5 Ways To Get A Good Deal When Renting A Car Abroad

If you’re abroad for either business or pleasure, having your own rental vehicle to drive around in can offer you some welcome freedom and flexibility.

While public transportation can take you to major tourist attractions or to the centres of large cities, trains and buses can be unreliable, inconsistent, and stressful to use. Plus, if you’re venturing off the beaten track and heading to the countryside or other remote areas, effective public transport – and even taxis – will be difficult to find.

Renting a car can add a big expense to your vacation budget though, so getting the best deal possible is important.

Here are a few tips on how to do this.


Hire The Smallest Vehicle You Can

One way to keep costs as low as possible is to choose the smallest, most economical car that you and your family are comfortable with. This makes sense for a number of reasons:

Firstly, these types of cars are generally cheaper to rent and insure in the first place, but another important consideration, however, is the fuel economy.

As the renter of the car, you will be responsible for keeping it fuelled – including topping off the tank before returning it. Therefore, renting a car that offers great mileage between refills will definitely help your travel budget stretch further.


Rent Weekly, Not Daily

The length of the vehicle rental can have a huge impact on the cost.

Daily rates will be far more expensive than weekly rates, so if you are planning to vacation for a week or more, be sure to inquire about special or reduced rates.


Rent From The Right Outlet

Not all vehicle hire outlets are equal, even if they’re part of the same company!

Often, renting a vehicle from a hire company located at an airport will be more expensive than renting it from an outlet in the centre of town. If there is a big difference between the prices, consider taking public transport from the airport to the hire company in town, and then renting the vehicle from there.

Be sure too to check the terms and conditions that each vehicle rental company offers – many will charge you high fees for returning the vehicle to a different location, so be sure to rent your car from an outlet that will be easy to return the car to at the end of your holiday.

Next, check the range of vehicles that a particular car hire outlet offers; manual transmission vehicles will often be cheaper to rent, so check in advance that you’re hiring from an outlet (like Auto Prudente, for example) that has an ample stock of small, manual vehicles available.


Ensure You Have The Correct Insurance Coverage

Many rental car companies will make a big effort to sell you car insurance policies, but in many cases, you will already be covered and can safely decline.

For example, your existing car insurance policy at home may already provide collision coverage for budget rental cars, so be sure to check this with your insurer before planning your vacation.

And even if your car insurance provider does not cover your rental car, the chances are that one of your credit card companies might. Many banks provide insurance coverage for rental cars paid for with their credit cards, so be sure to check with your bank to see if they offer this.

If you do this research and find that your existing insurance coverage does not extend to rental cars in the country you’ll be visiting, then it’s a good idea to purchase additional coverage before you go on holiday. Try not to buy the insurance from the vehicle rental company unless you have no other choice, as this will usually be the most expensive option.


Read The Rental Terms Carefully – And Stick To Them

If you’ll be travelling to several different countries with your rental vehicle, it’s important to understand the regulations of the hire company in terms of crossing borders.

For example, if you’re in continental Europe most car rental agencies will allow you to drive to other European countries – providing that you inform them in advance that you’re going to do so, and that you buy extra insurance. The same holds true for car rentals in the USA; with advance notice, many agencies will allow you to take the car to Canada or Mexico, for example.

Ask too about the hire company’s cancellation policy. Some allow you to cancel without a penalty as long as you cancel before a deadline, while others will charge a cancellation fee in almost all circumstances – generally, this will be the price of one day’s vehicle rental.

When reserving the car, ask about the hire company’s cancellation policy and stick to it in order to avoid hefty fees.