a car_trip instinct_mallorca

tips_rent a car_trip instinct_mallorca

Considering the aspects from above you can choose a car from the following categories:
  • Small/mini (it usually has 2 doors and a small trunk)>>suitable for 2 people with 1 or 2 small luggage/backpacks.
    • Example: Fiat 500, Smart Fortwo.
  • Economy class(these can have 2 doors but they are usually cars with 4 doors and with a small-medium trunk)>>suitable for at least 2 people with a big luggage or two small(usually a cabin trolley).
    • Example: VW Up, Skoda Citigo, Opel Corsa, Kia Picanto, Nissan Micra, Renault Clio, Fiat Panda.
  • Standard or family car(they have 4 doors with a medium to big trunk)>> suitable for a family with one or two kids or at least 3 adults with 2 baggage one small and one big trolley.
    • Example: Renault Fluence, Fiat Linea, Peugeot 301, Skoda Rapid, Ford Mondeo, Hyundai I30, Ford Focus.
  • SUV/luxury/convertible>>suitable for people that want to try something undiscovered yet and that don’t have a budget limit, the trunk can hold baggage for a family or a group of 3 to 4 people.
    • Example: VW Passat, Opel Insignia, BMW Seria 3,4, etc, Mercedes C Classe, Audi A4, A6, etc, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson,  BMW X1, 2, 3, etc
  • Van/minibus>>suitable for transporting more than 5 people, luggage included.
    • Example: VW Sharan, Ford Galaxy, Mercedes V.

Pay attention! Many times you will not receive the exact car model that you booked online (each rental company will tell you this before making the booking). We can guarantee that you will receive one from the same class or a higher-class update.

This is extremely important because the rental car companies are adjusting the rental periods based on the bookings so that the cars are used at all times.

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Booking.com

 

3. Take-over/drop-off location

The take-over/drop-off location it is very important. There can be additional fees if you take over a car from a different place than the airport or the renting company’s office or if you are returning the car in a different location than from the one you took it over.

We recommend you that the taking-over and dropping-off  location to be identical and to ask each time:

  • Information regarding the parking access(if you need to pay for it, etc);
  • The exact area where the car must be returned;
  • The location for returning the car keys.

 

tips_rent a car_trip instinct_airport

tips_rent a car_trip instinct_airport

 

We usually pick up the car from the airport because it was the most convenient. Somebody waited for us into the arrivals area of the airport and we walked into the rent a car office.

There were also situations when we were took over by a shuttle bus owned by the rent a car company.

You can also rent a car from different locations like the train station, harbor or near other interest points. Many resort cities have a rent a car office on the main streets.

Our advice is to have an online reservation because the price or the availability on the spot could be not in your best interest.

Make a reservation for your vacation on RENTALCARS! On this platform, you can see multiple offers from many international companies or local ones that rent cars in over 60.000 locations in the whole world. Please click here or on the banner.

 

4. The renting period

We recommend you to make a reservation for a car as soon as you buy the airplane tickets. The longer you wait, the more the booking price will increase. In addition, if you change your plans, you can almost every time cancel or modify the reservation.

The renting period together with the taking over/ hours must be followed otherwise there will be extra fees.

In the last rental day, it would be ideal to make a plan regarding the distance to the drop off car point and to follow the established hour.

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5. Rental conditions

In order to rent a car you need a driving license, ID card or passport and usually a credit card.

The international companies (like Sixt, Avis, Herts) don’t usually accept the cash payment and the warranty must be retained on the credit card, in very rare occasions on a debit card and almost never cash.

We recommend you to check the terms and conditions section before making a reservation in order not to have surprises after.

 

tips_rent a car_menorca_tripinstinct

tips_rent a car_menorca_tripinstinct

Before making the reservation it is possible that the experience and age of the driver to be requested. If the driver is between 18 and 25 years old, it is possible to pay a higher booking fee.

Book an accommodation for your trip to Europe with Booking! Apartments, hotels with breakfast or all inclusive, houses on the beach, choose what suits you best!

Book an accommodation for your trip to Europe with Booking! Apartments, hotels with breakfast or all inclusive, houses on the beach, choose what suits you best!

Booking.com

6. Checking the car before renting

The car will be given based on a renting contract or a report where is written:

  • The renting period, car model, driver information, contact data of the rent a car company, renting fees, the insurance type chosen, the type and level of the fuel from the fuel tank and the possible car damage (scratches, car crashes, etc.).

