Renting a Car in Lima – Alquilar un Auto en Lima
Posted September 7, 2010on:
Two weekends ago I rented a car for a day in Lima. It was a holiday long weekend and we wanted the car for the holiday Monday. This meant we had to pick the car up Sunday evening and return in Monday evening. We live in Miraflores and there are quite a few car rental agencies here as it is a touristy area, however, they are not open on Sundays and holidays. So, we had to go out to the airport to rent a car.
The airport has car rentals 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It just so happened that we were going to the airport on Sunday evening anyway to see a friend off to Germany, so it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. However, in the future it would be nice if we could pick a car up on Saturday in Miraflores and somehow be able to return it here without having to go all the way out to the airport on Sunday. We are trying to find a place that will accept returns here on Sundays.
At the airport there are three car rental companies, Dollar, Hertz and Budget.
We looked on line before going to the airport to get an idea of the prices. They all seemed pretty equal except Dollar included insurance in the price so we went with them. We rented a Toyota Yaris. It had about 53,000km and was probably about a 2008. It was in decent condition, had air conditioning (not that we needed it) and a good stereo. The total cost for a one day rental, including taxes and insurance, was $40 USD. This is quite expensive based on cars I have rented in other cities in the US and Canada. I think in Las Vegas you can rent a car for about $15 plus insurance & taxes.
Something interesting about car rentals here is that they DO NOT come with unlimited kilometers. I have never rented a car before that had a limit on kilometers. Our limit for one day was 200km. We weren’t sure if this was going to be sufficient and the cost per additional kilometer is something outrageous like $0.30 USD + IVG. IVG is the sales tax in Peru with is a whopping 19%. Luckily we only ended up using about 150km and didn’t have to pay extra, but I wouldn’t want to rent a car and take it on a long road trip as the costs would add up very quickly!
The car rental booths at the airport are in the arrivals area, before the point where the arriving passengers enter into the greeting area. So, if you are there just to rent a car you have to ask security to let you through to the car rental area. Luis and I both went up to the security guard but he would only let me pass through. He said Peruvians are not allowed to rent cars at the airport and he wouldn’t even let Luis come with me to help translate. There is quite a bit of discrimination against their own people in Peru which I find very strange.
To rent a car the requirements are:
- you have to be 25 years or older
- you need a valid driver’s license
- you need a major credit card
When you rent the car they put a pending charge of $1,000 on your credit card in case of any damages. The insurance deductible is $500 and they advise you that if there is any damage less than this you should pay for it yourself. Before leaving the lot, like at all car rental places, you have to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and note any scratches, dents or other damage. Then you are on your way.
In the end, we returned the car without any problems. It was nice to have a car for the day and although it is a little pricey, I imagine we will be renting another one in the future!