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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Off-Topic Discussions > Hiring a car abroad



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      10-21-2018, 11:18 AM   #1
nick46
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Hiring a car abroad

What's the crack with hiring a car abroad?
I've never done it before but I'm looking to go to the Spanish Motogp in May next year and was going to fly to Seville and get a car from the airport. I've done a bit of research but it just looks like a complete mine field! I going to need a car for four days and I've looked online through various different sites and seen prices varying wildly - £45 up to around £150 for the same type of small car! What's that all about?
When it comes to insurance I seem to be reading everywhere to avoid the enhanced policy offered by the hire firm and sort my own out, which can be had for around £2-3 per day.
Also when booking a car what do you put for the pick up time if your flight is due in at say 15:00? Would you put the time of flight or put it at around half an hour later?
Same thing when dropping it off. If your flight is due to leave at say 17:00 would you put the time at 17:00 or would you put it a few hours before due to the fact you have to be at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight is due to depart?

I've probably put some very stupid questions in here, but like I've said, I've never done it before and as it seems like a complete and utter mine field with endless potential hidden charges, its all a little daunting and I don't want to get it wrong!

I have been reading up on this but any help and advice from any of you who have actually done it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Nick.
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      10-22-2018, 09:08 AM   #2
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I live in the USA and travel extensively to Africa and rent cars when I go. Here are some pointers I have learned through diligence and sometimes through hard knocks.

1) Stick with the major rental agencies and avoid the budget brands. Even EuroCar tended to be spotty at best. I had the best results with AVIS and HERTZ. You pay a little more, but avoid all the scams by the independently owned agencies.

2) I never buy the extra insurance, except when I go abroad. I know that I am likely flushing money down the toilet, but after being dinged $160 USD for a crappy plastic hubcap that fell off of a VW Polo I was renting, I now just suck it up and add the full coverage.

3) Top off the petrol tank just before returning the car and take a photo with a time stamp of the gas gauge. On more than one occasion, I have had the attendants fill up the tank after I left by just filling up another car and then hitting my credit card with the bill saying I returned the car empty. By having photo proof that it was full when returned, I was able to combat this.

4) Regarding pick up and return times, I always setup the pick up time for about the exact time I am landing, this way I know the car will be ready when I make it to the rental counter a few minutes later. Upon return, I just back into it. If the plane leaves at 12:00 noon, then I say to myself that I need to be at the airport by 10:30am, so I make the rental return time at 10:00.
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      11-02-2018, 03:50 AM   #3
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Renting cars in Spain/Portugal is a ball ache. Most of the cheaper companies (Gold car etc) will insist you take out their insurance or they will put a hold for £1k on your cc and deduct any damages they see. There have been cases where they take out money for damage that was already there!

My advice is to research the rental companies first and check their terms and conditions.
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      12-14-2018, 11:05 AM   #4
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Iíve hired quite a few times in Spain. My advice as the others have said is stick to the larger more reputable companies. Donít get suckered into getting the cheapest from the small companies as they rip you off in other ways. They make it so complicated you donít realise what theyíre up to until itís too late.
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      05-12-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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Well thought I better update this thread now I've returned from Spain.
I ended up using a recommendation from a work colleague and booked a car via a website called 'do you Spain.com' and went with one of the small cheap firms on there called 'Ok car rentals', again as recommended by my mate. Paid absolutely peanuts for the car and had no issues what so ever. I took out the enhanced insurance policy from 'do you Spain.com' to cover the excess should any damage occur. Now this did mean that when I picked the car up the rental company put a Ä1050 block on my credit card due to me not taking out their insurance which was loads more expensive than what I paid. No problem though cos if needed I could just claim this back from my insurance.
Now when it came to the car, I ended up with a Citroen C3 which was pretty gutless (but then again most things would be considering I drive a 330d with 673nm!). I went over the car with a fine tooth combe which I'm glad I did as it was littered with battle scars - some pretty obvious and others not so. The car was black so needless to say it showed up every little mark and blemish. I must've gone round the car four times and I marked down on the form they gave me every single thing. The diagram of the car was pretty much covered in circles and crosses by the time I'd finished with it! I also took photos of everything as there was no way I was being stitched up. The woman that dealt with me was quite amused by my drawings.
On returning the car, I fuelled it up when we got back (there was a fuel station right next to the rental place) and a chap came out with all the paperwork, had a quick look over the car (no where near as thourouh as I did) and all was good. Paperwork was signed off by both of us and we were shuttled back to the airport.
All in all a hassle free experience and a pleasant company to deal with, but I think thats down to me doing my homework and taking my time to check and document everything (there was another couple picking a car up at the same time and they were gone in no time! So God knows how they got on when they returned cos they obviously didn't really check everything).
Thanks for all the advice - and to anyone thinking of hiring a car in Spain, you can save a shit load of money by going for one of the cheap small companies but for God sake do your homework and when you pick the car up take your time and dont sign the check sheet until you are absolutely certain you've got every last mark, dent or scratch, and also photograph everything. I even took a picture of the odometer to verify the start mileage.
On a side note, what is it with all the cars in Spain? Pretty much every other car on the road has got big dents and massive scratches down the side of them! Do the Spanish not know how to drive or something?
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