The car rental process – the personal pickup and return of the car

shutterstock_298063157Our blog series introduces the whole process of the short-term car rental, step by step. In the very first part we reviewed the topic of online reservation. This time, we’ll focus on the personal pickup and return of the vehicle.

After you have successfully reserved the required car and the moment to receive the vehicle has finally come, it is important to be aware of some stuff. Before you start driving, it is worth checking the car’s status data sheet. You should compare that with the vehicle’s current condition, and if you notice some new scars that are not listed in the status data sheet, you shall report about them to the leasing company’s colleagues. This way would be easier to clarify that those scars didn’t happen during your rental time. What is more, you can also make a video about the car’s condition, just for sure.

It seems obvious, however, even the regular car renters can forget sometimes to always have the documentation of the rented car at themselves, and then give them back at the time of the vehicle’s return.

It’s important to check the fuel type of the rented vehicle before you start driving. The vehicle must be returned with full tank even in case of a short-term rental, so it is necessary to refuel at least once – this is why worth knowing the fuel type.

To avoid extra fees, always watch out for the cabin’s cleanness. In Budget’s cars, both smoking and the transportation of pets are prohibited. By ignoring this rule, you must pay a cleaning fee, that will be deducted from the deposit.

Extension of the rental

If you would like to extend the rental period, it is recommended to confirm the requirement in a written form and ask about the daily tariff to be continued. This is important because there are other fees indicated on the online comparison sites than in Budget.hu’s own webpage. If you reserved the rental via an intermediary company and you need an extension, then you can only arrange that on their platform. In a case like this, only the insurance given by Budget is available, meaning you shall require the insurance from the brokerage firm / comparison site. If there was no intermediary insurance from the company, then the Budget’s insurance will be kept on continuing automatically, meaning no need to extend that separately.

You return the car earlier

In case of prepaid rentals, Budget is not always able to refund the financial margin if you would like to return the vehicle earlier: namely that the client shall bear the cost and the responsibility (to avoid this, a deletion, two days before the return, shall be managed). If the rental fee has not been paid in advance because a deposit has been given instead, then – after the rental time is over – the client has to pay only for those days when he / she actually used the vehicle.

Accidents, damages and fines during the rental period

All the Budget renters will be given an assistance phone number and e-mail address to use in case of any problems emerged. A damage report form must be filled in case of any troubles – this is important for the insurance. We recommend to the foreign citizens to ask the help of the Police if the process of such form’s fulfilment is not clear to them.

If the renter causes a damage or an accident, however, misses the fulfilment of the accident statement sheet, but the other party acknowledges the responsibility, then the repair costs shall be borne by the other party.

If the rented vehicle is taken over – and the rental agreement has remained in the vehicle – a copy of the original agreement can be asked for during the opening hours, indicated on the website. It’s important to record any problem in a written form and send it to Budget to have a written document of the complaint which is easy to be found again if it’s necessary.

Fines must be always paid by the renter besides an additional administrative fee of EUR 40. The fine will be clearly indicated on the Budget’s invoice, while the different amount of fees can also be observed on the website of police.hu.

Keep these in mind at the time of the return

Before returning the rented vehicle, you shall fill both the car’s status data sheet and the checkout form. With this step, you not only can clarify the possible misunderstandings, but facilitate the work of Budget’s staff. The vehicle shall be returned with a full tank, and of course, accompanied by the car keys and the log book. If you return the vehicle to the airport, it’s worth searching for the Budget label and park the car there. Before returning the car, it is important to check that all the personal belongings have been removed from that. Budget is not responsible for the lost items. It is strongly recommended to be personally presented at the time of the vehicle’s return since any kind of questions could emerge from both parties, thus it is more practical to discuss them right then. According to the General Terms and Conditions, the renter is responsible for the rented vehicle, returned after the official opening hours, till 8 a.m. on the next day. It’s also worth keeping in mind if you don’t leave the vehicle in one of the rented car parking areas at the time of the return, then the parking fee must also be paid by the renter.

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The car rental process – tips for car reservations

In our series, starting right now, we’ll share some tips with you about what shall be considered when you rent a car. In this very first part, we’ll give you detailed information about online reservations.

