The Guide to Protecting Your Life Bubble

Car Hire Guide and Insurance

Hiring a car can come with many hidden policies to catch you off guard but if you follow these helpful tips then they will help you find the cheapest hiring costs, cut your insurance excess and get the best breakdown cover.

 

Book Early to Save

 

It is important to book well in advance to ensure the cheapest possible price. Don’t wait till you get there to hire a car as the costs will be much higher. Before you book, consider the following points:

 

  • Hidden Costs – Be sure to read the terms and conditions incase there are hidden costs such as cleaning charges
  • Automatic or Manual – Are the gears automatic or manual?
  • Age Restrictions – You normally have to be over 21 to hire a car
  • Cashback – There might be the chance to grab cashback on top when booking
  • Transport – Check to see if you’ll be picking up the car at the airport or weather you’ll have to travel by public transport to get it

 

Comparison Sites 

 

Use comparison sites to help you get the best quote in the shortest space of time

 

Fuel Charges 

 

Many hire companies’ policy is for you to pay for a full tank of petrol upfront and return it empty with no refund for unused fuel. If you think you’ll use most of it up then great but if you don’t then be aware that you’ll be paying for unused fuel.

 

Going Abroad Often

 

A good idea if you’re hiring a car abroad more than once a year is to get an annual excess insurance policy

 

Child Seat Costs 

 

Be aware of the extra costs of hiring a child seat before you book. Starting prices are from £5 a day, which is expensive so you’ll need to factor this in and do some research to find the cheapest. Also think about taking your own seat or buying a seat on arrival

 

Free Sat Nav

 

Car hire companies are known to charge more than £50 a week to hire a sat nav. But, there is a mobile app called Navfree which is free, available for iphone and android devices and available in 30 countries

 

Do you need to hire?

 

Sometimes hiring a car isn’t always the best option. Before you consider hiring, look into taxi prices and public transport. Many cities have fantastic public transport so this could be the best option. Also think about taking your own car as it may work out cheaper.

 

Car Hire Classes

 

Cars fit in to different classes when hiring, from mini two door cars with small engines to prestige cars with bigger engines. Remember that the smaller and less fancy the car, the cheaper it will be to hire.

 

Unlimited Mileage

 

Check the booking has unlimited mileage if you are planning a big road trip

 

Separate Drivers 

 

Make sure you specify in advance if you want to split the driving otherwise it could be very expensive. Check to see what, if any, deals you can get on adding a second driver

 

Haggle

 

If you’re visiting a English speaking country or are fluent in the language, don’t be afraid to try and haggle on the price. It is also best to pay in the overseas currency, as the conversion to pounds they could do for you will be a poor rate

 

Van Insurance 

 

If you’re hiring a van  make sure you know about specific insurance issues such as contents and breakdown cover.

 

Pay by Credit Card

 

This is good practice to get into because the credit card company will be equally liable along with the car hire company if things go wrong.

 

Check the car before you hire

 

If something goes wrong then fixing it won’t be easy. There are a few steps to follow to help prevent problems:

 

  • Inspect and Take Photos – Take photos of the car, in particular any scratches or dents and write them in the hiring form to prevent and disputes
  • Fuel Type – Check is the car takes petrol or diesel
  • Off Road – If you’re planning on taking the vehicle off the beaten track, be sure to check what you’re covered for in the policy

 

 

In Case of Emergency  

 

Make sure you know the emergency number of the car hire company if you have a break down or an accident.

 

Road Rules 

 

Be sure to check the driving regulations of the country you’re visiting and become familiar with the local rules so you don’t run the risk of getting into bother.

 

Returning the Vehicle

 

It is always best to follow the rules and return your car on time or face the prospect of big charges. Also make sure you stick around for the inspection to avoid any minor things being blamed on you. Also make sure you get the paperwork sorted on the spot and get the credit card slip from them to avoid later charges.

 

Check your Account 

 

Check your account when you get back to make sure no added costs have been taken off and that you have got your full deposit back.

 

 

This advice should help you to find the right car hire policy and how to stay protected.

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