Car Hire travel tips
For booking any car rental, please click here for a complete booking guide.
- Usually, minimum age for renting or hiring a car is 25 years of age. However, many companies allow minimum age of 21 years for a surcharge (with a full licence).
- ALWAYS get extra insurance when hiring a car, to REDUCE THE EXCESS IF YOU HAVE A SMASH/ACCIDENT. You may need to pay this ‘excess’ fee if you smash the car or have an accident – regardless of fault. This is an ‘out of pocket’ expense that you have to pay to the car company. Be ready to fork out the extra money for this ‘extra’ insurance.
- Check if you need a special international drivers licence in the country you wish to hire the car. Your normal ‘home’ licence may not be valid. This is issued in your home country.
Major Worldwide Car Rental Companies:
Always remember your limitations
When renting a car, always be mindful of the limitations of where you can take your car. The point to remember in particular is taking your car ‘off road’. Many car hire companies around the world will not allow you to take the car off a ‘paved’ road, ‘sealed’ or ‘bitumen’ road. Basically, if you drive your car on an unsealed road, you may not be covered under the car company’s insurance policy. Therefore, if you have a smash on an unsealed road, you may be liable to pay for all the costs in the unlikely event of having an accident.
Be careful of this and always ask your car rental company of the conditions.
Unlike hotel reservations, most car rental companies around the world do not require payment (or credit card guarantee at time of booking – you still need a credit card to rent a car when you pick up the vehicle) to make the reservation upfront. This is good for the consumer because you can cancel or change at any time, and even make another booking should you find a better price elsewhere – before or when you arrive at your destination.
Terms and Conditions
Nobody reads them, but checking the terms and conditions of a car rental is very important. There are so many things that consumers are just not aware of in car rental. Rules about where you can drive a car, what you’re covered for, and so on!
‘Collision Damage Waiver’ / ‘Loss Damage Waiver’ / ‘Damage Liability Fee’, Reduced Liability Fee’, etc.
Whatever you want to call it (the above terms differ in each country and car hire company), this is the fee you have to pay to the car rental company if you damage the car, in whatever way. It is important to note that if you have an accident, or somehow do damage to the car, you are liable to pay for this fee – REGARDLESS OF FAULT. What!! Regardless of fault. Yes, this rule is used by most major car rental companies. It’s a tough and unfair rule, but they do this. Sometimes your credit card can also cover you for this type of insurance. Check with your credit card provider.
Car rental returns
Also, many people get stung when they return the car totally undamaged, only to be charged a ridiculous amount against their credit card days or even weeks later. Always check the car over when you return the vehicle and get the rental service officer (the person who checks the car when returned) to go over the car and sign a documentation stating the car is undamaged and is in the right condition (if obviously this is the case).
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