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Car Hire Tips To Ensure You Find The Best Deals And Get The Best Price

Car hire can certainly be a stressful experience for many but be prepared can eliminate the stress and save you a fortune. Reading through the list below of helpful tips for you are hiring a car provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure you find the best deals on car hire and at a price to sit you!

Finding The Best Deal

Shop Around

It is no big secret that car hire prices fluctuate and that the price for the same dates and duration can be considerable between car rental companies. This means, to ensure you acquire the best deals, you need to search all the car hire companies.

Book Early

As with many things regarding travel, booking early can often guarantee the best deals and the same is with car hire. The sooner you can make you decision and decide whether you will require care hire, will generally ensure you secure the best car hire deals. It will also ensure you secure the car of your choice and are not disappointed by finding that the car you wanted is not available.

Car rental companies have a limited number of cars and it simply works on a ‘supply and demand’ basis. This not only affects which cars will be available at any one time but will also affect the price you pay. The bottom line is, if you want to hire a car and know your dates, look early and if you see a deal you are happy with, book it as it may not be there when you go back at a later date.

Tip: Many car rental companies and brokers offer free cancellation, so even if you decide at a later date you do not require car hire, it will not have cost you a penny!

Using Brokers and Comparison Sites

As mentioned previously, shopping around and searching all the car hire companies will ensure you find the best deals on your car rental. However, searching all the car hire companies individually will be very time consuming, so the best way to do it, it to use one of the car hire comparison websites, that will search all the car rental companies in seconds and then return the best deals for your specific dates.

Using a Broker/car hire comparison, is very easy as all you need to do is simply enter your desired rental destination, drivers age and required dates, then click submit.

Warning: It is advised that you use a reputable and well-known Broker/Comparison website who has good customer support and will be there to help you with any issues that may arise. As the Internet grows, so does the amount of websites offering car hire. It is important to know that when you book via an Online Broker/Comparison site, your contract is with the car hire company at your destination and not the Broker/Comparison Website. Some of the most popular and well-known reputable Broker/Comparison websites are:

Auto Europe

Car Rentals

Holiday Autos

Things To Consider

Age

Age can play a big part in the cost of your car rental, as the majority of car hire companies will charge a premium for any driver under the age of 21. Some may also charge a premium for drivers of a certain age and if you are wanting to hire a high performance car, then unless you are over the age of 25, you will also be charged a premium. Obviously, to keep the cost of your car hire as cheap as possible, you should decide whether or not it is worth adding a driver to the rental if they are younger than 21 or over a certain age to which the car rental company will charge a premium.

Check For Additional Costs and Extras

One thing to be aware of when you are searching for car hire, is that the initial price you see, may not be the actual price you are expected to pay. Many car rental companies will display very low prices but these are prices that do not include the essentials you really should have when you are hiring a rental car. It is very easy to be tempted by the cheaper prices but before booking, you should ensure you have everything covered for the duration of your car hire.

Ensure You Have The Right Insurance Cover

Understanding and knowing what car hire insurance options are available, is very important and it is certainly worthwhile to take a few minutes to become familiar with them. Become familiar with the different types of insurance policies that are available when you hire a car and also, what is covered by the car rental companies own insurance policy, to which you are hiring the car from.

Many people believe that when they hire a car, they are fully insured but the truth is, most car hire companies’ basic standard insurance is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW in America), which only covers you for damage to the bodywork. It is important to understand that CDW does not mean the same as ‘Comprehensive’ does in the United Kingdom, even if the car rental company is advertising it as ‘Fully Comprehensive’ insurance.

So, What Is CDW

This simply means that if the bodywork of the hire car is damaged, all you will have to pay is the ‘Damage Excess’! However, The Damage Excess price varies depending on the hire company and could be as much as £1500 or more. What people do not realise is that this does not cover you for other items of the car such as windows, tyres, interior, the roof, under carriage, wheels or any belongings in the car. If any of these items are damaged, you will be liable and charged for them, which can be a costly experience. The basic CDW policy may also excludes towing if you breakdown.

The majority of car hire companies will now offer you the option to purchase their own extended excess waiver policies, which reduce the or eliminates the excess cost. If you are only hiring the car for a short period or you only intend hiring a car once a year, then taking out the car hire companies own upgrade/extended insurance cover can be a good option. However, if you are hiring the car for a longer period of time such as a week or two or you will be hiring cars several times through the year, then it would be a much cheaper option to take out your own Car Hire Excess Insurance policy.

Basically, check what the car hire insurance covers you for and ensure you are covered for everything such as the window, wheels, interior etc… If the Damage Excess is very high, it may well be worth taking out Zero Excess cover. If you do not want to take out the car rental companies own  extended insurance, consider purchasing an independent Car Hire Excess Insurance policy.

Car Hire Excess Insurance

Car Hire Excess Insurance has become a popular choice with travellers, as it allows them to hire a car with the peace of mind that they are fully covered. There are several different policies to choose from but having a yearly policy allows you to hire several cars throughout the year and the cost for one year (approximately £40), is usually cheaper than it would be for one week, if you take out a car rental companies own policy, which can be over £10 per day!

Don’t forget, the car hire excess policy should be in the same name as the lead driver on the car hire booking.

To read more please visit the following page: Car Hire Excess Insurance

Fuel Policy

There are now many different fuel policies when you hire a car and these fuel policy vary between car rental companies.

Full To Full

One of the best car rental fuel policies is ‘Full to Full’, which means picking up the car either full or half full and then returning the car with the same amount of fuel in it, as there was when you collected it. This means you only pay for the fuel you have used. However, it has become more common for car hire companies to charge you for a full tank of petrol when you collect the car and tell you to return it empty.

Full To Empty

The ‘Full to Empty’ policy has become more common (especially in Spain) and works on the basis of you picking up the car with a full tank of fuel and then returning it empty. The two big down sides to this are

  1. The car hire company will charge you a lot more money for the full tank of petrol, than it would cost you to fill it yourself at the petrol station.
  2. You will not be refunded any money for the fuel you do not use, even if you take the car back with ¾ of a tank of fuel remaining.

Obviously, if you do a lot of miles whilst you have the car and use all the petrol, it doesn’t work out as bad although you will still have paid more for your petrol, at least you will have used it! However, if you do not do a great deal of mileage and do not use all the petrol, it will be costly.

The bottom line is, that it is just a way of the car rental companies making a little extra money from you!

To learn more about fuel charges, please visit the following page: Car Hire Fuel Charges

Mileage

Check to see what the mileage policy is and whether or not your car hire comes with ‘Unlimited’ mileage. Having a car hire policy that has ‘Unlimited’ mileage, is the best, especially if you intend driving long distances. If you do not have ‘Unlimited’ mileage, then you will need to ensure you know exactly how many miles you are allowed to do. If you do not have ‘Unlimited’ mileage and you exceed the allowed mileage, you will be charged a fee for every mile over the allowed mileage.

One Way Car Hire

One way car hire is a popular option with many travellers, especially if they are arriving at one airport and then departing from another or simply wish to drive from one destination to another and then leave the car. However, although one way car rental is available throughout the world and many car rental companies do offer the facility, it does have additional costs. If you are looking to book one way car hire, then it is advisable to make sure the price you pay is fully inclusive of all additional fees and that there will be no additional costs when you return the car.

Credit Card

When you hire a car, you will be required to provide a credit card to the car rental company upon collection. If you are not able to provide them with a valid card, then you will not be able to hire the car. The reason a credit card is required, is because you will need to pay a deposit or cover the excess. You should also ensure that you have enough credit on your card to stand the payment.

Note: Debit cards are not accepted

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