Car rental procedure in Argentina.
Car rental in Argentina is a fairly simple process but there are things that you need to be aware off or consider – especially if you are a foreigner and not familiar with the language and rules.
We decided to rent a car when we recently made a trip to Patagonia in Argentina. It was not difficult to find a rental company even in a small town like Santa Rosa de Calamuchita. Negotiating a ‘package’ that suits your pocket and purpose is very important.
Tips for renting a car in Argentina.
Here are some guidelines and information that we have picked up in the process.
- Before you approach a Car Rental Company calculate the distance that you want to travel. In our case we knew it would be more or less 3,500 to 4,000 kilometers.
- Calculate for how many days you will need the vehicle. We wanted the car for 7 days.
- The first package they offered us included 250 free kilometres per day at a price of 250 pesos per day. A charge of 80c per kilometre applied after you have exhausted your free kilometres. This deal worked out too expensive for us. We went back to negotiate a better deal.
- After we have told them where we wanted to travel to they came back and offered us free kilometres for 7 days at a price of 300 pesos per day. This worked for us and we booked the vehicle.
- We paid a deposit of 200 pesos to book the car. They delivered the vehicle at a set time to our door.
- Paperwork can be very tricky if you cannot speak any Spanish. Try to get a person to translate or ask the car rental company to assist with a person that can translate. In bigger cities this shouldn’t be a problem but in smaller towns it will be more difficult to find a person who speaks English.
- You have to pay the rental upfront before you can take delivery of the car. In our case we had to pay 2,500 pesos and the 200 pesos that we paid earlier was deducted. In addition you have to pay a 3,000 pesos deposit which is refundable after the car is returned in the original condition. You have an option to pay this in cash or place a hold on your credit card.
- The vehicle is inspected and all marks, dents and cracks are indicated on a carbon copied document. You receive a signed copy of the document. Keep it in a safe place.
- The car has a full tank of petrol and you have to refuel the car before you return it. If you don´t have time to refuel the car the car will be refilled and the amount is payable in cash or deducted from your credit card.
- They must explain the contents of the contract to you. It is very important to understand the content before you sign the document. Some hidden clauses can cause you to lose your deposit if you are not careful.
- Make sure you are familiar with the speed limits and road rules.
- Make sure you understand what fuel to use for the car. It is very important.
- Insurance, papers and emergency numbers should be close by if Police stops you.
Things that we did not do or did not know before we booked the vehicle:
- Ask to have a look at the car before you book it. Our little Fiat was a lot smaller than expected. Luckily all our luggage fitted but it could have been problematic.
- Make sure that they lift the hold on your credit card. They lifted the hold after a couple of phone calls.To avoid unnecessary stress, I suggest to pay the deposit in cash. That way you will not be without money.
- If possible find out from your Bank how long it normally takes to lift a hold on your credit card.
We always say in Agentina: “Siempre necesita ojo” and it means you always need to be on the lookout. If you are unsure ask. Foreigners are often victims of people who try to make an extra buck.