How To Save Money On a Car Hire

By Jacqui Cooper

1. Perhaps the most important - Use the internet!

But, isn't it better (or cheaper) to go direct to the car hire company that actually owns the cars? No single car hire company can cover every destination all of the time. Even if they could it would be almost impossible for them to offer the most competitive pricing all of the time.

2. Timing

Car rental companies charge by every 24 hours - or part thereof. If possible, make sure your drop off time is the same (or slightly earlier than) your pick up time. This way you will avoid being charged extra for "running over" for what may be only a few hours.

3. Duration of Hire

Most car hire companies charge the same for 5,6 or 7 days - they treat these periods as a week. It's sometimes better, therefore, to book a week -even if you only need the car for 5 or 6 days - take it back early. However, some companies (notably in the US and Canada) charge a penalty for returning a car early - so check at the time of booking.

4. Choosing Your Car

If you are a large party please make sure the vehicle you choose is large enough - remember all that luggage! However, it may sometimes pay you to rent a smaller car for the bulk of your holiday - when you wont be needing that luggage space - but rent an extra one for the start and end days of your trip so you have extra space for all that luggage!

5. Insurance

Remember that your insurance (even when "fully inclusive") will not cover glass, tyres, punctures, roof, underside or interior of the car! These days many car hire suppliers offer a "top up" at quite reasonable rates. (purchase at the check in desk usually) - well worth it for peace of mind! Also remember that off-roading invalidates your insurance completely - even if it is a 4 x 4!


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