By Dom at Reduce My Excess,
12 September 2018
So, you’ve booked your hotel, picked out some great beaches, found plane tickets that only cost an arm and a bit of a leg, and now you’re staring at car hire websites, thinking “I’ve never hired a car before, I don’t even know how to say car in Spanish.” Well not to worry (just yet) we’ve put together a handy guide to your first hire car; everything you need to know about renting your first set of wheels.
1. The Basics
Well first of all you’ll need a full driving licence, no provisionals I’m afraid, you need to have passed your test. Secondly, you’ll need a valid photo ID. Now this will obviously double up as your driving licence, but make sure you’ve got your passport to hand too, as some companies require two forms of identification. Some companies may even need a third form of id that confirms your address, this could be a utility bill or something similar.
2. Your Age
This is where it all changes. This varies wildly depending on the country and company you’re renting from. Let’s start with some popular destinations:
Do be aware, that these are the legal limits of renting cars. It is likely that companies have their own limits, of between 21 and 25 as the minimum accepted age. You will also likely encounter steep extra charges if you are attempting to rent and you are younger than this.
3. Your Finances
Almost every car hire company will require you to have a credit card. This is probably the biggest stumbling block for potential young drivers. One thing you can do to combat this is ask a parent to be put on their credit card. Some banks may allow you to do this, so have a check and ask around, (only if you have very kind parents though!)
Now, all hire cars come with insurance, and rental companies with always offer their (extortionately priced) cover. Do not take it. Don’t even think about taking it. Be prepared before you get to the car hire desk. Taking out a separate car hire excess policy can literally save you £100’s for just a week-long rental.
Find out more about
car hire excess insurance on our dedicated page.
That’s pretty much it. You’re ready to hit the road! (carefully) The last thing we will say about hiring a car is this: When you drive a different car than the one you’re used to, it’s easy to make little errors. Having a drive around the car hire centre car park is a great way to get the feel of the car you’re driving and will help massively when you get out onto the open road.
Well, bon voyage, good luck, and we look forward to seeing you before you book!