Cyprus Car Rental Comparison
We often get asked questions about Cyprus car rental – which company is best?… what type of car should we get?… is it worth paying extra for insurance? With this in mind we have been doing a bit of research to try to find out the answers to these and other questions.
Initially our thoughts, gained through experience, would suggest there are going to be no real definitive answers to be able to say this is the company to go for and get this type of car. Each year visitors report problems and satisfaction from a variety of companies – we have even had 2 couples staying the same week renting from the same company; one couple were very happy with their deal/car, the other couple were not. From a gut feeling we have always suggested doing a bit of shopping around to check different companies to get a flavour of pricing for the time of year you are travelling. We wanted to see if there was a clear picture based on facts and figures rather than just a feeling.
Our Cyprus Car Rental Investigation
To get an idea on price we decided to pick a time to rent a car for a week and get some quotes. We chose 20th June because it is mid season and therefore the price would be in the mid range. The summer holidays have not started so there will be no related price hike but the low season (when you can get cheap deals) will not affect the price either. We chose wherever possible a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra size vehicle. We did not add any extras such as additional driver, windscreen damage cover etc. Where this was already included in the price we also added a note to the quote. We chose Larnaca Airport as the pick up point as the majority of our visitors arrive at this airport.
CYPRUS CAR RENTAL COMPARISON CHART
As you can see the best deals tend to be with a comparison site such as economycarrentals. That said, Hertz offered a competitive deal which proves the point that you need to check the big boys too. Sometimes a local company offer a better deal when you call them, less so if it is a multinational company. Obviously there are lots of other Cyprus car rental companies to choose from that we did not include in our round up.
Other Cyprus Car Rental Suggestions
Over the years people have asked us lots of questions about Cyprus car rental so we have collected them below together with our answer. Please bear in mind that our responses have to be taken as our opinion based on our experience. You should satisfy yourself what the best options are for your circumstances.
Should I book in advance or wait until I arrive at the airport?
This is an easy one to answer… book online if you want to be sure of getting the car you want at a price you are happy with. Some people do arrive and haggle a deal at one of the car rental counters. This is a risky strategy especially in peak season as you may find there are no cars available. Also you are likely to be paying a premium as the company knows you need a car so charge accordingly. On the flip side, if you are coming low season then this may be worth doing as there is less demand so you may be able to cut a deal. Personally I would always book in advance – I want the security of knowing there will be a car there waiting for me and that the price is reasonable and there are no hidden surprises.
What type of car do you recommend I should get?
A lot depends on personal preferences but as a general rule I would say get a reasonable size engined vehicle, everything else is optional. Something around the 1400/1600cc size will cope with the hills around us rather than a 800/1000cc model for example. The majority of people use the car to do the shopping, go off on the odd trip out and about and run down to a local taverna. The rest of the time it will be parked in the driveway so it doesn’t make sense to have a big 4 wheel drive vehicle unless you plan to go off on the wild side. If there are 2 of you a Fiesta/Polo/Corsa sized car will probably be more than adequate. If there are 3 or 4 of you then step up to the next size – Focus/Golf/Astra. This is mainly so that you will be able to fit in suitcases on the journey to and from the airport. If you are travelling light then this is less important.
What fuel policy should I go for?
This is one of the biggest causes of complaint as Cyprus car rental companies (as well as other companies around the world) use fuel as a way of increasing revenue. Cyprus car rental companies can offer a variety of ways of paying for the fuel you use.
The option we always look out for is receive the car with a full tank of fuel, return it with a full tank. This means you are in control of how much you are paying at the pump. There is a 24 hour petrol station near the airport you can use to fill up before you return the vehicle. Of course if you do not return it full then the company will sting you for a refuelling charge as well as a premium price for the fuel they put in.
A similar option is where you receive the car with x amount of fuel in it and return it with the same amount. A couple of drawbacks to this include perhaps having to find a petrol station as you leave the airport because there is hardly any fuel in it for your onward journey. If you do receive the car more or less on empty, are you brave enough to drive to the airport on your way home on a more or less empty tank or will you be tempted to put in a little extra to make sure you don’t run out?
The favoured option as far as Cyprus car rental companies are concerned is the receive the car full by paying for the full tank then return it empty. They like you to take this option because they will charge you, for example, 75 euros for the tank of fuel. However, when you come to fill the tank you will only fit in 50 euros worth of petrol – a nice 25 euro profit for the company. Even better, it takes a brave soul to return the car on empty as no one wants to run out of fuel on the way to the airport. This means that the tank is never really empty when the cars are returned so don’t need so much fuel to top them back up.
Make sure you know what is expected when you arrive at the airport. If you have gone for our favoured option there should be no need to pay any extra on pick up. Go for the Cyprus car rental companies favoured option then you may end up having to pay in cash for the fuel. From experience, I would get what you have agreed in writing and take it with you.
Is the extra insurance worth having?
When you rent a car the company offers a basic level of insurance. They then offer you upgrades to the insurance so that you have less liability if something happens. Their aim is to sell you the full package so that, as the sales pitch goes, you do not have any financial liabilities if there is an incident. You are buying peace of mind. This in itself is worthwhile as the last thing you need to worry about on holiday is a ding in the car. However, once again, Cyprus car rental companies see this as a way of increasing profit. Often this insurance can work out at £10-£15 a day extra. It doesn’t take a maths genius to realise that is a lot extra going on your amount to pay.
We think it is worthwhile protecting yourself so that you are not liable should you end up having an accident/incident. The way we do this is by declining the Cyprus car rental companies insurance offer and instead take out a yearly policy from an insurance company. The policy we have in force at the moment cost £37 and covers all liabilities for the whole year not just the 2 weeks like the rental companies insurance. If you search ‘ yearly car rental excess insurance’ or similar you will see there are several companies that do this. We use icarhireinsurance.com and have claimed once and been pleased with how they settled the claim.
Should I pay by credit card or debit card?
We would advocate you pay by UK credit card. This is so that you get Section 75 protection in case something goes wrong. This means that the credit card company is also liable if, for example, the Cyprus car rental company goes bust or there is a major problem with the car so that it is not serviceable etc. Section 75 only comes into force if the amount is over £100 which covers most car rental unless you are only visiting for a few days. A debit card does not afford you the same level of protection.
When Should I Book?
The easy answer is the earlier the better! Generally speaking, the later you leave booking your car the more likely it is you are going to end up paying more for it than if you had booked early. Leave it just before you start your holiday and this could mean you end up paying substantially more.
Hopefully your Cyprus car rental will be without incident but… there are some things you can do to protect yourself. When you pick the car up, a few pictures taken of the condition of the car might be useful as evidence should you need it. Equally, if you are dropping the car off when the rental station is unmanned it can be a good idea to take photos of the condition of the car as you left it. Also take a picture of the petrol gauge so that you can prove what it was like when you left the car.
Let us know your Cyprus car rental stories – good or bad – by getting in touch or leaving a comment. Do you have a favourite company that you come back to each time? Have you got a tip that helps you get an upgrade? We would love to hear from you!