Monday, September 9, 2013

Rental companies across the globe

It isn't surprising that car rental companies all around the world tend to all look the same, especially in an age when all types of services are subject to globalization and it's easy to find the same things at opposite sides of the planet. Sure, there's a local flavor to any type of service and you can't deny the influence of local competition, gas prices and economy in general. However, wherever you go, car rental companies will tend to offer virtually the same services and the same options. The only things that will differ are the car selection and the rental rates. Well, that's how it all looks at first. But if you take the time to take a closer look at car rental companies around the globe you will realize that there are certain specifics you must learn before renting a car, if you don't want to end up paying an enormous extra charge. Here are the things to watch out for when reviewing the services of car rental companies across the globe: Local taxes Local taxation should be the first thing to consider when you are travelling around the globe and are looking for rental cars. Special taxes for all types of services provided on their territory, including vehicle rental, are quite often carried by large airports, seaports and train stations. Quite often, large airports, train stations and sea ports carry special taxes for all types of services provided on their territory, including vehicle rental. This doesn't actually depend on car rental companies but this can add up to the cost of renting the car, and the difference can be significant depending on your destination. So make sure to learn about the local airport and station fees before renting the vehicle on site - it's often more convenient to take a taxi to the city and find a rental office there that doesn't carry any additional taxes and fees. Extra charges, fees and penalties Extra charges and hidden costs are the most popular tools used by car rental companies to make you pay more, and they tend to get very tricky when travelling abroad. If you know your domestic rental fees and extra charges this doesn't mean anything when traveling abroad, since car rental companies around the world will use different methods and charge different extra rates. This is especially important when going to such places as the European Union, where the services market may seem regulated but where every country has its own rules, practices and extra charges respectively. So it can make a huge difference if you rent a car in Berlin and leave it Prague, for example, or if you do the same in Lisbon and Rome - there will be different charges and regulations involved. Insurance Insurance is another common tool for making customers pay more, and it can make a big difference depending on where you want to go. In most countries car insurance is mandatory and car rental companies are obliged to have all their cars insured before offering them for rent. However, in certain countries the responsibility may be transferred to the customer, so the rental insurance will be mandatory. Make sure to learn about local insurance requirements in order to decide whether you actually need insurance or if it's just an option. Traffic rules Knowing the traffic rules of the country you will go to is a must. Sure, in most cases all the rules are similar if not identical, even for countries with different traffic directions. However, minor regulations and rules can make a big difference, especially when renting a car. For example, in some countries baby seats are required to carry a child in the car by law, while in other countries it is an option. The same goes for mobile phone use while driving. All these small regulations may require you to get extras with your car such as hands-free cell devices, child seats and others. That's why it is important to learn the traffic rules before renting the car abroad. Competition Learning the local competition can give you an advantage when shopping around car rental companies overseas. Depending on how crowded the rental market is, you will get different rates and different extra costs. So it may be more affordable to rent a car in a large city where the competition is fierce and drive to your destination, instead of paying more in a smaller town where there's only one rental office.

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