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Decisions, decisions… deciding where to go on holiday is just the start of your travel planning!
If you’re willing to do a bit of homework, there are choices to be made at every stage of the booking process and getting them right means you’ll find a better deal.
Nigel Wolstenholme, Head of Consumer Brand at Rentalcars.com, commented, “The cost of renting a car can vary depending on when you’re going, where you’re going and what kind of deal you’re looking for.
“Price is an important factor but before you start researching the different options, have a think about what you’ll need the car for on holiday, who’ll be doing the driving and what level of insurance cover you’re comfortable with. This way, you won’t be blinded by what looks like an incredible offer, but which doesn’t include things that matter to you.
“Don’t forget to book early for the best discounts when more cars are available.”
Check out these top six tips to help you get what you need for the best possible price.
1. Look beyond the airport pick-up
If you’re renting a car at an airport, don’t rule out rental companies outside of the airport grounds – they often have cheaper prices than those in the terminal. Getting there shouldn’t be a problem as they usually run a free shuttle bus.
The same rule applies to rental companies based out of town. They tend to be cheaper than those in the city centre. So, if you don’t mind an extra bus ride, this is another opportunity to make a saving.
2. Know about your fuel policy
The most common fuel policy is ‘Full to Full’ – where you’re given either a full or part-full tank of petrol at pick-up. This is usually the cheapest option as you’ll pay no extra fuel fees. All you need to do is make sure you drop the car off with the same amount of fuel it had when you started. You only pay for what you use.
‘Full to Empty’ or ‘pre-purchase’ options can end up costing you more. You pay for the tank upfront and you drop it off as full or as empty as you like. Some rental companies will charge you more for the fuel than you would pay at a petrol station, they may charge you an admin fee and they don’t always refund you for any fuel that’s left over.
Don’t forget – fuel is an extra cost while you’re away, so even if you’re happy with the price of a more premium car when you book, it might well be thirstier on the road.
3. Stay on the right side of mileage limits
Deals with limited mileage can be much cheaper – but only if you’re not planning on using the car much. If you go over the limit, every extra mile or kilometre will cost you.
If you’re visiting a small island or only using the car to get to and from the airport, a deal with limited mileage could be a great idea. But if you’re going a long way, want the freedom to explore, or simply haven’t thought about it yet, unlimited mileage is the safest bet.
4. Know your insurance
Car rental deals tend to come with some basic cover for damage and theft, but you might want to buy some extra protection before you hit the road.
If you decide to buy additional insurance, it can be a fair bit cheaper (as well as less stressful) if you compare policies online in advance, rather than waiting until you’re at the rental desk. This is where it helps to be clear about what you’re comfortable with – opting for a lower level of cover can save you money, but it does come with more risk.
5. Choose your designated driver
Sharing the driving might be easier, but it’s not always cheaper. On average, you’ll pay around £10 per day per additional driver – and even more if he or she is under 25 years old. So, more than one of you wants a turn at the wheel, look out for ‘free additional driver’ offers.
6. Don’t be swayed by the model
When you hire a car you’re not choosing an exact model – you’re choosing a type of car. Cars are grouped together with others that share similar characteristics, such as size, number of seats and gearbox. For example, if you see two different ‘economy’ cars to choose from, don’t be fooled if you prefer one model over another. As long as you trust the rental company you’re using, there’s no reason not to go for the cheaper of the two. There’s also nothing to stop you asking for an upgrade when you get to the desk.
7. Use a broker
Just like you would with a flight, it’s important to compare deals online. The good news if you use a broker like Rentalcars.com, is that they’ll do a lot of the legwork. You simply type in where you’re going and what you need, and they’ll give you all the information. They compare over six million prices every day from reputable rental companies around the world, and there are over 3.5 million customer ratings on the site to help you decide on a deal.
For more car hire tips from the experts at Rentalcars.com, click here.
The post How to save on car hire – finding the best deal for you appeared first on MoneyMagpie.