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Practical guide: know what’s included in the car hire price and learn how to save

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Hiring a car is a very convenient way to get around, be it on business trips, on holiday, or even as a temporary solution for your daily commuting. But while booking, you’ve certainly wondered upon seeing the final cost, what is included in the car hire price.

Keep reading to uncover the mysteries behind the car rental price list and follow our tips to get the best car hire deals.

Most common elements included in the car hire price


You’re planning a trip and need to rent a car, but while browsing through your options, you come across a set of terms and details in the car rental price list. To put your doubts to rest, we’ll explain the most common elements included in the car hire price.

1 – Base rate of car hire

The base rate of a car hire is the initial cost of renting a car. This amount covers the use of the car during the period established in the hire agreement. The price may vary depending on:

  • vehicle type;
  • hire period;
  • advance booking;
  • hire data;
  • car pickup point.

2 - Included coverage

The car hire price includes some types of coverage, such as collision damage coverage, theft cover, and third-party liability.

3 - Fuel Policies

The fuel policy may also affect the final cost of the car rental. Some car hire companies require you to return the hire car with a full tank, exactly as it was when it was supplied. If you fail to do so, a fee proportional to the level of fuel missing from the tank will be charged.

4 - Mileage

Some car hire companies offer unlimited mileage, which means you may drive as far as you want at no additional cost. Others, however, have an average mileage limit per day and charge additional fees when this limit is exceeded. Because this is an average figure, what you should keep in mind is the mileage limit for the entire duration of the rental period.

5 - Additional fees

Other fees that may also be included in the car hire price and which are generally added to the total cost of the car rental are the following:

  • Airport fees;
  • VAT rate.

Extras and add-ons: are they included in the car hire price?

Many car hire companies allow you to add extra equipment to your reservation to help you take your trip to the next level. These extras can include GPS devices, car seats, additional drivers, and more. These are generally included in the base rate of the car rental and are charged separately.

Tips to understand how car hire pricing works like an expert


To feel completely secure in your car hire choice and avoid unwanted surprises when you’re presented with the final cost, follow these instructions:

  • Read the rules and the car hire agreement carefully

It is imperative that you read every paragraph carefully and make sure to understand every point in the hire agreement.

  • Seek clarification with your car rental company

Whenever you have doubts or find that some information in the agreement or in the car rental price list is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask. Don’t let any questions remain unanswered before completing your booking.

  • Cancellation policy and fees

Some rental car companies may charge a fee for late cancellations. Others, however, will not charge you in specific cases, such as late or canceled flights, provided they are informed in advance.

  • Minimum driving age and extra fees for young drivers

Some car hire companies have minimum age requirements and in certain cases may also add extra fees for younger drivers or drivers who have not held a driving license for long.

  • Enjoy special offers

To guarantee you get the best car hire deals, keep an eye out for any offers. Many car hire companies offer special discounts to members or newsletter subscribers.

  • Unpaid tolls

Many customers are surprised by fines for unpaid tolls, because in Portugal many roads are tolled, such as motorways and SCUTs . While for the former drivers must pay for each route in toll booths, for the latter the payment has to be made in the following days. To avoid surprises, we recommend including the toll service in your car rental when hiring a car.


Make sure you get the right car hire price

You can only be sure to have made the best possible choice for your car rental if you’re confident and certain about what is included in the price. Make sure you understand every point that makes up the hire cost and are fully aware of the extras you can add for your trip to go according to plan. To keep an eye out for all the offers, subscribe to Drivalia’s newsletter and stay up to date with current rental campaigns.

In Drivalia, we know how important it is for a car hire service to be transparent and accessible. This is why we ensure our clients understand every point in the hire agreement.

Still have questions about our car hire service? Reach out to us!

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