Thinking of renting a car for your next trip? Are you lost among the multiple service providers and rental conditions? Picking up a vehicle at the airport in a foreign country stresses you out? Then you should definitely take a look at our recommendations! From booking to returning your vehicle after rental, we tell you everything you need to know about car rental while traveling.
- 1 Choose the drivers and bring a personal credit card
- 2 Mark your route well
- 3 Choose the right car
- 4 Simplify your life with additional services and accessories
- 5 Check vehicle insurance
- 6 Check rental car fuel
- 7 Pay attention to traffic rules abroad and check if they drive on the left
- 8 When taking the wheel
For a stress-free journey, you can take a look at Yolcu360 car rental options.
Choose the drivers and bring a personal credit card
To rent a car, a credit card in the name of the main driver is required to pay the deposit. So be sure to adjust your spending limit and know your credit card PIN. Before renting a car, it is also important to know who will be driving it. If you are a young driver or if you are over 65, find out about any age limit. In general, drivers must be at least 18-21 years old and have held their license for at least one year. This minimum age is sometimes 25 years. It is also important that all the people who will drive the vehicle are listed on the rental contract, otherwise they will not be insured. Also make sure all drivers have valid ID and check if an International Driving Permit is required at your vacation destination.
Mark your route well
It is also useful to know in advance how long you will need the car and what route you will take during your vacation. You will gain substantial savings. The 24-hour rule applies, in fact, in terms of car rental: if your rental begins, for example, on Saturday at 10 a.m., a rental day is valid until the next day at 10 a.m. Even if you only want to use the car for two more hours, you will then pay for a second full day of rental. So prepare your itinerary to get the most out of your rental car.
Also choose the pick-up location that suits you best, whether it is the airport, a city or a train station. In many cases, it is possible to return your rental car to a place other than where you picked it up. One-way car rental is then the ideal formula. Are you planning to cross several countries during your vacation? Check when booking your car whether crossing the border is possible and request it without delay.
Choose the right car
When booking your rental car, make sure you choose the right model. Consider the number of people traveling with you. Make sure everyone can sit comfortably and the trunk can accommodate all the luggage. It would be a shame to realize at your destination that the car is too small. Also, choose a car that is suitable for the route you are going to take. If you are heading for mountainous areas, opt for a larger car with a more powerful engine than if you are driving in town.
Simplify your life with additional services and accessories
If you want to avoid the queues or if you need accessories such as a GPS or a child seat, order them when booking your car. In high season, the car rental counter is sometimes very busy, which can lengthen the delays. A start to a dream vacation! If you like to listen to music or use your smartphone’s GPS, don’t forget your own AUX cable and phone holder.
Check vehicle insurance
Third party insurance is normally included in the rental price. It covers material damage and bodily injury caused to third parties even if you are responsible. You can purchase additional collision insurance that will cover damage to the car.
The rental company will offer you its insurance each time. “Should I take it? Am I already insured?” For civil liability, in general no need. On the other hand, if you are traveling to the countries such as USA, it may be recommended to take the one offered by the rental company.
Check rental car fuel
First of all, don’t be mistaken when you fill up! Make sure you leave knowing what gasoline to put on. Indeed during a car rental while traveling, you do not necessarily speak the language of the country, so be careful.
Do not forget to return the vehicle with a full tank if the contract requires it. Otherwise, you will have to pay extra. You can also choose the option to return the vehicle with the tank not full. It is the lessor who will do so. This will save you from looking for a gas station at the last moment. If you return the vehicle in a big city, it can be a bit of a hassle to find one easily. However, this has a cost.
Pay attention to traffic rules abroad and check if they drive on the left
Are you going to a destination like the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand or South Africa? Note that you drive there on the left. This can sometimes cause an extra dose of stress. If you book an automatic car, you can concentrate on driving on the left. Do you prefer manual driving? Do a few warm-up laps in the parking lot before hitting the public road. Finally, make sure you know the Highway Code of your vacation spot. This will avoid nasty fines and administrative costs associated with processing them that could make your vacation unnecessarily expensive.
When taking the wheel
To take the wheel serenely, here are five last tips to take into account:
- Ask all your questions to the lessor and check that you have his contact details to reach him during your trip.
- Check that you have evidence documents available.
- Make an inventory of the administrative and identity documents mentioned (identity document, license, bank card, etc.)
- Take photos of the vehicle and note the slightest scratch at the time of the inventory (and redo it when it is returned) as well as the fuel level. Don’t forget to return it with the same level or, failing that, with the full tank. If necessary, an over-invoicing of the usual fuel rate may be demanded of you afterwards.