Image by David Brooks, NY, USA
Whether it's for a holiday, a business trip, or while your usual car is getting repaired, there's times when you need to hire a car, and we all know that doesn't come cheap. The following tips explain how to save money when you are renting a car.
Compare your Comparisons
There are so many different price comparison websites available these days, and many of them will have separate deals with different companies, meaning it can be tough to know which price comparison site will get you the lowest price. For best results, search several different sites and compare the top results of each to find the lowest price that meets your requirements.
Get Excess Insurance in Advance
If you've booked your car in advance, the next step is to consider insurance. Your rental company will probably offer you Excess Waver Insurance Cover. It's a good idea to get this coverage so you don't have an expensive excess payment if the car is stolen or involved in an accident. However, you don't have to buy the insurance from the rental company; you can arrange insurance in advance by comparing quotes from insurance companies.
Avoid Extra Charges
Personal Accident Insurance: This insurance cover pays out if you are seriously injured or die in a car accident. If you are a confident driver, or if this is already covered by your travel insurance, then you don't need this insurance.
Sat Nav: Bring your own Sat Nav if you can, to save from having to rent one. If you have a passenger, perhaps they could navigate using a smartphone or a road map.
Child Car Seats: Again, bring your own if you can, as there will be a charge for hiring one from the rental agent.
Extra Drivers: Every driver you add to your rental agreement drives up the price, especially if any of those drivers are under 25. If it's not going to be too much of a burden, only let the most experienced driver behind the wheel.
The Deluxe Model: As it's only temporary, the temptation is to go for a flashy car when renting. Not only are these cars more expensive to rent, they'll probably go through petrol at a faster rate too. Request something simple and practical that meets your needs.
Check for Bumps
Before you drive away, check the car for bumps, scratches, or any other visible damages. Make sure any damage to the car is noted in the rental agreement; otherwise you may be blamed for the damage and charged for repairs out of your deposit.
Avoid Fuel Charges
Some car hire companies operate ‘full to empty' policies where you can return the car with little or no fuel and get charged a set fee. Make sure your deal does not charge for fuel if you return the car with a full tank and fill the car up before returning it. Otherwise you'll get charged for fuel you have used at the rental company's prices, which are likely to be higher than the local petrol station.
Make sure the cost of the car hire is worked into your budgeting plans. Many people going on holiday will put aside enough money to pay for flights and hotels, but will forget to put aside extra money for travel insurance, attractions and activities, and additional transport. By using money management software such as Money Dashboard you can look at the cost of previous holidays by searching your transactions, and find areas where you can cut back overspend and save towards your goal.