If you are planning on booking a hire car when you go on holiday it is a good idea to book your car before you go.
There are a few things that you should make note of however for you to have a successful holiday car hire.
If you are planning on seeing local attractions and wish to have the freedom of a car transport wise then one of the golden rules is that you should book as far in advance as possible.
After a long flight, having a car waiting for you at the airport affording you the luxury of going where and when you want would be a welcome convenience.
Booking a small car in Spain during the summer months would set you back around £40 a day. If however, you booked a few weeks in advance that figure can be as little as £13 per day.
To find the cheapest deals you can use comparison sites such as www.kayak.co.uk and www.carrentals.co.uk. The price, however, should not always be the overriding factor as there are many hidden costs that car hire companies can put on the agreement.
You might be asked to get collision damage waiver insurance where you might be charged up to £150 a week when you could just as well buy an annual excess policy from a company like Insurance4carhire.com for less than £50 for the whole year.
Another charge that some car hire firms add is to charge you for a full tank of fuel and ask you to return it empty. If you haven’t used the car that much you could end up paying what is basically a stealth fuel charge.
To avoid this you can use the fuel policy filter on comparison websites choosing a firm that has a full to full policy, meaning you the tank is full when you pick it up and you return it full so only pay for the fuel you use.
One of the reasons I always choose diesel cars when I hire abroad is because in most countries outside of the UK diesel is cheaper than petrol. In Portugal, for instance, you could pay around 137p per litre of petrol compared to 118p per litre of diesel. If you were holidaying in Greece the cost could be 146p per litre compare to 128p per litre of diesel.
Bringing your own Satnav will also save you money. You can be charged around £75 to hire a satnav for a week in Europe but you can buy one for around £50 that covers both Europe and the UK. If you have a mobile phone you can use Google Maps as a satnav or you can download maps where you have a wifi connection and use it in offline mode. Waze is also a great app that can be used as a satnav.
A note of caution, however. Be aware that if you are using your phone as a satnav you may incur roaming charges so it’s a good idea to check what your phone providers roaming policy and your data allowance is before you go.
Although you can use a UK driving licence if driving in Europe, if you are driving outside of the EU an international driving licence is recommended as outside Europe around 140 countries either require or recommend that you have an International Driving Permit. You can find a full list of these countries by clicking here
It costs £5.50 in the UK and can be bought from selected Post Office branches or you can buy one from the AA or RAC. You can find more information by clicking here.
Since 2015 the paper counterpart of the UK driving licence is no longer used so if you are hiring a car abroad you should get a special code from the DVLA as some car hire firms may wish to check if you have any penalty points. As this code is only valid for 72 hours this is something that you should add to your pre-travel checklist to be done as late as possible before you travel.
You can find more information and get the code by clicking here.