Before taking over the car we recommend you to check very closely the car body, windshield, lights and interior. Any problem must be identified and reported in the beginning; therefore, you can take photos or a video clip.

We recommend you to do these checkups even though you have a full insurance or an extra package that might include small damage without any guarantee locked on the credit card – we did not want to risk anything!

When giving the car back any uncovered detail can be speculated and accused by the rental car companies.

 

7. What do you have to pay when renting a car?

The renting package has usually a CDW(Collison Damage Waiver) insurance which absolves the driver of paying the damages in case of an accident but a franchise fee must be payed (a few hundred euros) as guarantee.

Minor damages like a scratched car body or damaged mirrors or rims are not included in the CDW. The rental price can be offering but in case of damage, you will lose the warranty.

You also have the possibility to choose the full insurance, full covered but without any warranty (without franchise/deposit).

tips_rent a car_fuerteventura_tripinstinct

tips_rent a car_fuerteventura_tripinstinct

At many rental companies, there is the possibility to leave a certain amount of money as warranty, which will be given back to you in a certain amount of time (this practice is used by the intermediate/direct international companies).

Nevertheless, we recommend you to check if the full insurance contains also small damage. Some companies have a separate policy for these aspects and they tend to charge you extra.

Once you chose the full insurance, the final cost may be higher but you can be relaxed in case of damage.

We chose each time a full insurance that included possible damage and we tried to benefit from 0 warranty without and blocked deposit on the credit card.

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8. Fuel policy

In most cases you must come back with the same amount of fuel that you had in the beginning when taking over the car (full tank-full tank or depending on the situation ½ tank- ½  tank). The company might retain a certain amount of money on the credit card (usually the fee for a full gas tank) which will be returned at the end of the contract.

Anyway, there might be different policies:

  • Full-empty >> this means that you can take the car with a full tank of gas and you can return it with an empty tank (the renting company will retain the money on your credit card and the money extra are not returned);
  • You pay how much you consume >> you will be charged at a higher price and basically this is the most disadvantageous option;

Each time when you take over a car we recommend you to check the needle of the gas tank, to take a picture and of course to clarify every problem with the renting company’s personnel from the rent a car office.

Take care on your return journey, make sure you check before the gas stations available in order to make sure that you fueled the gas tank and that the gas in enough for you to arrive with the same amount of gas at the drop off point.

Make a reservation for your vacation on RENTALCARS! On this platform, you can see multiple offers from many international companies or local ones that rent cars in over 60.000 locations in the whole world. Please click here or on the banner.

9. The limit of kilometers

When renting a car you must always check if there is a certain kilometer limit that you can drive while you have it. Overtaking a limit comes obviously with costs.

 

tips rent a car_trip instinct_lefkada

tips rent a car_trip instinct_lefkada

 

Take into account the areas that you want to drive, if you need to pass from one island to the continent or if you have to cross a border.

Generally speaking there are restrictions, for example if you rent a car on Mallorca island you are not allowed to go on a different island without notifying the rent a car company before, even though you are on Spanish territory.

Book an accommodation for your trip to Europe with Booking! Apartments, hotels with breakfast or all inclusive, houses on the beach, choose what suits you best!

Booking.com

10. Extra services

For the extra services you have to pay extra, for example if you need to include a second driver, the GPS navigation, a child seat, ski stand or any other accessories that you might need.

An extra fee can come also from taking over or dropping off the car at the hotel or in some cases even from the airport.

You can be charged extra if the taking over point is not the same with the drop off point, including if the take-off/drop-off of the car is done outside company’s business hours.

Another important aspect that might be put in the renting contract by the rent a car company and that is an extra fee if the car is not clean when you drop it off. Take also this into consideration.

Check and clarify all these aspects before making a booking.

Book your tickets to many attractions with Tiqets! Skip the line and enjoy your time exploring many attractions from Europe! Click here or on the banner below.

Conclusion

Before making an online reservation we recommend you to check the renting conditions and all the available information on the rent a car company’s website.

Another important aspect is that even if renting a car bring you satisfaction it represents a responsibility! We write this because we wish you a stress free vacation. Drive very carefully and follow the street signs.

If your personal car is, something that you take care of, this behavior should be the same for a rented car. We do not wish you to have issues at the end of the renting period.

We wish you stress free vacations and good roads!

 

Book a car for your vacation from RENTALCARS! On this platform you can see multiple offers from international and local companies that are renting cars from over 60.000 loecations in the whole world. Click here or the banner!

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