Europe Hotels Articles

July 5, 2010

Traveling Overseas? Watch Out For These Fees From Your Car Rental Company

When you travel abroad you will face a lot of different fees from different places. Taxes are going to be different, you will pay additional security fees for your airfare, and you will even pay fees to exchange your money! One place you can save money on these fees, however, is with the car rental company, or car hire company as they are known in Europe. When you are renting a car overseas, watch out for these common fees, and don’t pay them if you don’t need to!

Service Fee for Booking at the Counter

When you are traveling overseas, make sure you book your car rental early. Even if you do it the night before you need the car, you will save money. Renting the car from the counter will always cost more, and sometimes quite a bit more. Call the car hire company before you need the car to reserve one, or use the Internet to make your booking.

Also, try to make your arrangements before you leave America. You will find that this saves you money, as you will not have to worry about exchange rates or contracts written in a foreign language. Remember, if you sign a contract that has hidden fees or clauses in it, you are bound to pay those fees of follow those clauses. When you do your car rental booking in the States, you will be given a contract in English.

Late Return Charges

Late return charges are a common fee that car hire companies charge, yet this one is quite easy to avoid. Find out the specific time that you need to return the car. This will be different with each company. Some will start your rental day at the time you rent the car, while others have a specific hour that they expect cars to be returned. Even if you return the car on the right day, if it is returned at the wrong time you will be charged a late return fee. This can be as much as a full day’s rental, even if the car is just an hour late.

Gas Charges

Like car rental companies in the United States, car hire companies overseas will usually charge a gas charge. Find out if you can return the car on full to avoid this charge. The car rental company is going to charge more for the gas than you will pay at the fuel station. This gas charge may not be thoroughly explained to you when you pick up the car, so make sure you ask about it. Remember, once the car hire company has your credit card, you can be charged any fees outlined in the contract, even if they do not explain the fee to you verbally.

Consider Driving a Stick

In Europe, manual transmissions are more common than automatic transmissions. If you need to rent an automatic, you will pay an additional fee. If you know how to drive a stick shift, you should use one to save money on the car rental.

Have Drivers Who Are the Right Age

Most car hire companies will charge an additional fee for young or old drivers. Those who are under 25 or over 70 will cost more as drivers on your rental agreement. To avoid this fee, try to have someone in your group who is between 25 and 70 to serve as the driver. Additionally, you will pay a fee if you add more than one driver to the contract.

Renting a car overseas requires a bit of planning ahead and some research, but it can be a fairly pleasant experience. Make sure you know what fees to watch for, avoid them when possible, and rent the car that you need to enjoy your trip. Soon you will be on the road exploring the country of your choice in a comfortable, and affordable, rental car.

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