How to rent a car abroad (and more). Guide for Expats. How to rent a car abroad (and more). Guide for Expats. Most of this type of guidebook starts with bullet points that go something like this: renting a car on vacation gives you a lot of possibilities, because we are mobile and we can drive wherever we want, so saving time is high. The following text will be quite long, so let me let go of these traditional things. Since you are reading these words, you probably know that renting a car abroad is a good idea and you are only looking for a handful of tips that will help you to go through the whole process quite smoothly. So I, Mr. Nightmare, as a man who rents cars abroad quite often, I will share such a handful.
As soon as possible. Booking a car is one of the things you should do right after buying plane tickets. Of course, I myself rarely follow the above rule, but I, Mr. Nightmare, I’m here to advise and not follow them
Either way, you shouldn’t delay booking your car . If we get to it too late, better offers may be stolen by other travelers and then, instead of cheap & cool cars, they will be only expensive or murmured.
As much as we need (tell me Mr. Obvious from today). If the holidays are to look like we ride and explore a little, and some sunbathing, it makes sense to rent a car only for those few days when we will ride.
However, it is worth remembering that there is nothing more convenient than renting at the airport . You don’t lose time without meaning, you don’t have to worry about transfer and you can immediately make a supply of beer (or diapers, if fate scolded you with offspring) in suburban Lidl. It is also often cheaper to rent a car for a few days longer than paying for travel from a distant airport.
As a side note: If you plan to return the car in a different place than the one you picked up from (e.g. at another airport), you will most likely have to pay extra. In Europe, this pleasure usually costs around 150 euros.
There are basically three options. Well, the rental can be:
Mr. Nightmare usually chooses gate number three, because he likes to pay little and the risk is his daily bread.
To gain a general view of which rentals are available on the spot we are going to, we can use price comparison websites. Most of them tempt with low prices, but you have to remember that in comparison websites the cost without insurance is usually given . Meanwhile, rented car insurance – which we’ll talk about – is absolutely crucial. And quite the way. Situations in which the amount of the insurance premium exceeds the cost of rent itself are not uncommon.
The comparison websites also sometimes add freebies, which the rental companies don’t know about or they simply don’t want to know. For example,
econo … <let’s skip names> used to give a second driver for free. And that’s great, so what if the rental companies didn’t care? If the comparison offers, let it offer, and on the spot you had to pay extra. Believe me, there are few professions more conducive to temporary amnesia than being a car rental employee
My golden rule is to order the cheapest car that Mr. Nightmare et Consortes will be able to load. Compliance with this recommendation sometimes results in a nice bonus: it is not uncommon for a car that has been ordered to be unavailable on the spot. And then what? Well then you will get a better car for the worse !
The head works, right?
Insurance of a rented car is absolutely crucial, so even if you have fallen asleep so far, now I am calling for a little focus.
All rental companies offer such a thing as full car insurance. It may be called SCDW , Super Relax or Super Hiper Mega IW General, but it always is. Is it worth taking them? Well, a little yes and a little no.
Well, this is a very convenient thing, because it reduces the cost of bail, formalities and generally we do not have to worry about anything. The problem is that such insurance can be quite expensive. However, if you can find a rental company that offers full insurance at a reasonable price, I advise you to take them and do not think.
When buying full insurance at a rental company , make sure it is full . This is not a joke – there is no full insurance in the world that would cover everything. The standard is even that the SCDW does not include losing the keys and pouring the wrong fuel into the tank. Let’s just say that this can still be understood: you probably agree that pouring ON into a gasoline engine is a type of error that you should pay for yourself
Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that allegedly full insurance does not cover vehicle components such as tires, windows, chassis or mirrors . What to do in this situation? Mr. Nightmare recommends looking for another rental company.
If you cannot find a rental company with a low SCDW price, you can use the services of an external company and take out insurance for your own contribution . It looks like that if the excess in a given rental is 1500 euros, we only insure ourselves against having to pay that 1500 euros.
This option has an undoubted advantage: it is usually much cheaper than buying SCDW at the rental company. However, it also has a major disadvantage, as it forces us to block a large amount on a credit card (in this case the rental company secures all its own contribution).
Generally, I do not recommend renting a car without additional insurance. Even if we do not have any accident, we do not tap anything, and no thief is tempted by our cool Fiat Panda, there is still a good chance that the rental company will delete us after all for some imaginary scratch. And my uncle will help us, that we will have photos, that we will look at the car, that and that.
I do not want to scare anyone, but it’s good to know that such situations are not uncommon. Rental companies earn on insurance , so the resistance to buying it can be treated as a slap in the face of the entire industry.
