Holiday Car Hire Tips – How To Save Money on Car Rentals Abroad
In the UK, we just drive our car out of the garage to go anywhere. So, why not do that on a holiday too? “How can I take my car abroad?” you say. There’s absolutely no need to trouble your car when you can get a holiday car hire abroad. A rental car gives you the freedom to explore a city by yourself. No more waiting for public transport or a taxi! Much as it sounds great, many UK holidaymakers grumbled about being ripped off at holiday car hire counters. So, here are some insider tips to save thousands of pounds on motor costs while you’re having a good time.
Book with a holiday car hire company well in advance
The early birds get the worm is really true. Those who research about a holiday car hire company in their destination city and book early save cash. Because the ahead you book, the cheaper the rental rates will be. Just as important, your dream car would be still available. For example, booking three months in advance for a holiday car hire in Santorini can save you £60 rather than booking it just a week before.
Don’t restrict yourself to holiday car hire agencies at the airport
If you’re taking a flight to you’re a town or city, it can be tempting to use a holiday car hire agency based out of the airport. But, looking at the ones close to the airport and in the suburbs (rather than the city centre) may save you pounds as they tend to be less expensive. Getting to the car pick up location is hardly a bother as rental companies run free shuttle buses.
Be wary of one-way fees charged by holiday car hire companies
Some holiday car hire companies charge one-way fees if you drop off the car at a different location than the one you picked it up from. Some may hide this in the small print or be upfront about the additional cost. Others may not charge any fees at all. Read the fine print.
Don’t pay premium rates for a full tank
Holiday car hire firms provide a full tank during pick up and expect you to return the car with the tank brimmed. Knowing this, many airports have on-site fuel stations that charge premium rates for petrol or diesel. Many car drivers who forget to get the tank filled elsewhere end up paying more for fuel or penalty fees. Both ways they lose! So before you leave from home, look for a fueling station near the airport.
Avoid surprise holiday car hire charges
While standing at a holiday car hire counter, salesmen may try to push their own insurance policies against injury. However, your travel insurance usually covers this eventuality so extra cover is quite unnecessary.
Check whether the holiday car hire upgrade is indeed free
Many times, it happens that the car you request is in shortage and thus not available. So, a holiday car hire company might offer to upgrade your deal. However, this often costs extra fees not discussed before. It’s often buried in the small print and in highly legal language. An easy way to avoid this headache is to demand the car initially agreed on or a similar model.
Examine the holiday car for damages
If you haven’t paid for zero excess waiver, damage to your holiday car might well cost you a lot of pounds. At the time of pick-up, check the car for dents, bumps and scratches both inside and outside. Any damage already existing would find place in the list given by the holiday car hire company. You should always take pictures for proof. If you’re arriving at night, request the car hire company to move the vehicle to a well-lit area.
Think about a toll pass
Some EU countries have a toll system in place so think about how many such roads you’ll be driving through. If you plan to use a number of toll roads, buy a toll pass at the holiday car hire counter. This saves time and money. As for toll roads that just lead to the airport and back, you can pay for it yourself.
Carry your own sat nav
If you pick up a sat nav device from the desk, the holiday car hire agency will charge by the day. A cheaper alternative would be to find a useful phone app like HERE WeGo that allows you to save on roaming charges outside the EU with offline maps. And some countries don’t allow you to peek at your phone while driving so mark out your route ahead or ask a co-passenger to dictate to you.
Be punctual in returning the holiday car
You may have to shell out a few more pounds if you return the car late. So, don’t take a chance and drop off the car at the agreed time. Most big holiday car hire firms allow a 30-minute grace period but smaller rentals may not reconsider.