European car rental is riddled with pitfalls which can lead to you paying out far more than ever might have imagined. If you are planning to drive around the continent or even just one country in your European rental car then you should be aware of exactly what fees you might be asked to pay. There are plenty of charges that are added to the simple costs of hiring the car and most of them are avoidable if you know what they are, what the alternatives or even just know enough to say no. Plus, not all of the fees you might encounter originate with European rental car agencies. Being forewarned is being forearmed so here are 7 European Car Rental Fees to Avoid:
1. Crossing Borders
European car rental agencies will usually have depots all across Europe, but beware of charges which you may incur if you drop the car off at a different depot in a different country. For example, if you pick a car up from Paris and drop it off in Rome you may be hit with a fee of between $70 and $1,400. Make sure you check out these fees before choosing a specific rental car in Europe.
2. Winter Travel
If you are traveling in a country where winter conditions can be hazardous then you may be hit with additional fees in order to pay for winter tires. There is no way to avoid this so when the fees are added on you should consider whether it’s worth taking a car as your mode of transportation or not. Also, consider if you are comfortable driving in these conditions. Roads in the Alps for instance are notoriously difficult and when covered in snow or ice can be somewhat precarious.
3. Airports And Train Stations
One fee which catches a lot of people out is the Premium Station Fee. This is a charge of roughly $30-$60 (depending on the country) or it can even be 20% of the total rental rate added on to your bill for having your European rental car delivered to a train station or airport ready for your arrival. Avoid this by picking your car up from the agency or check the charge for having the car delivered to your hotel (check the price though). However, you should remember that there is no charge on returning your car to an airport or train station.