I was always a bit afraid of renting a car when traveling. It was mainly because of rumours that any car rental company will try to somehow rip you off. Be it the obligatory extra insurance, penalty for paying by debit card (and not credit card), paying extra for gas (full-to-empty) and many more.
But later I realized that having a car at hand makes your travelling much more enjoyable. Mainly because you can visit places which are hard to reach by bus. And also because it saves time — we were usually working in the morning and visiting places in the afternoon — which is hard to do when you have to catch a specific bus.
I’ve prepared a list of 5 things you should check before renting a car.
I have one money-saving tip for you — always rent a car for longer period of time (e.g. for the whole two-weeks stay) because the price drops rapidly with longer rentals. For example, it costs around 40 € to rent a car for a single day, but we paid just 200 € for renting it for two whole weeks.
Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement :-) I’m recommending them because we were really happy every time we rented from them.
There are several car rental companies operating in Canary Islands. We used Cicar every time we rented a car, because they check all the boxes from the list below. I do recommend you book the car online so they have it available when you arrive.
One story from Fuerteventura. We booked a cheap Opel Corsa online, but when we arrived to the airport, the car we chose was not available. So instead they gave us upgrade to new shiny Opel Astra for the same price which was really cool.
First thing you have to check is if the car is fully (100%) insured without excess. Otherwise, you may be required to pay some money in case something happens with the car.
If there are more drivers in your group, it makes sense to include them in the rental contract. If you won’t do it, they can’t drive the car, because they won’t be covered by insurance. Some companies offer it for free, but some not.
Some companies limit the number of kilometres you can use the car for, so don’t forget to check it, if you plan to do a lot of driving.
If you have the simple case of renting the car at the airport when you arrive and returning it to the same place when you are leaving, you are fine. But if you have more complex travel plans, check the conditions for returning the car. For example we rented a car in Fuerteventura airport but returned it in the Corrajelo when we were about to board a ferry to Lanzarote. Some companies would want to charge you for this, so be carefull.
There are several possibilities how it works with gas. It can either be full-to-full (you get the car with a full tank and you refuel it just before returning. Sometimes you are supposed to refuel it just to same level as it was (e.g. 3⁄4). The worst option is Full-to-Empty, because they charge you for the full tank of fuel when you rent the car and they don’t care how much is left when you return it.
OK, that’s it. Be careful and happy driving!