The procedure of renting a car is in many ways similar to booking a hotel room, but the risk and responsibility is much greater.
Book in advance
It is advantageous to book a car, like a hotel, in advance: in this case you have a larger choice of offers, including budget ones, and you can choose a car to your taste and budget. If the issue of rent is postponed for the last moment, the cheaper options are likely to be occupied and you will have to settle for more expensive ones. Often you can get a discount if you pay in advance, but this is fraught with loss of money in case of cancellation of the reservation – do not agree.
You have the opportunity to rent a car directly from companies or through an intermediary broker. Major international companies that can be contacted directly: Hertz, Avis, Sixth, Europa, Budget, Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty. Sites for searching cars all over the world: Auto Europe, Car Trawler, Car hire 3000, Economy Car Hire, Booking Car, etc. As a rule, searching on the intermediary’s site is more convenient, since they accumulate offers from dozens of different companies, and the price from a broker is as a rule, it is cheaper than ordering directly: distributors offer discounts for the delivery of customers. You should also pay attention to the low-cost airlines in the host country – small local companies often do not have offices at airports and train stations, but they can boast of low fares. True, there may be pitfalls for example, insurance covers only 50% of the cost, or there is a cost per mileage. In any case, do not choose immediately, but read the reviews, compare prices, find out the nuances of the conditions.
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Carefully read the booking conditions
Most of the claims of those who rented a car are connected with an inattentive reading of the terms of the contract. At the time of booking, you must read everything, including the smallest font – as a rule, it is there that the most important thing is written. Some companies do not charge in advance, but there are those who immediately write off the prepayment at the time of booking, after five to seven days you can’t refuse to reserve without losing this amount, some unreliable offices try to withdraw money from your card immediately without warning. Preferred conditions – this is when you do not have to pay for anything before you arrive and see the car. It is safer to order a car where the data card for booking is not required in advance.
You can book a car by debit card. However, on the spot from you in most cases will require a credit card, and it must be issued in the name of the driver. Many tourists will find out about this indispensable condition upon arrival and try to pay in cash or by debit card, but this often turns out to be impossible – they refuse to rent and the amount paid is not refunded. A credit card is needed due to the need to leave a deposit for a car and write off a certain amount in case of damage.
Renting a car is a bit like a lottery. You can never be sure that you will be provided with exactly the brand that you have chosen on the site. Usually the class is indicated, and on the spot you are given a car of the specified level from those that are in stock. You are warned about variability at the time of booking: “Hyundai i30 or similar,” “Subaru Liberty or similar,” “Mitsubishi Outlander or similar,” so there is no cheat. Nevertheless, the Web a lot of complaints of people who order one car, but get another on the spot and consider the rest spoiled. If you need a car of a specific brand, such as a Hummer, you can search for a distributor who deals with this particular car brand and get into the top ten. Keep in mind: if at the place of issue it turns out that the car is too small, you will have to pay for the upgrade, and it will be more expensive