Renting a car abroad: What you need to know
Going abroad without any knowledge about hidden fees for renting a vehicle can cost you. If you are staying in the country for a few months, you need to conduct research on renting a vehicle to use. By knowing about potential hidden charges beforehand, you can save yourself a lot of trouble (and money!) and can make knowledgeable decisions before renting transportation. Here is the list of hidden vehicle charges you may encounter and some tips to avoid them:
Car rental at the airport
A lot of people tend to go straight for the rental cars available at the airport. Did you know that the rental cars at the airport charge you more (up to 50% in some cases!) than a car rental you may find just a few miles away from the airport? The airport charges a hefty fee for car rental services as it is costly for them to stand parked there. To compensate for this, they end up offloading this expense and charging you more for the ride.
Car rental fee for under 25’s
Not so long ago, car rental services only rented their cars to people who were 25 and older. Since then, they have changed their rules and now most rent to people 21 and older. However, young drivers are charged an excessive amount. You might have to pay around £40-50 or more to rent a car for one day. However, some car rental services do not charge extra to under 25's to rent their cars, so if you're under 25 look for a company that practices this policy.
Before you give back the car, make sure to fill up the tank to the brim or else they will slap you with a refuelling charge. You should note how much gas was already in the car at the time you rented it, and then fill it before you return it.
Collision damage fee
You will be responsible for any damages sustained to the rental vehicle in the event of an accident and will be required to pay a fine should the vehicle incur any damage while you were responsible for it. For this reason, rental car services try to sell you a waiver to avoid any extra charges for about £30 each day. Before you sign the waiver, see if your credit card or insurance company offers any collision coverage. If it does, no need to sign the waiver.
Extra driver fee
You need to inform the car rental service if someone else other than you will be driving the rented vehicle. They will charge an additional fee for it, but this is essential in case you get into an accident. The insurance will not cover you if an unauthorised driver was behind the accident. People who do not want to pay the additional fee can look for car rental services that do not charge for another driver and give permission to your partner or spouse to drive the car.
Untimely return fee
Car rental services will charge you a fee for returning the car late to them. From their perspective, you broke the contract, especially if you rented the car for a specific period and got a discount as a result.
Ensure you have the correct documentation
The DVLA has advised that holidaymakers also take a payslip abroad when hiring a rental car following the scrapping of the paper counterpart to driving licences. It is possible that you could be refused rental cars if you only have the paper counterpart. It is likely that you will require a special code - that needs to be downloaded with your NI number - to enable rental companies to check your record.