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There are nine long weekends in 2018 and even the summer vacations are approaching. These prolonged weekends and the summer holidays offer a great opportunity to travel somewhere. In case we do not have a car or our vehicle is not appropriate for the given journey – e.g. the car boot or the cabin is too small and there are many passengers and luggage – it’s worth searching for such a car rental company where we can make our trip to be ideal. If we have just decided on to rent a car, let’s visit the budget.hu website!

Rent a car, step by step

After we have opened the website, by clicking on the ‘Rent a car’ menu, we can select the location of the car’s pickup and the return, also the country where the rental starts, and the exact office where the vehicle will be picked up and returned. There are two offices located in Hungary: one at_ Liszt Ferenc International Airport (Budapest), and another one at 19-25. Kassák Lajos Street (Budapest). We also shall select the start and end date of the rental. It’s worth choosing the closest office to us, however, in case we are easy-going, we can select the car delivery service, for an extra fee.

As the next step, let’s select the desirable car. When selecting a vehicle, the size shall be considered the most. It’s important not to choose a car from its brand, but by its parameters. Besides the listed cars, there is an ‘Or similar’ option to be found on the website. The reason of this possibly appearing option is that sometimes the firstly selected car is no longer available in the required period. You don’t have to become upset if that happens, since a very similar car can also meet your expectations: the other car is different in the appearance, that’s true, however, its power, trim level and the size category is the same as it would have been in the first vehicle. By selecting the size of a car, we can make the family vacation to be more comfortable: for example, an estate car is more ideal that time, since all the luggage and even the baby stroller or other bigger stuff shall be packed in the vehicle.

Before finalizing the rental process, it’s worth reading the Rental Conditions through to avoid any misunderstandings. That’s the ‘fine print’ part, usually skipped by everybody, however, that contains all the useful information concerning, for example, the conditions of an additional driver, age-related informations, payment terms, international journeys with the rented car, reservation cancellations and the so-called ‘No Show’ fees. What is more, additional information will also be provided there concerning the own contribution to the insurance and the renter’s responsibility, about the delivery and collection of the car, the required driving license and other personal documents, the refill fees, the one-way roads, the exact time and location of the pickup and return, and even about the extras. Reading through the Rental Conditions only takes some minutes, however, owing to that, a lot of inconveniences can be avoided in the future.

Use of cards, motorway vignette and the discounts

Right after the selection of the vehicle, we can also decide on which type of payment will be used for the rental: by immediate online payment or at the time of the receipt. It’s very important to know that the rental fee can be paid by using any type of bank cards (both for online payment or at the time of the receipt), however, the deposit fee can be debited by only credit cards (possible types: Mastercard, Visa and American Express) and debit cards (possible types: Mastercard and Visa). Without that the car rental is not possible! As the final step, personal data and contact details of the renter shall be typed. In case of a pickup at the airport, the flight number shall be provided as well, since if the client is late, the staff of the Budget will wait for him / her. What is more _ the airline can be added too to the website where the renter is a frequent client to obtain more and more discounts.

The following extras can be selected after the rental: GPS, child seats or booster seats, and additional driver. The additional driver option is important in _case_ more than one person wants to drive the given car. This shall be indicated to the car rental company, since the terms and conditions, and the insurance terms shall cover the additional driver, too. What is more, temporary discounts are also available for the renters: for example, a 20% discount (from the price of the reservation) will be provided to those who possess a Hungarian UniCredit bank card. After the reservation, it is fundamental to check the confirmation e-mail in detail, if maybe something has just slipped our attention. In case something _happens before the car is picked up, then it shall be known about the cancellation policy that a cancellation, free of charge, could only be done 48 hours before the rental’s starting time.

Our next blog post will cover the topic of the car’s personal pickup, by providing further details.

Can we forget the own car?

There are more and more possibilities in Budapest for community car rental: it offers a satisfactory level of service for those who mainly drive inside the city, don’t want to maintain a car and – in case of electric car rental – don’t need to suffer with parking. Neither those need to be sad who would like to drive outside the capital city or maybe they would like to travel outside the country: they can choose between several short-term rental and leasing constructions.

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Operation of carsharing is more than simple: similarly to bike sharing, a downloadable mobile application is required, and after the registration and the payment of the registration fee, we will receive a map showing the closest available community car to us. After typing the code we recieved, we are already able to drive the given car. This kind of renting fits those the best who rarely wants to use the service and then they only drive within the boundaries of the city – they can do that in a rapid and comfortable way, and there is no need to own and maintain a car. Electric cars can also be found in the vehicle fleet of the two service providers (the whole fleet of Greengo and 100 cars in Mol’s Limo fleet), operating in Budapest. What is more, according to the current regulations, no parking fee shall be paid by those who drive electric cars.

