Top Five Ways To Save Money On Car Rental

Written By Laura Gavin

Whether you’re off on holiday, moving house or visiting far away friends, renting a car is sometimes the only option. There are several benefits to having your own means of getting about rather than relying on public transport or other people, but the cost of hiring a vehicle can be expensive for families. 

Even so, there are various ways to save money on this necessary expense. What’s more, you’ll be surprised by the choice and variety of cars available to rent these days.

Search online – Plan in advance and look for deals or promotions online. There are bound to be a few auto rental coupons and car hire discounts you can take advantage of. What’s more, these vouchers may enable you to get a far better car than previously anticipated. From compact cars to luxury saloons and 4x4s, the range of vehicles on offer is vast.

Rather than looking up each rental company individually, use a price comparison website. You’ll be able to input specific dates, narrow down choice according to your requirements – such as child car seats or 7-seater SUVs - and inevitably find the best deal.

Avoid costly extras - Even if you need items like satellite navigation or a child seat, these items can push the hire price up significantly.    
Buying a brand new GPS device is often cheaper than hiring one for a week. If you’re taking a family holiday with the kids, consider taking a child seat with you, as this is sometimes within the baggage allowance of certain airlines.

Buy independent insurance - In the event of a crash or accident, the price you have to pay for repairs is often astronomical. Rental companies will offer you some sort of collision damage waiver, but again this can be expensive.

Therefore, you may want to purchase insurance independently from a third-party. These policies can even cover damage to windows, tyres and the roof, which the car hire firm does not always provide protection for.

Check the small print - The finer details of your rental agreement such as the fuel policy and mileage limit will need to be scrutinised. This is another way hire firms make their money.

Always choose a policy where you have to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel, as the company's own petrol or diesel prices can be extortionate. Also, make sure you can drive as many miles as you want without incurring further charges.

Note all damage - Before driving away, take time to inspect the vehicle and check for any damage. Any marks or scratches should be photographed by you and noted on the rental agreement.

If you pay attention to the finer points, you can avoid any possible disputes when you return the car. Once you have given back the keys, it’s still a good idea keep all paperwork, just in case.

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