The hire of a car can forms one of the fundamental parts of any holiday or road trip. While there are many cheap car hire companies out there it is not always the case that they are a great deal. With additional charges and penalties your cheap hire car can turn out to be ultimately expensive. This is rarely good for your trip as having to keep funds back to deal with any penalties you may have incurred can be an added stress. Here are some of the best tips to prevent the extra charges and penalties, ensuring you can relax while on your trip, without the worry of the hire car hanging over you at all times.
First and foremost it is vital that you should check over the car before you leave; there are some hire companies that will charge you for scratches and dents that were there when you took the car so this is extremely important. Make a full and detailed check while the company representative is present so there are instantly made aware of the issues. In addition, it is often wise to use a digital camera, something you will probably have with you for your holiday and take some photos of any damage. By having this you have physical record of any issues that you will be able to present to the company should they try and charge you for any damage that you have not caused.
While the internet it an ultimately useful resource, when booking your hire car it is often advisable to use company websites as a guide. Instead of booking online it often pays to ring the outlet directly. By doing this you not only build a rapport with the operative, but the chances of gaining a discount are increased. By comparing a variety of deals on the internet you will gather valuable ammunition when trying to barter a deal, if you can say "so and so offered me this" then the chances are you will be able to extract the same price from the company you are speaking to.
That said you should not just pursue an offline approach, it is through a combined effort of internet research and hard bartering that you will be able to gain the best deal. It is surprising how many people do not even attempt to barter prices taking the cost always at face value. With a little determination it is possible to gain a great deal without any loss in the service you will receive. Remember however that a cheap price does not always mean a great deal, make sure to get the details sorted while you are brokering the deal to avoid a nasty surprise when you reach then car hire desk.
In addition to the last point, it is vital that you should check the details of your hire contract extensively. Of prime importance is to nail down the mileage agreement, the best advice is to pursue an unlimited mileage as a price per mile can work out very expensive. Also, you should check the fuel agreement, knowing whether the car needs to be full before you return it will save you money in the long run; it is often the case that hire companies will charge you exorbitant amounts for fuelling the car, so making sure it is fully fuelled on its return is a great money-saver.
By following this advice you should be able to save yourself the heartache of having an extremely expensive car hire experience. Ultimately you want to cover yourself from any additional charges that the company may try to impose upon you. While this is not usually a problem with larger companies, smaller operators have been known to use these tactics. By protecting yourself you can negate these tactics and save yourself money.
Travel expert Thomas Pretty gives tips on how to gain a great car hire deal and avoid any penalty charges.