Rent a car on holidays – it’s not that easy!
Renting a car seems to be a very simple task, however, it’s not that easy! It is enough to have a personal ID or a driver’s license, a credit card and you can pick up the car from a rental company. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. You can be very suprised when your credit card will be charged for a large sum of money. How to avoid this?
Goldcar, Hertz, Europcar, or maybe someone else?
On the Iberian Peninsula, car rental companies can be divided into 3 categories. The first are global players like Hertz or Europcar. Their customer service points are found at practically every airport. What is important their local offices can also be found in many countries. In case of later problems, you can solve them in your own country. The second group are large national companies like Goldcar or Rhodium. The third are small local firms with several cars. What are the differences – you will find out below.
Full, empty or refill – fuel options
Well, the first important aspect to consider when choosing a car is the refueling method. After searching the internet I realized that the best option is FULL-FULL. Why? The flex fuel option means that the rental company charge a deposit for a full tank and then, depending on how much fuel we leave, charge the right amount of money. In addition, this amount is increased by a one-time fee associated with the replenishment of the fuel tank (15-20 euros). Of course, the price of fuel in the rental company is higher (around 30 cents). Therefore, it is worth to go to the gas station yourself and refuel the car. We often get a car not with a full tank, but with 3/8 full. Rental company count on you leaving extra gasoline in the tank
Buy insurance or not?
Buying additional insurance is the most important and most expensive aspect of renting a car. In Spain and Portugal it can be compared to roulette with a rental company. Why? Firstly, becouse of the way southerners drive and park. There is a big chance that your car will get some extra scratch. Secondly, when you pick up a car from rental company it is very likely that it has a dozen of scratches already. If you do not take any additional insurance (cost about 25-30 euros / day), the rental company will block your credit card for 1200-1500 euros, in case of possible damage (you must have such a limit – debit card is not acceptable). The first thing you need to do is PRECISELY watch the car and compare it with the vehicle card that you will get at the time of rental. It is best to do it with a rental company worker. Then be armed with iron nerves and you can chase down the pleasant Spanish roads. Then be armed in nerve of steel and you can start your journey. If you buy additional insurance you are not interested in technical condition of the car and have a calm head. It is better to buy insurance at the pick-up point rather than the website. Our friend told us that after buying on the website, at the local point they told her that it is not valid and has to pay again.
You don’t have a credit card?
Practically, all rental companies want us to have a credit card with the name of the renting person who is also the driver of the car. If you do not have it, you have 2 possibilites. The first are the banks that offer credit card offhand. In Poland it is Citibank and BNP Paribas. In these banks you will get a credit card, often free, though with a rather small credit line. Although the digits on the card are printed, not extruded, I had no problem renting a car. The second option are small local rental companies that offer car for cash only, with full insurance. And it is not a much more expensive option, if we want to take full insurance anyway.
So what to choose?
There is no one good answer. All rental companies have something on conscience. If you search for Goldcars opinion you will find that it has a fatal (1.8 / 5 rating and a lot of negative comments). Then you will go to Spain or Portugal and you will see that most of people are driving cars with their logo. In our opinion, it is worth to choose a car with full insurance in a smaller rental (luzcar, zitauto) in FULL-FULL option and enjoy the holiday.
Rent a car in Faro?
The vast majority of tourists visiting the Algarve choose to rent a car which is absolutely justified. Big companies like Hertz have their points at the airport and their car parks are a bit away from it. Regarding all smaller rental companies like zitauto, luzcar, car rent, rent a car etc., there is a container in front of the terminal at the parking lot 4 (P4). You will find there a company representative. After he write down your data (driver’s license number, personal id, credit card) and you sign the transfer protocol and he will take you to your car.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to write us, and we will try to answer 🙂