Planning To Rent A Car Abroad? Read Our Guid First

“From filling up the fuel tank yourself to tips on car insurance, there are ways to reduce the hassle and maximize the memories when renting a car abroad for your trip”

Sorting out car rentals can be one of the most stressful parts of organizing an overseas trip. For those who aren’t so au fait with the process, there is the worry that you may have to pay more than you should or run out of cars, or too many add-ons in your car insurance. But there are steps you can take to eliminate any hassle. Here is our guide to make sure you get off to a flying start and are spared of unexpected surprises:

Before you leave

Leasing car is a competitive business in major destinations so it’s best to shop around to find the best deal. Renters have the tendency to opt for the cheapest option on the market thinking that they’re getting the best values, but a rented car is not so cheap anymore when hidden costs such as mileage restrictions come up. So bear this in mind when shopping around. If traveling with children, remember to take car’s seats with you. Most car rental companies charge you extra for the seats and you also can’t be sure of the quality and fit. Another item to look out for is satellite navigation, which is usually on offer at the desk. Prior to traveling, extend your credit card’s limit since when you come to pick up your rental car, they will ask you to file a deposit. If your card doesn’t have enough credit to cover this, you may be refused the car, even if you have already paid for it.

At the desk

Firms make a substantial portion of their profits by selling add-ons, which includes over-priced excess car insurance. Although you have already paid for major crash or write-off with your hire price, the excess part is still your responsibility. So car-rental company’s staff usually persuades you to buy their pricey insurance. Don’t fall for this, instead, purchase an independent annual policy. You still have to pay for the excess but it will be refunded when you get home. This option has a disadvantage though. Since you don’t buy from the firms they will block a large sum on your credit card, so make sure your card has the capacity before you travel.

Think about the mileage you’re going to cover and the number of people in your party. If you are about to embark on a road trip, it is best to add another driver to your policy when picking up the vehicle. Sharing the driving duties can be a smart move to ensure that you have breaks to enjoy your trip.

Before you go

Postpone your eagerness for a bit longer to inspect the car thoroughly for any sign of damage:

Paintwork: scratches on dark-colored cars are highly visible so make sure that the car rental firms agree with you on the marks and file them on the damage report.

Wheels: the wheel rim and sidewall of the tires require extra checkup for damage.

Bumpers: Some drivers prefer bumpers to parking sensors to be able to squeeze the vehicle into the dense parking lot, so check for dents and scrapes on the rear bumper or around the corners.

Take a few minutes get yourself familiar with the position of all the switches and controls to avoid being disoriented. Using a handheld mobile device while driving is an offense in most countries so remember to pair your phone with the car’s Bluetooth. Make sure the mirrors are in their proper positions and the child seat is fitted.

On the road

When you pick up your rental car, it usually comes with a full tank of fuel and you have to state whether you will return it filled up or empty. In the latter case, the company will charge you extra so it’s best to fill the tank yourself. Another thing to bear in mind to avoid causing damage to the car is to make sure you know it runs on diesel or gasoline. Filling in the wrong type can lead to a heavy deed to the car’s engine and you don’t want your car insurance to come into play just for this reason. Check the fuel flap or fuel filler cap to find out about whether to use gasoline diesel.

Different countries have different speed limits and in order not to violate them, make sure that you have looked them up before your trip. Speed cameras are popular these days and are often placed discretely along the roadside so if you happen to exceed the speed limit, the chances of your car’s palate being picked up is high. Since you’re driving a rental, you will not get any penalty points, but the fine will be sent to your car rental company and they, in turn, will bill it to your credit card.

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