10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

If you are a regular traveller being it for pleasure, business or need, you will certainly have come to hire a car. Nowadays the car rental business exceeds one billion euros per year (considering only the short-term) and in recent years has seen the emergence of big companies as well as the proliferation of new and less known ones.

What are the 10 facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends?

If you are regular and prefer to choose always the same companies, we certainly can not blame you: never change a winning team. But if one day it comes to you to do a deeper search to choose a cheaper car hire, we invite you to read the 10 things to know before renting a car and do not assume that the cheapest company is also the best one.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 1: always read the rental companies reviews.

To be more attractive, many companies may offer very competitive rates at the expense of hidden options and tricks. Before taking for granted that this is your offer, look at the rental company rating. If you are using rental agencies such as Rentalcars, AutoEurope or FlexibleAutos, you can find the ratings of the companies shown on the search and price comparison page.

If you want to go further using independent sources and see what other users think, you can take a look at Reviewcentre o TrustPilot and read some of the comments.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 2: where is the rental company exactly?

If you are renting a car at an airport, pay attention to the location of the rental company. It is usually within the airport itself for small and medium airports, or in any case within walking distance.

Sometimes a rental company can be located far away from the airport and can only be reached via shuttle bus (usually free). This detail is always listed in the rental offers at the top of the comparison charts.

A particular thing to keep in mind, especially when travelling with many luggages or kids.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 3: check the insurance and deductible conditions

On this point, we usually find a lot of confusion. First of all, by law, all the cars are insured.

However, “standard” insurance does not cover all damages (in cases of theft or accident). This means that in the event of a theft or an accident, the customer will have to “participate” together with the insurance company to reimburse the damage to the rental company. The customer’s share is called “deductible” and represents the maximum limit that a customer can participate to refund the damage. Only after all the deductible sum is used the insurance company comes into action.

Deductibles relate to three aspects of the insurance:

  1. Liability (in case of injury to people)
  2. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  3. Theft Protection (TP)

The deductible at point 1 is always “0” whereas those in points 2 and 3 may vary from €500 and up

Let’s take an example: I rent a car with the CDW deductible of €800 and one morning, during the rental, I find the car rigged. I also find out that the repair cost of the car is €600. This sum will be “fully” paid by me and the insurance will not take part in the coverage of the damage.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 4: consider purchasing a total coverage or refundable of the deductible

Some rental companies and all intermediate companies give you the option of renting a car with total coverage (both for theft and for damage). Others, on the other hand, give the possibility to buy extra insurance that “refund” the deductible.

In the first case, the customer is totally covered by the insurance (except on special cases). On the latter, the user will first pay the deductible excess that will be refunded at a later stage.

Being the first or the second case, we always recommend considering these options.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 5: check the fuel options

In most cases, companies rent cars with “full/full” fuel tanks. This means that the car will have the tank full of fuel (or close to it) and you will have to return it in the same way with the full tank.

Be careful: other companies and other rental options, provide the “full/empty” clause. That is, a car with a full tank is given and can also be returned with the tank empty. But where is the trouble? The company will ask you to pay the total fuel cost in the tank, obviously at a higher rate (20% -30%). Additionally, you may not be able to make enough miles to use the entire tank: the fuel in excess will be practically given.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 6: I have kids and I would like to hire a baby chair

100% sure? Rental companies charge up to €9 per day for the hire of a child seat. If you rent a car for a week, this means the nice sum of €63, which is probably more than the value of the seat itself.

Have you ever considered bringing your child seat with you? If you travel by plane check with your airline. Usually, the airlines accept up to “2 pieces” of childcare equipment (for each child travelling) to be loaded into the hold. For example, you can bring a stroller and a child seat. You will probably arrive with your car at your departure airport, you just take your child seat and bring it to the check-in with you, and it will be all free!

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 7: make sure you have enough funds on your credit card

When you collect the car, the rental company will ask for your credit card on which it will “block” a certain amount of money to guarantee the rental.

There will be no real transaction but a simple “authorization request”. The rental company may later, within the authorised amount, eventually finalise a real transaction.

When a rental terminates smoothly, all this procedure becomes a formality. In the end, the rental company will not exercise any right of withdrawal and the authorization request will expire (after about 10 days from the end of the rental)

Care must be paid to the amount that the rental company requires as a guarantee. This can also top high figures (€5000 and over) in areas considered “high risk” (for accidents or theft). All of this is clearly stated on the details of the rental at the time of booking which should be read carefully.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 8: Extra? No thanks

If you rent a car and think you can add any extra services at the time of collection, you are probably putting yourself in a difficult situation. If you really need extra services like GPS or luggage rack, we recommend you book them and buy them at the time of booking.

There are 2 main reasons for this: first, the rental company can know in advance the extra services you have booked and will reserve them for you. In addition, the cost of the extra service could be far greater if purchased at collection time.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 9: bring with you all you need

For the rental, you will need a driving license, an id document, a credit card with enough funds and a booking voucher. We recommend you to “print” the voucher, although today the companies also accept in electronic format (on a phone or tablet).

Moreover, make sure you have noted the phone number of the intermediary company and the company that ultimately carries out the rental.

Also, ask what numbers to call in case of problems or accidents and what to do.

10 Facts about Car Rental that will impress your Friends

Rule number 10: having troubles at the collection? Call immediately

Some rental companies can really become “bad” and try to sell extra insurance that is not strictly necessary or fuel options other than those agreed. Or can scare you by compelling you to sign extra documents and unsolicited warranties.

We at Ciao Sole Mio Tour always report these abuses and invite users to do the same. If you are having trouble at the collection, you should immediately call the intermediate company, that is, the one with which you made the reservation and explain what is happening.

In extreme cases where you want to completely give up the rental, having made a phone call in time, you will be entitled to a full refund of the rental.

Check the rental rates on AutoEurope or FlexibleAutos

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