Hire car UK to Europe .. Advice ?

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Want to hire a car from UK to europe for a month.. Any advice... I am getting lost wiht the fees.. have been warned you get the one qute and when you turn up have to start paying more insurance with credit card ?

I ahve seen some unlimited milage and some x per mile over.. am easy either way..

Looking for mid range car.. getting ferry dover to calais.. was going to hire in calais but decided to play safe and hire here then i can have a plan B just in case problems at hire..

Really no idea at all what I am doing :(

PS this is for next June but need to be getting organised this side of christmas..
 

Mr Bump

The names Meldrew, Victor Meldrew
Messages
7,779
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
I have a house on Crete and travel out there about 5 times a year.
firstly I would say hire an EU spec car as has been said LHD it will be so much easier.
Also take out an insurance policy rather than pay the excess to the hire company, I have a policy which costs about £70/year.
This covers unlimited trips up to 30 days each (I think) you will save a fortune on the excess costs.

lastly look at sites like holiday autos for your hire. I use them and 10 days hire from Heraklion airport is about £110
 
Messages
22
Name
Nigel
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
Get your own excess cover - you will save potentially hundreds of pounds if you are away for a month. I used insurance4carhire.com and last paid around £39 for *annual* cover. Google 'excess cover insurance' and you will find lots of options. Check for restrictions on maximum period for a single rental - my policy was 60 days. I used mine mostly for UK cover but did a trip to Italy and was surprised to find they covered that too. The most significant disadvantage is that in the event of a claim, you have to pay the excess amount to the car hire company, and then claim it back from the excess cover insurance company, whereas if you take the excess cover from the car hire company you don't have to pay at all.
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Are you doing most driving in uk or Europe. If you hire in Europe it will be LHD which is probably better for driving over there.
Two of you mention LHD and I have no idea what that is... OK gonna kick myself probably but go on ? ta :)

Yes ..Lancashire to Dover then a round trip of europe ...
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
I have a house on Crete and travel out there about 5 times a year.
firstly I would say hire an EU spec car as has been said LHD it will be so much easier.
Also take out an insurance policy rather than pay the excess to the hire company, I have a policy which costs about £70/year.
This covers unlimited trips up to 30 days each (I think) you will save a fortune on the excess costs.

lastly look at sites like holiday autos for your hire. I use them and 10 days hire from Heraklion airport is about £110

Will google "holiday autos " thanks :) So i can simply NOT pay the hire car insurance and just pay the cost shown..... How would I go about my own insurance... AA maybe ? ta :)


Haa right.. realised now.. I already used holiday autos.. didnt recognise the name as just linked through from google a couple of weeks ago.. ta:)
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
Does this look right.. It doesnt give an option not to pay an extra £2k

https://www.holidayautos.com/book?a...returnName=Calais, France#/vehicle/2097530094

Included for Free
  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Theft Protection
  • Third Party Liability
  • Cancellation
  • Amendments

Damage and Theft Protection
Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection are included with this car. It covers damage and theft of the vehicle with the exclusion of damage or loss of tyres, windscreen, glass and undercarriage.
Excess
The car has a damage excess of EUR 1000.0 (Includes tax) and a theft excess of EUR 1000.0 (Includes tax). Please ensure that you have the excess amount available on your card when you pick up the car.
 
Last edited:
Messages
22
Name
Nigel
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
LHD = Left Hand Drive :D

So i can simply NOT pay the hire car insurance and just pay the cost shown....
The price quoted will normally include CDW Insurance (Collision Damage Waiver) however you will normally be expected to pay an excess of £750-£1500 for standard-ish cars, more if you go for a more upmarket models. The car hire company will offer you insurance against paying the excess at anything from £10-£25 per day... it's optional so you can refuse it entirely, and take the risk yourself, or pay £40-£70 to cover that risk with an excess cover insurance company.
 
Messages
4,537
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
LHD left hand drive
 
Messages
13,191
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
#10
The car has a damage excess of EUR 1000.0 (Includes tax) and a theft excess of EUR 1000.0 (Includes tax). Please ensure that you have the excess amount available on your card when you pick up the car.
Very often the hire company will offer extra 'insurance' that covers a very high excess like this, and that's what you pay extra for at the time of collection. I always take out insurance in advance that covers all excess, accidents etc, because too often things have gone wrong (aerial getting mangled by yobs, car roof kicked in in Canada, clipped a kerb & burst a tyre in Edinburgh) that would have cost a fortune in excess otherwise.
 
