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




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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May 2018
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