Share the ♥︎

February 1, 2017

Things to Consider when Hiring a Car Abroad

hire car Greece

For many people hiring a car for their holiday stay is quite a regular thing. It gives them the freedom to travel to destinations without the need for a taxi or public transport. I like to hire a car because it lets me enjoy the benefits of having a road trip across a country. For me this means I get to see the sights and sounds of what a country has to offer. Fly into point A, stay a few nights then move onto the next destination, and then keep going until you get to an end point. But there are some things you need to look out for:

Cost

Hiring a car can be expensive, and I’m not just talking about the daily rental price. There's always local taxes to pay, along with the inevitable sales push for insurance, fuel and car parks. If you do hire a car, make sure you use it to make the most of it. Like I said earlier, I like to travel across a country and use the car to stop along the way. *Note- in some countries it is cheaper to pay a driver than to hire a car!

Insurance

Sales people, no matter what they say, are on commission to get you to pay for the ridiculously priced extra insurance to cover you for any accidents. Some people are happy to pay for this, but if you drive carefully, and think about where you are leaving the car each day, you shouldn’t need the extra insurance.

Things to Consider when Hiring a Car Abroad

Cancellation

Did you know that Europcar will cancel your hire car order and delete from their system if you are 2 hours late? I found this out to my cost in Greece. If you are late you are supposed to phone to let them know, and no- they won't take “I was on an aeroplane, how am I supposed to phone you?!” as an excuse. Most rental places have their depots close to the airport, it's no harm giving them a time to start the rent a bit later that your arrival time to save you the hassle of having your reservation cancelled.

Upgrading to a better car

I have been hiring cars in numerous countries and not once have I received the car I was supposed to. In the majority of cases I have been upgraded to a better car. Why is this? Well its because the rental cars are in demand in peak season and they would rather have your business and give a free upgrade when you arrive than not have it at all.

Check the car over

Never ever listen to the guy checking the car over for scratches and bumps when he says “oh no don't worry about that one”. Walk around with him making sure he marks every scratch, mark and bump on the car before you sign anything. Pay close attention to the wheels too, they often forget to mark them only to try to con you out of money at the end of your trip saying you damaged them.

Sat Nav

Don't pay for the sat nav, it's pointless. Instead use google maps. Google maps works when your phone is airplane mode so you don’t need to use your data roaming and rack up any costs. All you need to do is preload the map before you get the car, either on wifi or when you are still back home. Most hotels or restaurants have free wifi available to use. Load up the journey, and hey presto, the GPS blue dot will show you exactly where you are. It will even show you the direction you are facing. So, put away that map and join the 21st century!

Fuel

Rental car companies often ask you to fill up with the most expensive unleaded available. Why do they want this? Well it's better for their engine in the long run. But you’re only using the car for a short period, and I bet you normally use the cheapest fuel at home for your own car. Ignore them and find the cheapest fuel.

Tolls

Googles' maps has a great feature which lets you plan routes without going through toll. Now I know in some countries avoiding the toll roads can be difficult, but if the choice is a journey of 10mins longer, or pay €5 each time, I know which seems the most sensible to me.


Take a credit card

I was stung this summer when they refused to let me take the car with my debit card. The same things also happened to my dad recently when he realised his credit card wasn’t registered. Don’t worry, they will eventually give you the car- but it will cost you! Make sure you pack your credit card and that it has a big enough limit to cover the deposit and is in working order.

Drive carefully

My uncle once told me a joke, he asked ‘what’s the fastest car over a speed bump?’ The answer: A hire car! Enjoy your temporary ride, drive it as you like, but leave no lasting damage because they will almost always catch you out!

 

Do you have any tips for hiring a car aboard? Please leave your comments below!

Leave a comment
  1. […] are things to consider before renting a car abroad such as cost, insurance, and fuel. But aside from that, here are some tips you need to consider or […]

  2. aadi mondal says:

    thanks for sharing for this tips . i agree most of word which you have said and i also find cheapest fuel car.

    if you know more tips please click here car safety rules for you

  3. Kristian says:

    Well if you fancy on driving away to wherever your journey leads to then yes, hiring a car is great! Thank you for this share.

  4. Bill James says:

    Thanks for your suggestions, we will make sure to add your advice in our service list, so we can make our service more comfortable and reliable for our customers.

  5. Speedhut says:

    Even though my brothers are not used to traveling for long hours, my parents made sure that we seize the day as what we pay for a rental car. I agree with “scratches and bumps”, we always check this first before heading out. Glad to stop by here, Hayley. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  6. Robert Baker says:

    Check for safety equipment and spare tires. This too can take time but check that all the safety equipment required locally is present and that the spare tire is not punctured or overly worn.

