How to save on Holiday car hire
Holiday freedom is often embodied by cruising along in a new car, going where the mood takes you. Even better, is if you cruise along knowing you got a great deal.
Pre book car hire online
Stepping into a car hire agency to book your car will cost you. The best deals are found by pre-booking online. You’re more likely to get the car you want, at a price that will make you smile.
Arrange your own car hire excess insurance
Most agencies will push you to purchase excess insurance at the time of booking or pickup, but their prices are usually well above what you can get by purchasing on your own.
A word of caution though, car hire companies want to sell you insurance from their own company or partner companies, so they may make it difficult to use your own. Beware of scare tactics, and be aware that it may be necessary to tie up credit-card funds anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand pounds as a deposit.
Take your own kids’ seats or booster seats
If you’re bringing a little one along, make sure to bring your baby- or booster-seat. Car hire agencies will often have them on offer, but they are usually old, expensive, and poorly-cleaned. Carrying your own with you can be a hassle, but it’s a worthwhile one. If you choose to go with a rented one, it may cost you more than five pounds per day – if one is available.
Consider your fuel usage carefully
Whether you drive around a little or a lot, make sure you agree to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel (or whatever level it was at when you picked it up). Deals to buy the fuel in the tank, and fees to have it refilled after you drop it off, both work out to highly inflated fuel prices. The best deal is when you take it full of fuel, and return it full.
Booking early can save you money
Unlike hotels, the earlier you book a car, the better. Some deals even result in costs as low as a few pounds a day. As soon as you know where you’re going and when, lock in that car deal.
Take a DVLA code with you – just in case they ask
Now that the new UK licenses don’t include the paper portion, some car hire agencies will ask for your DVLA code. These can be requested from the DVLA up to 21 days before picking up the car. This ensures the rental company that the code is recent enough to reflect your current status. Make sure to request yours close to the 21-day mark to ensure that it gets to you well before you travel.
If you truly need (or really want) a hire car to enjoy your holiday to the fullest extent possible, then be sure to be smart about it. Book early, provide the extras yourself, and be ready with the proper documentation. And finally: Make sure you are familiar with the rules of the road at your holiday destination.