Looking to rent a car for a road trip? Here you have The Best tips for renting a car for a road trip that will help you understand everything you need to know
Many people are afraid to rent a car. They don't want to bother with it and are afraid of driving in a foreign place.
The problem with this approach is that many destinations are not suitable for traveling by public transport and require a car rental to travel properly or to reach them at all.
For example, on our road trip in Norway by car for a whole month, without a car, we would not have been able to reach half of the places we visited.
I like road trips - it allows you to be the most independent, you and the car with your music and with amazing views on the way.
It also makes it possible to reach many more remote places.
My favorite company is RentalCars.com, an international rental company that connects you to thousands of car rental companies.
Their advantages - are a large supply of vehicles, a good price compared to the other companies, and the possibility of cancellation up to 48 hours before the rental at no cost.
The insurance for canceling the deductible is from RentalCars, which means that if the company obliges you, you have to pay and transfer the invoices to the care of RentalCars, who will return the money to you.
An important point to note at RentalCars.com - the rented car is reserved for you for an hour. Once an hour has passed they do not commit to keeping it for you and can cancel your entire reservation when the payment no longer comes back to you.
It's annoying, and I've come across people who got stuck because of it, but it's listed in their rental terms, and there is a solution:
First of all, give a gap between the time of landing and the time when you commit to picking up the car, you don't need five hours, but if you land at 11, you won't be there exactly at 11 to pick up the car.
If you land at night, I generally recommend sleeping in a hotel at the airport and taking the car only in the morning. It also eliminates the whole problem of being late for a rental because of the flight, gives a margin of safety, and lets you rest and not drive after a flight or in the dark.
Recommended in a new place you have not driven before, getting used to the place, and its rules in the dark after a flight is not pleasant.
It saves rental hours, so if you return the car in the morning, you can save a rental day.
Something happened, and your flight is delayed - let them know.
Call the rental company as soon as possible, send emails, and document as much as possible that you tried to update so they keep the car for you for a later time.
Another great option is Auto Europe.
Auto Europe is a website that compares the different rental companies, similar to rental cars, especially for Europe.
I have personally used them several times in European destinations, everything has always gone well. I have never had any problems when renting through them.
Auto Europe is usually the cheapest of all the known rental companies, and we found significant price differences with them compared to other companies, especially when checking the official websites of the rental companies.
Perhaps one of the issues is deductible cancellation insurance.
When you rent a car, compulsory insurance is included in it and all kinds of additional insurances in case of an accident, theft, etc.
However, most rental companies do not include cancellation of deductibles in the basic package.
This means that in every case of an accident, malfunction, etc., there is a deductible of a certain amount (which is specified in the policy) that you must pay.
It is also not recommended because driving abroad is a little different, the laws can be a little different, and the whole area is unfamiliar, which creates a chance to accidentally rub or knock the car somewhere.
Beyond that, one of the main problems with the deductible is that it allows companies to start finding all kinds of problems with the car to charge you by force.
In order not to be exposed to this risk, it is better to expand the insurance and pay for the cancellation of deductible (called Excess) - insurance in a daily amount (varies greatly from place to place) which cancels all your participation in paying for car repairs.
*It is important to note what is included in the deductible.
In most cases, the lower parts of the vehicle (wheels, flywheels, etc.) will not be included to prevent you from driving off-road in places that are not suitable for a private vehicle.
Most of the time, there is no problem with this, and you really won't go off the road, it's just important to know in advance what you don't get reimbursed for. Sometimes it is possible to add insurance to these areas as well.
*When should you not take out the insurance?
It is your choice whether to take out deductible insurance or not, but there are some cases where it is not worth it, for example, it can happen that canceling the deductible has doubled the rental price and will be very expensive, or it is a car rental company you already know and trust, or in areas, you have traveled to In the past, and you are confident.
But in general, it is always advisable to have full insurance.
In many countries (mainly in Europe) manual cars are cheaper than automatic ones.
In this case, it is up to you (do you know how to drive a manual car?)
It is better to rent a car with a manual transmission to save significantly on the price if it is possible for you.
If you are in countries like the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, most vehicles will be automatic anyway and not more expensive because of it.
You also need to know if you drive on the other side of the road that a manual car may be another factor that makes driving difficult.
From my experience on the other side of the road, for those who are afraid, it is better to rent an automatic car despite the price, but as someone who has driven a manual car on the other side of the road, it is indeed a little stressful at first, but you get used to it very quickly and within a day or two of driving it already feels natural, you have to be careful.
