Fly drive holiday? 10 tips for a car hire without surprises

Planning on a fly-drive holiday? Using a rental car allows you to travel with less stress. But pay attention to details: some carelessness could ruin your holiday.


A bit like with the purchase of flights, it is good to pay attention to the various taxes and accompanying services – sometimes mandatory – at the time of purchase.


We have drawn up a handbook of advice for a rental that is surprise-proof.

1. The earlier you book, the less you spend

Planning the type of car for your fly drive holiday with enough time has at least two advantages.


On the one hand, it allows considerable savings compared to renting locally, on the other, it allows you to choose the vehicle that best suits your needs, without being forced to choose only among the vehicles available.

2. Choose the car that best suits you and your holiday

Obviously, it depends on whether you want convenience or savings; whether you are in a hurry or not; if you need a large trunk and how long your journey takes.


Always keep in mind that usually you cannot choose a specific car model but only a category that groups several models with similar characteristics.


Each category always indicates the number of passengers and the number of baggage that can be carried.

MDMR (Mini) Pax 5


Fiat Panda 1.2 or similar

JGMR (Intermediate Elite) Pax 5, Luggage 5


Jeep Renegade 1.6 or similar

EDMR (Economy) Pax 5, Luggage 3


Renault Clio or similar

CWMR (Compact Wagon) Pax 5, Luggage 5


Ford Focus SW or similar

CDMR (Compact) Pax 5, Luggage 3


FIAT 500X 1.0/1.3 or similar

PDMD (Premium) Pax 5, Luggage 3


AUDI A6 or similar

IDAR (Intermediate) Pax 5, Luggage 5


AUDI A3 or similar

PVMD (Premium Van) Pax 9, Luggage 5


VW CARAVELLE or similar

3. Insurance and Excess

The car rental always includes:

Unlimited Mileage

Collision Damage Waiver (Excess Applies)

Theft Protection Waiver (with Excess)

Third Party Liability Insurance

Local Sales Tax/es

Airport Surcharges/Fees


but you have to pay attention to the excess. The excess is the amount that remains to be paid by the driver in the event of damage or theft of the car.


When booking the rental car, always evaluate the amount of the excess. It can usually be reduced, or even canceled, by paying a surcharge. The deductible can be reset directly from the car rental or by additional insurance.

In the event of damage, if the excess is covered by insurance, you may have to anticipate it and then it will be reimbursed later.

4. Credit Card

To rent a car it is always necessary to have a credit card in the driver’s name. Electronic cards, debit cards or rechargeable cards are not accepted but it is necessary to have an international credit card.


The international credit card in the driver’s name is always required when collecting the car for the security deposit.


For this reason, it is also important to inquire well about the limit of your credit card, if the amount required for the deposit is not available on the card, the rental car will not be given to you.


Remember that the amount of the deposit will not be available on your card during the holiday to carry out other expenses.

5. Driving license

Always check the expiry date of your driving license before departure and if you need to have an international driving license. In addition, for the very young, the minimum age to rent is 21 years. Drivers under 25 years of age pay an additional supplement.


This relates to the concept of “less experience behind the wheel”. Perhaps a little out of date concept since there are also people who get their driving license at an advanced age.


Anyway this is the rule.

6. Additional Driver

If you think you are not the only one driving the rental car, you must charge an additional surcharge to include in the car rental contract the name of another person authorized to drive it for you.


In fact, the car you rent can only be driven by the person who signs the car rental contract, which must coincide with the holder of the credit card and driving license that is registered by the car rental company employees at the time of delivery.


If you think you are not the one driving the car during the entire car rental period, or if those traveling with you will also drive it, you must report this when you collect the rental car and pay the related surcharge.


The car rental company will add in the car rental contract and related insurance policy the name of all persons authorized to drive the rental car, who like you must present a valid driving license and be of the right age. to drive that specific car model.


Be very careful! It is not a small detail.


If by chance you have an accident with the car you rented and a person other than the one registered in the contract is driving, the insurance does not cover the damage, and the car rental company will charge you a very high penalty.

7. Drop-off

If your dream is a long traveling trip, consider the costs of the one-way tax or “Drop-Off”.


Usually the return of the car in a different location has a higher cost that varies greatly depending on the place and the car rental company.

8. Child seats

Obviously, the car rental companies also rent seats approved for babies and children, which you can choose between three categories depending on the weight:


seats for children up to 9 kilos

seats for children from 9 to 18 kilos

seats for children over 18 kilos


It goes without saying that obviously the fee for the car seat rental is separate. But so far everything is quite normal.


The aspect that is not at all normal is the price of the seats provided in the car rental contracts which is nothing short of shameful, to the point that if you need it for more than 6 days you should buy it in a department store at your destination and then leave it at the airport upon return.


In addition, you must request it at the moment of the reservation as it might not be available locally.


In alternative, you may also board your own child seat free of charge on the plane like any other hold baggage.

9. Don't rush. Check everything before you leave

When you collect the vehicle, carefully check the condition of the car, outside and inside, and if you see a small damage, such as a scratch on the bodywork, it may be a good idea to take some photos and communicate it to the staff; this will prevent you from being held responsible for damage not caused by you.


Always keep a copy of the signed documents even after returning home. If you have any problems, they might come in handy.

10. ``Full-empty`` or ``full-full`` fuel option

When you decide to rent a car, pay close attention to the fuel option.


Car rental companies generally have two options when it comes to fuel management:


The “full-full” option. In this case the machine is delivered to you with a full tank and you must return it with a full tank


The “full-empty” option. In this case the car is delivered to you with a full tank and the cost of the missing fuel at the time of return of the vehicle will be charged to your credit card


It goes without saying that if you choose the “full-empty” option, you will pay for the missing fuel at a price per litre that is certainly higher than the petrol station. And you have to trust the car rental company on the amount of fuel that was missing because you have no chance to verify.


The “full-full” option is obviously more advantageous. Even if you take a car from a car rental company at the airport you will always find several petrol stations in the immediate vicinity, so you will have no problem filling up before drop off.


The security deposit that is blocked on your credit card at the time of signing the car rental contract includes the cost for a full tank of fuel that the car rental company retains if you choose the ” full-full” but you return the car without actually having a full tank. And they check, rest assured.

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