When considering the sense of insurance, it is also worth taking into account the habits of drivers and the driving culture in the country to which we go. For example, in such Italy, I would recommend taking insurance. In Austria you can take the risk and not take it. As always, the choice is yours.
The rental always (well, in 99.9% of cases) will want a security deposit from us. The amount of the latter is closely related to the type of insurance we choose. Usually it will be our own contribution, which we will have to pay in case of any damage.
Either way, before booking your car, it’s worth checking to see if the deposit is within our credit card limit . If you ask now: but you must have a card? – Mr. Nightmarish with heartache will answer – yes. Unfortunately, this devilish invention is loved by rentals.
If you do not have a card, you will either get it or you will have to search the net for many hours to find a rental shop that does not require one. If you think – I don’t have a card, but my friend has it – that’s cool. Just remember that your friend will be the driver then. If your colleague has a card, but you don’t have a driving license, and you, in turn, have a driving license, but you don’t have a card – then you and your colleague have a problem.
Mr. Nightmare more than once
wku … strongly annoyed that he must stand in line behind one or the other, who did not read that security costs a little more than a bottle in the estate. Therefore, check the amount of protection so that there will be no surprise (rhyme as charming as accidental).
Still about the deposit: sometimes (rather rarely, but still) it may happen that instead of blocking funds on your card, the rental company will simply transfer them to your own account. This option is moderately advantageous, because if you have a zloty card, your cash register will be converted at least twice at the bank rate.
Well, to rent a car you must have with you:
In addition, steel nerves and an optimistic disposition will definitely come in handy.
The rental process itself takes a good several minutes, so if you see a queue in front of you, then know that something is happening. In a sense: you wait a little bit. However, once you manage to cram, you should not hurry. The losers standing in line behind you certainly have plenty of time – they are on vacation
If you have not decided on full insurance, then you definitely need to carefully examine the car before pickup . Walk around the car to make sure there is no damage. Each of them should be marked on the car card, which you will receive along with the contract. If you notice that something is not in the card, then force the rental employee to fill in the deficiencies. You can also photograph the car from several shots to later have a washer next to any scuffles with a rental.
Generally, be aware that for every, even the smallest scratch that has not been included in the cart card, you will have to pay . Of course, there are fair rentals, waving your hand at similar things, but you can’t assume that you just found one. It is also worth looking inside and embracing the overall condition of the seats and upholstery.
And if you have full insurance? Then just get in and enjoy the joyful rest. Well, maybe just check the fuel level, whether it matches what you have agreed with the borrower.
Of course, first of all on the insurance and the amount of security mentioned above. And besides, you can check:
Rental companies offer additional car equipment for a fee. This can be, for example, a child car seat or GPS. They usually pay a lot of money for these supplements, so I don’t recommend trying them. Take navigation from home (if you don’t have one, borrow from your aunt or just use the map on your phone). A car seat, if you have the option (some airlines allow you to carry it for free), preferably too.
But that is not … some additions can be useful. For example, if you drive around the Algarve in Portugal , it’s worth a jerk at the vignette reader.
Below is a short list of small, local rental companies whose services I used and which I consider recommendable .
The list is short for two reasons. First of all, I didn’t include large, network behemoths in it. Not because I have something to complain about because they usually keep a good level of service (which should not come as a surprise – they are the most expensive after all). However, I decided that since they are big and known, finding them should not be a problem. Secondly, I did not include local rental companies here , which I was not very satisfied with – and, unfortunately, a few have also gathered.
In Crete, I recommend Kappa , because it is relatively cheap and trouble-free. They have several branches on the island, including the airports in Chania and Heraklion.
As for Sardinia , I can recommend the Autonoleggio Sardinia rental with a clear conscience . They may not be the cheapest on the whole island, but the quality of service and trouble-free operation is worth the price (which is also not excessive). It is a good choice especially for people who do not have a credit card, because this rental company is open to cash collateral.
If Portugal by car, it’s only Drive4fun . Admittedly, they have a very high antediluvian website, but the first class rental itself. Low insurance prices, low pledge, additional driver for free and the opportunity to enter Spain. A great choice for families with children, mainly due to the favorable prices of car seats.
A few days after your trip, check that your credit card has been unlocked. It is better to do it because, as I have already written, rental employees tend to forget details that are irrelevant from their point of view.
And that would be it. Now you probably know how to rent a car so that you don’t cry afterwards. If you have any comments, let me know in the comment. And if you don’t have any, just share my article on your social media. I also encourage you to like my fan page – too much is not happening on it, but only because you are not there yet.Please select a valid form