I myself have already driven many rental cars on different continents, so I now consider myself an expert when it comes to renting (cheap) cars abroad. Be sure to read the following essential tips when renting a car:
Check carefully whether you need petrol or diesel in your fuel tank. The last thing you want is to pay the expensive garage costs for this. Please also good on your or your car with an empty or full tank must surrender . If you don’t do the latter, the car rental company will refuel the car at your expense and they will seriously charge you when it comes to the fuel price.
Also pay attention to whether or not you can cover an unlimited number of kilometers with your rental car . Some car rental companies charge a maximum number and if you exceed this, you will have to pay seriously.
If you plan to cross the border to another country, check carefully if this is allowed. Some car rental companies do not allow you to drive in certain countries. It is also prohibited to cross the border to Mexico with your rental car in the US or even drive from Greek Cyprus to Turkish Cyprus.
Car rental companies earn a lot of money by renting out GPS devices. Fortunately, since roaming has been discontinued in Europe, we can use mobile internet to navigate. Outside Europe, you can solve this by either buying a local SIM card or using apps that offer offline maps (such as Here Maps or my favorite: Maps.me).
In some countries (especially the United States) your rental car will more than likely be an automatic model . Don’t let this put you off if you’ve never ridden this before as it’s very easy. Just practice in a parking lot, for example, to get familiar with this way of driving.
You can often find cheaper rental cars in less popular airports . For example, if you are going to make a road trip along the west coast of America, it is certainly worthwhile to look for a rental car in, for example, San Jose instead of the much more popular San Francisco. Shuttle buses often run between two airports, making it well worth the extra effort.
In addition, you also pay more for a rental car in the airport , because car rental companies often have to pay a surcharge at the airport. It often pays to take a taxi or public transport to the city center to book your rental car from there.
On a round trip it is also often possible to rent a car one way , where you pick up the car at one destination and drop it off at another. These prices differ from company to company (and country to country), so you should check this yourself carefully. Count on at least fifty euros.
The employees of the car rental company often try to talk you into an upgrade : for barely 5 euros more per day you can, for example, drive a nicer car. Note that the insurance (if you take it of course) is also a lot more expensive for this! My advice: stick with your original choice, after all, you have thought about it long enough!
Also return your rental car clean ! The cleaning costs that some companies charge can also be very high. A little mess won’t hurt, but if the floor is covered with mud, the car rental company can sometimes be difficult.
Also take the reviews you read online with a grain of salt . Read carefully what the exact (recurring) complaints are. Try the car rental company effectively to scam its customers or most reviews consist of dissatisfied customers who, for example, had to wait too long to be able to pick up their car. Keep in mind that people are more likely to write a negative than a positive review.
Finally, perhaps one of the most important tips of all: read your lease carefully before signing it. For example, if you have already taken out insurance through Car Del Mar , Easy Terra or Happy Car, you really do not have to pay extra for extra insurance on the spot. Sometimes people try to offer you extra insurance and you must explicitly state that you do not want it. Of course you do not have this problem if you book through Sunny Cars , because then your all-inclusive car rental is included as standard.
If you keep all these tips in mind and you know what to look for when renting a car, you will (normally) have a stress-free and fantastic experience.