So let’s start with the essential factors for renting a car. Not prepaid credit card in the name of the person booking the cheap car rentals: by now it has become mandatory, I think it is no longer possible to rent a car without a card. Many years ago it was possible, I did it in Scotland, I don’t know how yet but a local rental company let me rent a nice Peugeot.
Minimum age: 21 years.
Valid driving licence: it seems obvious to me but it is right to specify it. To this I add that to rent a car abroad you may need an international driving licence . The large remaining amount on the credit card: you will need it for the deposit when you pick up the car.
What should you consider before hiring a car?
As far as Italy is concerned, the only things you need to pay attention to are the ones I mentioned in the previous point.
For a trip abroad it is better to consider a couple of other things. First, check that the Pakistan driving license can be used, otherwise, I wrote a very useful post on how to do it and where the international driving license is needed.
Secondly, find out about the type of driving (right or left) and what the rules of the highway code are. Driving in Great Britain involves difficulties such as shifting on the left hand, so you could possibly opt for the automatic transmission. As far as the rules of the code are concerned, I’ll give you an example… in Mexico for any event that occurs on the roadway (works in progress, road limited to one lane, sudden slowdowns, town centre), everyone turns on the 4 flashing arrows. At first I was struck by the thing, usually in Italy the 4 arrows are used in moments of sudden slowdown as a signal, or simply when stopped at the roadside. So my advice is to inform you as much as possiblewhat are the main characteristics of the highway code of the country you are going to.
What is the price of a car rental?
There are many variables that affect the final price, I will try to summarize the main ones:
Age of the driver : the minimum age to rent is 21 years old. Drivers under the age of 25 pay an additional surcharge. Perhaps a somewhat obsolete concept since there are also people who get their driving license at an advanced age. Anyway this is the rule.
Presence or absence of additional drivers : in the case of long and high-mileage rentals, it is advisable to add an additional driver. It too will have to comply with the rules relating to the license that I told you about a few lines above. You will pay a daily fee for each additional driver.
Drop-off: You will incur an additional (large) fee if you rent a car in location A and return it in location B as opposed to if the itinerary was from location A to location A. This is very important when planning the budget. On the road, it affects a lot on the definition of the itinerary, be careful.
Deductible removal: to travel without worries there is the possibility of limiting one’s liability by paying a higher rate which eliminates this deductible.
Auto Segment: Trivial but I’ll specify it anyway. A Smart will certainly not have the same daily cost as a Jeep.
Request or not of some accessories: do you want a navigator? snow chains? the seat for the child? All are optional with a daily fee.
How and where to book the rental? What to watch out for?
Rent on-site at the counters of the various companies present in the airports or scattered around the cities.
Rent online, on aggregators or directly on the sites of the car rental company.
I usually prefer to leave having organized the trip in a rather precise way. I book online so as not to waste time upon my arrival. I already know how much I’m going to spend and I’ve already budgeted for my trip.
My advice is to rely on comparators. Like booking for hotels, these aggregators allow you to enter the rental location, dates and times and do the research for you: they analyze the various companies’ prices and provide you with a list of possibilities. Once chosen, you can proceed to rent the car directly on these sites. I have always used this rental method and have never had any surprises. At the time of booking, the costs are summarized in a precise manner and the estimate is sent to you directly by email. Up to a few days before the rental date, the estimate can be modified or cancelled.
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