Hiring a car in Spain

Aug 05 2013

Hiring a car in Spain

• Avoid Unexpected Fees … When you come to hire a car there are always hidden fees deep down in the terms and conditions, and this is particularly prominent in Spain.

• There are several different ways that car hire companies get extra money out of their customers ranging from additional insurance, all the way to fuel deposits. Some of these costs are avoidable and some aren’t; however, you always should be aware of what you are going to have to pay before you arrive at the desk. Take note of our top tips when it comes to hiring a car in Spain and avoid unexpected car hire fees.

FUEL DEPOSIT – FULL TO EMPTY … This is normal in Spain, car hire companies give you a car with a full tank of fuel which you pay for, doesn’t sound that bad right? Wrong. You pay over the price that you would if you were to fill up at a pump and it’s almost near impossible to get the car back to them at the end of your rental with a completely empty tank and they benefit from every little drop of fuel that you leave.

• Avoidable? … This fee isn’t avoidable unfortunately. However, it’s always good to be aware of this as the cost of the fuel gets added to the price of your rental at the desk and you should always try to run down the fuel metre as low as possible when you come to return the car – you will be surprised how many people don’t realise this cost and fill up the tank before they give the car back to the rental company.

ADDITIONAL INSURANCE – COST PER DAY … Often the car rental companies will talk you into taking additional insurance as it’s regularly surrounded with appealing words such as no deposit and no excess. Don’t fall for it if you can help yourself, granted some people need the no deposit but always remember that if you get your deposit back at the end of the rental it’s not worth paying the extra 7 euros a day for additional insurance that you don’t need, so don’t be talked into getting it if you don’t need to.

• Some brokers offer debit card car hire which is a rare offer, but they require that you take the additional insurance which is due to the actual rental supplier. The good thing about brokers is that they will always make you aware of these costs beforehand, whereas the car rental suppliers won’t.

• A tip to avoid this if you only have a debit card is if you are travelling with someone that has a credit card and a licence, use them as a main driver and put yourself on as an additional driver which is often free in Spain.

YOUNG DRIVER CHARGES – HIDDEN … When you come to look at the terms for hiring a car online it’s not often made clear that if you are a young driver aged between 21-25, then you will have to pay an additional daily fee as a young driver. This is down to the insurance needed to cover young drivers. The thing about this, however, is it’s hard to find in the terms and you often don’t realise this cost until you get to the counter.

• If you are a young driver you will always have to pay a surcharge unless there is a special offer on, but always ask before you pick up the car and beware that 90 per cent of the time you will be charged with this daily fee.

AVOID SHOCK CHARGES ALL TOGETHER – GO WITH A BROKER … These charges are all sneaky and devious in their own ways and the least you can do is be made aware of them.

• If you book direct with the rental companies they won’t make you aware of the cost because they simply want to charge you more, the best thing to do from experience is book through a broker such as Indigo Car Hire, because they will always tell you the charges before you go and let you know of the total rental price even if some of the costs are unavoidable.

Article by Mat McCorry of Indigo Car Hire