Follow these tips, courtesy of Enjoy Car Hire, and you can save money on your car rental and have more in your pocket to spend on the rest of your holiday.
Book your car hire before you leave, and make sure you book at least a month in advance. If you arrive at the Airport with no prearranged car, the price can be a great deal higher at the desk.
Don’t immediately take up your travel agent or flight company on their offer of a quote for car hire; these prices can be inflated to include their commission. Buying the car hire separately may sound complicated but it is the best way to save some money
Do not use the major household brand names to get an idea of the cost of the car hire, as they can be more expensive. Check price comparison sites which will give you the best deal and more often than not they will also give you with a major brand at a much cheaper price than you would get directly.
Make sure you pick the correct car size. If you drive to the Airport in England in a 4×4 after squeezing the luggage, family and golf clubs into the large vehicle, don’t be surprised that you cannot fit into a Fiat Panda ! Do your research and make sure you know what kind of car you may get.
Read the terms and conditions, they can be scary, but when you know what to look for they are very easy. The main points are:
Fuel policy, will you have to pay for the fuel upfront and return the car empty or will you need to return it with the same amount of fuel as you found in it? In Spain it is common practice to pay for a full tank at a rate of 15% more than the pump price and return it back empty. Do not refill the tank as you will not get your money back. If you can find a company that allows you to return it back full then this is best, however be aware the rental maybe more expensive from the start for this privilege.
Insurance Excesses, these can be sometimes very high and the provider will need to block this amount on your credit card. Check each policy to make sure this excess isn’t too high as this is what you will pay if you damage the car.
Extras, if you require a baby seat, additional driver or Satellite Navigation system these will not be included in the price, so check these as taking your own additional equipment will save you lots of money. In some cases the Satellite Navigation can cost as much as the car rental.
In relation to the Excess above a simple way to save money is to insure this before you go with an “Excess Insurance”. This means when you arrive you simply accept that you have an excess on the car and if any damage or charges are made then on your return home you can get this refunded by the insurance provider. These policies can be found for less than £5 per rental day and to take a similar insurance locally can cost you in the region of €10 to €20 per day.
Do not be fooled into thinking that “Zero Excess” means you have nothing to pay in the case of damage. All Zero Excess policies have exclusion such as glass, tyres, locks, wheels, roof; the list goes on as far as the runway of the airport you have just arrived at! When you arrive you may be offered an additional insurance for these parts of the car, however if you have followed our previous tip these will all be covered in the insurance you have taken before you leave.
When booking via a broker do not panic if you have never heard of the car rental company they have selected for you on your arrival. Some so called “smaller suppliers” are still based in the airport and give better service. The difference is sometimes not noticeable from the big companies apart from the representative may be wearing jeans and a polo shirt and holding a sign rather than standing behind a desk with a logo wearing a company uniform. Often these “smaller” companies own 500 to 1000 cars and are not small at all.
Most car hire companies now require you to have a credit card; this is to ensure they can block the excess on your credit card to claim any damages that may occur. This is firstly to protect them and ensure they get their money but it can also protect you. Your credit card company will have a “chargeback” service whereby if you want to dispute any charges that you may have incurred you can, and the rental company will investigate the charge on your behalf. If they do not get the evidence that the charge is valid will refund you.
Enjoy Car Hire is a car rental broker that provides car hire in 35 different countries.