Thinking to rent a car this vacation in Goa? Here are some car rental tips and tricks that will help you rent the best car at the best price.
The decision of renting cars for a vacation trip might come across as a daunting decision, especially when you are a first-timer. However, once done correctly, it can be the most convenient thing for you. Not only will you travel Goa on your terms, at your time, but also have a blast when on a long drive, be it with friends or with family.
In a nutshell, hiring a car is a great way to maximize time, make covering itineraries easier, and ensure the trip is comfortable. Whether you are looking for a normal, just efficient, or luxury car rental in Goa, you will find an abundance of options. To ensure you choose to hire a car from the best-suited car rental services, cruise through these tips.
Know the Prerequisites before Walking into a Car Rental in Goa
If you are an Indian who holds the government-issued LMV driver’s license, you have already got your prerequisites covered. You are eligible to cruise a car through the state. However, in case you are not an Indian citizen, you will need a valid international driver’s license to be eligible to rent a car. If you do not hold the license yet, it is recommended you consult your country’s tourism website at least 3 months before your departure for Goa. Although the rules for getting an international driver’s license is different for each country, one must have a regular/national driver’s license before applying for it.
India also uses a left-hand drive. International tourists renting cars in Goa might want to get used to it and pass a test first.
Be 24+ to Rent a Car in Goa
The appropriate age to rent a car in India starts at 24 years old. So, if you are wishing to self-drive, it is only possible if you are at least 24. Only a few, by few we mean one or two, rent cars to 18+. Some will rent cars to 21+ too. But the chances are low because the traffic in cities like Goa can be quite notorious for a young and less-experienced driver to handle.
Carry Important Paperwork to Smoothly Cruise Rental Car in Goa
Goan traffic police are extremely proactive. Regardless of whether you are an international tourist on vacation or an Indian on a staycation, you can be stopped by the traffic police at any time. Each rental car in Goa has a differently colored nameplate. The black-on-yellow plate automatically gives away the rented status of the car. Since most drunk and driving cases are known to have happened because of non-natives, the traffic police are quite strict on the yellow-plate car cruisers. To make sure your driving experience is hiccup-free, make sure you follow all traffic rules and carry all-important paperwork. It will save you, your time, and even trouble.
Double-Check Your Insurance Coverage with Your Card Company
If you are traveling to Goa from somewhere abroad, make sure to check your insurance beforehand. Contact your credit card company to check what kinds of collision coverage, if any, is offered by the company on car rentals abroad. A car rental contract in India, including Goa, may require fire and third-party liability insurance. If your credit card does not cover either, you’ll find a few car rentals that will add the insurance to your invoice for a minimal price.
Expect Security Deposit for Self-Drive Rental Cars
If you wish to drive yourself, be ready to pay a security deposit. The self-drive rental cars in Goa might ask for a deposit ranging anywhere from $50 to $750, depending on how luxurious the car is that you are going to rent. In the event of any damage, this refundable deposit will be forfeited. So, make sure you are careful when driving the vehicle.
If you are looking for a way to escape the hefty deposit from being forfeited, choose a car rental in Goa that offers damage insurance. At present, the only such car rental is GOICAR.
Choose the Right Car at the Right Price
This decision has the power to make or break your road trip through Goa. Make sure you make the right decision by renting a car that meets your needs. Your needs will depend on how many people are traveling. After all, renting a 5-seater SUV is useless if you are just two people on a vacation. The requirements also depend on which destinations you are going to cover and if they have proper parking. Cruising a Sedan to a jam-packed parking lot is as bad as fitting turkey in a mini freezer.
If you want to play safe, the best companies to ride in India are Tata/Maruti and Mahindra. Their service centers can be found easily, all mechanics are familiar with their parts and mechanism, and the cars by these manufacturers are made especially for Indian roads.
Another important point to note is that you will be paying for the fuel. Therefore, be sure you rent a car that offers great mileage. Check other details of the car beforehand. The condition of its engine, tires, brake, airbags, air conditioners, and even accelerate. This will ensure that you are paying for a car that won’t break down mid-way.
Do Not Try to Repair a Rented Car Yourself
This is a tip that should be on your fingertips when you rent a car in Goa. In case if the car you rented breaks down unexpectedly in the middle of the way, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Always call the car rental services and discuss the problem in detail. You do not want to pay extra for a problem that isn’t your mistake. Plus, a car rental service is more acquainted with car break downs and is adept to provide an apt solution. They will often send help or a mechanic to your rescue.
When you have to pay for a part or repairing of the car, the rental will reimburse that fees. Keep the bills ready to show. However, if the damage is your mistake or due to a bad road, it won’t be reimbursed.
Do Not Attempt to Cross Goan Borders
Car rentals in Goa usually do not have the permission to leave the state, which is why you shouldn’t try to jump the state borders in a rented car. In case you do, you are most likely to be stopped by the interstate traffic police. They might even penalize you or even the rental services. Another important point to remember is that most car rentals install GPS trackers into their cars to ensure safety. If you still want a car rented for interstate driving, go for special car rental packages with All India permit.
Sidestep Fraudulent Car Rental Services in Goa
Recently, some cases of mafia-controlled car rentals have been witnessed in Goa. These cons threaten their customers into paying hefty fines for seemingly mundane mistakes. When you are off to car rental, make sure it doesn’t look shady and the rules and prices are transparent. Also, if possible, look into their website portfolio or talk to their previous customers. Stay away from deals that sound too good to be true. They probably are.
Book a Round-Trip Ride Whenever Possible
If you are going to rent a car with a driver (cab), then book a two-way trip. It will mostly cost you less than a one-way ride. It is a piece of common knowledge but is still worth mentioning, only if as a reminder. Also, remember that a chauffeur will not act as a guide. He will take care of your itinerary and answer general questions. A driver will not accompany you inside a tourist attraction. He will wait outside for your return.
Hire a Pan-Goa Car Rental Service
If you are going to rent a self-driven car, do it from a rental car service like GOICAR that has its stations/stores across the entire state. This will give you the freedom to pick and drop the car in different locations and save standby time.
Return the Car with Same Amount of Fuel
When you rent a car to drive yourself, often you will be expected to return the car with the same amount of fuel filled in the tank just as it was when you hired it. Therefore, to ensure you don’t get cheated, check the tank before you begin riding it.
When you rent a car in Goa, whether to drive on your own or get driven by the chauffeur, the prices will vary from one car rental service to another. So will the reliability. Make sure you choose the right rental provider by checking out their websites, google reviews, social media reviews, and talking to them in detail about your needs. Ask them the right and straightforward questions about prices, rules, returns, policies, and insurance. Lastly, make bookings in INR to pay less.