Messages
22
Name
Nigel
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
I forgot you do need to pay a deposit up front (I cant remember if I paid the whole excess upfront as a deposit). If you return the car undamaged, you get the deposit back. If there is damage (or theft of the vehicle) you lose your deposit. So the three options are
1. take the excess insurance from the car hire company - expensive but probably no need to pay the whole excess as a deposit
2. don't take excess cover at all - cheap but if the worst happens you lose the whole deposit and are liable for the full excess amount
3. arrange your own excess cover - much cheaper than (1) but you pay the excess and claim it back from the excess cover company

the other tip I would mention is take photos of the car all the way round and take a photo of each wheel, filling the frame with the whole wheel. Several times I returned a vehicle and was told the alloy wheel had damage I was liable for (and once a scratch on the body) and luckily I had photos that showed the marks were there when I picked the vehicle up. It's not necessarily an outright con that's going on, some staff are more diligent than others and count every mark they can see where as others are either less diligent or more forgiving!
 
Messages
9,111
Name
Andrew Cliffe
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Some of them will also try to hire you a satnav. Was in Germany recently and they tried it when collecting the car. Ignored the sales patter as had satnav on phone. Car had satnav built in anyway...

Take photos of the car, just in case.

Left hand drive - strange to start with but you soon get used to it. However if you've not driven in Europe before have an observant person in front passenger seat acting as second pair of eyes. Different etiquette at junctions and joining motorways...
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
It's a nightmare :(


The reason why I am thinking of hiring a car is that mine is getting old.. Looking at 3 thousand miles round trip at least... I wanted piece of mind.. My car is big and comfy enough (3 series bmw) I wanted to know that if anything went wrong then a hire company would presumbly just replace the car

Since posting I have checkd the AA driving in Europe cover thats lists

  • Defaqto 5-star rated cover
  • Unlimited overall claim limit (per trip with annual cover)
  • Full roadside assistance
  • Up to £1,500 for alternative travel and up to £500 for emergency hotel costs
  • We’ll help you reach your destination or get you and your car back home
  • Hire car before, during and after your trip to keep you on the move
  • Option to add Parts and Labour to your policy – get help with garage and repair bills, up to £500 (you can claim up to 3 times in your policy year with annual cover)

Reading the above.. if anyhting did go drastic wrong with mine then it wouldn't stop the holiday.... hhmmm ..
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
Just done a quick check with AA ..£370 for worry free trip which is less than car hire I suppose.. My car is a rock.. run smooth 15k miles a year all over the country... I dont expect a breakdown but dont want to worry either... Thinking my car and AA might be a better option than the minefield of a hire car and poss own problems that might have.....

thoughts ?:)
 
Messages
7,147
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
#17
Just done a quick check with AA ..£370 for worry free trip which is less than car hire I suppose.. My car is a rock.. run smooth 15k miles a year all over the country... I dont expect a breakdown but dont want to worry either... Thinking my car and AA might be a better option than the minefield of a hire car and poss own problems that might have.....

thoughts ?:)
I think this sounds the best option and besides your car should be fairly common in Europe, so if it does breakdown I would expect parts to be readily available.
 
Messages
22
Name
Nigel
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
If you’ve owned yours a long time and it’s served you well that AA cover sounds like a good option to me. I used to mostly hire 3-series! My own car was a 10 year old 3 door Suzuki Swift - fun to drive but not great for long distances or more than 2 people !
 

Mr Bump

The names Meldrew, Victor Meldrew
Messages
7,779
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
Dunno I would still be thinking hire car, thinking the worst and you're car is in an accident or blows up you could be stuffed for days.
Hire car just a call to them and another car on its way, no cost to you for servicing, also I would only have a LHD car for a month in EU, each to there own. I am just really used to hire cars nowadays with the Crete house. I must have used Enterprise at Heraklian a dozen times now.
 
Messages
39
Name
Hitogami
Edit My Images
No
#20
I used Budget for a trip in the usa.
They were great. No hidden charges. Very up front about what was covered for different options.
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#21
Dunno I would still be thinking hire car, thinking the worst and you're car is in an accident or blows up you could be stuffed for days.
.
I think the AA are pretty much on the ball.. wouldn't take that long I wouldn't think

However I am going to contact that and get the full info on what would happen :)
 
