With such a large number of car hire companies within the UK it is understandable that so many people are often bewildered with which one to choose. Ultimately you want to find a company that combines a low price with good levels of service. In addition, it is important to recognise what type of car you will need and any insurance inclusions you will need to add to the rental agreement. Hopefully the following information will give those in the UK essential advice to enable them to have a stress free and enjoyable car hire experience.
The first consideration when looking at hiring a car is to decide exactly what you will need the car to do. If you are returning to the UK from holiday then it is likely you will have a large amount of baggage, hence choosing one of the larger vehicles in the range will be an advisable course of action to follow. Additionally if you are travelling with the family, ensuring the vehicle is large enough to seat everyone comfortably is preferable. For many, having an environmentally friendly car will be important. If this is the case, thankfully there are some car hire companies in the UK that now supply hybrid vehicles to renters. Make sure all these considerations are made before booking the vehicle.
Many people will only be booking a car for a short period of time; if this is the case then one of the major rental companies is better as they can usually provide the lowest prices. Those hiring for a longer period of time however may want to undertake a little more research and find a local company. In smaller companies however the service offered varies greatly, hence finding an efficient and affordable one can be hit and miss. Remember that break down cover should be considered, normally larger companies will be able to provide better break down assistance than local companies. The major point here is to research each and every company extensively to ensure you find a good balance between service and cost.
Part of this research will undoubtedly take place on the internet; most UK companies have websites with the option to book online. This is usually advisable as many of the large companies will offer discounts to those booking over the internet. In some cases this can be as much as ten percent. Other ways to gain discounts is to use loyalty clubs, for those who use hire cars regularly; this can be extremely beneficial in the financial sense.
Whenever booking a vehicle it is vitally important to take time over the rental agreement; this will define the services you will receive and the costs you must pay. Gain an understanding of exactly what you are paying for and whether any additional charges may be applicable if you have to cancel at the last minute or are late on arrival. At this stage it is advisable to take a note of the booking conformation number, when booking online this will normally be sent by email although those booking over the phone will have to record it manually. In effect this number is your proof of purchase and hence it is important to have it on your arrival at the outlet.
Hopefully this information has given those hiring cars within the UK a better understanding of the rental process and ways to find the best deal. As previously stated the ultimate objective is to find a good balance between costs and service. The cheapest price does not always represent value, in some cases: paying a little more can lead to a far more rewarding experience.
Travel and consumer advice expert Thomas Pretty looks into the car hire UK services and ways to find the best deal.