Tips for booking a rental car in Europe

Renting a car while abroad is becoming a trendy practice amongst travelers. A lot of people usually travel by train or plane to their country of destination, then rent a car.

Here is what you should you pay attention to, if you intend on renting a car overseas.

  1. Compare prices, offers and guarantees

Before leaving on vacation, take some time to have a look at offers, fares and terms of rental agencies. Don’t do it at the last moment. Take enough time in advance, prior to your departure, so you get a wider range of choice (in areas popular with tourists during peak seasons, choice may be limited) and a better price. You can also opt for a ‘fly and drive’ option which usually offer better deals.

Be mindful of preferential offers. Even though they may appear appealing, rental agencies may add some very specific terms and conditions to those offers. Be sure to ask and do your research before signing a rental agreement.

  1. Insurance, deductible, guarantees

In Europe, a civil liability insurance is included with rental cars. This insurance covers you for all material and physical damage done to a third party. However, be careful, a lot companies applies a deducible in case of accidents. Additional guarantees may be subscribed to cover other type of risks.

  1. Be careful of unfair clauses

Some rental companies offer a FPO (Fuel Purchase Option). They’ll charge you the price of a full tank, so you can return the car with an empty tank. But be careful, the price may be far higher than what you would have paid for if you’d fill your car yourself. If this option is included in your contract, without no possibility to unsubscribe it, this is an unfair clause.

Some rental agencies only take card payments and will charge you reparation costs without getting their clients’ authorization beforehand.

  1. Car check up

Always check your car at the agency before taking the road. Do this check with the rental agency. Note every little area. Check that all documents and security details are in there. Do the same when you return the car.

  1. Age and license

Being 21 years old with a minimum driving experience of a year may be mandatory to rent a car, at some rental agencies. You may also be asked to provide young driver insurance, if you’re below 23 or 25.

In some countries, you may need an international driving license to rent a car.

  1. Respect driving laws

Always check the highway code of the country you’re travelling to, if you plan on driving there. If you commit an infraction, for instance exceeding speed and getting flashed by a camera, you’ll be liable in any case, the rental agency will send you the fine.

This article was first published by Europ Assistance Belgium. Discover more insight here: http://blog.europ-assistance.be/