Things to know to get a rental car safely


The reason? Soon said: the basic rental rate does not include practically any insurance protection in the event of damage to the vehicle, to passengers or in the case of theft, so you are practically obliged to add “options” that make the actual cost rise dramatically, but which are practically mandatory if you want to be sure of spending a quiet and peaceful holiday.

1) To hire a car you must have a driving license for at least 1 year

To hire a car you must of course be in possession of a valid driving license, generally issued for at least 1 year.

Car hire companies often check to see if we have had a driver’s license for at least 2 or 3 years.

2) To hire a car, you must have a credit card

To rent a car (even if the payment is made at the same time as picking up the car at the company desk) it is almost always mandatory to have a credit card (those with raised numbers so to speak).

3) There are restrictions for younger drivers who want to hire a car

Some cars cannot be rented at standard rates by younger drivers (generally up to 25 years, 28 years for some models).

Exceptions for younger drivers (generally starting at 21 or 23 depending on the model, and not for all models) are allowed by paying an additional fee that is generally quite expensive and raises the overall cost of the rental significantly

4) When you hire a car, be very careful about which type of insurance to choose

This is really the most painful note, and the aspect to which you have to pay more attention when you take a rental car.

Generally included in the rental rate there is a very basic insurance coverage, which in most cases includes only the RCA (civil liability towards third parties), which however does not include the coverage of driver damage.

On this aspect long term car rental companies are not joking and if something happens to you without being adequately insured your holidays can turn into a real nightmare, and your wallet can become much, much lighter.

5) When you hire a car, pay close attention to the fuel option

The car rental companies generally provide two options with regards to fuel management: either the ” full-full ” option, which involves the delivery of the car full of fuel that you have to return with the full, or the ” full- empty “, which provides for the delivery of the machine with the full and the cost of the missing fuel on delivery, which obviously is charged to your credit card, at a price per liter definitely higher than that charged by distributors.

6) When you hire a car, you can choose the “limited mileage” option, the “unlimited mileage” option

Some rental rates include a limited daily mileage included in the price, which if paid in advance involves the payment of an additional cost upon return of the vehicle, and which will obviously be withheld on your credit card.

7) When you need to hire a car, consider carefully whether to take it on petrol or diesel

Obviously moving with a patrol car costs you more than moving with a diesel car, but the rate for the rental of diesel cars is slightly higher, though not excessively.

Also in this case the economic convenience depends on how many kilometers you are planning to travel. I always choose diesel cars, even if I don’t expect to go far, maybe because my car is diesel so I’m so used to it and I don’t risk mistaking the wrong fuel.

8) When you hire a car, you can choose to deliver it to an agency other than the pick-up location

The standard rates for rental cars obviously include the return of the vehicle to the same agency where you picked it up. However, you can decide to leave it in another agency, for example if you are planning a trip that includes a return from another airport or if the car serves you only for part of the journey.

This option is generally very expensive, because car rental companies have to bear the cost of returning the car to the agency of origin. So even in this case you have to do your accounts well.

9) If you think you are not the only one to drive the rental car, you must charge a surcharge

The rental car can be driven only by the person who signs the contract, which is then the holder of the credit card and the license which is registered at the time of delivery.

If you think you are not driving the car during the rental period (or if you are also guided by those traveling with you) you must report it at the time of collection and pay the relevant surcharge.

The company will add the name of all persons authorized to drive the car in the contract and the insurance policy. Attention, it is not a small detail. Because, if by chance you have an accident with the rental car and the driver is a different person from the one who is registered, the insurance does not cover.

So in this case trying to be smart is too risky in my opinion.

10) Do you plan to use the rental car to go to a foreign country or long-term?

The rental car can normally circulate only in the country where the rental began. If you plan to use it to go to another country, you must tell it when you pick up and pay a surcharge for this option as well.

Also in this case, be careful to be smart, because if something happens to you the insurance does not cover. And then the car rental companies always know where their cars are because they have satellite anti-theft devices that constantly track the position, so it is very likely that at the time of delivery they will still charge you the expected surcharge.

11) The rental of child seats for infants and children is not included in the rate

The car seats for children are divided into three bands, depending on the weight of the child: up to 9 kg, from 9 to 18 kg and above 18 kg, and if you have to rent it for a week save if you buy it and then left at the airport when you leave.