Car rental (car hire) is a complicated business and you are very likely to
either pay much more than necessary or to pay useless car rental insurance that
will not cover the damage in case of accident or theft. Please follow strictly
1. Your personal insurance.
Check well what is your personal insurance covering. You are likely to be
covered by your credit card, personal car insurance or some additional insurance
2. Best price guaranteed?
Think again. Many car rental/car hire companies claim to give you best prices
(usually meaning that you won't get a better price through a third party). This
is almost always misleading. Car rental agencies just guarantee certain price
under certain conditions. The catch is that the third party can give you
slightly different conditions (even better) and prices as low as 50% of the
"guaranteed best price".
3. No hidden costs.
Some car hire companies (mostly car rental brokers) claim to include
everything in the quoted price. Think again. There is no such thing as "final
price". Every car rental contract must be tailored to your needs and wishes. May
be you are covered for same liabilities but want to be insured against others?
Maybe the "all inclusive" price includes insurance coverage for third person
liability up to $20,000 and you want much higher coverage? Maybe the CDW
(Collision Damage Waiver) included doesn't cover windshield, tires and roof (it
almost never does) and you want to include it? Maybe you are under 25 or over 70
and will be charged age surcharge? Maybe you need some extras like childseat or
navigation? Every rental contract is individual and you should read the
smallprint very carefully.
4. Geographical limitations.
Check where you are allowed to travel with the rented car. You are almost
surely limited to some countries or territories.
5. Check the car.
Before accepting the hired car always check it for scratches and minor
damage. Have every scratch marked in the blank form attached to your agreement.
Otherwise you may be charged for the damage (and as these are minor damages they
won't be covered by insurance but in the deductible, meaning your
6. Get the final account before you leave.
If you don't, car rental agency can later claim you damaged the car and
charge your credit card.
7. Drivers License.
Most international car hires accept only your valid Drivers Permit issued in
your country of origin. Some car rentals require International Drivers Permit
and still others will accept both. Check with your car rental agency what
drivers license is required. For instance, Enterprise car rental in UK requires
International Drivers License.