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Holiday Car Rental Disputes: 4 Common Reasons And Solutions

Holiday Car Rental Disputes: 4 Common Reasons And Solutions

When planning a trip abroad with your partner, friends or family and needing to rent a car, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up in a big argument over who gets to drive it, whether or not you need multiple drivers or if you should or should not get extra insurance. 

Here are the most common reasons for major disagreements over car rental when planning a hire and how you can solve them.

1 – Which Car Should We Hire?

This is usually known for causing the biggest disagreements about the car to hire for your trip abroad. In fact, if you read through forums on sites like Trip Advisor, you will see that it’s a common dilemma that many couples face. But don’t worry; there is a way to avoid this dilemma, and make sure that you both agree on the perfect rental car for your trip. Here’s what you can do:

Talk about your needs.

Before you even start looking at rental cars, it’s important to have a discussion about your needs. What kind of activities are you planning on doing during your trip? Do you need a large car to accommodate all of your luggage? Or would a smaller car be more efficient and easier to navigate in a foreign country?

If you still need to check which cars are best for your luggage needs, check out our luggage calculator.

Once you’ve determined your needs, finding a rental car that meets them will be much easier.

Compare prices.

Once you know what kind of car you need, it’s time to compare prices. Several websites allow you to compare prices from different rental companies. This is a great way to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible on your rental car.

Read reviews.

In addition to comparing prices, it’s also a good idea to read reviews of different rental companies. This will give you an idea of what other customers have experienced with each company. Reading reviews can help you avoid any potential problems that may arise during your rental period.

2 – The Who’s Going to Drive Question

This is usually the first point of contention when hiring a holiday rental. Who has the most experience? Who has the best driving record? Who is the most responsible? These are all valid questions, but they can quickly become arguments if everyone tries one-up on each other.

The best way to solve this problem is to look at everyone’s driving history and make a decision based on that. If someone doesn’t have a clean driving record, then they shouldn’t be behind the wheel as some hire companies will charge more if you have any strikes on your licence. 

In any case, if you must be the primary driver and you have penalties, some companies won’t consider that an issue, so do your research before letting penalties determine who drives.

3 – The Extra Insurance Question

The next thing to consider is extra insurance. You know, the one where you are told if you don’t buy it, then you are 100% liable for all damages? Yes, that one. Do you need it? How much extra will it cost? Is it charged per day or for the whole trip?

These are essential questions to ask but can also be the source of significant disagreements. Your partner may feel like they don’t need extra insurance because they’re careful drivers, and all will be okay. However, you might feel like you need full coverage insurance because anything can happen, right! 

The best way to solve this problem is to get quotes from different insurance companies and compare the coverage and prices. You can also read reviews of the different companies to see what other people have said about their experiences. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you need extra holiday insurance.

Time To Make Your Reservation. Once you’ve found the perfect rental car for your trip, it’s time to make a reservation. Be sure to do this in advance so you can handle it when arriving at your destination. Most rental companies will require a credit card deposit to confirm your reservation. Be sure to have this ready when you call or go online to make your booking. 

Fast forward a few days or weeks, you’ve had the time of your lives on hour vacation, and it’s time to return the vehicle and here comes the final major cause for disagreement.

4 -How Much Fuel Should We Put Before Returning The Car

When friends argue about how much fuel to pour before returning the car so that you get to the right level for returning the vehicle, it can be a tense situation. What if you pour too much, more than required? Or what if you don’t put enough in and then have to pay a fine? It can be hard to know what to do.

Pro Tip: If you can, always try and hire a car that comes with a full tank policy. This means when you pickup it will have a full tank, and you need to return it with a full tank too. This makes it easier to know how much to put in the tank without putting more than required.

You can do a few things to ensure you don’t overfill your rental car with fuel.

Locate the nearest cost-effective fuel station near the drop-off location

Find the nearest fuel station that sells fuel at a reasonable price. Go online and search in google for ‘Fuel near me, or Fuel near the drop off address, and it will bring up all the fuel stations for you. Quick side note, only recently, they have started sharing information about how much the fuel is costing that day at that fuel station. How cool is that!

Give yourself time

Before starting on the steps below, ensure you are not under time pressure to return the vehicle. Start this process at least 30 mins before you head to the drop-off location.

Once you arrive at the fuel station with the best cost per litre, it’s time to work out how much fuel to put in.

Calculate how much fuel you will need

Step 1: Take note of how much fuel you have in the tank, and compare that to the amount you were asked to fill on return. i.e. if you were asked to return the fuel at the same level you picked it up, e.g. 5/8th of the tank and is currently 3/8th of the tank. Then it would help if you worked out the difference. In this case, it will be 2/8th of the tank that you need to top up. Go online to get the tank size details to calculate how many litres (or gallons) equate to 2/8th of the tank.

Step 2: You will need to use google maps (or a similar mapping website or app) to calculate the route from your current location(the fuel station) to the drop-off location. Make sure you consider any detours, tolls, or stops along the way. Once you have your route, use the ‘Fuel calculator’ function on google maps, or a similar fuel calculator website/app, to calculate how much fuel in litres(or gallons) you will need for the journey.

Fill up your tank

Add the two together to get the total amount in litres you should pour, then pour. When you’re filling up your tank, make sure to stop at the amount that the calculation suggested you would need. Once you’ve finished, remember to pay and keep the receipt.


Renting a car can be a great way to get around when travelling abroad, but it can also be the source of significant arguments and disagreements. The best way to avoid these problems is to plan ahead and figure out who will do what before you even start driving. If everyone knows their role and responsibility, then there will be far fewer arguments along the way. Happy travels!

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