Once you have decided to hire a car there is a variety of considerations that must be taken into account. If travelling by air, often a hire car can be the best way to get to your destination in comfort and with great levels of privacy. Most car hire companies today have desks at major airports making the transition from plane to car that much simpler. Car hire can be expensive though, thankfully with frugal planning and some research it is possible to get a great bargain without compromising on service.
If you travel regularly with a particular airline and are part of their frequent fliers programme it may be possible to receive brilliant rates as part of your air travel costs. A lot of air companies can offer their regular customers discounts for car hire services. So before you book, make sure to check with your airline to see if any discounts do exist, with so may companies now having affiliate offers with other corporations a great deal can be snaffled.
As with much of the modern world, when researching car hire the internet is the perfect place to start as many major companies have online booking services. The online booking solutions offered by car hire businesses often include discounts as the need for phone operators is negated. The prices can vary greatly for booking over the internet, with some companies the discounts can be as much as ten percent.
Before hiring, it is always advisable to check and read the hire contract carefully. Part of this is finding out the insurance coverage you will receive as part of the basic package. Naturally, you will want to check the liability and research where the responsibility lays should anything untoward occur. By doing this it is possible to cover yourself should any damage become apparent, if it means taking an extra insurance package form the hire company, this may be worth taking, a relatively small surcharge is preferable to a huge bill should wreck the car. Also, it is worth notifying the company if anyone other than yourself is going to drive the car, once again a surcharge may be applicable but as allowing another driver behind the wheel will most probably invalidate any protection you have, it is highly advisable.
If booking over the internet, make sure you take note of the conformation number, by doing this you have proof of your booking placing the responsibility of having a car ready firmly in the hands of the car hire company. For those wanting to save money, it is usually worth booking the smallest car in the range, it will not necessarily ruin your comfort, often getting an upgrade at the desk can cost less and is even free at times. Also if arriving by plane, make sure the car hire desk has your flight number, by doing this it is assured you car will be their at your arrival, even if you are delayed.
Before leaving the lot, make sure check over the car carefully. By making a detailed check it will be possible to highlight any dents or scrapes already present on the car. By alerting these problems to the representative and noting them, will ensure that when you return the vehicle you will not be stung with a bill for damage you have not caused. Added to this it is advisable to check the opening times of your particular hire company. while this may not be a problem at most airports, some smaller outlets may shut earlier, remember that if you do not return your car on time, an extra days hire may be charged, by ensuring they are open or provisions have been made for you to return the car after closing time you will be able to avoid these extra charges.
Hopefully this advice has given the traveller a better idea of how to hire a car and avoid the added fines that can be incurred. After all, the majority of us are looking for the best deal possible, so by researching comprehensively and comparing prices extensively, you should be able to bag a bargain.
Industry expert Thomas Pretty looks into ways travellers can get the best deal from their car hire company and ways to avoid added penalties.