Messages
4,537
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#22
I've driven a number of times in France/Holland in my own car/bike and tbh I think you're less likely to have an accident in your own car than a hire car, especially if your hire car is manual gearbox with the gear lever in your right hand, very odd feeling. You know where all your car's controls are, unlike a hire car. Roundabout's are a doddle, motorways - seems the French have a much better understanding of lane discipline, Dutch ones tend to be two lanes and a bit crowded. Italians seem to think speed limits are advisory minimums and anyone who drives below limit needs a little advice. Germans - no idea, it would seem from my son that the de-limited autobahns (and not all of them are) carry the biggest risk of being tail-ended by some hyperspeed lunatic. Swiss hate cars - period. Town centres (the big ones) do seem a bit manic and I think it's here your own car comes into it's own as you need eyes in places the human body isn't designed to have eyes located in! In general though I love driving abroad, the roads in France do seem much less frantic or crowded. I always hate coming back(especially if it's Dover/Folkestone) and getting back onto our overcrowded, manic speed, minimum gap between cars bumpy non-straight motorways. I'm sure you will have a ball whatever you decide.
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#23
If you’ve owned yours a long time and it’s served you well that AA cover sounds like a good option to me. I used to mostly hire 3-series! My own car was a 10 year old 3 door Suzuki Swift - fun to drive but not great for long distances or more than 2 people !
Yeagh had a few years.. go all around the country shooting football..and I do mean all over... (It's good on diesel. made for long trips I guess) ) . and have had a few driving holidays round scotland and wales in it... I thought hire for the worry free elemnt of a holiday.. knowing somehtign could go wrong and whats the best option if it did.... given the new found info re the AA I am feeling more confident with that to be honest :)
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#24
I've driven a number of times in France/Holland in my own car/bike and tbh I think you're less likely to have an.
I have driven in europe before.. Drove to benidorm in a camper van (LHD) and also did north france holiday was driving a RHD astra so the driving should be OK .. But this ones going to be over 3 thousand miles in 4 weeks, ..

Sat May 30th leave Accrington to Dover (probably longest single journey so stop overnight) Sunday Calais to Troyes (2 day stop), to Lake Geneva (2 day stop) to Avignon (4 day stop) to Menton (7 day stop) to Venice (maybe change this to stop overnight halfway to venice) then Insbruk.. Thats as far as I have got and should be in Austria on 19th June for a few days.. Leaving 8 days to get back to dover... Looking at Black forest for a few days but only organised to insbruk so far.. Never stopping anywhere less than 2 days (troyes and geneva) with 7 days in menton (south france italy border) got a aprtment sorted with sea view :)

Well thats plan A

While in Avignon am going to find a Course Camarguaise which isnt quite bullfighting as no kills or swords.. But having trouble finding one ..Its the right season and area..
 
Messages
4,537
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#25
I have driven in europe before.. Drove to benidorm in a camper van (LHD) and also did north france holiday was driving a RHD astra so the driving should be OK .. But this ones going to be over 3 thousand miles in 4 weeks, ..

Sat May 30th leave Accrington to Dover (probably longest single journey so stop overnight) Sunday Calais to Troyes (2 day stop), to Lake Geneva (2 day stop) to Avignon (4 day stop) to Menton (7 day stop) to Venice (maybe change this to stop overnight halfway to venice) then Insbruk.. Thats as far as I have got and should be in Austria on 19th June for a few days.. Leaving 8 days to get back to dover... Looking at Black forest for a few days but only organised to insbruk so far.. Never stopping anywhere less than 2 days (troyes and geneva) with 7 days in menton (south france italy border) got a aprtment sorted with sea view :)

Well thats plan A

While in Avignon am going to find a Course Camarguaise which isnt quite bullfighting as no kills or swords.. But having trouble finding one ..Its the right season and area..
You using spell checker now :)
 
Messages
13,191
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
#27
I've driven in continental Europe both LHD ad RHD cars, and generally LHD is a more pleasant experience once you stop trying to change gear with the window winder. ;)
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#28
Have been reading the AA T&C .. This was a bit of a suprise..

Motorways in France are privately managed, so if you break down on a French motorway or motorway
service area, the AA cannot arrange for assistance to be sent to you.
1. If you can get to an emergency telephone box, please press the button and the police will send
assistance to your location.
2. If you are using a public phone, please dial 17 or, from a mobile phone, dial 112.
3. Once you have been towed off the motorway/service area, call the AA 24-hour helpline for further assistance.
 
Messages
48
Name
eugene
Edit My Images
No
#29
LHD is the way to go , RHD will work but you must be careful.
I would never ever rent in the UK in fact i would never rent any car ever again to go anywhere. And make sure its a french car because they,re everywhere and so are the spares and service centres etc.
Why faf about with all that paperwork and stuff, just buy a cheap french car in UK have it well serviced before you go, when you go on your next trip you've got it again or sell it when you get back.
 
