Hiring a car can be a daunting task, and we’ve all heard horror stories that we have come across at one time or another with people getting caught out with hidden terms or unexpected charges.
To protect you from becoming one of those horror stories, here are our top tips put together for Silver Travel Advisor by our partners at Indigo Car Hire to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you come to hiring a car.
Even after reading through the endless terms and conditions when you book, it still doesn’t mean you are safe when you arrive to pick the car up, particularly in Spain and Italy, when you may be offered something at the counter, usually a piece of paper that you will be asked to sign. Don’t do it! We can’t be there at the counter with you, however if you are presented with something like this just let us know and we will give you guidance on whether you should sign it or not. The majority of the time you will find that it is an extra insurance paper which costs you a daily fee to reduce your excess and you may not need to do so, especially if you have taken out a third party policy which is often cheaper.
Tip: Make sure you read whatever you are asked to sign several times before doing so as you could easily get caught out, if you are still unsure contact us!
Don’t Forget the Deposit
You’ve paid for your holiday, your accommodation is sorted and paid for as well as the rental car, or so you think. Most people don’t even think about the deposit, especially if it’s their first time hiring a car. A deposit can range anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds to a couple of thousand, sometimes if you haven’t read all the terms and conditions you won’t realise that this enormous deposit is to be held on your card for the period of your rental, this may mean that you don’t have these funds available for your holiday.
Tip: Don’t get caught out by this, always enquire about a deposit before booking. There are no deposit and low deposit offers available if needed.
Usually you can only hire a car using a credit card due it being the preferred method of receiving payment for car hire companies. This brings about an issue when you book online, as most people just assume because a debit card is recognised worldwide they will be able to use them to hire cars which is wrong. You can pre-pay for the car with a debit card online however when you get to the rental desk they will request to see a credit card with your name on it which you may not have, and if you don’t you won’t be allowed to hire.
Tip: Make sure debit cards are accepted before you book, some companies allow debit cards but very few. It’s always best to call first and make sure before you book online.
Booking online doesn’t always give you the right description as to what documentation you need to take with you; this may not be an issue but it’s something to be fully aware of. If you are hiring in the country that you are residing in then you need to provide a valid driving licence, a payment card such as a debit or credit card and a proof of your address. However if you are flying into a location and hiring there, then you need a valid driving licence, payment card and your return fight details with your passport.
Tip: Make sure you are 100% clear on what documentation you need in order to hire before you go, check to confirm and make sure that you have this information in your email confirmation.
Many rental companies don’t provide cars to people who are over 70, or if they do it comes at an additional charge. In very small print in the terms and conditions are the age restrictions and many of the well-known reputable companies don’t hire to senior drivers. However, when you are booking online, they may let you pay for it without you knowing and then just let you arrive at the desk and have a problem as you are unable to hire.
Tip: Read the age restrictions as they differ from one company to the next or book with Indigo Car Hire and we will arrange your car hire for you.
Indigo Car Hire have partnered with Silver Travel Advisor to provide the best car hire service possible, and pride themselves on delivering a completely transparent and personal service, with answers to your questions before you book.