Rental Car Considerations in Argentina

carrentalThis is not the best way to learn how to rent a car in Argentina. It may be the second best, or maybe the third. The best way is to go to Argentina and rent a car, but do it in all the wrong ways. By bumbling every aspect of the rental process, you will find out exactly what you can and can’t do with your car and you’ll pay for it both emotionally and financially. I know this is the best way, because it’s what I did and hopefully you, will never have to do.

One of the greatest things about rental cars in Argentina is that most of them come with insurance, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying out the nose for repairs should something go wrong. But, understand that the insurance coverage is usually only valid if you manage to abide by all other rental car rules, which you probably won’t.

Rental car prices are usually determined by two factors, the style of vehicle and the amount of miles you travel. Most cars come with a predetermined amount of miles included. If you exceed those miles, you’ll pay a premium price per mile you go over. Rest assured, though, if you bring the car back having driven fewer miles than you paid for, you get nothing. If you do plan a long trip, consider looking for the more rare agencies that do offer unlimited mileage packages. However, if you’re going a long distance, roadside assistance could be a problem.

aaRoadside Assistance
Here’s where things can get tricky if you get into trouble. Roadside assistance is great, when you’re in the area that your rental agency covers. But, many agencies have very limited coverage areas and if you’ve got it into your head to use your car to actually see the rest of Argentina, you may be screwed if your car breaks down. Roam where you want, but find out where your roadside assistance coverage ends and understand the risks you take if you break down beyond the reach of their help. More importantly, by exceeding the roadside assistance area, you may forfeit your claim to any insurance coverage.

Vehicle Style
Part of the problem with renting cars in Argentina is that many of the country’s most beautiful places are preceded by very poor roads. Ideally, you’d get a 4-wheel drive vehicle with plenty of ground clearance, but they are generally very expensive and poor on gas, which, unfortunately, is also very expensive. If you do want to rent a car to get to the most remote places, consider using public transport to get as close as possible and then renting a suitable car for a shorter period of time.

By Patrick Hutchison