According to the article of Index.hu, more than 20,000 people were interested and have registered to Mol’s carsharing service called ’Limo’ since its start back in January. However, not Limo was the first carsharing service to be found in Budapest: Greengo is being presented in the city since 2016 with 200 Volkswagen e-Up vehicles.

 

 

To the countryside, abroad, also for shorter and longer periods

Neither those have to go immediately to a car showroom who would like to travel a bit further, or who already owns a car but has to go without it for a while. We can rent a car even for a long weekend by having a short-term rental. Such rental includes all the maintenance costs (e.g. compulsory service, winter and summer tire change), unlimited kilometre usage inside and outside the country, CASCO insurance and compulsory vehicle insurance, assistance service (inside and outside the country, too). In addition, leasing companies offer a wide range of car fleet, thus everybody could find the best car to his / her travel needs. As optional extra features, drivers can choose from Budget’s selection to have car seats for children, WIFI, motorway vignette and GPS. For more information of the practical benefits, please click here.

There are also cases when somebody wants to rent a car for more than a month (e.g. for a longer business trip, during the change of company cars or when the owner shall wait for his / her new vehicle for months). In such cases, nor the long-term leasing contract (a one-year contract shall be signed as a minimum) neither the short-term loan agreement (the maximum rental period is 29 days in this option) seem to be a good choice. For this purpose, Budget created its Mini Lease, a service that handles the renting period flexibly, meaning that the 1-month-long renting period can be prolonged even up to 12 months, and in a case like that we even receive a 40% discount, compared to the daily rental price. What is more, the monthly fee includes the Hungarian motorway vignette and the required insurances, winter operation, foreign usage, and more than one person can drive the car if it’s needed. For more information of the Mini Lease’s advantages, please click here.

Based on the abovementioned services, it is possible that there will be less privately-owned cars, since the drivers’ demands can be more and more flexible met by the renting companies. The car’s usage fee will be optimized easier, since it will have to be counted when the car is actually utilized.

Cars’ extra features of additional charge can be changed by paid apps

Software updates to be downloaded are frequently published available for Tesla’s cars: these new functions like, for instance, the automatic driver increase the vehicle’s skills. 

The author of The Verge’s article attended the Detroit Auto Show at the beginning of the year. He interviewed several representatives of the automotive industry and found out according to the given answers, that such industry will offer the novelties in the future within the framework of applications to be downloaded instead of extra features of additional charge. BMW’s example shows this new practice well: while the company offers the Apple CarPlay technology for USD 300 at the US market, Apple’s software platform designed for cars will be available free of charge during the very first year and then for USD 80 as a yearly renting fee.

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Postpaid functions to arrive in our cars as well

This business model facilitates the possibility of changing the software platform of a vehicle anytime the owner would like to: for example, in case the family members changed for Android mobiles from iPhone, then Apple CarPlay can also be modified to Google’s Android Auto in the car. Smartphones can perfectly communicate with the vehicle utilizing CarPlay or Android Auto and they can be easily controlled by using the buttons on the wheel. In the opinion of analysis company IHS Markit’s expert, automotive manufacturers will offer software-based services to their vehicles in a more and more widely sphere in the future.

Renting fee of these functions means a greater profit-margin than the one-time sale of an expensive extra feature like for example, the on-board navigation. According to the predictions of IHS, postpaid services available in the vehicles will have a worldwide market of USD 6 billion within 5 years.

Tesla, king of software updates

The most spectacular software updates go constantly to Tesla’s electric cars: for instance, automatic windscreen wipers have become available owing to the new software. What is more, more complex services like automatic parking or the self-driving function could be accessible also this way. The vehicle ’Model S’ will be very soon installed with a software enabling the car to compensate the rolling sound of the tyres or the wind noise by the vehicle’s sound system and even the automatic windscreen wipers will be usable the same way.

The fact that the company is able to update its own-manufactured vehicles from a great distance seems to be very useful: for example, at time of Hurricane Irma, Tesla – using only a software update – temporarily increased the one-charge distance of its cars in Florida escaping from the natural catastrophe in question.

