General Car Hire Tips Before Renting Cars

Whether you’re on vacation or you on a trip and don’t have access to your vehicle, renting a car is way more profitable than hailing a taxi every time you need to go somewhere. Not only will you cut costs by hiring a vehicle – cab fees in Cyprus can be quite high – you also won’t miss an appointment due to not being able to get a cab on time.

However, the car rental world can prove to be tough waters for a beginner, consequently leading to them making a couple of mistakes the first few times they try to rent a vehicle. Also, the car rental system in Cyprus is fraught with scams that even the most experienced travellers might fall victim to, if they are not careful enough.

What is the right amount to pay for a car rental? Do I need to inspect the vehicle beforehand? What about insurance? These and any other questions about car rentals you might have will be treated in today’s article as we share with you tips on how to successfully hire a car in Cyprus.

1. Shop around for the best deals

One of the worst mistakes you could make as a newbie shopping for car rental services is to jump on the very first offer you come across. Of course, it might just happen that the very first rental service you encounter might be one of the best, but that is not always the case.

Before you make the jump and hire a car, check out various rental services and compare vehicles, prices, and policies. You can also ask family and friends for recommendations, based on their previous experiences with these companies. Once you have done all this, you’ll have a better understanding of how the rental system works and can then rent a car that will give you the most satisfaction.

2. Avoid renting a car directly at the airport

There are a number of car rental services spread across Cyprus airports, and having access to vehicular transportation immediately after a flight is great. Larnaca international airport, arguably the biggest in Cyprus, has its own car hiring service, but there are several other rental services sited in and around the airport as well.

However, one thing you need to understand is that Larnaca airport car rentals, and other agencies located within airports have to pay a fee to the airport authorities for transacting on their grounds. Consequently, this fee is transferred to the customers, and you might have to pay a higher amount to use their vehicles, compared to what is obtainable in town.

One way around this is to, immediately you land, hail a cabbie to take you to a car rental service that is not located within the airport. However, if you’ve had a long journey and are exhausted or you have cash to spare, then you might just rent a car at the airport to save yourself from further stress.

3. Check online reviews to see what people are saying about the car rental service

One thing that can save you a whole lot of trouble is to look up reviews of the car rental service you plan to transact with before making any form of payment. Larnaca Airport car rentals reviews are a particularly good source of pure, unbiased customer feedback of rental services located in Cyprus airports.

A lot of car rental services out there are not up to standard, and by taking time out to go through customer reviews on their websites, you can potentially avoid walking into a landmine. A car rental service with lots of negative customer feedback is never a good sign, and you should steer clear of such dealers.

4. Try to locate a gas station close to the rental agency

Most times, when you rent a car, you’d need to fuel it immediately. And if the nearest gas station is miles away from you, then you might end up stranded and terribly confused. Hence, while looking up agencies to rent a car from, you should equally conduct a search for gas stations that are close by.

Also, if you rent a vehicle already loaded with gasoline, and the rental agency requires that you return their car with a full tank, you can do that with ease at a nearby gas station; It also means you don’t have to drive in circles round an unfamiliar neighbourhood looking for where to buy gas.

4. Carry out a thorough inspection on the vehicle before renting

This one should be pretty obvious, but we’re repeating it for emphasis – always carry out a comprehensive check on any vehicle at the rental agency before driving away. Check the car for damages, raise an alarm if you encounter any faulty parts and demand for a replacement.

When you do this, you avoid future misunderstandings that might arise as a result of the vehicle developing issues while in use; It also helps you avoid accidents that may occur as a result of driving a faulty vehicle around.  

Things you should inspect include the vehicle’s brake and sound system. Also check for broken mirrors and a cracked windshield, test the gear system, examine the fuel pump and look for scratches. It could also help to take pictures of the car with a timestamp so you can have a form of evidence in case things go awry.

6. Take time to go through the contract

Don’t be the customer that doesn’t read terms and conditions, properly scrutinize the details of the contractual agreement before transacting with a rental agency. And if you come across any part that doesn’t appeal to you or seems bogus to you, request for clarification or back off immediately and move onto the next agency.

Check the contract for hidden fees and extra charges to avoid facing an unpleasant surprise when you’re returning the car. Charges and fees common with car rental agencies include: late return fee, late pickup fee (for online orders), young driver fees, refuelling fee, one-way fee (if the company is to pick up the vehicle themselves after use) among others.

7. Take note of the fuel policy

Simply put, the fuel policy provides regulations for the fuelling of a rented vehicle during use. Car rental agencies in Cyprus airports, as well those in town generally offer three fuel policies:

  • The vehicle is given to you with a full tank of gasoline, and you have to return it with its tank full.
  • You’re given a car with an empty tank, and you return it with an empty tank.
  • A vehicle is given to you with a full tank of gasoline, and you’re to pay for whatever amount of gas you use, without refuelling the car.

Information on the fuel policy is usually provided within the contract, and if you can’t find it there, make sure you ask what fuelling system is employed by the agency before driving off.

8. Get an online rental car insurance service

Car rental agencies typically offer insurance on their vehicles, but this comes at a premium price and it doesn’t cover a whole lot of possibilities. To navigate around this, you can either have a look at your existing personal car insurance to see if it covers rentals or work with a third-party company. Generally, most car insurance companies offer comprehensive protection on rentals as they are considered as a form of replacement, but if that is not applicable with your own company, you have to look for an alternative source of cover.

By doing this, you not only save a lot of cash, but you’re told, in certain terms, what you are and are not covered for. Ensure the insurance policy you choose offers protection against mishaps such as theft, damage, key loss, flat tires and many more.