Written on: 03/08/2012 by Dsblair
I used this broker (Rentalcars.com) to find a cheap car hire company in Alicante airport for my holiday (Aug 2012). Their website was helpful, clear and credible. It clearly indicated where cars included excess-free insurance against collision and damage which others don't. This is important as it is one of the big add-ons they (all rental companies) try and hard sell you when you arrive and can amount to 20 euros a day or more.
The company I was provided was Goldcar. Despite arriving about lunchtime at peak season, there was no queue and the kioske was well staffed. I was offered the choice of 2 cars - both new - an Astra and a Megane. I chose the Megane which was a diesel and included bluetooth so we were able to use the stereo to play our music and sat nav (both from my iPhone.) Incidentally, we got about 52 miles per gallon from the Megane which meant we only needed 1 tank of fuel.
Worth noting that most rental companies charge you for a full tank of petrol when you arrive. This is normal (if annoying). You return it empty and no refunds are given. We accepted this. The particularly irritating factor is the charge for the tank of fuel - 141 euros. For a 60 litre tank and a going rate of about 1.41 euros a litre, that works out at about 50 cents a litre surcharge ("for fuelling costs") - or about 28 euros a tank. This is excessive but not something you can challenge unfortunately.
Some additional insurances were also mentioned briefly to cover all the other things not covered by the already comprehensive insurance such as tyres, underside damage, breakdown etc. Seriously, none of these are needed unless you are frightly insecure about all forms of risk - in this case, take taxis. You can dispense with the entire conversation by firmly stating you're not interested. (I also took the liberty of stating clearly I'd be taking photos of the car before and after to avoid any misunderstandings.)
The car itself was excellent and we returned it unscathed but filthy. At 2 days after our rental ended we have had no contact about the post-rental check so assume all is fine (I will update this review if anything changes.) The hand-back simply involved handing the keys overs to the desk clerk in the car park (which itself is easy to find though a sat nav is valuable.)
On the whole, the experience was flawless from booking through to the product. Overall value for money was pretty good - we got a D class car (better quality economy/family car) for £225 (not incl. diesel) for 11 days. Insurance included and no other costs. Very happy on the whole.
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