Tips for renting a car

You have just booked a trip and now you find renting a car abroad a challenge. I completely understand that, because there are many car rental companies and they all have their own conditions and prices. With these tips for renting a car below, I will help you make this easier.

Because having a car at your destination gives you a lot of freedom. For example, with a rental car in Portugal in the Algarve you can visit many more nice beaches or in Sweden to the nature parks for beautiful hikes.

When I need a car, I always book it through Sunny Cars. They distinguish themselves from others because they offer a price including insurance. If you rent from another company, the price is often cheaper, but this is the amount without insurance. If you also take the insurance with it, you are just as expensive or more expensive. With Sunny Cars you have everything together and you are insured on the road. Another advantage is that it is a Dutch company. In addition, it is just a nice website that is well-arranged and has good prices.

Rent a car via Sunny Cars

1. Choose a car that fits your itinerary

Renting the cheapest car is not always the best choice. This depends on who you are traveling with, what your destination is and what you want to use the car for.

If you are only going to drive a lot with adults through a mountainous area, regularly go off road or make a road trip, then a budget car is not always the best choice. Such a car has to make more revs to move forward. And more revs means higher fuel consumption.

In such a case it can be cheaper to go for a car in a higher class, so that you drive more economically and therefore use less fuel. In addition, you also have extra comfort with more space to take your luggage with you more easily.

And suppose you want to rent a car to go to a town, villages or beaches, then a budget car is more than enough. Especially if you don't want to drive every day.

So think about what you want to use the car for at your destination and who you will travel with.

2. Choose a Dutch over local car rental company

Renting a car is best done at a Dutch company, such as Sunny Cars, instead of at a local car rental company at your destination. This gives you clear agreements in your own language. And you prevent ambiguity between the landlord and yourself.

In addition, you can find out everything quietly and you will not be overwhelmed by an over-enthusiastic local seller who prefers to give you the most expensive car.

3. Check reviews online

Do your research at Dutch, international and local car rental companies and look for reviews about the rental company. This way you can find out what others are saying about the company. If you only see negative reviews or can't find any reviews at all, it is better to look for another car rental company. Even if the price is cheaper, because something like "if it's too good to be true", maybe it will be.

4. Read the rental conditions

Read the rental contract so that you know what you are getting into. It seems logical, but this is quickly forgotten. By doing this you provide insight into what you are actually going to rent. And what you pay, insurance and other conditions.

For example, the rental contract also states how many kilometers per day you can drive without paying extra (this is not always unlimited by default!). This way you can also find out whether you can also drive this car to another country. And don't forget to check the fine print!

5. Get Insurance!

Make sure you are properly insured when renting a car abroad. Having insurance for your rental car is important. You do not want to have problems with compensation in the event of an accident or theft, even if the chance is small. And think of the amount of your deductible!

6. Don't go for navigation system

When renting a car, you will be asked if you want to rent a navigation system. This is not necessary, because there are free alternatives. With navigation apps, such as Google Maps or Maps, you also arrive at your destination. And this is always more up-to-date than the navigation that comes with it.

If you don't want to sacrifice all your valuable mobile data, use the free navigation app With this app you can download (parts of) countries, so that they are available offline. This way you will certainly save some money on costs.

7. Refuel yourself before returning

Check when you pick up If you have to return the car with a full tank. You only pay for the fuel you use yourself. For example, via Sunny Cars you only pay for the fuel used.

If you do not do this or if you rent from a car rental company where this is not necessary, they will fill it up for you and assume that the fuel is always more expensive and you also pay extra for the service. Huge waste of money.

8. Have a credit card and valid driver's license

Having a credit card on your trip can always come in handy, because when renting a car (abroad) you need a credit card from the chief driver. The credit card is required as it serves as a security deposit for the car rental company if there are:

  • damage to the car occurs
  • when speeding or parking incorrectly and traffic fines come in
  • for the (possible) deposit and the deductible.

Note: prepaid credit cards are not accepted everywhere for renting a car.

In addition to a credit card, you also need a valid driver's license, which you often need to have for at least a few years. This depends on the car rental company how many years this is and what the minimum age is.

9. Rent in a city, not the airport

If you still want to rent a car locally, it is best to do this in the center of the city. The airports are generally more expensive than any other location.

So search for WiFi or use your data to find out if the company has multiple pick-up locations at your destination. A good check just to be sure can save tens of euros.

Through the comparison website Sunny Cars, you can see exactly where the pick-up locations are.

Compare rental car prices

10. Check for Damage

And the last tip I want to give you is that when you pick up your rental car, check for damage, such as scratches and dents. When collecting the car, the lessor will indicate where existing damage is. Make sure this is put in the contract.

In addition, it is smart to check before you drive away with the rental car whether there are any more damage to the car. Take pictures of this, because then you have the time and date. Even when you return the car it is good to take pictures. This way you avoid problems when you get home and the car turns out to have extra damage.

Ready to rent a car?

Now that you know my tips for renting a car, I hope that the challenge of renting a car has become less. Good luck with your car rental and have a nice trip!

And if you still have questions about renting a car while traveling, you can always send me a DM at