The Top 5 Questions You Need to Know About Car Hire
Planning a quick escape this October school break with the kids? Then you may wish to rent a car from one of the Portuguese or Spanish Airports. They are always favourite destinations with the Brits for a quick winter break before the cold weather arrives.
Using public transport in a big city like Madrid or Barcelona is great fun and can be easy to use. Thinking of taking the family up the coast an hour or so away from the main airports like Alicante or Murica and car hire is number one on your essentials list.
Think of the experience as a positive step towards your holiday freedom. As with anything you consider buying or renting read the small print and don't be afraid to ask questions. Having things clear in your head and being organised before you arrive at the branch will prevent any head aches after you return home.
Here are my top five tips and questions to ask before you travel.
What Type of Identification Do I Bring Along to the Branch?
Normally speaking this is a Valid driving license, passport and credit card.
All in the driver's name.
The main piece of ID that you will require to bring with you from home is your driving license. This is essential for an overseas trip as the branch will only be able to allow you to rent a car from Spain or Portugal if the staff can see a document which is your license.
Remember that in the UK, a new style license is now enforce which means you are required to bring both parts with you to the branch. This is generally the paper part and the photograph part. Both parts are needed by law at the rental desks before you are allowed to proceed with the rental. Please also note that the license needs to be issued by your own country and is written in your own name.
A good thing to double check before you collect your rental. Is that your license is valid for the countries that you will be driving in and out of Europe. Also that the car you have chosen and the car hire company are happy for you to drive the car around each country you will be visiting in Europe.
Check out to see if you need to buy an International Driving License before you travel. Remember that you will require to bring your own driving license with you and show both of them at the rental desk.
An International Driving License can be bought over the counter at any of the UK Post Office branches for a little over £5 at the moment. This normally lasts for 12 months and can be renewed the same way as you have purchased.
Other forms of ID are normally a credit card which you will use to pay for the rental unless you have a pre-paid hire voucher. Remember that the deposit or deductible will also be held on your card until you return the car undamaged to the branch. Any extras such as additional drivers, GPS and child seats are also added to your card at the branch.
A good idea would be to double check your car rental voucher before travelling as some car groups ask for an additional form of ID . Those types of groups tend to be the high end cars similar to BMW and Mercedes. Normally another form of ID such as a Utility Bill will also be required which is within the last three months before your rental start date.
Can Someone Else Drive The Rental Car?
Each time you book a rental car there is normally one driver per car hire associated with the booking. They are what is called the main driver and only they are insured for the rental car during the days you have the vehicle out on rent.
Depending on how far you intend to drive or for how long . It may be prudent to add another driver to your rental booking. This can be done at the branch on arrival or online before you collect your rental car.
A good thing to remember is that the additional driver can not drive the rental car until they are added to the rental agreement. This can be completed after they have landed a few days later if they are travelling at a different date from your arrival.
There will be an extra cost involved which normally starts at around £10 per day for drivers over 25 years. They will also need ID which is checked over at the branch before you can add them to the rental which is a driving license and passport both valid and in the drivers name.
Who Do I call When It All Goes Wrong?
When you arrive at the branch. Your branch staff member will go everything with you including assistance with roadside breakdown if required. This is normally part of the rental cost and is generally 24 hour assistance for each rental vehicle.
In the UK the phone number to call the Police is 999. Remember that overseas is different for each country you visit.
Accident forms are required to be completed by the main driver. Write everything down the way it occurred and keep a copy for your records. Most phones now have a camera so it is easy to take a copy or photo or any paperwork.
Generally speaking staff members should double check the vehicle over for any damage before they hand over the keys. This is to avoid being liable for any damage or small scratches to the car while you have the vehicle out on rent.
Is Everything Included In My Rental?
There are always different deals available to drivers wishing to rent a car for the holidays. Sometimes they offer free additional incentives to buyers such as additional drivers , fuel etc.
Always check what the rental includes on the quote before you book and compare prices. Most of the time CDW, vat, rental costs and mileage are included. Always read the small print.
Many optional extras include : fuel, GPS , child seats, one way rentals, tyre and windscreen policies, collision damage. Always check the fuel policy as this varies from company to company. You can always purchase polices for each item upon arrival.
Are One Way Rentals Allowed?
The answer to this question is yes.
In the UK , you are allowed to drive the hire vehicle to another branch and leave the car there at the end of your rental.
Please note there is a small charge for this service. Which is added to your rental booking when you have completed the hire.