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(photo credit: Courtesy)
Just before the ski season arrives, it will be time to start planning your next trip. So, how do you make sure that your rental vehicle suits your needs? What should you pay attention to in the rental-contract and how can you watch out for traps? The complete guide is here:
We have begun our preparations, but how do we choose a company and a vehicle?
- In most booking sites around the world, the cost of renting a car is significantly higher than in Israel, so in most cases you should order the car from Israel.Choose a vehicle that suits you
– Carefully evaluate your travel-needs, how many passengers will be in the vehicle, what equipment you should take, and which vehicle can accommodate all the equipment. Check which companies have the right vehicle for your needs. Often, the vehicles offered to you in Israel are representative models. Companies abroad may provide you with a vehicle that they have defined as an equivalent to the chosen model.Is the vehicle fitted to a ski trip?
Check whether the vehicle you choose is fitted with snow-tires, snow chains and a magnetic snowboard & ski rack. At Shlomo Sixt, for example, the equipment is offered for free (for selected destinations), but there are companies that will require an additional fee of up to $100.Navigation systems
- Today you do not have to get too involved with map and navigation features. For many companies, vehicles are equipped with a GPS navigation system that makes it easy to navigate the foreign roads (for pre-orders and for an additional cost).
What is important to check regarding the lease?Are you planning to travel between countries?
If so, and especially if you want to travel to Eastern European countries and\or Italy, mention it in advance and check that the car company allows it.Age of the driver
- Sometimes there is an age limit for renting different types of vehicles. Do not forget to check in advance whether the age of the driver allows him or her to drive in the vehicle you have selected. Some destinations have a minimum age limit.Safety chairs
- Check the travel requirement regarding safety seats in the country you are traveling to, and order seats in advance according to the children's age and weight.Additional covers
- During the formulation of your rental contract you will be offered additional coverages. Check whether they are relevant to you and what their cost is. Pay particular attention to the deductible that will protect you in case of damages or theft. It is important to note that most of the Israeli companies' fees include the deductible and there is no need to purchase it abroad.
Do not forget to have:
Copy of the lease
- before you sign, check that you understand and agree to all clauses, and keep a copy of the contract for yourself.Driver's license
- Every driver who plans to drive the vehicle must present a permanent Israeli driver's license. Notice that some countries require an international driving license in addition to the Israeli one. A temporary Israeli driver's license is not valid abroad.International credit card
- You will need to present to the rental companies a valid credit card for your deposit and additional payments when necessary. Some companies will even require two credit cards, depending on the type of vehicle ordered. You must have the secret code of the card.
And when you have a car ...Scan the vehicle and check for damages in advance
- Let the company representative know about any damages and make sure it is registered on the delivery form. Do not forget to ask for a copy of the form. When you return the vehicle, ask the company representative to check the vehicle and confirm that it was returned in a good condition.Check fuel type
- Before you fuel up the car, check the fuel type for the vehicle you rented. The use of improper fuel can cause damage to the vehicle, on which you will have to pay. When traveling to ski resorts, figure out whether you need antifreeze in order to prevent the fuel from freezing in the tank.Follow local regulations
- Keep up with traffic laws such as permitted speeds and approved parking spaces - and follow these rules.Fuel before you return the vehicle
- If the fuel tank is not full when you return the vehicle, the rental companies charge you for the missing fuel - a higher price than the price you will be charged at the local gas stations. Therefore, we recommend that you return the vehicle with a full tank.Return the vehicle on time
- If you drop the car off after the time you were due to return it, you will be charged a lateness fee, according to the company's local rate. Usually the tariff will be higher than the tariff in Israel. Since a rental day is 24 hours, remember the time you took the vehicle and return it by that time on the due date.Return a clean vehicle
- Keep the vehicle clean during the trip and return it as clean as it was when received. A particularly dirty vehicle may result in a special cleaning fee.
And have a pleasant and safe trip!
The writer is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shlomo Sixt.