Quite often we have guests asking us when they book a stay at Cortijo El Guarda if we know a good address where they can rent a car when they arrive at (mostly) Malaga Airport. We have heard so many unpleasant stories about scam-like activities by rental firms that we find it difficult to make suggestions.
Next to that it seems that it is comparing apples and oranges in that business. Staff at the desks from the various car rental firm just seem to be trained to sell/push extra’s as the plain rental business seems to be too competitive to make money.
‘Hidden’ costs: Last week we had guests – A. and D. – that got their car with a full tank and had to deliver it empty, something that seems to become more and more the case in the industry. Two things to that: the car, a Nissan Qashqai diesel, has a 65 liter tank and on their invoice fuel costs were calculated at €113,00 which comes down to €1,75 per liter, at the local gas station we pay €1,35. Difference per tank: €26,00.
The next things is the ‘bringing it back empty’ joke. Next to the fact that you have to be a real thrill seeker to drive till the last drop, the Nissan uses according to test on average 5,6 liter per 100km, mean that you have to drive more than 1.150km to actually empty it, something that not every does on a holiday, no refund so money in the pocket of the company again. On the bill of our guests there was also tax added, the percentage added up to 44%, oke the have raise IVA =(VAT) here recently, but only to 21% amigos.
Other potential extra costs: Often ‘clients’ are directly informed at the desk that they have basic insurance cover and are handed a leaflet showing their minimum liability should any of a long list of events occur. Then they are told in no uncertain terms that they would indeed be responsible for a lot of things which really leaves them with no alternative other than to agree to the additional insurance at €5,00 per day or so. For unclear reasons and although you might have bought all the insurances that they have tried to sell you a extra driver might cost you between €15,00 and €25,00 a week. For guests that don’t use EUR as their local currency (like $ or £) the exchange rate cannot be checked and with some credit cards an ‘Exchange Rate Mark-Up’ of 2% can be added to the bill and you may be forced to sign an agreement stating: ‘I accept the conversion rate and final amount and that the final selected transaction currency is GBP. I understand that XXXcard has a currency conversion process and that I have chosen not to use the XXXcard currency conversion process and I will have no recourse against XXXcard with respect to any matter related to the currency conversion or disclosure thereof’.
We have teamed up with Helle Hollis, originally a Scandinavian car rental company with good service and reliability. They have very reasonable prices and no waiting on arrival and departure! With our so-called Club Number you will receive 15% off plus sometimes upgrading to a higher class car, if you book at least one month in advance. In addition an extra driver is for free and there is a ’Fair Fuel Policy”. For all these advantages is the 800m distance from/to the airport with the shuttle bus surely acceptable.
Their website is: http://www.hellehollis.com/index.asp
As we have experienced ourselves that behaviour of individual rental firms tends to change over time it might be a good idea to look at this review site before you book: http://www.reviewcentre.com/products3589.html and…..have a safe trip of course.