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What to look for when renting a car

What to look for when renting a car

The world of online car rental is a jungle with numerous websites offering cars at various pricing levels. How do you find your way through this jungle? In the article below we try to outline the important items to look for before pressing that "book now" button.

Unlimited mileage

In most cases, worldwide car rental agencies such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar offer unlimited mileage on their products. However, there are exceptions such as (more) luxury vehicles, or some rentals in countries where the average driving distance is relatively big (e.g. Australia).

Make sure to check the terms and conditions to see whether the selected vehicle has unlimited mileage or not. If not, get informed about additional costs per kilometer.

Insurance (CDW, TP and more)

In most cases, rental cars in Europe are equipped (standard) with CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and TP (Theft Protection).

However, the terms of this insurance are not always the same and in many cases, you are still responsible for the deductible. Most suppliers offer a reduction of this deductible, but fees for this kind of insurance at the counter are pretty expensive.

There are also brokers who offer a package called "refundable excess." In case of damage or theft you will pay the deductible, but if you can supply the broker with the right forms, you will be reimbursed. In most cases, you will still be held responsible for damaging keys, windows, tires and the bottom of the car.

Car group / ACRISS standard

If you book a specific car online, let's say a Ford Ka, you will never be sure that you will actually get this type and brand of car.

You always book a certain car group, not a specific brand / model. The supplier is entitled to supply you with a similar vehicle. The car groups are defined by the ACRISS standard.

For example, if you book a Ford Ka (two doors, air condition), you have actually booked a EBMR class car. Instead of a Ford Ka, the supplier can also offer a Renault Twingo, which falls in the same category.

Fuel policy

Usually, you receive the car with a full tank (fuel) and you have to hand it back with full tank too. In some cases though, you will be charged for the first tank, and then they expect you to hand it back without fuel.

In practice, you will never completely empty the tank, and the price they charge for the first tank is usually much higher than one would normally pay at the petrol station. A cheap rental car can turn out to be quite expensive if such a case.

Price

Looking for the right price in the car rental business will definitely pay off. Cheaper cars are not necessarily "worse" cars.

Sometimes, a car offered through a broker can cost you half of what it would cost you if booked directly even though you will end up with the exact same car! Just make sure you check the terms and conditions carefully.

Read the terms & conditions

If you have carefully read the above, you will notice a single hint is repeated in all paragraphs. 

I would like to repeat it just once more: Read the terms and conditions carefully!

For online comparison of car rental prices visit EasyTerra.com

Tjeerd

Author

Tjeerd Kramer

Tjeerd Kramer is the owner of an online car rental comparison platform. The main websites reside under the EasyTerra domain portfolio. The Dutch version can be found at "http://www.easyterra.nl/"...

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