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Rent a car: low-cost prices might hide extra costs

This is something I hear everyday, «I rented a car with this company because it looked much cheaper than any other one. I knew I might get unwanted surprises but I gave it a try».

There is nothing wrong to try to get the best price for the same value but it can get difficult to compare prices within the rent a car industry so here is our little contribution to it: a little post to underline the most critical points when renting a car.

Most of us use the internet to search for companies that rent cars in the selected destination and we try to compare prices. What we normally find is a huge difference in prices for the same car type depending on the company offering the service.

Today I would like to help you understand why there is such difference and give you a little check list to go through in order to avoid hidden costs and give you the opportunity to compare prices with all the details in hand. Why? Because if you don’t search and sum up all the costs you will end up renting a car to a low-cost company and you will get an older car than the ones on offer in a regular car rental company for the same price or even more expensive, not to mention other low-cost services compare to regular services.

1. First we need to know Where, When and for What purpose and search all available companies in the selected location.

2. In order to compare we must make sure we compare the same car types, locations, dates and times.

3. Make sure we know what is included in the price which normally is:

  • Value Added Taxes (VAT) or other local taxes during the rental period
  • Unlimited mileage, or maximum mileage included and the cost per added miles
  • Airport or Train Station delivery
  • Insurances with deductible (CDW)
  • Theft Protection (TP)
  • Personal Accident Insurances (PAI)
  • One way Domestic

4. Pay close attention to what is NOT included in the price which might be:

  • Fuel: normally the vehicle is delivered with a full tank and shall be returned also full. If for any reason you cannot return the vehicle refueling, the rental company will charge you a fix amount + the missing fuel. But some companies charge you a prefix amount for the fuel and invite you to return the car with an empty tank. Be very careful with this as it will add 60 € to 100 € to the amount you though you would pay.
  • Insurances: If you want a full coverage insurance you can add a Super CDW insurance at an extra cost which varies depending on the rent a car company. Even with this «Super Insurance» some damages might still not be included. Pay particular attention to cover for damage to the windscreen, bodywork, roof, tyres or undercarriage leaving the hirer of the vehicle liable to pay out if damaged. 
  • Mileage: Some prices include unlimited mileage, convenient for those who plan to make more than 300 km/day and lower prices with limited mileage convenient for those making under 300 km/day. Check this too when you compare prices.
  • Delivery and return station: most of the time we ask for delivery and return in the same place but sometimes we might want to have this done in two different places. If this might be the case for you, do check before hand how much they will charge you for this. Also check if there is an extra-charge for delivery at the airport, port or train station.
  • Delivery and return station addresses: Make sure you know where the station is located. It might happen that the delivery station is the Airport but the actual location is «near» the airport and you will need to take a shuttle which will add time to the process.
  • Travel to other countries or islands: some rental cars allow you to travel to other countries or islands some don’t make sure you are aware of this before hand.
  • Extras: In case we need extras like GPS, Child Seat etc … we also need to check the prices before hand as they do vary depending on the company.

Last but not least:

  • Local and low-cost companies usually rent older cars and their rates are cheaper than the national and international companies which offer newer cars and no hidden costs.
  • Once you pick-up your car make sure you always check the car (inside and outside) before you leave the station. Notify them of any damage or if the tank is not full or anything relevant and even take photos.

If you need to rent a car, you can check our prices and locations worldwide here: or contact us. We only work with the leading suppliers worldwide and offer well explained rates with no hidden costs!

Feel free to contact us anytime shall you require anymore information.

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