We can even postpay for cars

Volvo has also noticed the opportunity in postpaid constructions, since the company offers a postpaid insurance, maintenance and assistance to its urban jeeps ’XC40’ at the US market. The US Cadillac has even gone further since US customers of the company can postpay for a vehicle for monthly USD 1,500: the clients can use the manufacturer’s four models to suit their preference, however, the number of possible vehicle changes is maximized in yearly 18 times.

A similar service costing monthly USD 2,000 to 3,000 is also offered in the USA by Porsche: sport cars can be requested within the framework of a pilot programme in Atlanta using a smartphone application for this purpose. Audi also tests an alike solution in San Francisco, while Ford does experiments in Los Angeles with a service called ‘Canvas’, a more affordable postpaid car renting opportunity, meaning a monthly fee of only USD 400 to 500.

Flexible car rental with useful extras

What’s common in a tourist eager to travel to European cities, in a manager waiting for the company car to come and in the temporary car rental service? The common thing in the above cases is that all their subjects need a vehicle, capable even for a couple of months without the obligation to renew the contract during that time or have a fix-term contract with one of the leasing companies. In brief: the situation is that you need a car only for some months, thus you don’t want to lease a vehicle for one / several years, however, you would like to experience more than just a one-time car rental.

It can happen that the new car booked from a car service centre only will be available 5 months later, thus we do need a car during this interim period… What can we do in a situation like this? Majority of us will take the laptop or smartphone and start to search for possible options like whether to buy a monthly ticket from the local transport company, borrow Mom’s car, find a carsharing service or lease a vehicle for the given period.

After review the above options and the received quotations more profoundly we can easily note that none of them seems to be a great choice nor to be a complete solution meeting our requirements: buying a monthly ticket only would allow us to travel within the city by very time-consuming methods and in an inflexible way; Mom surely would lend us her car, however, asking it for several months or even for an uncertain period of time seems to be not a solution at all… Utilizing the carsharing service would bound us: we could only use it in the city by being so lucky to find a close car and not travel for that to other districts. After all of these, it seems to be a very logical step to discuss the matter with experts, where we can choose from two options: we can lease a car for a fixed one-year-long period or to make a loan contract that shall be renewed every 30 days. The customer who doesn’t know the exact date when the new car is received or how long will the car be remained in the repair service, then a leasing contract won’t fit him / her well. What is more, administrational tasks required by a car rental can be also very profound and tiresome.

There’s a solution!

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We need such a solution that handles the rental period flexible, thus in case we are not aware of the exact time when we will receive the new car or how long we would like to use a car in the interim period, then this alternative will be very welcomed. What is more, there shall be an opportunity for foreign journeys and the use of other comfort services (for instance, motorway vignettes, insurances, taxes and operation possibility during the winter months).

Budget has elaborated its service called ‘Mini Lease’ actually for such interim periods, containing:

  • the rental period can be freely chosen from 1 to 12 months, and can be prolonged as needed
  • in case of a rental of more than 30 days, a significant discount is granted – the vehicle can be rented for about a 40% discount compared to the daily rental fee
  • Budget will manage all the administration tasks related to the usage of the car
  • fee of the Hungarian motorway vignette, fee of several insurances, fee of winter operation and fee of foreign usage are all included in the monthly fee; what is more, more then only one person is allowed to utilize the vehicle

All in all, a customer who plans a foreign holiday lasting for several months or would like to change the company car but also would like to use a car in the interim period or only can purchase a car a few month later, then he or she will find the perfect solution within the framework of ‘Mini Lease’ service. Not to mention that the average age of Budget’s car fleet is 5 months – or more often: only 1-2 months – and all car categories are represented by the most popular vehicle types, meaning that every destination can be reached by the perfect car.

 

7 useful mobile apps for car drivers

We collected a few useful mobile applications that make life easier while driving. Here’s Budget’s subjective list:

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photo: pexel

Waze

Waze is community-based information-sharing application that supports navigation, shares real-time traffic information and GPS coordinates. The essence of its operation is the driver community shares informations – by uploading them – about the current traffic situation and help to prevent traffic jams, police raids and give hints for escape routes. Using it is as simple as using Google Maps: just type the destination and system gives you the optimal route. And if we run into an accident we can also let the others know to be cautions in the area.

