Car rental might sound like a simple thing for everyone who use it often during traveling. But if you are renting a car first time, I am sure you have all kind of questions. Check out some useful tips.
Car rental tips and tricks
Where to rent a car?
Most of the times it is best to rent a car in advance, as this is by far the most economical thing to do too. Not to mention to have more time to check all the prices, companies and small print.
There are many different webpages, where you can check different car rental companies. We have been using Carrentalnet.com for years. In our experiences, they offer best prices and they have always been offering good service. Economy car rentals gather different car rental providers – from the most known ones (Europcar, Budget, Sixt, Hertz) to local ones, but all are thrust worthy.
Car rental with or without insurance?
If you ask us, you should never do the car rental without insurance – the full insurance. You never know what foreign roads bring and without insurance the roadtrip with a rented car can easily become super expensive.
There are two options when it comes to car rental insurance – you can already decide for the insurance when making car booking online or at the counter when you pick-up the car. If you decide for online insurance when making the booking, you will need to leave a certain fee at the counter in case of damages. They will reserve the amount on your credit card and if you return the car without damages, you will get it released in few days. If you return the car with damages, they will take the reserved fee and you enforce the amount with the company, where you did the insurance – for example Carrentalnet.com
If you decide to make the car rental insurance at the counter, where you pick-up the car, the insurance is much higher (40-50 EUR/day) than the online one, but normally no fee is charged on your credit card in case of car damage.
Each version has positive and negative features – if you do the insurance online, it is much cheaper, but when the car is damaged, you have more work with collecting evidences, paper work and waiting for the refund. If you make the insurance at the spot – at the counter, it is more expensive, but you avoid all the additional work when you return the damaged car.
How the reservation of the money is done?
You will need a credit card to do the reservation of the requested amount when you make car rental. If you have a debit card from MasterCard or Visa, this normally should work too, if you have enough money on it.
How is with prices when renting a car?
It is hard to talk about prices, when renting a car as they depends on the country, city, length of renting, seasons and type of the vehicle. You can check prices for your date and destination here.
The price also differentiate if you book a different pick-up and drop-off location.
Car rental and boarder crossings?
Boarder crossing is not possible with all the renting companies, so you should find more information about that before booking. Some companies do offer boarder crossing, but for an extra fee.
What about additional features?
One of the most common and popular additionally booked features with car rental is navigation and child seat. This does not come cheap, so it might make sense to take them with you. I must admit, we normally take just the navigation with us and rent the child seat – luckily we always got a nice one, but there are cases, when the child seats are old, used and with a bad functionality.
The additional fee is also a second driver. Please be aware that the credit / debit card for making the payment and fee reservation for the car needs to be on a driver’s name.
Make sure to take additional care when renting a car
As soon as you come to the counter to pick-up your car, you will be offered their own car rental insurance, stating the online insurance is not enough. Don’t be convinced – if you got the online insurance, that is enough.
Before you start your new roadtrip, make sure to check the car VERY carefully. Most of the time you are shown the major damages on the car, but make sure to point out and mark the forms with the little ones too. Don’t forget on windshield, roof, door rubber seals and rims. Take your time – you can even take photos of the damages with your mobile.
The only tip I can give you is to mark more than less, especially if you will be returning the renting car outside of the working hours and will leave the keys in the mailbox, without checking it again with the employee.
What if the car breaks down?
If you have a flatten tire, you have to change it on your own and pay for it also from your own pocket, as no car rental insurance covers that. But for all the other, more serious break downs, you should contact the renting company (not the web page where you did the booking) and they will provide all the needed information about mechanic or maybe even provide a new vehicle.
If you enjoy roadtrips, being totally independent on your travels, car rental is for sure the best possible thing you can do. If we don’t travel with our own car, we normally rent one and so far, we have never been disappointed.