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Before you hire a car


About 15% of Europeans going on holiday this year are planning to hire a car. This means over 10 million car rental contracts. However, milions of drivers never do amything to check the security of their cars before setting off on a journey, as indicated by the Goodyear Dunlop research as part of ‘Leave Prepared, Arrive Safe’ campaign.The study suggests that almost 60% of European drivers forget even about the most simple security check. Although half of them do remember about taking their favourite CDs, only about 40% check if their car comes with a fire extinguisher. What’s more, less than one in every three drivers check the condition of the tyres.Statistically speaking, the attitude of drivers differ from country to country. Only about 32% of French tourists check if their car has a first-aid kit. But as many as 86% of Russians admit they would never go on a car trip without a first-aid kit.

Can anybody rent a car?

Of course not . It pretty much is different with various car rental companies, in some of them the driver has to be at least 21, in others, who need to have a valid driving license for at least two years. In yet other companies, you need to hold a credit card to be able to hire a car. Usually, when signing a contract, you need to provide another document apart from your driving license.

What should you check before signing the contract?

First of all, read it very carefully. With big rental companies you should have no problems hiring a car, but in smaller ones, where offers might be cheaper, not reading the contract carefully enough, might cost you a lot. You should find out if the car insurance is included in the price, and what are the conditions. It may turn out that you’ll have to pay for the smallest scratches on the car body or if the car gets stolen. So if the insurance is not included, it’s wiser to shell out several euros or pounds more, and save yourself some stress or worries.  You should always have the contract with you when driving, as it is the very document that gives you permission to drive this particular car. Some of the companies have a daily limit of kilometrage. When returning the car, make sure you refuel the car to the full. It’s a very important thing to remember, as some companies may charge you extra if you forget to do it. The same might happen if you return the car at a later time than stated in your contract. Usually if you’re late you will have to pay for another day. But some companies meet their clients half-way and allow them to return the car in another country. This is however a more expensive service and is usually offered by the largest rental companies only.

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