To fully experience a new country or a new area, you’ll most probably want to rent a car. You could go as far as you can walk from the hotel, but if you rent a car, you can explore areas that most tourists never get to see, as well as save on taxi fares.
There are many aspects of car rental that you need to consider before signing up, so to make sure that you don’t rent more than you need to, or rent an inappropriate car for your needs, we’ll be detailing some of the main points that you should settle on before seeking to rent a car.
What to consider before renting a car
- Calculate if you need to rent a car: Consider what you plan to do on your holiday, the expenses involved with travel by public transport or taxi, and if that outweighs the cost of renting a car and the other expenses involved – such as petrol and insurance.
- Think about the type of car that you need: If you’re staying in a city, travelling by the main roads, and going to other cities or large towns, a standard car will likely suffice. But, if your accommodation is some way down the dirt track or up some rather steep hills, a four-wheel drive or off-road-suited vehicle would be the better option.
- Consider your budget: Some people prefer to rent a car for the additional freedom and ease of use, but if you’re on a budget and want to put your money to better use in restaurants or activities, then consider if it’s worth travelling via public transport or the occasional taxi.
- Car renting age requirements: Across Europe, the minimum age for renting is different. In the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Denmark, and Bulgaria, the minimum age is 21-years-old. But, while the minimum age that companies will rent a car to in the United Kingdom is 21-years-old, some companies will charge extra for people below the age of 25-years-old to rent from them, as well as apply more extensive insurance policies.
- Get comprehensive car insurance: Many car rental services point to the Collision Damage Waiver, but while this stops the rental company from claiming compensation from the customer in the instance of a collision, they can still charge huge excess fees. Be sure to get more than the basic Collision Damage Waiver cover as it will rarely cover the more common issues that can arise.
What car rental company should I use?
The answer here varies greatly from what country to wish to rent in, to the type of car that best suits your needs. A quick search of the nation or area that you’re in alongside the car rental company’s name will often bring up plenty of reviews. Now, while many people who choose to place reviews do so because of a strong reaction to the service – such as very happy or very displeased – looking at customer reviews can be a helpful guide if taken with a pinch of salt in some instances. You could bring up any bad reviews when discussing a rental with the storeroom representatives or customer service to get the all-clear that the issue won’t arise for you, giving you a fallback on the record if the issue happens again.
Overall, you’ll want to find a reputable brand to rent from and avoid any suspicious looking provider that you may find online. Companies like Alamo, Sixt, Thrifty, Budget, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, and National have all established good reputations among car renters, but be sure to check out their reviews in the local area to find which one is best as they can vary from showroom to showroom.
As long as you’re careful when renting, rent what you need, and take out sufficient insurance, you’ll find that renting a car can become the gateway to expanding the horizon of your trip.