Alternatives: Traffi Hunter – speedcam detector, Google Maps – navigation

Hudway

Everyone knows that the speedometers in the cars are not showing the real data. car factories – due to liability exclusions – set the instruments to show less than the real speed. That’s why it is important to be aware of your true speed, and to avoid speeding. (Here you can read, how much you can „win” with speeding). Hudway is a quite stylish way to get the real speedopmeter data: reflection of the mobile’s display is projected onto the windshield while the phone leands at the bottom of the instrument panel. Note that the projected picture is not so sharp at daylight and it’s feels like very a DIY gadget.

Alternatives: Navier HUD, DigiHUD Speedometer

MyCar Locator

Everyone is familiar with the situation when we don’t find our car  at Tesco’s or at a shoping mall’s parking lot. With this app we can prevent a heartattack caused by this situation. With only one push of a button on our mobile the application locates the exact position of the car and on the back road – just like an ordinary navigation app – take us back to the vehicule.

Alternatives: ParKing, Find My Car – GPS Locator

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photo: pexels.com

Elsősegély-kisokos (First Aid smarties)

First aid knowledge is essential for the driving licence, but what happens when we need to act for real and not just push the dummy’s chest? Under pressure even the most skilled person can get shocked. We know it’s not realistic to check your phone when an injured person is lying next to you, but it can be useful to freshen up knowledge or – if it’s not an urgent case – take care of minor injuries with the help of this app.

Alternatives: Elsősegély – Mit kell tennem?, Elsősegély lépések

Spritmonitor

With Spritmonitor you can easily track your fuel consumption: after logging in just add the car type and voilá, there’s your consumption. Also the app gives you two choices: first, the data based on factors like the current season, what fuel you use, condition of tires etc. In case of the second option, the app calculated consumption based on the user’s experiences.

Alternatives: My Consumption, Fuelio

Autoguard

Since the crazy Russian Youtube videos we all know how useful a dashboard camera can be. If you don’t want to buy a dashboard camera just for this,then Autoguard is for you. The application is recording speed, location and – of course – the incidents. It can be a very useful black box if it’s not evident whose fault was the accident.

Alternatives: DashCam

 

This is how much time you can ’win’ by speeding / It’s not worth speeding at all!

Experienced drivers just laughing on those, whose vehicle overleaps the actual speed limit, just to reach their destination faster. But how much time can we exactly win by speeding in case having a rented / leased car? Portfolio.hu has collected, while Budget Hungary has completed the list. Check it out!

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30% of the road accidents involving personal injuries are caused by speeding. Only a part of these accidents has taken place on the Hungarian highways, however, related data clearly show that majority of them is caused by overriding and tailgating, frequently generated by speeding.

This is the reason why drivers should think twice before speeding, before risking his / her and also others’ life.

Actually, how much time can you win if you drive 10, 20 or 50-70 km/h faster on the highway?

Portfolio.hu has collected statistics creating a chart on how much time can a car / motorcycle driver win by being faster than the allowed speed limit of 130 km/h. It is important to note that statistics were calculated with the complete route’s average speed and the actually ‘gainable’ time can be different at each car models depending on how accurately had the odometer been set.

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Source: portfolio.hu

Summarizing the chart, we can clearly see that for example, on a tour from Budapest to Siófok – where about a 100-km-long section can be done in the allowed manner by driving an average speed of 130 km/h – only a bit more than 3 minutes can be gained if the average speed is 140 km/h all the tour. Lots of drivers set the cruise control slightly under 150 km/h due to that urban legend which says that speedometers only catch drivers whose speed is above 155 km/h, meaning they can escape from getting a fine. Actually, these drivers can win 6 extra minutes on the mentioned 100-km-long distance. Of course, there are also that kind of ‘hotshot racers’ racing at 180-200 km/h: they can gain 15 minutes on the mentioned distance in case they don’t need to continuously decelerate owing to slower-moving, overtaking vehicles.

How much does it cost if we are being caught speeding?

If the accident can be avoided, the possibility of getting a speeding fine (from HUF 30,000 to HUF 300,000) is still keep on continuing. What is more, if we have driven someone else’s car (rented, leased or owned by the company where we work), this fine can even be supplemented by an administrative fine (gross HUF 12,400) or implicated by additional court fees.