Messages
391
Edit My Images
No
#30
The reason why I am thinking of hiring a car is that mine is getting old.. Looking at 3 thousand miles round trip at least... I wanted piece of mind.. My car is big and comfy enough (3 series bmw) I wanted to know that if anything went wrong then a hire company would presumbly just replace the car
A few years back I hired a car at Lisbon airport from Thrifty booked through Holiday Autos. Paid HA for the full coverage and excess cover.
3 days later we'd got as far as Seville - parked the car overnight and came back to find the door pulled open at the top, indicator cut off with damage to the face off stereo, I'm guessing because they couldn't find the front panel in the car so they'd wasted their time breaking in they decided to ruin it anyway.
I spent a cheerful day speaking to the Seville Police (who were great and kept suggesting valuables I might have forgotten about that were in the car :) ) then rang the hire car company to arrange a replacement.
"No problem, just bring the car back to Lisbon and we'll change it over"... :eek:
3 days of travelling to get the car back to them, then 3 more days to get back to where we were - we had accommodation booked in Southern Spain which we'd never get to in time.
So I bent the door back to the right shape(ish), bought a battery powered radio/cassette and we drove it like that for the next 2 1/2 weeks.
I wouldn't assume that your car will be replaced by the local agency or franchise even of a big international chain.
I'd definitely check and get that in writing.

I've taken my 10 yr+ cars to the continent several times - drove to Pamplona and back over 3 weeks.
Get the car serviced before you go. I used Green Flag and paid for the best cover available - much cheaper than the AA.
Tell your insurance company well before you leave to make sure you're covered and try not to worry.
I bought a dashcam for the Spain trip as my Spanish is minimal and I wanted to be able to show what happened if I ended up in an accident.
I prefer driving my own car over a hire car, even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side.
 
Messages
1,248
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
No
#31
Two ways of looking at this:

Cheap from from Manchester to somewhere in France, pick up rental car at airport - save a few days.... Enterprise is the company I use and never had a problem with them (yet!). Better away from Paris, so that you don't 'practice' on the peripherique.

or

Get the BMW a service, and enjoy the journey and stay off the main autoroutes. Driving through France can be a joy. I've driven LHD and RHD on the continent with no issues. In actual fact I have just returned from the Netherlands in my Saab NG9-5. A good map is a must! Mobile phone with Google Maps/Waze very useful, better than fitted navigation. MatBin's assessment above is virtually spot on; the journey back from Dover/Folkestone is very anti-climatic, I am always quite sad when I board the EuroShuttle or DFDS boat (Dover Dunkirk is my route of choice). 3k miles in 4 weeks in nothing. ENJOY!
 
Messages
48
Name
eugene
Edit My Images
No
#32
As the man said , take your own car get it well serviced and checked over before you go , if you rent you,ll be up to your neck in paperwork and worry about damage to the vehicle.
People in england drive american LHD cars ( collectors cars ) and ive had several as well, no problem on UK roads but a RHD on the continent yes its OK but better to have a LHD.
Why dont you look at an old but good Peugeot 205 series 2 a great little car , petrol or diesel non turbo, simple , no computer rubbish , good ground clearance, take out the back seats and save weight and make more room for your gear. Don,t believe all that BS about cars being ten years old are dodgy or not up to it . Take something that looks a bit worn and untidy and blends in, much less attraction for thieves or vandals.


In Spain there,s many cars from the 70s still on the road , i can vouch for that ! and they look like almost brand new.
Take your own car and get the best insurance there is for abroad, as they say insurance is cheap !.
Look at you tube for old TV programs on vehicle reviews ! Do your vehicle research.
Get a full tech inspection, of the car before you buy , original owner, private sale, full MOT, full service history the 100% job.
If your mechanically inclined even better !. Drive it around for a few months to see if anything needs fixing before you go.

And next time you go trekking you fire up your trusty expedition car.
 
Messages
14,351
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#33
I've driven in continental Europe both LHD ad RHD cars, and generally LHD is a more pleasant experience once you stop trying to change gear with the window winder. ;)
The only real difference is in overtaking slow geriatrics. You get better visibility with LHD, or simply a van... The rest makes little to no difference. And why for goodness sake would anyone still drive a manual in 2019?!
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#35
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#36
Well I started this thread because I wanted to hire a car for piece of mind.. even though I would be confident in mine. I didn't want a whole months holiday ruiened if somehtign went wrong... So my thinkign was a hire car and they would sort if problems..

However since posting I ahve found the extensive AA cover that will give me all the confidence i need in my own car for £370 :)

Thus I will be going in my car.. I ahve driven abroad before in my own.. just not as extensive as I am going to do....


The advice and insight from everyone has been a massive help in coming to this decision.. .. THANK YOU :)
 
OP
OP
KIPAX

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,281
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
Have a look at what’s on in Arles and Nîmes to see real bullfighting.
My missus wont go.. She will go to the "Course Camarguaise " is that right? where they try to grab the ribbon... If I can get to a bulfight myself I will (send her window shopping) .. Have looked at both those places as we are close by but all info is 2019 at moment and this is for next june so going to keep looking thanks :)
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
Messages
33,065
Name
Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
Edit My Images
Yes
#40
Because it's a more enjoyable and involving experience than driving automatic *for me*. :)

Our mile eater is an auto and our town hack is electric but the fun car (and all the bikes) are manual (or podial!)
 
Top