10 ways to reduce car hire costs

black suv in between purple flower fields

A recent survey conducted by iCarhireinsurance.com revealed that a mere 38% of UK drivers take advantage of comparison sites to secure the best rates when looking for cars to hire. But comparison sites aren’t the only ways to save….here are 10 other ways:

  1. Early Bird Gets the Worm, But Last-Minute Deals Shine Too: Booking your car hire early ensures you get your preferred vehicle at a favourable rate. However, don’t overlook last-minute checks for price drops if your chosen provider offers free cancellations. For example, for a week’s early summer hire in Faro, Hertz quoted £265, while Sixt quoted £110.
  2. Avoid Main Transport Hubs: Consider renting from locations slightly away from primary airports or train stations. This often results in considerable savings that outweigh the cost of an extra taxi ride.
  3. Save on Excess Protection: Significant savings await those who shop for excess protection. With potential liabilities like damages or theft, which can exceed £2,000, it’s worth looking into. For instance, a week’s car hire excess insurance can start at £33.15 at iCarhireinsurance.com, providing coverage for damage, theft, and even tyres and windscreen, which starkly contrasts with the heavier fees charged directly by rental services.
  4. Bypass the Rental Desk Upsells: Avoiding the extras offered at the rental desk can save you approximately £210. Items like additional drivers, satellite navigation systems, and child seats often have hefty fees attached.
  5. Use Credit Card Protections: Using a credit card for booking can activate Section 75 protections under the Consumer Credit Act, covering purchases between £100 and £30,000. This is crucial for recourse should you encounter issues with your rental.
  6. Review Terms carefully: Always scrutinise the rental agreement to avoid unintended upgrades or extra charges, particularly for excess protection you might not need.
  7. Confirm Fuel Policies: Understanding and adhering to the car’s fuel policy can save you from costly penalties at the end of your rental period.
  8. Mind the Mileage: If you’re embarking on a road trip, check for any mileage limits to prevent unexpected fees.
  9. Take your own photos: Over 40% of renters have discovered unreported damage on a rental vehicle. To avoid disputes, inspect the car thoroughly upon pickup and return, documenting any damage with dated photographs or video.
  10. Effective Complaint Resolutions: Go to the rental company within fourteen days with a complaint. If a satisfactory outcome is not reached, complaints can be directed to the BVRLA in the UK whose members, including AVIS, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, are expected to adhere to its mandatory Codes of Conduct. An alternative is to contact the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS), which offers a free service to help with unresolved complaints, but the rental must be with a company that has signed up, i.e., Alamo, AVIS, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, Maggiore, National, Sixt and Thrifty.

By following these tips, travellers can not only save money but also enhance their overall rental experience, ensuring peace of mind during their journey.

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