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Insider tips on renting a car

If you just need a car for a weekend trip to the Ardennes, traditional car rental is worth considering.

Unlike some of the car-sharing schemes in the city, unlimited mileage and weekend deals make it a good bet if it's just a one-off trip. Here are a few tricks to make sure you find the best deal.

1. Play around with cards and currencies

If you happen to have active credit cards from other countries – say a US credit card – then you can play around with the location and currency settings on the search engine.

If you're just living in Brussels for the short term and keep your permanent residence elsewhere, it might be better to search the local website for your car, rather than the Belgian one. For example, search Hertz's US website in dollars instead of their Belgian website. You might find deals aimed at tourists that are not offered to locals. Of course, you'll have to book with your non-Belgian card and perhaps be prepared to show your foreign ID at the counter when you go to pick up your card.

2. Location, location, location

Shop around at different branches of company in Brussels. Europcar might be offering one price at their more convenient locations at Brussels Midi train station, but a cheaper deal at their branch on Avenue de la Couronne.

3. Are you entitled to any discounts?

Many workplaces have deals with car rental agencies. The best place to start might be to enquire if employees are allowed to rent at the corporate rate for personal use.

Also, you might already hold the key to low prices. For example, if you have a Carrefour Bonus Card that you scan when you go grocery shopping, you're eligible for a 15% discount on rent from Europcar. 

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