Renting a car can be tricky in a foreign country, so BEFORE YOU TRAVEL, make sure you know these car rental traveling tips. And Beware: Car Rental Insurance DOES NOT cover car theft….
Recently, on our trip to Spain, we decided to take advantage of as much of the country as we could, so we rented a car. It seemed like a great idea, and in theory it was. We drove along the coast of the Mediterranean as well as making small day trips to various cities. One, in particular, was our time in Barcelona.
During our day there, our rental car was broken into while parked on one of the main streets. The perpetrators broke the passenger-side window in order to enter the car. Luckily for us, nothing of high value was in the vehicle for them to steal, but the pain and suffering of the process that followed is still ongoing process.
All things that can hamper a vacation.
And though we didn’t lose anything of value (unless you count my newly gifted sunglasses) there were still valuable lessons to be learned:
1. Know your car insurance agreement. Accidents are covered, but for the most part thefts are not.
2. Avoid parking on the street. Even with cities like Barcelona, where parking fees are INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE, it can be worth parking in a secured area compared to a free parking spot on the street in the open.
3. NEVER leave anything of value in the car! Each rental company has their logo as advertisement on the outside of their cars, which alerts locals of a tourist. Avoid leaving spare change, clothes, or personal items which can be seen from the windows.
4. Know the area you are parking in. We were told in the police station that Barcelona is famous for break-ins with rental cars. It’s a high risk city, and knowledge of your destination before you rent a car will give you a heightened sense of awareness.
And last but certainly not least, if you are unfortunate to have an unfortunate situation happen on your vacation, don’t let it ruin the rest of your time away. Deal with it and move on. There’s nothing worse than letting them not only take your belongings, but also take your happiness. Find a way to put it in the “learned lesson” file and have enjoy the rest of your time away!