- Check The Terms And Conditions Carefully
I would advise reading the entire fine print section of the rental terms and conditions to lookout for any clauses or stipulations not common to standard rental car agreements. Be sure to understand the charges for excess mileage, which can be very costly, (exotic cars are generally only allotted 50-200 free miles per day), and the company’s policies in case of a breakdown or mechanical failure.
- You May Not Need The Optional Damage Waivers
Rental companies will offer an optional service on their vehicles, sometimes referred to as a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Wavier (LDW), which waives their right to hold you responsible for any damages that may occur to the rental. Technically, it is not a form of insurance.
If you have a personal auto insurance policy, it is likely you are already covered for damage/loss you may incur while operating rental cars as well, so you can usually decline this service, but contact your insurance provider first to make sure. Should you opt for the rental company’s CDW/LDW, make sure to check their excess amount (deductible) and coverage limits.
- Check For Hidden Fees, Taxes, and Delivery and Collection Charges
Double-check to see if the rate you’ve received or found online includes VAT and any other applicable taxes. Many rental companies will charge you an additional fee if you pick up your rental vehicle in one city and return it in another — make sure that the rate includes those charges. Beware that delivery and collection charges can double your rental cost!
- Watch Out For Privately-Owned Vehicles
Some exotic car rental companies have been known to use privately-owned vehicles in their fleets to avoid the hurdles that come with legitimately financing and insuring high-end rental vehicles.
Renting a car that isn’t legally insured as one can leave you, the renter, extremely vulnerable in the case of an accident or other unforeseen mishap. You may be held liable for any damage caused by or to the vehicle, and the original owner may also be able to sue you.
- Make Sure They Actually Have The Vehicle
When searching for car rentals online you will find many websites that might appear to be legitimate rental companies, but in reality they don’t actually own any vehicles. Do not rent from broker agencies that post generic photos or photos obviously taken from other websites/sources: you will end up paying a lot more and there’s no guarantee that you will receive the vehicle you’ve paid for.
- Carefully Check The Vehicle’s Condition
It’s easy to get carried away by the emotion and excitement of picking up your exotic rental, but make sure to thoroughly inspect the car for any visible damage, both inside and outside. You should do this with any rental car, but when dealing with exotics or sports cars, the cost of repairs can be astronomical, so make sure to bring to the company’s attention any damage you see before taking the car so you’re not held liable. I would suggest you document any damage you find with photos.
- Being Flexible Can Be Financial Beneficial
Rates on weekends can be triple that of slower weekdays. If your desired rental dates and/or pickup/drop-off locations are flexible, bring this up with the rental company and let them know. For example, picking up your rental in Florence might be more cost-effective than picking up from Rome.
- Geographic Restrictions
As the birthplace of many of our favorite sports car, Europe has no shortage of breathtaking sights and scenic cruising routes, but be wary of any applicable Geographic Restrictions.
Rental companies oftentimes exclude the vehicle from being taken into certain European Union nations, and may have a “no islands” rule in place as well, so double check against your itinerary before booking.
If you are planning a trip to Europe in the near future, take a minute to visit lurento.com, a luxury car rental marketplace which features an excellent fleet of sports, exotic and luxury vehicles at many conveniently located major European tourist destinations like Rome, Vienna, Nice, Barcelona, etc.
- Think About the Route Beforehand
Sports cars and exotic vehicles tend to have very low ground clearance, so try to create a driving route that avoids areas that may have steep ramps or poorly paved roads. Some exotic cars have front-end lifting systems that temporarily increase ground clearance for these type of situations, so ask the rental company if the particular vehicle you are interested in has this option.
- Don’t Be a Hero
Part of the appeal of an exotic car is its speed, but keep your ego check and avoid the temptation to show off. Mid-engined, rear-wheel drive cars especially, such as the Ferrari F430 and Ferrari 458 Italia, will spin-out very easily if pushed too hard in a corner, so be very careful about how much power you feed in during cornering.