A Hire car or rent a car business is a company that rents motor vehicles, usually for short periods of time such as one day or several weeks. Hiring from a large company with many branches gives the added advantage of being able to return the car to a different location to the one you collected it from. They are normally located at, or near airports for holiday makers and business users and busy city centre. It is common practise to make reservations via the company's website or an authorised agents website.
Car hire companies and agents typical customers are those that need a car for a holidays in foreign countries or car owners whose own car may have been damaged and awaiting repair or compensation from their insurance company. As well as cars, rent a car companies might also hire vans and small commercial vehicles to businesses and people wishing to move their own goods, for example moving home.
Apart from basic car hire, car hire companies and agent will normally offer other services, such as extra insurances, satellite navigation systems and child and baby seats as well as extra car options including automatic cars and cars with air conditioning.
Car rental companies operate by buying or leasing large numbers of vehicles and renting them to their customers for a daily or weekly hire charge. Car hire fleets can operate in several ways, they can be bought outright, these are known as 'risk vehicles' because the car hire company is taking a risk on how much the vehicle will be sold for when it is removed from service). They can be leased, or they can be purchased from the manufacturer or finance company with a guaranteed buy back price.
After a set period of time or when a car reaches a certain amount of miles or kilometres, car hire companies will usually sell them back to the manufacturer or finance company, direct to large dealerships or through an auction house specialising in fleet sales.
Most hire car companies offer an extensive range of vehicles from small town cars through to larger luxury vehicles, such as Peugeot 107 Town Car and Mercedes S class cars in The UK and Europe. Some may also offer vehicles like Ferrari's or old classic cars for customers who want something a little different. Some companies will offer hire cars at significantly cheaper rates, this is usually achieved by hiring older vehicles either purchased second hand or bought new and kept for a longer period of time.
Car hire companies and agents terms and conditions may vary from company to company, but a typical set of terms and conditions would be similar to the following from Spain Hire Cars.
This means your liability for damage caused to the rental vehicle is relinquished if it is involved in a collision. The waiver is limited to a certain amount and often excludes glass (windows etc.), tyres and any towing. The waiver usually carries an excess/deductible of a certain amount; this means that the renter will be liable for a certain amount e.g. In France the amount for some vehicles is EUR450.
This removes or reduces the renter's liability for the attempted theft or theft of the rented vehicle. The waiver may carry an excess/deductible amount, which means that the renter will be liable for a certain amount of the value of the vehicle damaged or stolen, for example up to first £2,000 of the damage.
SAFETY TIP: Spain Hire Cars recommends that you remove the identifying tag that is usually on the key ring of the vehicle and store it safely elsewhere.
If the vehicle is stolen and the renter cannot return the key i.e. the renter was negligent and left the key in a prominent and vulnerable location, the renter may be liable for the full cost of the vehicle.
Every country has a minimum amount of insurance needed for someone to be permitted to drive. This covers the renter's liability for any damage caused to other people and/or other people's property. It is usually limited to a maximum of EUR1,000,000. The insurance is limited and there may be excess i.e. you may be liable for any amount over and above the value of the insurance.
These are fees charged at some locations to cover the costs of services in the location.
This is a tax applied by the government on car rental and the percentage (%) varies from country to country.
This is a charge applied by rental companies to cover the cost of vehicle licensing.
Unlimited mileage is included in our rates. Many other companies charge this for accelerated vehicle depreciation.
All car rental agents have national assistance should the renter require it. Please ask at your local desk for the number and contact details at the time of rental.
Part-paid Rentals (when the booking deposit has been paid online and the balance is due on arrival at the rental desk): If the booking is cancelled within 7 days of the car rental booking date and at least 48 hours before pick up time, all funds will be reimbursed. If the booking is cancelled outside 7 days of the car rental booking date and at least 48 hours before the pickup time, all funds except a cancellation fee of EUR 25.00 and the card processing fee (where applicable), will be reimbursed. If the booking is cancelled less than 48 hours before the pickup time, no funds will be reimbursed.
Prepaid Rentals (when the entire rental amount has been prepaid):
If the booking is cancelled within 7 days of the car rental booking date and at least 48 hours before pick up time, all funds will be reimbursed. If the booking is cancelled outside 7 days of the car rental booking date and at least 48 hours before the pickup time, all funds except a cancellation fee of EUR 25.00 and the card processing fee (where applicable), will be reimbursed. If the booking is cancelled less than 48 hours before the pickup time, we will retain 3 days rental and the card processing fee (where applicable).
Post-paid Rentals (when the entire rental amount is due on arrival at the rental desk): There is no cancellation fee.
It is the responsibility of the consumer to personally cancel any other ancillary product that they may have purchased in conjunction (Side by side) with their vehicle reservation, i.e. LOSS DAMAGE WAIVER EXCESS REIMBURSEMENT INSURANCE through third parties like Mondial. In the event that you cancel or amend a credit/debit card booking CarTrawler will not be liable for any monetary losses suffered by you as a result of a change in monetary exchange rates between the time of your original booking and its subsequent cancellation or amendment (as applicable).
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