Looking for a car in the UK? Check out our secret car hire service for great service and rates!
If you are driving in Europe, please check out our essential guide to European Road Signs.
One of the best ways to explore is by car. It gives you the freedom you need to go where you want. But, there is a caveat: We wish it were not so, but renting a car in Europe is a landmine these days. Almost every rental car company is requiring their renters to purchase expensive Collision Damage Waver (CDW) insurance. Even if you purchase it elsewhere, some companies do not recognize it and will still require you purchase their own. Or, they may place a very large hold on your credit card – as much as $3,000 or more. We’ve even heard of cases in which they held the entire value of the car!
Here are a few things to watch for:
- Never, under any circumstances, use a debit card for a car rental. It’s bad enough if a large hold is placed on your credit card, but it could be devastating to your checking account.
- Be sure to read all the fine print when searching for a car. There are usually options to pre-purchase an insurance package, so consider it carefully.
- Do be prepared to negotiate. When being “strong-armed” at the counter to purchase the CDW, ask if that is their best price. Often there is some room for negotiation. We recently were able to get a big discount on the insurance and a waiver of the extra driver charge.
This situation is like shifting sand, so we would welcome any feedback about your own experiences. Please feel free to get in touch and tell us what you have encountered when renting cars.
But you can forget all that if you are looking for a car in the “home counties”of the UK! We’ve found a great company that is not only reasonably priced but easy to deal with. Check out our secret car hire service for great service and rates!
For everywhere else, we’ve partnered with the industry’s top rental car provider to bring you the most flexibility and best possible savings.