Car hire tips

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Car Rental News - 20/10/2007


Some advice for those planning to rent a car to make sure you get the most for your money.

Renting a car for the first time can be tricky business, but even seasoned renters can be confused by the multiple hidden charges sometimes involved. A few tips can really help you make sure you get the most value for the money you spend on your holiday car hire.

First, although it may be tempting to splurge on a convertible or Ferrari just for the week abroad, the best idea is to be smart about the kind of car you rent. Think carefully about your needs in terms of space and go for the most compact model.

Secondly, there are a number of price comparison websites you should check out to get an idea for prices. Since not all websites feature all the car hire companies, it's a good idea to try more than one. is good, as is Priceline, Travelocity, Car Jet and easyCar also have good deals and price comparison features.

Before you drive away, it's a good idea to check the insurance that comes with the car. Many companies offer insurance but usually it includes an extremely large excess, which would be payable by the driver in the event of an accident. Although it may be a good idea for the car hire company, this kind of cover really doesn't cover you very much at all. A lot of insurance offered by car hire companies may not even cover you in case of personal injury or death in the vehicle. Some policies do not include coverage in the event that the tires, roof or windscreen is damaged and some don't cover theft.

Since buying insurance add-ons from the company at the time you rent the car can be extremely expensive, the best idea is to plan ahead. Sometimes you travel insurance will provide car insurance coverage. Stand alone policies are also available. For rentals of under two weeks, a single policy is good. For more than two weeks, annual policies are a better idea.

Finally, when paying for car hires in advance, the best idea is to use a credit card. Although there may be a small surcharge for this service, using a credit car offers you some degree of protection if things go wrong. After all, you can always cancel the charge if the car hire company is not offering what they promised when you get there.

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