  7. […] You will also want to make sure that you can find appropriate accommodation when travelling to Costa Rica with a baby. We found that accommodation in Costa Rica was expensive so we opted for Air b’n’b places throughout our trip and a hotel for our last night when we needed to be close to the airport.  I personally prefer Air b’n’b’s because they will often have space to keep baby in a separate room when sleeping (allowing us to sit and have a drink or watch tv without waking her), there are kitchens to make bottles etc and you can choose a place with a bath to wash baby.  For a discount on your stay with Air b’n’b click here or visit  Booking.com for some great deals on hotels.  The last major element that should be involved when planning your trip to Costa Rica with a baby is how you will get around once you arrive. We chose to hire a car and were really glad that we did. This gave us the ease and flexibility that we need to comfortably travel around with baby Isla. Are you thinking of hiring a car? I have put together my top tips of things to consider in this post. […]

  8. […] For more tips on hiring a car visit this post. […]

  9. […] option if you are looking for value for money. We have stayed slightly outside of the city and hired a car to save money on many occasions. Renting an apartment or villa can also work out far cheaper than […]

  10. […] you have hired a car, you can drive there yourself – it’s over 4 hours each way, so it’s worth setting off […]

  11. […] You might also be interested to take a look at my post tips for hiring a car abroad. […]

  12. […] schedules. If you want to read some of our tips for hiring a car, you can take a look at this post- Tips for hiring a car abroad. And don’t forget to bring your travel car […]

  13. […] I am usually big on hiring cars, Asia isn’t always the easiest place to drive and drivers are readily available and […]

  14. […] Hiring a car is my preferred way to travel these days. It’s convenient, flexible and allows for extra luggage- a necessity when travelling with children! We usually use Europecar (despite the name, they do operate worldwide) to book our car hire as they are reliable and always provide high quality cars. Take a look at this post that I wrote for more tips on hiring a car abroad. […]

  15. […] my opinion, the best way to see all of what Jordan has to offer is by hiring a car. We drove to Jerash from Amann, which took about an hour. You can also book an organised tour, such […]

  16. […] if camping is a bit out-there for you) and there’s a car park, which is ideal if you have hired a car to drive around the island. You can also reach the beach (which is on the northern side of the […]

  17. Claire says:

    No reason to hire a SatNav these days. You can usually get an unlimited Data SIM for so much cheaper, then just use Google Maps.
    $5 a day V $45 a month. Thats dinner sorted, lol

  18. […] you have hired a car, you can drive there yourself – it’s over 4 hours each way, so it’s worth setting off […]

  19. […] if camping is a bit out-there for you) and there’s a car park, which is ideal if you have hired a car to drive around the island. You can also reach the beach (which is on the northern side of the […]

  20. […] my opinion, the best way to see all of what Jordan has to offer is by hiring a car. We drove to Jerash from Amann, which took about an hour. You can also book an organised tour, such […]

  21. Prakash says:

    Hi, Great Post! It was a very nicely written article. I like to read it. It was totally informative topic you covered here, I am totally agreed with you. I must say that I have learnt so many things from it.
    keep shearing! Thank You.

  22. […] You can also get around the island by bus or taxi. As we were travelling with a toddler and a baby, however, we wanted to have the flexibility to determine our own schedules. If you want to read some of our tips for hiring a car, you can take a look at this post- Tips for hiring a car abroad. […]

  23. Thomas Rich says:

    Great advice! There are so many companies out there it is important to differentiate yourself from others by offering unique or more services. Thanks for sharing!

  24. This article will really helpful for me. Great things you have described.

  25. […] Read also: Top tips for hiring a car abroad […]

  26. […] For more tips on hiring a car visit this post. […]

  27. […] The last major element that should be involved when planning any trip with kids in tow is how you will get around once you arrive. Our transport method of choice is almost always to hire a car. This allows us the ease and flexibility that we need to comfortably travel around with baby Isla. Are you thinking of hiring a car? I have put together my top tips of things to consider in this post. […]

  28. […] First of all, I will give you a few details about the planning of our trip to Costa Rica with a baby.  Travelling to any destination with children requires a little more planning than it might without children, but that doesn’t make it any less fun (it just requires a few extra hours on Google). First of all, you will need to find great flights. My go-to has always been Skyscanner, which I have been using for years to check flight prices, times etc. I find that this comparison website always finds me the best deals and I also like that it gives you an all-inclusive price for the family in the search results. If you’re looking for good deals on flights you can visit Skyscanner here. If your baby is small you will probably be fine with an infant ticket, although some parents choose to pay for a full price seat for larger babies. You can read more about my tips for flying with a baby in this post.  You will also want to make sure that you can find appropriate accommodation when travelling to Costa Rica with a baby. We found that accommodation in Costa Rica was expensive so we opted for Air b’n’b places throughout our trip and a hotel for our last night when we needed to be close to the airport.  I personally prefer Air b’n’b’s because they will often have space to keep baby in a separate room when sleeping (allowing us to sit and have a drink or watch tv without waking her), there are kitchens to make bottles etc and you can choose a place with a bath to wash baby.  For a discount on your stay with Air b’n’b click here or visit  Booking.com for some great deals on hotels.  The last major element that should be involved when planning your trip to Costa Rica with a baby is how you will get around once you arrive. We chose to hire a car and were really glad that we did. This gave us the ease and flexibility that we need to comfortably travel around with baby Isla. Are you thinking of hiring a car? I have put together my top tips of things to consider in this post. […]

  29. Bob Antrobus says:

    Thanks for all the tips. I have been using hire cars abroard for nearly 40 years and agree with most of what you have said. I have now got the problem of booking a hire car for a period of 6 weeks. The weekly rate is much more expensive than for 4 weeks or less. I don’t know why this is but it is much cheaper to book two periods of hire to avoid a single hire period of over 4 weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* We will never share your details with any third party 

Grab our ebook

Get instant access to "How to budget a Family Vacation"

We'll get back to you shortly.

Thank you!