Car Hire Advice

Car Hire

Hiring a car...

At some point in most peoples lives they will have to hire a car. Whether you are going on holiday or your day to day transport has broken down, most people have a very easy and straight forward experience with hiring a car.

Car hire is obviously a popular choice for those wishing to explore whilst away from home on holiday. It’s essential to know the tricks of the trade so you can make sure you get a great deal.

Choosing the car hire right package

Like many industries, car hire can be a tricky field to navigate. It’s surprisingly easy to end up paying way over the odds for extras that you could probably do without.

Knowing what your basic requirements are before approaching the car hire company will help you to stay focused and not be confused by the salesperson at the front desk. For most, the basic package is more than adequate so think carefully before being up-sold.

In addition, always read the terms and conditions fully before accepting a deal. Car hire companies vary quite considerably in their policies so try to avoid making assumptions or listening to sales patter and check the small print instead.

Are you hiring a car for an upcoming holiday?

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Top 5 car hire tips

1. Look for independent excess insurance policies
Car hire companies often overcharge for excess insurance and you will find that standalone providers can be up to 90% cheaper. Just be aware that by using this method you will need to budget for a refundable deposit when you pick the car up.

2. Bring your own child seats and satnav
You can easily waste money by hiring satnavs and child seats directly from car hire companies. Bring your own if you can to avoid rising costs.

Many smartphones now have satnav capabilities so this may save you even more money...and space in your suitcase!

If you are travelling abroad for your holiday, don’t forget to check out additional charges for flying with child seats (this cost will usually still be cheaper than hiring one).

3. Do your checks on the car
Check the car thoroughly before driving off. Photograph, video and note down any visible damage. This will make the checking process much smoother and more accurate upon returning the car.

Take a look at how much petrol is in the car before you do any driving. If you pay upfront for a full tank, you may be charged higher rates than you can get locally and in addition, you may not be entitled to a refund for any fuel you don’t use.

If you are planning on travelling a long distance, it’s also sensible to clarify whether or not there is a mileage limit on your policy.

4. Choosing a car
Choose the vehicle that you will be hiring carefully - and don’t always assume that the smaller models are cheaper. The price of a car depends on the demand in that region, so good deals can often be found with estate cars and people carriers.

5. Do you really need a hire car?
People who drive a lot at home often assume that they won’t manage without a vehicle. If you are making smaller journeys, you may find that local taxi companies or public transport options offer cheap rates. If you're venturing onto Europe's roads, it may even be possible to take your own car - another good way to save.