Rental voucher - print the voucher you received on the website or by email and bring it with you to show when you pick up the car.
International driver's license - of course, without the license you will not be able to get the car.
An international credit card in your name - many rental companies require you to bring or give as a deposit when booking an international credit card registered in the name of the main driver.
Make sure to bring the card with you, it happened to me that they canceled an order for something like that.
Charger - I always recommend bringing a car charger so that you can freely use Google Maps, make local calls if you can't find the place you're going to, and search for details on the attractions without fear of the phone turning off.
Fuel - when you receive the vehicle, it is important to check which fuel should be filled in - diesel, regular 95, etc.
It already happened to me that the representative said that we got a diesel car, and when we checked the fuel and found out that it says gasoline.
Such a thing can destroy the vehicle, and the company can make you pay for this mess. You should always double-check.
Damage to the vehicle - when you arrive, check the condition of the vehicle, take a video (in front of the representative) of every fault and scratch you see so that you can prove in the event of a problem that you did not cause the damage.
Operation and safety - make sure you understand how to operate the vehicle, sometimes the Handbrake is located differently or even operated with the foot.
You should check that there is everything in the trunk for an emergency - a spare wheel, a yellow vest, a triangle, etc.
Emergency numbers - get an emergency number, tow truck, etc. from the rental company. You should have all these numbers in the car in case of need.
*If you rent a car in one place and return it to another place, it will be more expensive, and there are companies that will charge a high additional fee for this (called a One Way Fee, and it is important to make sure if it is included in the price when booking).
*If you pick up the car from the city and not from the airport, the price may be expensive, and there is also a difference if you pick up a car at a certain branch versus another branch.
*Picking up the car at different times may change the prices of the car - for example, if you pick up the car late at night it can be more expensive than picking it up in the morning (due to an additional pick up outside the branch's operating hours).
Surprisingly, sometimes some of the branches are closed during the afternoon hours and therefore the cost of collecting the car during the hours when the branch is closed, in the middle of the day, may entail such payment and make the rental more expensive.
That's why it's worth checking what the branch's operating hours are and trying to pick up the vehicle during them.
*Manual or automatic. Usually, a manual car will be much cheaper than an automatic car.
*Some companies limit the mileage, so if you plan to travel a lot with the car, it's worth ordering through a company that doesn't give limits.
*If you had a small accident that only scratched the car, for example, then there is no need to call a car rental company. When you return the car, you will have to pay for the damage (and then sue the insurance company from the external company) and if you canceled participation through the rental company, then you will not have to do anything.
*If you have had an accident that does not allow you to continue driving (it turned out to me on a trip to Scotland that there is no spare wheel in the car, so it is important to check that there is an extra wheel when you take the car).
In any case, if you cannot continue driving, try to put the vehicle in a place that does not interfere with traffic, such as at the curb or parking area.
After that, you need to call the car rental company and report the accident.
You have two options: either wait for the tow truck and drive it to the company or leave the key on the front wheel and return to the hotel on your own. You should be in contact with the car rental company about when to come to them to pick up a replacement vehicle or the same vehicle after treatment.
* Take pictures of the car after the accident and the damage you did.
*You should know that in some countries, in the event of an accident in the rented vehicle, injury, scratch, theft, or any other damage, the incident must be reported to the nearest police station as early as possible. Without a police report, it is not possible to receive a refund/cancellation of the deductible.
*If you had an accident and there were no casualties, exchange details with the driver, and take all the information from him, such as his insurance company, vehicle number, phone, address, etc.
If there are witnesses, it is worth trying to record their testimony.
If there were casualties in the accident, it is necessary to call the police and an ambulance.
If you have decided not to rent a car or you are on a city trip that does not require a car, the options before you are usually buses, trains, and taxis.
What is still important to know and can help save?
Public transportation - if your trip is urban and based a lot on public transportation, in most cities there is an option for daily, weekly, etc. passes, instead of paying separately for each trip. Make a plan before the trip - if you are planning several trips on buses/trains, etc.
Find out the cost of a transit ticket and buy a suitable ticket according to the number of days needed. Some cities also have a family pass that saves costs.
UBER - a great solution abroad when you are in a hurry or there is no suitable public transportation is to order Uber.
Instead of paying expensive taxi prices, you can order Uber drivers in the app to take you to the same place at a cheaper price.
The Uber app is very convenient and gives you the fare in advance, and the driver's arrival time, including a map of where he is and how he is moving towards you, as well as details about the driver himself.
Hopefully, I was able to help you to know things better before you rent a car for a road trip, and the main thing is that you will have a great trip!
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