Although looks are great, there are a few other things you should take into consideration when choosing a rental car:
Be sure to ask the rental company whether the car you want to hire has a GPS. If not, you can always download an international offline GPS navigation app, just be sure to keep your phone charged at all times
- Make sure the size of the car is appropriate. Take into consideration the number of people that will be traveling in the car, and the amount of luggage each of them will bring.
- If you’ll be traveling out of Croatia, make sure the car rental company allows cross border travel. Be aware that if you take a road trip from the north of Croatia down to Dubrovnik, there is a small area of land that is Bosnia and it does count as a border crossing. More on that below in the text.
- If you’re going to be traveling long distances, make sure the car is equipped with cruise control. This will help you out a lot, especially when driving on the highways!
- Location matters. Renting a car from Zagreb can cost almost double the price of renting a car from Dubrovnik or Zadar.
- As mentioned before, if you’re under the age of 22, or over the age of 70, you’ll be eligible for additional fees (about 25 EUR per day surcharge). The exact sum depends on the company; please check with the company or it will also say on the site right away if you are using any of the price comparison websites.
- Try to keep the number of drivers to a minimum as most car rental companies will charge extra fees for each person driving the vehicle
- Check if the company you’re hiring your car from is charging additional fees for one-way drop-offs. If you need to leave the car at a location different from the pick up place, it may be best to switch to another company as there are plenty of car rental companies that don’t charge extra fees for this service (set filters on Gocarsnow.com to see them)
- Ask the car rental company if there are any hidden service taxes that will be added to the fee; basically, ask – “What is going to be my final price including all the additional charges?”
- Check if you have unlimited mileage on the car, or if you’re paying per kilometer for the distance you drive (unlimited is very much recommended, of course)
- Check if there is a fee for picking up the car in premium locations, for example, car hire in Pula airport.
If you choose to rent a car at the airport, it usually will often cost more as the car rental company has to pay extra for a license to operate at the airport. In some cases it may be better to rent a car from a company situated near your hotel and pick up the car only once you’ve settled in
Again, gocarsnow.com can help you figure out the logistics of your trip a whole lot easier. I really recommend these businesses as they’ve made booking rental cars a breeze whenever I’ve hired a car abroad!
It does not matter what country you are renting your car in, before driving the car out of the lot, it’s important to do a few checks:
- Inspect the car thoroughly for scratches and dents on the exterior. There may be a fault that the company is not aware of. In this case, you should point it out to them before you take the vehicle so that you’re not held responsible
- Familiarize yourself with the car. Get an assistant to tell you where the lights, aircon, indicators, and other controls are so you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Be sure to adjust the wing mirrors, rearview mirror and the seat to your liking before leaving on your journey
- Punch your travel plans into the GPS. This will save you a lot of hassles along the way!
- Make sure you ask the rental company what kind of fuel your rental car takes. It may be more than a little stressful trying to figure it out after you’ve departed
- Make sure that your driver’s license is with you and valid for at least the next 6 months. If not, you better get it renewed before your trip or the car won’t be released to you
- If you are traveling with a child that is under 18 kg (30 lbs), you’ll need to ask the rental company for a baby seat. If you don’t want to pay the extra charges (it can get quite costly, actually) you’ll need to bring a baby seat with you
- In my opinion, the GPS option is completely unnecessary as Google maps work great in the country and it is available offline if previously downloaded
- Check that there is a full tank of gas in the car before you leave, as that is the policy with rental cars.
NOTE: Do not forget to refill your tank when returning the car. Some companies can charge triple the price for gas, so better do it yourself in advance.