The Car Hire Hit List
- a)Get the right sized hire car for you - Being unable to fit in that pushchair or extra bag costs on average £120 in upgrades and admin fees. For larger family vehicles upgrades can be as much as £500. We've built a free application to check the cars you're looking at are up to the job (click to use the free Car Hire Widget now) - Saving approx £120.
- Book early, shop around and buy in advance - Book early as a recent survey found that the price of a hire car for a holiday in August was £150 less if booked in March than if it was left until May and make sure you pay in advance. Use a price comparison site to shop around, check the suppliers own website for their buy online price and then think about calling them to see if they can offer a better price. Sometimes the call centre has access to the best prices - Saving approx £150
- Shop around for car hire excess insurance - the hire car companies charge up to £20 a day depending on size and value of car to protect you from having to pay the first part of any claim if the car is damaged or stolen, which can be up to £2000 and often their waivers leave customers exposed for damage to things like tyres, windscreen or undercarriage. Buy a standalone policy from £2.99 or £39.99 per year - Savings approx £120.00 on a week's holiday. If you travel more than once a year, an annual policy could save even more.
- 4Sharing the driving increases the costs - Adding a named driver to your rental agreement could cost up to £10 per day and if the driver is under 25 this could be as much as £25 per day. If one of you is going to do 90% of the driving do you really want to add 50% to the bill? - Saving approx £175
- 5Do you need a SatNav? - It can cost up to £100 to hire one for a week, and often this cost is not disclosed to you when you book. If you have a detachable SatNav at home, it is normally cheaper to upgrade to European mapping and take it with you, or consider getting a SatNav app for your smart phone - Savings approx £100 if you take one with you, or £30 if you buy one for £69.99. For example, in 10 minutes online, we found a number of full European mapped satnavs for under £100 from leading retailers including Amazon, Halfords, and PC World.
- Hiring a car seat for your child can cost up to £75 for the week and recent research carried out for iCarhireinsurance by YouGov found that many parents are concerned about the state of the car seats provided by the rental companies. If your little one is under three, why not take yours with you, as you will only have to pay the excess baggage fee. For those with kids over 4 why not purchase an inflatable child seat for only £29.99. (See bubblebum.co.uk to purchase) Saving approx £75.
What other tips could save me money?
The Hire Car Hit List details the 6 big areas where customers could save money, but they're not exhaustive. Check out our historic blogs for a number of additional tips, some of the best include
You may have heard our CEO, Ernesto Suarez being interviewed on the radio today as these tips have generated quite a lot of media interest. If you're interested in receiving the latest tips, money saving ideas and consumer information on rental vehicles, why not follow us on twitter and facebook using the links at the top of this page?
Note - The links to 3rd party sites in this article are for reference only. They are not commercial links and iCarhireinsurance.com has no responsibility for the content on those sites
- Make your smart phone work for you. Around 1 in 10 people we surveyed* had been charged restrospectively for damage that they didn't think that they had caused, or had identified damage to the rental vehical on collection that had not been pointed out to them or noted on their collection paperwork. Many modern phones have GPS and date stamping functions on their cameras.
- Read the fuelling small print. This is an increasingly popular small print item. Often, car hire companies will have a fuelling policy that means you either pay for a full tank when you collect your car, or you agree to return it with a full tank. Read our Blog on the "Car Hire Fuel Rip Off
a) Paying for fuel in advance - most cars will do 600 miles on a full tank these days, if you're only going to be covering less distance than this, why pay for a full tank of fuel
b) Returning it with a full tank - make sure you do, otherwise you could pay 20% more for the fuel, plus an admin fee.
c) Be Resilient! - When you get to the rental desk, you'll have already booked your car and been given a price, many people will have already paid for it in advance, however, you're going to be sold extra products whether its excess insurance, sat navs, upgrades to different cars, winterisation fees, fuelling. Research by Which found that these could treble the cost of a short rental. Be sure what you want, be sure what you already have and don't be pressurised into buying something you don't need. The Guardian recently exposed the hard sell tactics used to push excess waivers. Click here for links to the article