Europe Hotels Articles

April 3, 2010

Tips on Car Hire in Spain

Strategically located at the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and being separated from North Africa by only 14 km of water, Spain has been a crossroad to numerous civilizations in the history. Occupying the southwest corner (Iberian Peninsula) of Europe, Spain happens to be the third largest country of the continent after Russia and France. It is comprised of 17 autonomous regions, the island groups of Canaries in the Atlantic and the Balearics in the Mediterranean and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

With more than 300 days of the sun, sand and sea it is not difficult to see why Spain happens to be the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the world. And this is precisely the reason why Spain is easily accessible from any part of the world, with most of its visitors arriving by air. Cheap flights are available, on daily basis, from almost every major airport in the world and nearly all the major airlines operate in and out of Spain. Apart from this, Spain is well connected to rest of Europe by trains and ferry link services, while the intercontinental tourists can hire a car and drive down to this country by some amazing roadways.

Once in Spain, the best way to explore this country is by hiring a car, which can really open up your travel horizons and let you explore some untouched and undiscovered locales. Drive your way, a few miles inland, away from the crowded coastline to explore the most scenic countryside in Western Europe. Hilltop monasteries, flower carpeted mountainsides, medieval age relics, quaint villages with cobbled paths, follow the winding roads crisscrossing the vineyards and olive orchards to discover some of the most scenic spots of this country. With a bit of planning in advance driving in Spain can be very easy. So car hire is indeed the most realistic option for you.

Here are some valuable tips on the Do and Don’ts of car hire in Spain.

1. Plan in advance:

With a trip itinerary in your hand, you would not want to end up stranded at the airport with no clue of how to go around the city or even reach your hotel. Though there are numerous car hire companies at your service at the airports, you surely do not want to spend most of your time trying to decide on the one that caters to your needs. Plus you should be aware of the many spurious car hire companies which will give you an unreliable car at some absurd prices with many hidden costs and so forth. Avoid such places, and book a car with a reliable car rental provider. Make your vacation hassle free by doing some research into the area you intend visiting and the car hire services available in the same. Browse through some reviews and real experiences on the internet which would help you decide where to hire a car from during your holidays.

2. Booking a car:

After a full internet search carefully compare and contrast the offers made by the car hire companies. Compare the companies on parameters such as types of cars offered, car hire rates, mileage, pick up and delivery point of the car, fuel charges, insurance coverage, etc. Some companies offer good package deals (like if you are traveling to more than one destination in the region) which turn out to be pretty economical in comparison to booking a car afresh every time you reach the next destination. Also, always keep a printed copy of your confirmation with you while traveling to avoid any last moment confusions.

3. Look out for the hidden costs:

Many car hire companies do not communicate the hidden costs in their quoted rates, for e.g. you might just end up paying some extra amount for choosing a pick up or drop point different from that offered by the company. Feel free to ask your queries about the terms n number of times before confirming.

You could be charged extra if you ask for a car topped with fuel, or don’t return the car with a full tank and these charges could be way more than that at the gas station.

Insurance, covers any damage to the vehicle while in your possession, and can add up a good amount of those extra bucks to your rental quotes.

While there are a few companies making quotes, all inclusive of insurance coverage, most companies charge an additional insurance amount. Also sometimes your banks offer some kind of insurance policies if you use their services elsewhere, so check if car insurance is one of them. You might not need an additional insurance at all!

4. Mileage:

Some car rental providers offer, unlimited mileage, while others offer only a few miles free and charge the remaining. Choose a service provider as per your traveling plans.

5. Taxes:

Depending on where from you hire a car, you could be charged additional taxes.

Airport taxes, value added taxes in Europe could be a costly affair, thus it’s always wise to check with your car hire service provider whether or not these are included in your car rental rates.

6.Time:

Many companies rent a car on a 24 hours basis while the other do it on a day and date basis i.e. you need to return the car on xyz date at any time of the day. The former case is a bit tricky, because if you return the car even a few minutes after the given time/hour you could be unnecessarily charged for an additional 24 hours.

Whatever be your vacation plan be sure to work out all the details of your car hire with the concerned company in details and be sure to go through their terms and conditions, policies etc carefully before finalizing your booking.

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