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Car Hire Your Thoughts

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tiler View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17/October/2023 at 23:28
It feels a little strange asking a car question on a bus buddies forum but it does say driving.

My bus options while staying in Armação de Pêra appear to be  little limited do to the lack of them so I am looking at alternatives. 
Scooters are my usual transport when away but looking at hire costs they are far too expensive and I am used to paying Asia prices.

Car hire I never look at as you hear so many reports of huge bills for dents etc but the hire cost in the Algarve and the time of year have got me thinking.

Any views on car hire and reputable companies you might share would be appreciated.

Thank you
Anthony
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Bunnyrunner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bunnyrunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/October/2023 at 10:49
Reputable companies, well certainly avoid Goldcar and Guerin like the plague. Google reviews will tell you they are legalised fraudsters. There are 3 modes of operation at Faro airport. The big six plus a few others truly operate out of the airport from a car hire compound acessed by an undeground tunnel from the first arrivals exit door. If you are looking for a bargain it's unlikely you will be going here. Don't be confused by all the lovely shiny hire car kiosks in the arrivals hall, these were put there when the airport was redeveloped 4 or 5 years ago. Of course they have never been used. Many of the budget companies claim to operate from the airport, which I guess is true because they are based in a portakabin in car park p4 a 400m walk from the terminal across all the other car parks. This might be OK in November but in holiday season it is chaos. There are a lot operating from here, they will each have only one agent there at a big long bar. Depending on the company they may have a uniform, they may not. You have to shout up to identify your company and then try and suss out which of the other waiting customers are waiting for the same guy as you. Here you will be paying budget prices and getting budget service. This usually means seeing the agent filling out the paperwork manually, making your various card payments and then he calls his mate on the phone who will deliver your car to the car park 5-10 mins later depending on how many customers he has. On quiet days the agent himself often disappears across the car park towards the petrol station across the road and returns with your car. Having said all of this I have used 6 companies from here and have never been ripped off and of course when you return the car for your flight home you are conveniently at the airport. The last mode is off airport which at Faro is no bad thing as most of the companies are on the airport approach road just 3-5 mins away. The common thing with all these companies is that they will try to upsell you full insurance. This is often twice the cost of the rental. I just did a search for 21 days in November and you can get a Fiat Panda, C500, VW Up for 5,62€ a day. a Seat Ibiza or VW Polo for 6.16€ a day to add full insurance is 5.80€ and 6.25€ per day respectively. So effectively doubling the hire cost. Of course you can buy Excess insurance for 35€ a year or as little as 9€ a trip. website Moneymaxim*
Other costs to bear in mind are a visa to travel to Spain 40€, Out of Office Hours mostly after 8pm 35€ and the transponder to pay motorway tolls. The tolls are very cheap around 2.50€ but to rent the transponder is around 20€ a week so especially with a long term rental like you are looking at it is prohibitive. I don't know the difference for Armacao de Pera but for me to get to west Albufeira the motorway saves me 8 minutes so I don't bother.
With all these companies make a video of the car including the number plate to highlight the damages. I had an attempted rip off by a company called Best Deal but as soon as I said let's look at the video, he climbed down.
I'm searching on Enjoy.com and carjet.com, the ones I have used without issue that have the cheapest deals currently are off airport Sur Price (go find the car yourself) Klass Wagen (their processes will make you tear your hair out) Auto Rent (my preferred choice if price is similar) Air Auto (OK) OKMobility (Fine) Drive on Holidays (Fine but in the back streets near the airport). At the airport MillionCar hire (needed to chase them up for refund) Yes or Yor (same company)
"You wake up a winner only you can make yourself a loser"- Declan Murphy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AJSUGGY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/October/2023 at 16:22
Buy your own Motorway transponders in the UK from www.saneftolling.co.uk.
Its £20 to buy and about £6 per year. The batteries last about 10 years. When you have to change the transponder, they charge £20 for the new one, but when you send the old one back, you get your £20 back. I've used these for the past 12 years. Obviously + Toll charges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AJSUGGY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/October/2023 at 16:28
Just checked and they have changed the web site To   www.emovis-tag.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tiler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/October/2023 at 18:23
First off I am truly staggered by how helpful you guys are first Tom with his bus info and now Bunnyrunner !!!!

Okeydokey, Fiat 500 is closest to a moped and easily parked away which was my thinking when I took a quick look yesterday.  

Motorways I am not a fan and Spain will not be a factor as having decided a car is a good idea I will wander north a ways and have a nose around away from the tourist areas. Spain when I come beginning of next year I am thinking.

I had looked at zest car hire yesterday I think they are in the UK but after following your pointers they are priced a little high for a Fiat roller-skate. The other sites you mentioned and hire companies look really promising thank you.

WoW that excess insurance is a bit of a find me thinks. I am assuming not having researched as yet. You pay the car hire price and nothing else, forget about their excess insurance and buy a year excess from Moneymaxim am I right ??

