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Car hire - How to choose the perfect car for your trips

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Hiring a car is an excellent way to travel during your trips, but choosing the right car is imperative to ensure a comfortable, worry-free trip. For first-time car renters, this can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll share some tips to help you hire the perfect car for your needs.

Why is it important to hire the right car?

Your choice of a hire car is critical, as it directly impacts your comfort and convenience during a trip. Imagine you had rented a car that was too small for your group: your trip would quickly become uncomfortable and stressful. If, on the other hand, you’re travelling solo and pick a car that is too big for your needs, you’ll bear unnecessary hire costs.

What to consider when hiring a car

Before you start booking, it’s very important that you consider these factors:

1 - Type of Hire Car

There are many different types of hire car, including compact cars, MPVs, SUVs, or vans. Each range has its advantages and disadvantages, according to your needs. For example, if you’re planning a family trip with more than 5 members, you may have to hire a 7-seater car to accommodate all the passengers and luggage. If you’re travelling as a couple, hiring an economy car may be the better choice.


2 - Number of Passengers

Passenger seating and luggage capacity is a crucial factor to consider before renting a car. Always make sure your car has enough space to comfortably accommodate every passenger.

If you’re travelling as a group, you should consider hiring a 9-seater van, but if you’re a water sports fan and are searching for the finest waves, consider renting a pickup truck (4WD) to be able to make it to the best spots even through rough terrain.

3 – Automatic or Manual Transmission

There are two types of transmission: manual and automatic. Remember to take this into account before hiring your car. If you’re not used to driving a manual transmission car, make sure to rent an automatic car, otherwise, you may find it hard to control the car and drive safely. Additionally, if you’re planning to drive in a city with heavy traffic, an automatic car may be easier and cheaper to drive than a manual car.


4 – Fuel Type

Hiring a car with the right fuel type for your needs is very important. Economy cars are generally more fuel-efficient, which makes them ideal for long journeys. However, if you’re travelling as a group or need more space for luggage, you may need to opt for a car with a more powerful engine, which will increase fuel consumption.

In addition to conventional car options, electric car hire may also be an excellent choice. Electric cars are eco-friendly due to their low CO2 emissions and their much lower power consumption compared to petrol or diesel cars. If you’re a fan of silent, eco-friendly cars, hiring an electric car is the perfect choice for you.


Make sure you choose to hire an electric car for short trips, to avoid any problems with the battery life, or for driving in the city, where it’s easy to find charging stations for electric vehicles.

Tip: Did you know Drivalia E+ has 20 chargers available in 5 mobility stores for their clients to use free of charge (Lisbon Airport, Lisbon Benfica, Lisbon Centre, and Porto Airport)? This free network will soon expand to 50 chargers and will be available in 10 locations!

5 – Additional Equipment

When looking for a car hire, you should also consider whether the car of your choice needs any additional equipment, such as:

  • GPS – to travel through unknown locations and always find your destination;
  • Bluetooth – to be able to listen to music, make calls without touching your phone or having to use headphones;
  • Parking sensors – to avoid collisions while backing up;

These additional resources may help make the trip safer and smoother.

6 – Damage Coverage

Whenever you hire a car, it’s also important to consider which level of coverage to choose. Many car hire companies include collision damage coverage in the booking price, which covers damage in the event of an accident. However, when hiring a car you can also add extra coverage, such as isolated glass damage, theft and/or personal accident. Including this type of additional coverage may help you avoid significant expenses in the event of glass damage, an accident, or injury.

7 – Costs of Car Hire

As a rule, car hire companies charge a daily fee, which varies according to:

  • Vehicle range;
  • Pickup point;
  • Hire period;
  • The day you book;
  • Vehicle availability.

Additionally, many car rental companies may charge a mileage fee depending on the distance you travel. There are other fees that may be added to the final rental price, such as if, for example, you do not drop the car off at the agreed time or if you need to include an additional driver in the agreement.

To avoid additional fees, always make sure to read the terms and conditions of the car hire agreement carefully before signing. Make sure you understand all the costs and policies involved in the car hire and check that it is in perfect condition and according to your booking when you pick it up.


How to pick the best car rental company?

To guarantee you get the best deal when picking a car rental company, always keep the following aspects in mind:

1 – Good reviews and stellar customer service

Make sure to pick a reputed car rental company with glowing customer reviews. Find information about the company online and read customer reviews on specialized websites to get an idea of the quality of the customer service provided.

2 – Availability of hire cars

Make sure you pick a rental car company that offers a wide range of cars and models available for rental, including different sizes and characteristics to suit your specific needs. Check whether there are different pickup points in the city for car rental, as the price and availability of vehicles may vary.

3 – Loyalty programs and discounts

Some car hire companies offer loyalty programs to their clients, which allows them to earn points that can be exchanged for discounts in future rentals. Certain companies also give discounts to members of affiliate organizations or to those who book in advance. A good way to always remain up-to-date with all the services and offers is by subscribing to the company’s newsletter.

4 – Easy and user-friendly online booking service

An online booking service makes the car hire process much more simple and convenient. Make sure the car hire company has an easy-to-use, safe, and transparent online booking service to be able to book the car with no unexpected costs. Book ahead to make sure you get the best deals and car models for hire.

Make sure you have the best car hire experience.


A smooth trip starts as soon as you pick the right hire car for you. Make an informed decision and remember that, while the price matters, it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. Make sure the car you pick is tailored to your needs, comfortable, and safe for driving. Read the agreement carefully, and before you complete your booking, make sure you’re aware of all the extra fees and charges.

When choosing a hire car for your trip, it’s important to consider several factors, such as car type, number of passengers, transmission type, fuel type, and whether you require additional coverage.

When opting to hire a car, don’t let the process become a cause for concern or a source of anxiety. Instead, follow our tips and make an informed choice. By choosing Drivalia, you can rest assured that you’re picking a car hire company that prioritizes the safety and comfort of their clients. With a modern hire fleet and an experienced team, Drivalia is a reliable and trustworthy choice for your next trip.

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