You’ve booked your holiday; now consider any ‘extras’ required. How will you get from the airport to your chosen destination, or once there, will you want to travel around independently?
If you choose to hire a car, consider these facts:
- Make sure you get the best deal. Check out a comparison site
- Choose the right size car
- Check the insurance excess
- Do you need child seats or sat nav, and if so, take them with you!
Choice of Hire Company
With the internet at our fingertips, it is easier than ever to compare prices of almost everything we buy, and car hire is no exception. It goes without saying that you will need to fit your travel companions and their entire luggage in somewhere. It isn’t an unknown tactic to opt for the smallest car suitable and then get upgraded, making a substantial saving. However, this cannot be guaranteed!
Hire Car Insurance
As is always the case, insurance can be a minefield. Generally, cover against damage or accidents are provided, but if you are at fault an excess will be charged, often several hundred pounds. Excess insurance will be offered by the car hire company and will give you peace of mind, but can be expensive (over £100 per week). Purchase the same cover from a specialist insurance company before you travel at a much cheaper rate.
Check the Car for Damage
Always check the car and take photos of any damage prior to driving off. Most companies provide a check list of damage and ask you to sign it, but having your own proof is a back up and one we have had to use on several occasions.
Take the Correct Credit Card
You will be asked for your credit card details by the car hire company. It is worth noting that if you hire in advance and pay for it on a card, be sure to have that card with you when you pick up. We once hired a car paying for it with my credit card. When we collected the car my partner was driving not me, and the company would not accept the booking in my name.
Make sure you carry your photo licence and that of any additional driver on the policy. Use this link to the gov.uk website to “view or share your driving licence information”, and collect the code. This provides the information we no longer have in paper form. Not all companies will ask for this, but it is worth being prepared.
Final Tip: Picking up the car with a full tank of fuel and returning it empty can be costly, especially if you only rent for a few days. Even if you only use a quarter of a tank, you will be charged for the refill, usually at a higher rate than if you fill up yourself.