All about: hiring a car on holiday

May, 28 2018

Driving to your holiday destination by car gives a great feeling of freedom, but sometimes also results in long car journeys. Therefore, it can take quite a long time to reach the south of Spain or Croatia. To make it easier for yourself, another option is to book your accommodation at the campsite, fly to your destination and then drive to the campsite from the airport in a hire car. The perfect, relaxing start to your holiday!

A rental car gives you flexibility: you can head to a nearby village for dinner in the evening or explore that beautiful neighbouring nature park. What do you need to be aware of when hiring a car and which are the best car rental companies?

Booking a car

If you would you like to hire a car in the high season, it’s advisable to book with a car hire company beforehand. That way you can be sure that your chosen car is available and avoid unpleasant surprises at the airport. Booking in advance often saves money too, which also means cheaper car hire.

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If you want to play it safe because you’re not yet sure how long you want to hire the car for, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before booking. In many cases, you will be able to cancel the booking free of charge until a few days before the date of collection. It is also advisable not to select the smallest model, but to think carefully about how much space you and your family need in the car. If you’re planning to have a few days out and about with the whole family while on holiday, it’s nice to have some leg room and boot space during the journey.

Once you have found the right car, check the deposit conditions, insurance provisions and fuel requirements as well. How do you return the car and does the tank need to be refilled? Is there a kilometre limit? You can usually find this kind of information on the car hire company’s website and otherwise in their general terms and conditions.

If you are looking for cheap car hire and you’d like an easy overview of all the options, go to Happycar.com. This website allows you to filter by price, car class and insurance type, to find the right car for you.

Collecting the car

When you go to collect your car, it’s a good idea to check a few things before stepping in and driving away. You will of course need to show your driving licence and passport or ID card.

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What else you need to aware of:

  • Are the details (of the car hire company, your details, the car make and model and the licence plate) in hire contract correct?
  • Is the mileage correct?
  • Is the hire period correct?
  • Walk around the car to make sure any existing damage is noted down. If necessary, take photos, so that you can prove that the damage existed before you took the car.
  • Is the car insured with the car hire company? And what is the damage excess?
  • Make a note of the car hire company’s contact details in case you break down while using the car.

Returning the car

Depending on whether you intend to tour around or stay in one place, you can return the car to a different location. Once you arrive at the drop-off location, it’s a good idea to fill the tank if this has been agreed. And check that you haven’t exceeded the mileage. Have a look at the final bill to make sure that the car hire company has returned all of your deposit.

If the freedom of a hire car appeals to you, start getting in the holiday mood by booking comfortable accommodation in southern Europe and arranging your car hire today!

Esther Schaap
  • Auteur: Esther Schaap
  • Esther is a huge travel enthusiast, whether it's a city trip or a camping holiday. She has just one requirement – the area must have enough museums and ancient architecture for her to get her 'dose' of culture. She loves to go to France, Spain and Italy.

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