Posted on April 17 2018
Look and Read!
Read the contract carefully after it is issued and don’t leave the office before doing so. Pay attention to all items ticked as “accepted” or “declined”. Make sure you understand all charges and, if in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask. Dispute any weird charge immediately or you will have to pay for them.
Check the fuel type that your rental car needs. Putting in the wrong fuel is regarded as negligence and all CDW cover is withdrawn.
Inspect the car vehicle. Make sure that every tiny scratch or dent is correctly marked on the contract. Otherwise, if it is not listed and you see it after the contract is signed you may end up having to pay for it even if it is not your fault.
International Driving Permits
If you’re an American or Canadian citizen travelling to an English-speaking country, it is very likely that your driver’s license will be all you need. However, many other countries will ask that you obtain an International Driving Permit or IDP.
The IDP is a piece of paper that translates your information into 10 different languages and it is recognized in more than 100 countries. Many rental agencies abroad ask you to present one along with your regular license from home so make sure you ask in advance if you’ll need one as it can only be issued in your home country.
In the US, there are only two agencies authorized to issue IDPs: the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
It is advisable that you check the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to find out its policies on international drivers.
Are You Covered?
Leaving the decision on insurance coverage to the last moment, when you are at the rental desk and need to pick your car it’s not a good idea. On the contrary, it is advisable that you look into your options well in advance.
It is very likely that your car insurance policy includes car rental damage insurance if you have paid extra for this coverage. However, if you have to make a claim, you may be asked to pay a deductible between $500-$1500 and your policy will increase by up to 44%
Relying on your credit card is not a good idea. Even though many of them have some level of car rental insurance coverage the truth is that it is only secondary insurance. In other words, it can only be used if you have no primary insurance options. In addition, it usually includes exceptions hidden in the fine print such as hail damage, diminished value or loss-of-use not being covered.
Third party car rental damage insurance, such as the one offered by Bonzah.com is a wise and savvy option. It offers a primary insurance, meaning that if you make a claim you will not have to use your auto insurance and, therefore, you won’t have to pay any deductible or auto premium increases. The insurance coverage offered is affordable and reliable.
Play By The Rules
Driving on the left side of the road can be a big and obvious challenge but different countries have different rules that are equally important but not that much known. Make sure you look into and study the local rules for drivers. Can you turn right on red? Can the slow lane be used for passing? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you avoid a surprise fine.
Now that you know everything you need to know, you’re ready to rent a car in a foreign destination. Good trip and enjoy your holidays!