Ever wonder how and what you need to hire a car when you’re in continental Europe? Don’t get bogged down by the confusing rates and other details not accustomed to us here in Ireland. Heres the first things to note:
- You’ll need a credit card for car rental and make sure you have enough funds for the transaction.
- Needless to say, you’ll want to bring your drivers license.
The location is important, as the airport will generally cost you more than in a city or town. If you’re picking up your car in a town beware and sensitive to cultural practices that could mean the rental places may be closed, like on the weekends and also during the siesta. Speak to the rental about where you want to drop off the car, factor in for extra costs due to this. The cheapest option is also to return it to the business but there are more expensive options available.
Other extra costs you should consider are:
- Child seats are usually mandatory for children under 10 and under 12 in France. Also if your child is under 4ft5inchs. Some car hires will allow you to check in a child car seat for free. See here for the country specifics.
- Extra driver charge.
- Satnav rental.
In terms of the fuel policy consider the options and what will best suit you:
- Full Empty: You get a full tank, but when you return the vehicle you donate whatever is left.
- Pre-Purchase Refund: Again this is a full tank but you get a refund for what you have left in the car.
- Full-Full: You pick the car up full and then return it full.
Collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance is almost always included in a booking, covering you for incidents like a major crash, but if you damage the car, you may still be liable to pay for damage up to a certain amount, eg. €1,000. So when you make the booking, don’t forget to factor in the cost of an excess insurance like Super CDW. Be aware that this may reduce the excess to zero but it can be expensive. And if you’re hiring a car in Italy, you may have to get theft insurance too.
Remember to always inspect your car’s interior and exterior before and after renting. Be sure to take photos and notes of any damages and inform your agent so you won’t face penalties for this.
Also in case of emergency always tell you car rental company as soon as possible and the police. Be sure to get details of the law from the Rental company and do your research before your holiday.
Finally, some useful driving tips:
- Spain and France – speed cameras are everywhere and fines are high.
- Italy – beware of complicated parking rules in towns and cities. If in doubt, park on the outskirts and take the bus in.
- Portugal – don’t park facing oncoming traffic, otherwise, your car could be towed.
If you decide to bring your own car on your holidays instead make sure your car insurance policy will cover you while driving in Europe.