Things to Know Before Renting a Car

Renting a car may seem like a straightforward process and generally it is, but quite often there are considerations you may want to have in mind. These little details can save you a lot of money, time and will guarantee you a hassle-free trip. In the following lines you will find information about the most important points you’ll have to gather information about before renting a car. Much like buying a TV or any other consumer product, preliminary research and preparation for renting a car goes a long way in choosing the best deal.

Cancelled/on-time Flights, Airlines and Airports
airport flight listings

Airport Flight Listings

It’s always good idea to monitor flight information because some flights tend to get delayed or cancelled (you can do this here). Rental car companies have different policies towards no-shows but most have a set tax for such events. A slight delay should not be a problem for most companies.

Another situation is when your flight gets diverted to another airport. For example during the winter and autumn seasons a large portion of the flights bound for Sofia Airport are being diverted to Varna Airport or Plovdiv Airport because of poor visibility due to heavy snowfall or dense fog. This can be a huge problem if you have made a reservation with a local car hire company, as they may not have an office at your arrival location.

Credit card coverage and policy

Almost all rental car agencies will check your credit card coverage even if you don’t ask them. But again the safest thing to do will be to check for yourself before setting off. Some credit card companies cover only damages to the vehicle itself but won’t cover the fees charged by the rent a car company. And you probably know that these fees sometimes can add up a substantial amount to your bill and you don’t want that. In Bulgaria many local car rental companies take a Security deposit and if the vehicle is returned in the same condition and on time the Security deposit is reimbursed to the clients account.

Credit card ownership
Credit Card

A credit card is commonly required for renting a car.

Be careful whose credit card you are using when making your booking. If the owner of the card is under the age of 25 most likely you’ll have to pay extra for underage tax, because the company will use his name for the rental contract. Bulrent doesn’t charge extra for this – a policy which is rarely found among car rental brokers. Bear in mind however, that there are age restrictions for some car classes, but they can be avoided by doubling the amount of the client’s Security deposit.

Luggage

Be sure to inform your car rental broker or company if you have the intention to travel with extra luggage or other over-size items like pet carriers, surf boards, wheelchairs, golf or ski equipment etc. By doing this you and your rental car provider will be sure that the vehicle you chose can accommodate you and your baggage thus saving you a lot of subsequent complaints loss of time and money.

Meet and greet policy
airpot-rent-a-car-meet

Arrivals terminal crowd

We previously mentioned the airports. Some of them as you probably know can be vast buildings packed with people and service personnel. Imagine finding your broker or dealer in such conditions when you are in a hurry for a business meeting or to catch the next flight. That’s why Bulrent is offering meet and greet service free of charge. Our representative will be waiting for you on previously arranged place and time holding a sign with your name. This will also save you the unpleasant waiting around.

Airport fees

When the car rental pick-up is at the airport and the company you have a reservation with does not have an office there, they may collect the so called “Airport fee”. Of course you can avoid this by selecting to pick up the car from the company’s office location in the city (most local car rental companies in Bulgaria do not have an office at the airport) but this will add extra costs for transportation to your trip. If you choose Bulrent as your rental car provider you can be sure that you will save money on “Airport fee” and transportation taxes because we do not charge extra for an airport rental.

Gasoline charges and prices
rent-a-car-gasoline

Refueling the hire car yourself is the most cost-efficient option.

Sometimes the client has the opportunity to prepay for the gasoline. This is not a good option because the companies will charge you more than the regular price at the gas station. So just for your information you can check the local gasoline prices. For Bulgaria you can visit the web sites of the four biggest gas stations namely Shell, OMV, Eko, Lukoil or for more comprehensive comparison take a look here . Our partners are renting out their cars with full tanks for your convenience. Just remember to fill up when it is time to return the vehicle.

Winterization fee
rent-a-car-winterization-fee

Winter equipped rental cars

This kind of fee is often collected in the time period from November until end of March and should cover the costs of preparing the car for winter conditions e.g. putting snow tires, winter windscreen washer fluid, engine coolant change end other. The client has to bear in mind that this fee does not include snow chains. However we at Bulrent think that if someone is renting out cars in the winter they have to be prepared by default. So we do not add a winterization fee to our prices, and we can even offer you free snow chains for some car classes. Just be sure to enquire about the needed extras.

Closing words

So now you see that a little preliminary preparation can be of big importance and guarantee you a pleasant and very inexpensive trip. Do you have any money-saving car rental tips of your own? Please share them in the comments section below.

Kiril Yanakiev

Kiril Yanakiev

Kiril is a man of many different interests. Like all people at Bulrent, he shares the love for cars and enjoys taking long road trips with friends. He has a technical background - he majored "Fleet and ports operations" in the Technical University of Varna and also graduated as a Maritime Navigation major.
Kiril Yanakiev

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