Where we can rent a car online

Rent a car at home and abroad

Rent a motorhome for your vacation, explore the holiday island with a car or scooter, go to the weekend in a convertible or take a long-term rental car. ADAC lawyers show what you have to consider when booking with a car rental company and how you can avoid additional costs.

  • Car, mobile home or motorcycle from the car rental company: Tips for booking, picking up and returning

  • Avoid additional costs for unnecessary insurance, tank filling or winter tires

  • Pay attention to the minimum sum insured when renting a car abroad

Six tips for booking a rental car

  1. Take your time: Once the vehicle is reserved, the contract cannot be canceled free of charge. There is also when booking online no right of withdrawal!

  2. Compare prices: Ask for Costs extra e.g. for one-way rental or rental at the airport

  3. Please indicate age when booking: Many car rental companies are calling Minimum age for the driver, sometimes there is a maximum age

  4. Read first, then sign it: Get the general terms and conditions (rental conditions) and read them before signing. The lease only comes with your Signature at the counter the car rental company, regardless of whether you have reserved the rental car on the Internet or booked it at a travel agency

  5. Take out fully comprehensive insurance: Pay attention to the Deductible amount. The scope of insurance coverage should be specified in the rental agreement.

  6. Adhere to the agreed rental period: If you return the car too late or too early, threaten Back payments

Book correctly with the ADAC checklist

ADAC checklist for booking a rental car
View PDF

Beware of the additional costs

Supplementary insurance

Some rental car agents reimburse the excess of the comprehensive insurance (so-called tariff with reimbursement) in the event of damage. The local car rental company may offer you additional insurance. Take care of the Do not double-cover the deductible! You do not need to take out any additional "super comprehensive insurance" (Super CDW). The agent will not reimburse the additional costs for this.

Winter tires

The lessor may not charge any additional costs for winter tires if they were not expressly ordered at the time of booking. He must provide you with a roadworthy and ready-to-drive vehicle, so may no car with summer tires in winter road conditions to rent. Ask for a car with winter tires when you make your reservation.

Fuel charges

Before starting your journey, clarify whether you have to return the car with a full tank. Be careful with providers who do not want to provide any information about this before booking.

Often times, car rental companies charge excessive fuel charges when using the car not returned with a full tank becomes. Some even let their customers pay for the tank filling in advance at an inflated price.

Pick-up and return

Inspect the vehicle before driving and let the rental company know all Record previous damage. This will prevent you from being liable for previous damage.

Go through the ADAC checklist before starting your journey

ADAC checklist for taking over a rental car
View PDF

Also check and record the upon return Condition of the car in the presence of an employee. Make sure that you get the credit card receipt or deposit back when you return the vehicle.

Enter the car in the Opening times of the rental company and back at the agreed rental car station. taking photos The car at the time of return if you park the car at the rental company outside of the opening hours. Dubious providers often charge alleged damage later.

Damage to the rental car - who pays what?

Notify one of them accident always the police and the rental car station!

Create as Tenant culpable of an accident, the motor vehicle liability pays the damage to the car of the opponent. Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to the rental car if you have taken out one. As the tenant, you are then liable up to the agreed amount Deductible.

Note: According to many terms and conditions, the deductible is due immediately even if the tenant was not responsible for the accident or damage. This is especially true abroad. In such cases, the tenant will only be reimbursed the amount if the opposing liability insurance company has paid.

When renting in Germany, the tenant is only liable for damage that he is responsible for himself. The landlord must prove this culpability. Can the Cause of damage not clarified the tenant does not have to be responsible for the damage. The same applies to rockfall and game damage. Clauses in the handover protocol, according to which missing parts or damage are to be borne by the tenant, are according to German law inadmissible.

tip: If in doubt, describe as precisely as possible why you could not have caused the damage.

Eight tips for renting a car abroad

  1. Book from home
    When renting a car abroad, this applies to the rental contract and any disputes foreign law. This also applies to bookings via the Internet. Book the rental car from home. This leaves more time for a price and performance comparison. If you have any problems at your holiday destination, you have a contact person in Germany.

  2. Attention with the minimum insurance sums
    The minimum amounts insured in the country of travel apply to liability insurance. These are often considerably lower than under German law, but should be at least one million euros. The sum insured can be increased by:
    "Mallorca Police": Applies to all of Europe, including the Canary Islands and Madeira, and offers additional cover for property damage and personal injury.
    "Traveler policy": Applies worldwide and usually offers cover of 500,000 euros for property damage and personal injury. Some credit card companies offer comparable additional policies when paying for the rental car with a credit card.

  3. Fully comprehensive insurance
    It is best to take out fully comprehensive insurance without a deductible. Pay attention to the scope of the insurance: Damage to tires, rims, underbody or damage caused by stone chips is often excluded. Theft insurance is worthwhile if it is not included in the fully comprehensive insurance.

  4. Caution tank flat rate
    Beware of excessive fuel flat rates. Before starting your journey, ask whether the vehicle has to be returned with a full tank.

  5. pay
    Payment is usually made by credit card or EC card. The credit card serves as security for the landlord. The owner of the credit card is usually entered as the main driver in the rental agreement. Some landlords require a credit card PIN. Do not sign a blank credit card slip that does not show a specific amount!

  6. Don't blindly sign the contract
    Put all agreements in writing and do not sign the contract until you have read it. Compare the content of the rental agreement with your voucher or your booking. ask forif there are deviations here or if you do not understand clauses. Once the lease is signed, it is too late for changes. The lease agreement should be written in English as well as the national language.

  7. takeover
    Before you pick up the car, check it out with a member of the car rental company Damage. Record any deficiencies in writing and have them confirmed to you. Take photos of the condition of the car.

  8. Take care of the car key
    If you lose the key, you have to Replacement key costs and carry the towing of the rental car (to protect against theft) yourself. You cannot cover these costs with fully comprehensive insurance.
    It will Rental car stolen with the lost key, is gross negligence and you have to pay for the rental car in full. Some car rental companies offer additional insurance for spare keys. However, these do not cover the theft of the rental car.

Go through the ADAC checklist before starting your journey

ADAC checklist for taking over a rental car
View PDF

Help with a dispute with the car rental company

Arbitration or arbitration boards help in disputes with the car rental company or the agent.

Car rental in Germany

You can address complaints against a commercial car rental company or an agent to the General Consumer Arbitration Board *, the application can be made via their online portal.

Car rental in other EU countries

In the event of a dispute with a car rental company in another EU country, the European Consumer Center * can intervene.

If you have rented from the international companies AVIS, Alamo, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National Car Rental, Sixt, Firefly and Enterprise, you can initiate a free arbitration procedure via the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) *.

Dunning procedure

You can the Repayment of your money claim through the judicial dunning procedure instead of engaging a lawyer or the arbitration board. Examples: Repair costs for damage to the rental car are charged to your credit card even though you did not cause the damage, or a reduction in the motorhome rental because the refrigerator or air conditioning does not work.

The ADAC right tip dunning procedure explains how the dunning procedure works.

* By clicking on the links you will be redirected to an external website, for the content of which the respective website operator is responsible.

Text: Legal headquarters

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