Off for a nose to see what I come up with I will be back with what I find as you know your onions :)

Thank you so much
Anthony

An after thought it would do no harm to buy the transponder if it lasts a year for little money, providing I can work out what it does.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AJSUGGY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/October/2023 at 19:26
It works by registering your car going through one of the overhead gantries on the N125,
Between Albufeira and the Spanish boarder costs about 6 Euros each way. Its taken from your bank on the following month. Steer clear of the main Portuguese motorway's though as they are very expensive. The last I used the Lisbon to Albufeira it cost me 46 Euros about the same to Porto from Lisbon. I now come to Albufeira via Spain, as there are no toll roads all the way from Santander via Seville to the Portuguese boarder    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bunnyrunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/October/2023 at 10:54
Zest do have a great reputation but at the end of the day Zest, Enjoy and Carjet are all just screen scrapers. It's the actual local car provider you need to know the measure of. When you are looking at the quotes there are a few little nuances. Enjoy pride themselves on what you see is what you pay, meaning if it's an airport operator the airport fee will be included, if it's late at night the OOH fee will be included. With carjet you need to look out for addons as they are usually excluded but listed below with an Asterisk. Currently there is a promo code for Enjoy which is MADNESS25 enter it in the box at the bottom of the search, of course this gets you around 7% not 25% discount.
As you are not taking full insurance you will need to cover the excess with a pre authorization on a credit card in the drivers name, some don't accept American Express. The excess amount seems to have risen since Covid and it's now closer to €2k whereas before €1250 was about the norm, obviously it goes up with size and quality of car. 
The other quibbles are pre-payments or deposits. The majority will want to pre-authorise your card if you say no to the transponder but a few will actually take a deposit payment. Same applies to fuel, you need to bring the car back with same fuel when you left (photo of fuel guage required) but Centauro charge you 100€ in case you don't re-fuel it. The problem with this is that you then have to look out for it coming on your card statement and chase them if it doesn't, I had to do that with MillionCar Hire last year. An additional problem is the exchange rate, the deposit at one rate the refund at another.
Talking about Fiat 500's, you are highly unlikely to get what you choose online, it says or similar in small print.
Let me know which company you plan to go with and if I've used them, I'll let you know what I think.

"You wake up a winner only you can make yourself a loser"- Declan Murphy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bunnyrunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/October/2023 at 11:20
AJ that's great advice. Do you do this with hire cars? I looked into getting a Via Verde transponder which it says you can buy at a post office but when it said you had to link it to a card and a car, I backed off as I could see problems as the car hire company had already linked the car to one of theirs. Then presumably you would have to get the hire company to take theirs out so there wouldn't be two lots of charges?
"You wake up a winner only you can make yourself a loser"- Declan Murphy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AJSUGGY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/October/2023 at 15:12
No Its my own car. If you don't have one (toll Tag) you should/could buy one at the boarder, just after you enter Portugal, so as its your responsibility to pay the tolls, I cant see why you cannot use your own Toll Tag, but I could be wrong as I've not tried it with a hire car. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AJSUGGY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/October/2023 at 15:17
As an after thought my tag is not registered to my car and there are no photos of the car going through the tolls, its all electronic via the tag.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/October/2023 at 20:40
Go through Zest for piece of mind. Have used them over 100 times and never had a problem. Not once. 
we're not brazil we're norn iron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tiler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/October/2023 at 17:17
@Bunnyrunner

Thank you again for your post.

So I have been looking at the Fiat 500 type car on this search page at euro 105.

https://www.enjoytravel.com/en/Booking/Browse?plocation=2385&pmode=undefined&dmode=undefined&pdate=2023-11-7&ptime=10%3A00&dlocation=2385&ddate=2023-11-28&dtime=07%3A00&old=true&age=0&dc=MADNESS25%20&pc=car-hire&residenceCountry=GB - Choose your car | Enjoy Travel

Looking through I can use my excess insurance from your advice and have to use a card with 1200 excess available.  Anything you can help me with here please ?

Would you know how far okmobility are from departures as my return time is exactly 3hr from my flight departure 

Thank you

Anthony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bunnyrunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/October/2023 at 09:51
I've used OK Mobility twice last year. They are on the airport approach road just 3-4 mins away from the airport. I haven't made a note of any issues so it must have gone fine. They have a big floodlit yard which is good to inspect the car/damage etc.
Personally I would pay the extra tenner and get the C3 but one man's meat etc

As you are approaching the airport you can fill up on the right at a Prias petrol filling station, it's a bit cheaper and has less queues than the Cepsa one right at the airport roundabout.

Have a good trip and if you like a good pub quiz. Come and see us all on a Thursday at the Arte bar in Albufiera. Currently 5.30pm but may be earlier at 4pm when the clocks go back.
"You wake up a winner only you can make yourself a loser"- Declan Murphy
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