Hiring a car can be tricky no matter where you are in the world, but one of the trickiest places to hire a car is Spain. Unfortunately in Spain there are many loopholes and different ways that car rental companies can catch you out and make you fork out more money than you originally intended and trust me they are good at it.
In order to avoid these unexpected costs, get out your paper and pens and take note of my top five tips so you don’t get stung when hiring a car in Spain.
Spain is notorious for it, usually when you come to hire a car you naturally just expect the tank to be full when you get there and when you come to drop it off you do so with a full tank because – well, that makes sense right? Not in Spain, a lot of the car rental companies in Spain come with a fuel policy of “Full To Empty” not the usual “Full to Full” and you’ve guessed it this means that you pick up the car with a full tank and you drop it off with an empty one.
The way car rental companies make money out of this is they make you pay in advance for the full tank of fuel upon collection which is fine until you realise how hard it is to drop the car off with an empty tank, in the fear of a breakdown people often leave quite a bit of fuel in the tank which is just profit for the rental company in question. Sometimes a full to empty fuel policy is unavoidable so my tip is to run the fuel as low as possible before you return it, don’t forget and return the car full of fuel, you won’t get your money back!
The additional insurance, to put it basically, reduces your excess by a certain amount, which you should always check! The words “additional insurance” are often surrounded by fancy words such as “no deposit” and “no excess” in order to help the companies sell the additional daily charge of usually around 7 euros per day. Most of the time you don’t need to take it and dependant on the situation then it’s not worth doing so. It’s worth it to keep in mind no matter what you pay for the deposit you always get it back after the rental, unless you damage the car of course so don’t let the no deposit tempt you too much.
To sum it all up, additional insurance isn’t really a bad thing, it can reduce your excess and get you a low or no deposit however it is something you should be fully aware of and know the full information before you decide to pay out for it, it’s completely dependent on your individual situation whether you should take the additional insurance or not.
Are you between the ages of 21-25? Then there can be a massive hidden cost for you, make sure you are aware that nearly 99% of the time if you are under 25 then you will be hit by a daily cost. This admittedly is not the car rental company’s fault it’s due to the fact that they have to pay extra to insurers so that young drivers can use their vehicles.
The cost of young driver’s daily fee ranges, however compared to most other countries Spain isn’t bad at all. The tip here is if you are under 25 always ask what the full cost of the rental is going to be including the extras.
Car rental companies will almost always without fail try and sell you some kind of optional extra whether it’s a GPS or a child seat – any extra they will give it a go. Sometimes you may need these extras, especially if you are not familiar with the part of Spain you are travelling or have a young child.
But beware the cost of the extras is daily and not for the full rental period the majority of the time, so when calculated it can often be cheaper to buy your own depending on the length of the rental. As an example a GPS can be around 10-15 Euros extra a day whereas you can pick one up in a shop at around a retail price of 40-50 euros so if you are renting for over 4-5 days it may be worth looking into buying one.
Broker companies that have nothing to gain from selling you all the extras. Pick a company that doesn’t earn commission off of additional costs, therefore they will always tell you the full cost of the rental before you arrive. You still can be sold extras by the companies so if you are using a broker you still need to be aware of these tips, however it makes it much more unlikely that you will have to fork out a large unexpected bill.
Mathew McCorry is a regular blogger for all things travel who is a content writer and blogger for the car rental company, Indigo Car Hire.