When you collect the car:
Check the vehicle for damage if it is night time make sure that you can properly view the car's bodywork. If it is raining borrow an umbrella from the hire company assistant.
Check the spare tyre
If it is really too dark or wet, let the company know any defects as soon as possible.
Additional Warning: Many car hire companies encourage the hirer to return the car empty. If you were to refill this yourself before taking it back, it is more than likely it would cost you less than the fuel deposit you paid when you took out the rental.
If you are renting a car via a company like Holiday Autos you will be provided with a voucher that you will have paid for in advance on line.
You then present the voucher to the car rental company. Some car hire companies will "swipe" your credit card so the details are stored on their computer, but will not actually debit your card at that stage. This is rather like when you book into a hotel.
They are taking your card details in case of accident, or any additional charges that are levied at the end of the rental like - out of hours collection - fuel charges - insurance etc.
Other companies will immediately debit your card as either they do no have this "swipe" and store facility or it is their policy to debit the account to cover a deposit, fuel charge etc. The downside to this is, if you are in a different currency e.g. renting in a "euro" currency country, but coming from the UK, Switzerland or the USA for example, your bank back home will charge for the conversion onto your card. On top of this exchange rates vary, so when you return the car and they "credit" your card again apart from being charged an exchange commission by your card/bank provider, the rate of the dollar, euro, Swiss franc might have gone up or down.
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about this and the system does vary from company to company.
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