How to Hire a Car
• Always read the small print
• Use comparison sites to find the best deals
Things to watch out for
• You may have to pay a large excess if you have an accident or damage the vehicle
• The price you are quoted may not include extras such as children's car seats and satnav systems
• Remember to include the cost of filling up the tank when you return the car if this is expected
Shop around for the best deal
Shopping around for the best deal is important if you plan to hire a holiday car. Rental costs can vary considerably from one provider to the next, which means the best way to get an overview of costs is to use a comparison site. When comparing deals, remember that the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best – look at what the deal includes.
If you are under the age of 25 you may be required to pay an additional daily fee to cover the higher insurance costs associated with young drivers. This is likely to be around £20 per day. There may also be restrictions on the type of vehicle you are able to rent. Generally, drivers under 25 are restricted to the smallest cars.
The price you are quoted for your car hire will generally include any compulsory insurance. However, most policies have a high excess attached, which means you could be liable to pay hundreds of pounds if you or another driver damages the vehicle. Most rental companies will give you the opportunity to upgrade your insurance package for a small daily fee, often reducing the excess to £50 or nothing it all. It is highly advisable to do this, having to pay out money because another driver clipped your hire car could turn a nice break into the holiday from hell.
Most companies offer extras such as child seats and satellite navigation devices. However, these are generally not included in the basic rental price. If you require these items then you could save money by bringing them along yourself. Also, make sure to factor in the cost of petrol, especially as some car hire companies will expect you to return their vehicle with a full tank.
Remember to take both parts of your driving licence with you to the car rental counter, as well as a copy of your confirmation. Most companies insist that you produce the counterpart and may not release the vehicle to you if you turn up without it. You must make the company aware of any endorsements on your licence. Failing to do so could invalidate the insurance on car that you rent.
Further useful sources
Money saving expert Martin Lewis has plenty of information on getting the best deal on car rental or you can learn more by visiting Hertz. You can also search for the best deals by visiting the UK Net Guide travel page.