Car rental in abroad
During their travels many consumers choose to rent a car instead of using the public transport. Its advantage is that it is a more comfortable, and often swifter solution and the destination can be discovered more freely. This solution has its down side too with a little attention and deliberate planning however, they can be eliminated.
What should I pay attention to?
The first and most important thing is to gather information before renting the car. Although many companies offer very favorable prices it is worth to get information on what do these prices include. Namely these prices may not include the cost of certain additional services we might need.
It is an important information in connection with payment whether the company asks for a so called security deposit. The company may demand it in cases such as losing the keys, haphazard damages on the car, or returning the car with an inadequate amount of fuel. The company may ask you to pay some cash for that purpose, or it may block an amount on the credit card given by the consumer. If no such event occurs which would make it reasonable to use that amount, the company will have to pay it back at the end of the contract. However the consumer must be informed about the exact amount.
Always ask for unambiguous information on what is included in the rental price exactly and what do we have to pay an extra for.
What can be an additional service?
These services may vary from company to company. Generally, it can an additional service when we ask for a child’s seat, or more than one person will drive the car, but the age of the driver could mean an additional cost too. Additional costs may also emerge if we collect or return the car at the airport, and some additional insurances may also mean extra costs. Always read the contract and the general terms and conditions carefully to avoid surprises and inconveniences!
What’s with the fuel?
It is recommended to gather information on that issue too, because if we return the car with the amount of fuel not in accordance with the contract, the company will charge extra costs. The company may ask you to return the car, collected with a full tank, with a nearly empty tank. In that case the company will not refund the price of the fuel that is in the tank when you return it. Another solution can be when the company asks you to return the car with full tank. If we do not return the car with a full tank, we will have to pay the costs of refueling. Always gather information on the type of fuel used by the car and it is also recommended to read the relevant provisions of the contract and the general terms and conditions carefully.
What should I know about insurance?
Consumers must be informed in the general terms whether the rental price includes the cost of the insurance, and if it does, what kind of insurance is included. In cases of contracts on car rental concluded in the Member States of European Union, the rental price covers the cost of third party insurance, which applies to damages caused to third parties. In every case ask for information on the insurance and its price!
What should I take care of when collecting the car?
Maybe the most important document when collecting the car is the one that describes the condition of the vehicle. It is often a premade diagram by the company on which every damages on the car will be indicated in the presence of the consumer. Always note all damages that is on the car and also the ones inside the car. If the company does not provide such a diagram or form for damages, note them yourself and have it signed by the company. Besides we can also take photos of the car. All of these are important because when returning the car, these documents will form the basis of measuring the condition of the vehicle. Every damage that is on the car but was not noted at the time we collected it means extra costs for us as the company will charge a fee for it.
What should I do if the car goes wrong?
Always call the company any time a problem emerges in connection with the car. They can tell you what to do exactly. Never fix the car yourself without informing the company and asking permission to fix it! Some companies specify the period in which the consumer should report the failure of the car.
What should I do in case of an accident?
In case of an accident always note down the names and addresses of the persons involved. It holds the same rule here to get in contact with the company as soon as possible and furthermore, if anybody got injured or there is a dispute on who caused the accident, also report it to the police. When collecting the car the company shall provide an accident report form which must be filled in case of an accident. Always ask for that form even if the company would not provide it automatically.
What should I take care of when returning the car?
At the time you return the car the company will inspect the vehicle and they will charge a fee for every damage that was not recorded at receipt of the car. Be present at the inspection as far as possible so you can immediately check what damages are recorded and you might also lodge a complaint immediately.
The company may charge additional fees when returning the car. There can be various reasons for this for example we did not have to pay the full price but an advance at the making of the contract, or we returned the car with an inadequate amount of fuel. Always check the invoice and do not be afraid to ask the company to explain ambiguous items.
Can I return the car over the opening hours?
It is recommended to return the car during the opening hours because that way we can be present at the inspection of the car. However we may be able to agree with the company that they accept the return outside the opening hours. In that case always gather information on the location you have to leave the car and whether there is any additional cost charged for that kind of return. It is also recommended to take photos of the car because on one hand we can prove the condition of the car with them and on the other hand we can prove that we left the car according to the company’s instructions. It is important to note that the company may also charge additional fees if we leave the car at a location or in a time other than the agreed. The most important thing we should pay attention to is to read the contract and the general terms and conditions carefully and if something is not clear ask the company about it. That way we can avoid many inconveniences that would ruin our journey.