What to keep in mind when you rent a car in the Baltic states

Summer is the time for travelling, and often a car is the preferred means of transport as it enables you to take more luggage than allowed on a plane and gives greater freedom of movement; but if you rent a car, you should pay attention to several aspects to make the rental as safe as possible and ensure the car meets your expectations.

As the summer is the peak season for car rental, you should make your booking at least two weeks before the pick-up date. If you leave the booking to the last moment, the desired car group may not be available any more, or its price might have increased several times. When you compare prices, look at the price offers for longer periods than one or two days, because the rental vehicle has a better price per day the longer the rental period is.

You should also carefully read all the terms and conditions, and pay attention to the mileage restrictions, minimal liability coverage and requirements of the customer. “Before renting a car, it is useful to read through the rules, so that there will be no unpleasant surprises in the form of various additional costs,” Madis Sinijärv, the Estonian representative of the international car rental company, Budget, said.

It should also be kept in mind that if you plan to visit several countries, you have to inform the rental company of this. “The rules vary by country, and it may be that there are restrictions on entry for certain groups of vehicles in some countries. When you book, this part of your travel plan should be agreed upon with the rental company in order to avoid misunderstandings,” he emphasised.

It is also necessary to pay attention to the special requirements of the person renting the car – in some countries, persons under the age of 25 cannot rent larger cars, and often there are surcharges for younger drivers or additional drivers.

You should also make clear whether you are entering into a contract with an agent or a specific car rental company when you rent a car, and ask about special offers directly from the car rental company or the agent.

Keep in mind the particulars of your destination

Airi Ilisson-Cruz, the marketing director of Estravel, the largest travel agency in the Baltic states, said that during the summer season, people mostly travel to the neighbouring countries and to southern Europe. “In summer, people often travel with the whole family. For example, car trips to Latvia and Lithuania, where you can find many theme parks, beautiful beaches and high quality spa hotels, are popular. Finland continues to be the most popular destination for Estonians all the year round.Of the countries of southern Europe, the most popular destinations during the summer season are Greece and Bulgaria,” she said.

“The choice of destination is influenced by convenient air connections, and also good climate, beautiful nature and many interesting sights in these countries. The most convenient way for travelling around in these countries is to rent a car, which can already be booked before the trip. Then you will not have to waste time on rental during your vacation. In Estravel, we closely cooperate with the car rental companies to provide flexible car rental solutions to our customers and find the most suitable car for each traveller,” Ilisson-Cruz added.

On the basis of their long-time car rental experience in the whole of Europe, Sinijärv emphasised that the customers should keep in mind the particulars of their destination when travelling. He pointed out that, in warmer countries, a well-functioning air-conditioning device is of great help, and in destinations with more extreme weather conditions, the tyres of the rental car should be examined closely.

Before renting a car, it is also useful to make sure whether you are dealing with an international company or a local small rental company. International rental companies usually have established rental conditions that are clearer than the contracts of local small enterprises. If an international company has an office in your home country, the employees there can help you and explain the conditions and options in your native language.

“It is very important to read all the terms and conditions in the contract very carefully before signing, and always ask if something is unclear. This is especially so in places where communication is in a foreign language to one or both of the parties,” Sinijärv recommended.

The cover image is illustrative (courtesy of Budget Car Rental). Please note that this article was originally published on 6 July 2017.

Read more news of Tallinn on our site.

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Coalition partner the Social Democratic party (SDE) has announced its top riders for the March 2019 elections in Estonia's 12 electoral districts, though its full list will be confirmed in December, the party says. There are no real surprises on a well-stocked list which includes the recently-attracted Indrek Tarad, currently still an independent MEP. Mr Tarand, whilst standing for SDE, has not as yet become a party member. Since the system in Estonia is a...
According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in October 2018 was 0.5% compared to September and 4.4% compared to October of the previous year. Goods were 3.7% and services 5.7% more expensive compared to October 2017, while regulated prices of goods and services increased by 9.1%, and non-regulated prices by 3.1%. Compared to October 2017, the consumer price index was affected the most by transport, which contributed nearly a thi...
The Ministry of Culture has rejected the request of English-language web magazine Estonian World (EW) for support from the state to to the tune of €5,000 for the remainder of 2018. The ministry has, however, promised to seek opportunities for supporting the portal in 2019. "Unfortunately, the support to this extent of English-language Estonian media outlets is not provided for in the agenda and budget of the government-approved Compatriots Programme for th...
Last Wednesday, Theatre NO99 abruptly announced that it would be closing its doors, with its final performances scheduled for November and December. The theatre will be vacating a large building at the Central Tallinn address of Sakala 3, interest in which has been expressed by Sakala Skene, a new open centre for the performing arts and theatre education. Sakala Skene is a new brand uniting Polygon Theatre and Polygon Threatre School, Old Baskin's Theatre,...
The European Athletics Council has decided to award the right to host the European Athletics Under 20 Championships in 2021 to the Estonian Athletic Association, which will stage the event at Tallinn's Kadriorg Stadium. The same format was previously successfully hosted by the Estonian Athletic Association in 2011, in collaboration with the City of Tallinn. At the European Athletics Council meeting in Budapest, the Estonian bid to host the event was presen...
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reopened the Estonian embassy in Budapest. The ministry announced the step on social media on Monday, saying that starting 5 November the embassy is offering consular services again. The embassy is providing consular services and assistance starting 5 November. Anyone who would like their documents issued there can indicate so on the application form, the ministry said. Consular services are available by advance appointm...
Every day, some 30 people in Estonia call the Health Board complaining that a family doctor in Tallinn won't take them as a patient even though they technically have room on their patient rosters to accept new patients. Family doctors, however, find that working with too large a patient list could jeopardise the quality and accessibility of their care. Estonian Society of Family Doctors chairperson Le Vallikivi explained to daily Postimees that they are fa...
Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) Riigikogu group chair Martin Helme has paid to boost his social media presence and used Riigikogu expenses benefits to pay for highlighting posts, a recent Riigikogu Chancellery document reveals. Postimees wrote earlier in the week about EKRE’s social media success and how their messages seem to reach more voters. Facebook’s company pages can be highlighted to reach more people. But the practice costs money. Bought posts...
40% of employers in Estonia intend to increase their employees' wage levels, while 39% are planning on creating new positions and 70% intend to hire new employees to replace outgoing workers and fill temporary or new positions, it appears from a survey conducted by recruitment portal CVKeskus.ee and the Salary Information Agency. "40% of employers are planning to raise their employees' basic salaries, which is indicative of the wage pressures resulting fro...