Myths and truths about hiring a car

Explore the myths and truths about hiring a car. Debunking common misconceptions and providing essential information to ensure a hassle-free car rental experience. Get informed before your next trip!

There are many myths and truths about hiring a car. But the reality is that renting a car is a very good option for travelling, for exploring the area where we are on holiday or for those who need a temporary vehicle. However, there are several myths and misconceptions that can cause confusion and concern when deciding on this option. In this article, we debunk the most common car rental myths and provide useful information to help you have a hassle-free experience.

From insurance coverage to age restrictions, we will analyze everything you need to know before renting a car.

Renting a car is expensive

Don’t believe the exaggerations.

This is a very common myth. Renting a car is not as expensive as many people believe. There are many rental options that fit different budgets. Simply compare prices at different companies and find the offer that suits you best.

Renting a car is very difficult

Simple and digital.

Another common myth. The reality is that renting a car is a straightforward process. Moreover, in the digital world we live in, it’s even more simplified. It’s a process that can be done online perfectly, using the phone we carry in our pocket. Of course, we can also do the process in person at the rental company’s office.

At this point, we can rely on the opinions and reviews of other customers. The more positive reviews, the more confidence the company inspires.

Rental companies have expanded their networks, offering numerous pickup and drop-off locations, such as airports, cities, and popular tourist destinations. This extensive coverage ensures you can easily access a rental car wherever you go.

If you don’t pick up the car at an office, airport, train station, etc., at the time of your reservation, check with the company if they serve you where you are or if you have to go to their facilities.

Rental cars are old and unsafe

Safety and confidence guaranteed

This is a completely false myth. Car rental companies usually renew their fleets frequently, so the cars are often new and in good condition. Furthermore, the cars are thoroughly checked. Especially a small company cannot afford to have a car fail due to not being in optimal conditions.

While it’s true that rental cars are driven by many different people, and each drives in a completely different way than the other, the cars are inspected after each rental or just before renting them out.

Today, rental cars are up-to-date with features such as GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and advanced safety systems. Take advantage of these technological conveniences to enhance your driving experience and make your trip more enjoyable.

For families with young children, rental companies often offer child safety seats and other extras upon request. Avoid the hassle of bringing your own equipment and ensure the safety and comfort of your little ones during the journey.

Appropriate insurance coverage

Know the different insurance options.

One of the most common myths about car rentals is that you will always need to take out additional insurance.

The car will always be insured; at least in Spain, insurance is mandatory, not only for driving but also just to have the car on the street. Therefore, the rental car will include insurance.

Generally, this insurance will have an excess that will depend on the type of car. Many rental companies offer the option to contract optional insurance to waive this excess. These insurances may have a daily or fixed cost, usually much lower than the amount of the deductible, but generally non-refundable.

In any case, we must check the insurance coverage. It may be the case that we have contracted comprehensive insurance, without any excess, but that this insurance does not cover things such as tire breakage (usually punctures are covered, but “breakage” refers to rendering the tire unusable), refueling with the wrong fuel, loss or breakage of keys.

On some occasions, your own car insurance or credit card may provide the necessary coverage. Before renting a car, check if they offer protection for rental vehicles. This way, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and have the peace of mind of being covered in case of any eventuality. In this case, you will be charged the amount of the deductible, and in case of any problems, you will be responsible for it and it is your responsibility to claim it from your insurance. The company must provide you with the invoice to be able to make the claim, but they will never claim it from your insurance. Keep this in mind if you choose this option.

Age and driver’s license restrictions

Age doesn’t matter (almost never).

Another common myth is that only people of a certain age can rent a car. While some rental companies have minimum age restrictions, many others offer services to young drivers, although there may be an additional charge. Sometimes, companies may also require a minimum driver’s license period, so even if you meet the age requirement, if you don’t have the required license period, they won’t rent the car to you.

However, it’s important to ensure you have a valid and current driver’s license. In some countries, an international driver’s license may be required, while in others, only your national driver’s license will be necessary.

Find out the requirements of the country or rental company before your trip to avoid problems when picking up the vehicle.

Deposit and additional charges

Transparent rental policies.

A common myth is that the deposit required when renting a car is excessively high and that you can end up paying hidden additional charges. While it’s true that some rental companies request a deposit as a guarantee, this amount will vary depending on the type of car and is usually refunded at the end of the contract without any problems. In most cases, the amount of this deposit will be held on our credit card.

It is essential to carefully read the terms and conditions of the rental to understand any additional charges that may apply. This includes fees for late return, extra kilometers, or unfilled fuel tank. By having clarity about these aspects, you can plan your trip more accurately and avoid unpleasant surprises on the final bill.

As we mentioned in the third point, some companies offer the possibility of avoiding this deposit with the payment of an extra insurance.

Vehicle condition

Myths and Truths About Hiring a Car

Check the car before leaving.

Many people believe that when returning the rental car, they will be responsible for any damage, even if they did not cause it. This is not the case; an inspection of the vehicle will usually be carried out in front of the customer, and any damage it may have will be noted. Likewise, the same procedure must be done at the time of return, and if it is in the same condition as at the beginning, there should be no problems.

However, it is advisable to perform a detailed inspection of the vehicle on our own at the time of delivery and ensure that any pre-existing damage is documented in the rental agreement. Taking pictures of the car before and after the rental can be a good practice to support any subsequent claim. It is always recommended to inform the rental company of any problems or damage you find to avoid disputes later.

We must always inform the company of any problems we may have during the rental period, regardless of the type of insurance contracted. Nobody is exempt from having an accident, and it will always be more convenient to notify the company than to remain silent and return the car with some damage. If we have an accident, we must provide the company with all the necessary documentation, accident reports, etc., whether it was our fault or not.

Managing Fuel Policies

Fueling your journey.

Fuel policies can vary among rental companies, which adds to the confusion. We must be clear about the company’s fuel policy, whether it’s “full-to-full” or “full-to-empty,” with the obvious cost of fuel in the latter option. Clarify the possible penalty for not returning the car in the agreed-upon condition or the potential extra cost of choosing one option over the other.

Flexibility in Rental Duration

Customized rental periods.

Contrary to the myth that car rentals are only suitable for long trips, the truth is that rental periods can be tailored to your needs. Many rental companies offer daily, weekly, or even hourly rental options, providing flexibility for short-term and spontaneous travel plans.

One thing we must be clear about is whether there is a penalty for ending the rental earlier than contracted. Or, in case we need to extend it, how much notice we should give the company.

24/7 Roadside Assistance

Safety and support on the road.

Finally, to provide peace of mind to their customers, car rental companies (especially smaller ones) usually offer 24/7 roadside assistance. In the event of a breakdown, flat tire, or other unexpected problems during your journey, assistance is just a phone call away.


Renting a car can be the best option for your travels, but it’s essential to be informed and debunk the misconceptions surrounding it. From understanding insurance coverage options to knowing age restrictions or driver’s license requirements and grasping possible additional charges.

Being prepared will help you have a surprise-free experience. By following these tips, you can enjoy the freedom to explore your destination worry-free and make the most of your car rental. Remember always to read the terms and conditions and choose a trustworthy rental company, ensuring a satisfying experience.