How Rental Car works.

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Link Italian⏩
After my misadventure in Mali Lošinj, Croatia (link ⏩ ) I was able to experience first-hand the rental car experience.
Indeed, several years ago, I was renting cars for clients of the company where I worked.
This has led me to have a more detailed knowledge of the subject, which, very often, we do not stop to check.

How to choose a rental car for the holidays.

There are many rental sites or comparisons of different companies.
Excluding basic search, that is: enter the dates on which we will need the car and enter the place of collection and return; We must compare prices by company and displacement, but we must also take into account at least 10 points listed here.

1° Depending on your destination you will have to look for the type of car to rent.
A year ago, I rented a Fiat Panda 4x4 because I had to go to the mountains for August.
While returning from Gorizia to Turin with suitcases, stock and Strillo (my cat), I booked a Fiat Punto station wagon.

Why did I book these car models?
The Panda 4x4 is perfect for steep, narrow and curved mountain roads.
While for a long trip with lots of luggage, it only served the station wagon. I must also say that traveling with the Fiat Punto diesel 1600 CC was wonderful.
Obviously, everything changes if you have to go to a country like Croatia, where you will need a spacious car, but not as long as a station wagon.
Why? Because otherwise, you won't be able to walk some streets and find parking.
Especially on certain roads of Croatia, you will need a compact SUV or similar.

2° Car consumption.
Car rentals differentiate cars by class. The classes are divided according to the size of the car and the displacement.
When you buy a car, you take into account not only the aesthetics and displacement of the engine, but also the consumption.
So if you rent a car, you have to take into account the consumption for the km to travel and the type of road.
Remember to compare multiple rentals or sites to find the best price with the same required displacement.
Also: The agency gives availability of a car with that displacement and class, but it is not said that at the time of pickup you will find the exact model you saw on the site during booking. Don't worry, the agency will still give you a car with the characteristics of the one you booked.
But if you've booked an SUV, they can't give you a Smart.

3° The availability of pickup and the time of the return of the car.
Usually, in Italy all rental agencies are closed at night, on Sundays and with time slots; with exceptions for airports. Some car rentals also have the option of returning, but not of withdrawal, with a "letterbox".
So you must not only check that the rental car is open at the time you need, but also that it is open for the return of the car.
Generally, paying extra you can return the car to another location, always of the same company.
Be careful though, because every now and then car rentals can get the data wrong: before taking the car check in detail the time and day of return. (It happened to me!)

4° Check the full clauses at the start and return.
Basically, all rental contracts provide the return of the car with a full tank. They give you the car with the full tank and you will have to return it full and clean.
But in some contracts, there is also a limitation of Km. So, on the return, you risk having to pay extra because you have made more km than those indicated by the contract.

5° Check the coverage of their insurance and in case add another insurance.
Basically, the contract provides for basic insurance with coverage deductibles. These basic deductibles are very limited. So it's good to add a plus (which obviously has a cost). You can make additional insurance directly at the pickup agency or through external sites.
If you choose an external site, you should take out insurance before going to pick up the car and bring the documents with you. An example: Assicurazionianoleggio.it

6° Check the driver's age limit clause.
Almost all of them request expert guidance and the price can change (and rise) in the case of new drivers or under 25.

7° Check the costs for adding a driver.
The price you find when searching for a rental car includes only 1 driver. You can request the addition of a driver paying the difference. The rental will cost more, but it is advisable, especially for long trips.

8° Check if it is possible to travel over the Italian border.
When booking and picking up your car, you need to make sure that it is covered to travel outside the Italian border.
Some companies may require a price increase or not rent the vehicle.
Also, make sure you have all the insurance documentation with you when you travel.
Nb. It may happen that some rental companies (e.g. in Sardinia) do not provide the chance of return to another destination in Italy, because they would risk being left without cars.

9° At the time of withdrawal, check the bodywork and interior for damage.
Before you take the car and leave, check inside and outside.
Also, check the mileage count for the same amount on the charters.
In case of damage, you should immediately report it to the staff.
This is necessary because you risk having to pay a penalty at the time of return for damages, for example to the bodywork, not made by you.

10° payment methods: which credit card?
All car rentals require either the credit card, which must be registered to the rental signer, or a security deposit, which will be returned to you when the car is returned.
A credit card is all those cards with embossed numbers that are part of the Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners circuit.
Specifically: all those cards that you swipe and you find yourself charged to the account a month later!
So you can't use the ATM or Postepay or all those rechargeable cards.

What sites do I use to rent a car?

For the last rentals, I relied on Rentalcars, which I must say also has a very good customer service system and very competitive prices.
It is no coincidence that I have requested the affiliation for the blog and I am advising family and friends to do research on this site. :) As for the actual rental agencies, on average they are all great. The most affordable remain the Europcar and the Major. Avis is more expensive, but it always has cars of large displacements.


Booking.com


Curiosity:
All rental cars have a life of up to two years. Then car rentals resell cars to buy new ones. So you will always find particularly new cars that are checked and cleaned every time, before delivery to customers.

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