We are going to a little place called Estoi in Portugal in September. We need to hire a cire to get around. We have hired cars in America with no problems at all.
However, booking in Europe seems more complicated?? Every Car Hire company we ring want at least 1200 Euros deposit on a credit card, (which they actually bill) and then refund when you return the car problem free.
firstly, why bother with all the expensive insurance they want you to have if theyve got 1200 euros which is non refundable upon any occurance and also when you get the deposit back the exchange rate will be different so you will loose out that way too!!
It seems to me that it's not the right thing to do.
I don't exactly know how it works in Portugal, but I do know how it does in Spain, and I am sure you DON'T have to pay such an amount of money.
When you hire a car in Spain, there's an insurance clause which states, that if something happens i.e. a crash, and the CDW is up to 600 €, you will have to pay 600€ and the rest will be paid by the rental company. And that works out the same way in France for example.
I don't think things are so different in Portugal. Please check again with your travel agent in the UK or in websites. I don't think it should be that much.
I used to live in Lisbon and have hired cars there several times. The
system is the same as in the USA (at least from what I've experienced).
You have to have a credits card, and normally they make a blanck check
with it, but it is only used if you damage the cae. If you return the
car without damaged they simply destroy the blanck check, or you can
use it to pay the renting of the car. But it is not obligatory if you
want to pay in cash no problem. I have never experienced anybody who
wanted to have an deposited.