How to avoid car rental mistakes

How to avoid car rental mistakes

In recent years, more and more traveller are visiting Greece and Santorini, for work or leisure and decide to Santorini car rental or other vehicles, either directly from the websites of rental companies or through intermediaries (agencies, travel agencies), to make it easier for them to stay. hotels, airlines, etc.). The same goes for citizens of other cities in our country who choose to visit all the beautiful islands.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, the Santorini rent a car highlights consumer rights and “secrets” when booking, picking up, using and delivering a vehicle. 

What we need to know about safe rental

When the reservation is made in advance, directly or through an intermediary (agent), it can be done while we are in our country and, usually, in our language. At the same time, we have time to study the terms and ask for clarification. On the contrary, if we rent the vehicle when we are already outside Greece, these conditions, as a rule, do not apply. When the contract is concluded outside a commercial store or remotely, mainly online, the consumer’s right to unjustified withdrawal does not apply within 14 calendar days (Article 3b of Law 2251/1994) with a refund and the terms and conditions of cancellation are defined by the contract.


Read the basic terms of the contract

Before making a reservation, read the basic terms of the contract that you will sign with the rental company. Whether the rental is done directly or through an agent you will avoid unpleasant surprises. In particular, specify the total amount of your debt and the acceptable means of payment. 

Consumers often book a car through an travel agent, hotel, airline, etc. and pay the required deposit by debit card. When, later, they show up at the rental company to pick up the car, many times it refuses to accept a debit credit card. All of the above must be clarified before the car can be picked up. Specify in advance the amount of the guarantee that you have to pay to receive the vehicle, as well as what damages it covers.

Be careful with the cancellation and insurance policy

Pay attention to the special provisions for the time of cancellation of the reservation and the possible financial burdens it brings. Check the insurance coverage, so that we know what it includes (eg, coverage for bodily injuries, death, damage to the vehicle, third party damages).

Consumers, when booking the vehicle, usually accept the basic liability insurance in case of causing physical or material damage to third parties. However, when they appear in the rental companies to sign the contract, they must check whether it includes additional special insurance. They can be optional and incur additional charges.

Additional charges

Specify any additional charges, both from taxes or special benefits. Mandatory or not (eg insurance), and from additional consumer requirements. Many times, the prices offered by some companies are lower, because they do not include all the charges that correspond to what the consumer has chosen.

Tips when picking up the vehicle

Before receipt, sign the rental agreement of the vehicle, after previously carefully contrasting the basic terms of detention with the terms of the contract. If you do not understand the language, ask for the contract in English. European law does not provide for the obligation of the company to have a contract in every language.

  • Clarify any restrictions and special terms. Some companies do not allow the cross-border use of the vehicle or set mileage limits on its use. 
  • Keep copies of all the documents you have signed and, of course, of the contract,and all the relevant receipts. Also the documents concerning the ownership and safety of the car.
  • Inspect the vehicle, preferably in the presence of an employee of the rental company, for any damage and, if possible, photograph it. If there is damage, ask for another vehicle. If there is no other or you  consider that the damages are not significant, proceed to the receipt. But only after they have been previously recorded and photographed.
  • Check if there are tire change tools, spare parts, and vehicle operation manual in a language you understand. Check the fuel tank and ask the company in what condition you need to return it. Ask for emergency calls in case of failure or accident.
  • If for some reason the car for which you have made a reservation is not available, you are not obliged to pay more for a better car. On the contrary, if the company has only a less valuable car, the amount due should be reduced accordingly.

Tips during the lease

  1. Ask about any special traffic regulations that apply in the country. Caution, as fines for violations, are borne by the driver of the vehicle and may be deducted directly from his credit card.
  2. Read what is provided in case of mechanical failure.
  3. If an accident or damage happened, apply what the contract provides and, above all, immediately notify the rental company. Don’t try to repair the car without the consent of the company. Especially for the accident,  record the details of those involved, call the police and notify the company without delay. You can request an estimate of the amount of damage from a workshop so that you have a measure of comparison for the amount that the company will require.

Tips when returning the vehicle

  • When we return the vehicle to the designated point and the agreed day and time, otherwise additional charges are imposed.
  • Check the opening hours of the rental offices. Deliver your rental car as long as it is open, to avoid problems. Non less the company provides the possibility of delivery outside the opening hours.
  • Seek the inspection of the vehicle by a representative of the rental company. To certify in writing that it is delivered in the condition received. Otherwise, we risk being harmed, after our removal, by pre-existing damage and losing the warranty or being charged. That’s why delivery, when the company is closed, is not the safest choice for the consumer.
  • Make sure that the vehicle is equipped with the amount of fuel provided by the contract.
  • The terms of contracts that allow the company to keep the entire guarantee for very small losses. Therefore, for insignificant expenses are abusive.

Read more about Santorini Rent a Car:

Evelyn Mccoy