Using a car hire service is one of the finest ways to explore a place, especially for those who want to go off the beaten path. However, you should bear in mind that different car hire services work differently, and they charge you differently as well. Some charge less, while others would want to take advantage of your unawareness about standard rates. According to the Guardian UK, hiring a car over the Easter holidays or other special occasions could make you bear with hidden charges, which could add £350 on top of the standard rate.
That is the reason why it is important to remember a few tips when hiring a car for the very first time.
- Consider going for the basic package, as this will help you save some money. Most companies would try to make profit generally by selling the add-ons. Take your time and be sure of what you need and what you do not.
- Always shop around to find the best deal. You may want to try some comparison sites to get to know what different car hire companies are charging and what they have included in the package.
- Be ready to spend some time online to learn what different car rental classes mean. When reserving a car online, you should understand that it is not possible for most companies to offer you the same car that you have booked online – instead they offer you car from that specific vehicle class. So remember this when picking a car.
- Make sure to check the car thoroughly before you rent it out, as a car may not be in a good shape and keep you from enjoying your ride. Check the exterior for scratches, as well as interior, along with checking the spare wheel, tyres, and everything else.
- Using your own child car seats and Sat Nav will help reduce the cost of hiring a car. Though some companies like National Car do not charge much for these additional accessories, you will still end up saving some money.
- Most packages will include insurance cover for write-offs, major crashes, etc., but to reduce the rate, it is common to go for higher excess. Since this ‘excess’ amount is quite high, your policy will not cover any damage to tyres, windows, undercarriage and the roof. However, you should think twice before going for super CDW insurance that comes with lower ‘excess’ – you may also consider buying a policy from an independent insurance company to save some money if you damage the car.
- If you meet an accident, be sure to note all damage – it is better to photograph or video the car to ensure that you do not find yourself in a dispute with the car rental company – though large companies, like National Car, enjoy a good reputation in this regard.
- Always check the company’s fuel policy before finalizing your deal. Sometimes, rental companies limit the mileage, especially when you would want a car to drive a long way.
- Make sure you double-check the agreement before signing the dotted line. Check for every little detail. For instance, if you are under 25, some companies may have a surcharge for you.
- Finally, you have to ensure that you pick up and drop off your car exactly on time mentioned on your car hire agreement. Even if you are late by 15 minutes, you will have to pay extra money, as almost all companies charge as per a 24-hour clock.