1/ Do some digging
Don’t just go straight for the obvious or necessarily the nearest or cheapest. Some car hire companies will deliver the vehicle to you, so bear this in mind when shopping around.
2/ Find out what’s included in the price
You should always check what’s included in the price, whether this covers you for any breakdowns or accidental damage. If you have any doubts, ask the car hire operator to explain clearly what you’re paying for. Also, ask if there are any hidden extras. Don’t be shy, you’re the customer. It’s your money.
3/ Broaden your search
Don’t just rely on comparison sites when looking for the best deal. Sometimes going directly to the companies’ websites can be of great benefit as they will offer exclusive discounts and special offers not always found on comparison sites.
4/ Promotions and Vouchers
Have a look for any promotional or voucher codes that may be lurking around the internet. Type the name of the company followed by ‘voucher code’ into the search engines to see what comes up. You never know, you could get lucky.
5/ Book in advance
Summer time is the busiest time of the year and many companies will sell out during this time. Therefore it is recommended that you book well in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, if it’s short notice, all of the above tips (1 to 4) will be essential to finding a vehicle.
Always check you eligibility to hire a car. Do you have a valid driving license? Also check the car hire company’s restrictions on age. Some may not allow you to hire their vehicles if you are under or over a certain age. Those that do may add a surcharge on top of the normal price. Be sure to ask.
7/ Insurance Cover
Always check exactly what you are covered for when hiring a vehicle. Most companies will include vehicle damage and theft cover, but occasionally some don’t! In which case, you could be liable for the full costs of any repairs or recovery. Once again, ask if only to hear the reassuring fact that cover exists.
8/ Suitable size of car
More often that not, some people will hire a smaller vehicle because it is cheaper. Only to discover that when the time comes to load the luggage into the car, it doesn’t all fit. Ensure you are hiring the correct size of vehicle for the right purpose. If you have elderly passengers, it may not be a great idea to hire a 4x4 that they will struggle to climb in.
9/ Getting the right deal
You will generally get a better rate from a local company if you are renting for less than a week. The larger companies will offer better ‘day rates’ if renting for longer periods, so make sure you’re getting the best possible deal for the amount of time you wish to hire the vehicle for. Often the best deals come from a national company with local representation. This way you get the best of both worlds. Reliability from being with a national brand and the reassuring personal service of a smaller company.
Bob Ashwood is a writer for United Rental System. United Rental System is a Licensee network of over 400 independent vehicle hire companies in the UK.
Written by : Bob Ashwood
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