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Smart tips for renting a car abroad
There are some basic steps which, if followed, can help you make smarter choices when renting a car abroad.
Renting a car abroad requires careful planning. Different laws, company policies and car models can make renting a car for a vacation a confusing and risky process. There are some basic steps though which, if followed, can help you make smarter choices when renting a car abroad.

It's preferable to order the rental from Israel. Ordering a rental directly from foreign companies or foreign services is usually much more expensive (in most locations) than ordering from Israel. Rental plans from foreign companies are not always applicable for Israeli tourists and are usually very basic. It's important to compare all the available options and not to be swindled by prices that seem cheap but don't include the same things that Israeli companies offer.

Check to see exactly what you need your rental to hold, whether that’s how many passengers or how many bags you need to take with you. Then see which car can fit everything you need. Check to see what companies have the type of car you need.

Make sure that the driver can drive the car at their age. Also, check if you can drive into other countries, a prevalent question when traveling in Italy and Eastern Europe.

Check if the rental plan includes deductible cancellation. It is recommended to get this plan in Israel and not to take extra risks. When signing the rental plan outside of Israel, they'll offer extra optional coverage. You should pay attention to what you're signing so you don't sign for something you don't want to sign.

After receiving the rental plan and agreeing to its conditions, get a copy of the contract. Read the contract and only then sign it, because once you've signed, you've agreed to all the conditions, so make sure you know what you're agreeing to.

When picking up the car, check the car and make sure that the rental clerk knows about any damage (if there is any). When returning the car, ask the clerk to check the car and to put in writing that the car was returned in working condition.

Get a valid international credit card with a secure code (some rental companies in some countries require two international credit cards) and an Israeli driver's license (some countries require an international driver's license as well). A temporary (paper) Israeli driver's license does not work abroad.

Keep up to date on traffic laws in your destination, including the speed limit, parking, etc. and drive according to the law. Parking tickets and traffic tickets are the responsibility of the person renting the car. They'll be in their name and will be sent to Israel.

When traveling with children, check to see until what age children need to be in a booster seat, so you order a car with the appropriate equipment. This is important for the safety of your children and for keeping the transit laws at your destination.

It is recommended to return the car with a full tank of gas, since the rates charged by the rental companies are more expensive than the rates at local gas stations. In addition, some countries charge service fees for refueling. It is very important to know what type of fuel the car uses, since filling the car with the wrong fuel can cause damage to the vehicle, resulting in fees.

A day in a rental plan is 24 hours, therefore it's recommended to return the vehicle before the hour in which you picked it up. Any delay in returning the vehicle can lead to fees, depending on the rental company and the tariffs determined by them. You should return the vehicle as clean as you got it. A car that is very dirty when returned could result in cleaning fees.

Boaz Yacobi is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shlomo Sixt.

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