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Essential Tips On Hiring a Car In Spain
Car Hire Tips by Mark Eastwood

These are a few things you should know before you hire a car in Spain:

* Whats included in the price and what ISNT. You can come across some amazing looking prices but when you look at the detail you find that they dont include unlimited mileage, local taxes or insurances.

You may not be doing much driving in which case unlimited mileage may be unnecessary but insurances are a must and do add up. We usually found these cheap looking prices were really not cheap at all and could be regarded as a pretty underhand and misleading tactic.

Make sure all of these are included in the rental:

Third party insurance.
Airport fees.
Breakdown cover.
All local surcharges.
Loss/collision damage waiver.
Unlimited mileage.

* Air-conditioning is important.

It may sound obvious but DO check that the cheap price you have found applies to a car with air-con. Temperatures in the summer can often be in the 30s sometimes the 40s (over 100 degrees fahrenheit).

* Book ahead.

Dont just arrive at the airport in Spain and go to the car hire desks. They are often incredibly busy and chaotic with long queues and stressed staff. It is far better to have a reservation with a reference number so at least you know they will have a car waiting and if they dont have your requested car they will have to upgrade you for free. You also tend to get a better deal by booking ahead.

* Dont penny-pinch.

Some of the models in Spain differ from those in Northern Europe. We had an experience where the boot was far smaller than the same model of car we owned in England. Do consider the large amounts of luggage you will have and maybe go for the next size up and just treat yourself rather than traveling round on your holiday like a sardine. The price difference is usually small.

* Child seats.

You can hire these as an extra for about ?3 a day. Not only can this add-up, it can happen that the message doesnt reach the local office in Spain and so it can often be a no-hassle option to take your own rather than getting angry when all you want to do after a stressful flight is to get your car and go. You simply check-it in at the airport with your luggage so it isnt really much trouble to do this.

* Check everything!

When you are at the pick-up point you must check that everything matches your voucher. When you booked over the internet or at a travel agent, you may have requested certain things such as extra drivers and maybe the message didnt get through. Even check you are getting the right sort of car you asked for! Do all of this before you sign all the paperwork. Make sure you take any print-outs you have so if there are any problems you have it all in writing.

* Check the car for damage.

When youve got to the car you naturally just want to get going but make sure the car hire company acknowledge any bumps and scrapes on the car. If you dont you may find that when you return the car they may blame (and charge) you.

* Petrol.

Book a diesel car as it will be much cheaper to run.

*Excesses.

Most insurance policies have an excess which means you pay an amount (say it is ?500) if you have an accident and they cover the rest. Be aware of how much the excess is because sometimes they can be very high. You may want to consider paying a small bit extra to make sure you are not liable for anything, especially as you are driving in a foreign country where you may not always fully understand the road rules.

Copyright Mark Eastwood. Feel free to use this article online and in your email newsletters as long as you leave it intact and do not alter it in anyway. The byline and biography must remain in the article.

Mark Eastwood lives on the Costa Blanca coast of Spain and is the publisher of http://www.CostaBlancaUncovered.com - The site for tourists visiting the Costa Blanca coast of Spain as well as residents and people considering moving to this popular area known as the California of Europe.



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Car Hire Abroad Terms:
  • Car hire pickup - a full valid driving licence and identification is required. Any age restrictions will be checked.
  • Autopista and Autovía - major freeway systems in Spain.
  • Car hire period - car rental companies charge for periods of 24 hours. Late returns can be subject to an additional charge, so also make sure you book a car with hours and dates within 24 hour units.
  • Vehicle for hire - a vehicle providing public transportation, which transports one or more passengers between locations of the passengers' choice.
  • Touring car - was a popular car body style in the early 20th century, being a larger alternative to the runabout. They were open cars with no solid roof.

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