As a new year brings thoughts of fresh holiday destinations to explore, it’s also the time to think about the other necessities you’ll need for a trip away.
If you’re planning on going to a destination where you’ll need a car, or you simply want the added flexibility that having a rental car brings, it pays to think about car hire now.
While you don’t necessarily need to actually book car hire in January or February, it’s still helpful to plan ahead.
From considering the type of vehicle you might require – in terms of luggage space, vehicle size and so on – to thinking about pick up locations and driving routes, it can all help to prepare for a stress-free trip.
Remember that while you aren’t guaranteed a certain make of car, you can select the type which should mean you end up with a vehicle that suits your needs.
Most car hire firms will set their rates based on demand, and as a general rule, it’s best to book car hire between three and six months in advance as this is when rates are most competitive.
So, if you’re planning to take advantage of the school holidays when you go away, it’s likely you’ll want to book in April for car hire in the summer.
One area where drivers can often get caught out centres around a rental firm’s fuel policy – it’s widely regarded that a full-to-full policy is the most cost-effective option.
Such a policy means drivers only pay for the fuel they use, as they top up the tank at the end of their holiday to account for fuel used.
This is unlike a ‘full-to-empty’ policy where drivers can return the vehicle with no fuel, as you’ll often be charged an inflated price for the initial fuel and you might not even use it.
Be watchful of rentals that include a mileage limit too, as this can cost a lot if you plan on driving a lot and exceed the limit (you’ll be charged a rate per kilometre over the limit).
You should also avoid the lure of upgrades on your car hire, as extras are often overpriced and there’s no stopping you from taking your own devices such as sat-navs and car seats should you require them.
Additional insurance cover is far cheaper when purchased online in advance of a trip than when bought at the car hire desk.
Car hire excess insurance, for example, can provide peace of mind for your trip by covering the excess you would be liable to pay in the instance of any damage occurring.
Note that if you can set the excess figure, it should remain affordable as you still need to pay the excess in the event of a claim, before using the policy to claim it back.
Date Created: 10/02/2020