/ car hire mallorca

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Lankyman - on 04 Jan 2018

I've been to Mallorca climbing and walking many times but not for at least ten years. Can anyone recommend particular car hire companies at or by Palma Airport? Anything to avoid or watch out for? Is it better to book from the UK or on arrival? Just looking for a cheap small car (two people plus minimal luggage). Cheers, Karl
Post edited at 15:28
Trangia on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:
It's changing all the time - mainly against the customer.

Depends how much time and patience you've got to read the small print of the rival firms. Most people haven't, but you commit yourself by signing! Probably best to read the T&Cs on line first - you won't be popular with those in the queue behind you if you try reading them at the airport desk!!

Watch out for excess clauses, and it generally pays to take out your own before you travel with someone like insurance4carhire. I've had good experience of claim settlement from this firm and recommend them.

Make a very detailed inspection of the car when you collect it and insist that all pre-existing damage inside and out is recorded and signed for by the company before you drive off. Check the condition of tires and wheels including the spare (including the pressure of this tire - I found it to be flat once when I got a puncture)

If arriving after dark take a torch to do the check.

Check that all tools for wheel changing are there and any legal requirements for Spain like high viz jackets and warning triangles are there. IIRC Spain requires a high viz jacket for each occupant kept in the car, not in the boot?

Check the hire company's policy regarding fuel. Generally full to full is best so long as you remember to fill up just before you reach the airport on your return. If you don't most hire companies charge an excessive amount to top it up.

Work on the assumption that they will be out to screw every last Euro out of you if they can. This applies to so called cheap "budget" hire prices, because they have to make it up somehow.
Post edited at 16:01
Hat Dude on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

Was in Mallorca a couple of months ago booked a car through Rentalcars with Record

Had absolutely no problem with them, booked a Ford Ka but got a free upgrade to a Skoda Fabia. I paid for full to full fuel and took out private excess insurance before I went. Easy to pick up at the airport & I dropped it off with no problems.

Somebody will be along soon with a tale of horrors about Record but I suspect that will happen with any hire company mentioned.
mark hounslea - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:
I did some research last October and used vanrell. Highly recommended
Subversions - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

Avoid Goldcar. They try to sell you their (expensive) excess insurance and claim that an independent policy isn't valid (which many people use these days as it is much cheaper) I can only assume they are on commission.
PawelP - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

used both vanrell and goldcar couple of times, no issues so far
vanrell - completely hassle-free, no queues, checkout desk located in a separate car park building
goldcar - usually cheaper than vanrell but got stuck in queues once or twice, one one occasion they tried to sell me the insurance i didn't want but my reply "I'll take the risk" ended the discussion for good, just be prepared.
I hold insurance4carhire cover.
Lankyman - on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:
Thanks for all the helpful replies, everyone. I've taken the easy (literally!) option and booked a car at the same time as booking the flights with Easyjet. It looks like we've got a Micra for about £58 for 8 days which we'll collect at PMI. It's with Europcar so hopefully all sound. Cheers, Karl.
PS when I was paying for the car the confirmation blurb said that as well as my driving licence and credit card I'd also need something they called a 'DVLA reference'. Unfortunately, the link to explain this mystery wasn't working - can anyone shed any light on this?
Post edited at 14:16
Trangia on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

I've got a feeling that the DVLA reference enables the car hire company to do a search with DVLA to see if you have any non expired points on your licence. It was introduced when the paper part to licences was discontinued. In practice I've never been asked for it by a car hire company.
Hat Dude on 05 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

Very easy to get DVLA reference
Lankyman - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Hat Dude:

Thank you Trangia and Hat Dude - it's a pity that EasyJet can't get their link to work ....
Rigid Raider - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

Just be very careful indeed when you sign for the car. Budget absolutely shafted us through and though last Summer by hooking us with a cheap quote than loading up the extras when I signed. One of the extras was €57 for holiday advice, something I would never have agreed if they had explained it properly as I speak Spanish and don't need help organising my holiday. They are counting on you being tired, hot and bothered and keen to get out of the airport. Our cheap quote more than doubled with all the extras, my fault I admit but it stinks. I will question everything next time.
Toerag - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

When you check the car over make sure you check for chips in the windscreen - I rented a car in the UK last week and didn't notice one (that may or may not have been there when I collected it). Luckily it was deemed too small and non-propagating to count as damage.
I took a video of the car and pics of damage when I picked it up and dropped it off.
Autoeurope are pretty good for booking cars in advance, although be careful if there's a possibility that you'll need to modify your hire to a 'one way' hire (drop at a different airport for example) - not all companies will allow you to do this.
RupertD - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Toerag:

Another warning about Goldcar queues - when we went there was a queue that was about 200ft long - it looped all the way round the airport hall. Luckily we hadn't booked with them.
nutme - on 08 Jan 2018
Usually I take car from Max

He or his wife meet you in cafe next to arrivals and walk you directly to car. Price is good (about 120 euros for week per sedan) and includes zero excess cover. I actually tested this in 2012 when scratched door while reversing :D
Rigid Raider - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

On damage, the more sensible hirers actually take a pragmatic attitude to small scratches and the receiving staff actually carry a gauge, not unlike the thickness gauge that post office clerks love to wield. Any paint damage that fits within the rectangle will be ignored.
jspinks - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Lankyman:

I have hired cars several times recently and it seems to me they are offering competitive/similar rates on the web based on an insurance excess of £1000. It's very difficult or impossible to find out what the cost of reducing the excess is before you arrive at the desk. Customer Service says it's a local charge and they don't know. Well guess what, it's about the same cost as the car again!

Get this excess covered by a separate insurance company before you go for a fraction of the price and enjoy watching the car hire person turn red when you say you don't need their over-priced upgrade.

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