With all the sales going on at the moment, January is seen as a bit of peak period for customers booking their holidays. With this in mind I thought I’d give a few tips about what to look for when researching and booking car hire:
1. Book in advance. This is particularly the case if you are wanting to rent a car in the summer because most companies are likely to sell out. And of course as companies begin to sell out prices will go up. So book as far in advance as possible to get the best price. Our blog post “Tips for getting the best price” provides further advice on this.
2. Check your eligibility to hire a car. There are three things to check: age, credit card and driver’s licence. Some car hire companies have a maximum age and, of course, all companies have a minimum age, which can differ by country. It is also worth noting that it is sometimes possible to rent at a younger age if you pay a young driver’s surcharge. Additionally, be sure to check the validity of your driver’s licence. The standard is to have a full, clean driver’s licence which has been held for at least a year. If your licence is in a non-roman alphabet you will also need an International Driver’s Permit. Finally, check that you have the appropriate credit card to rent a car. Avis accepts MasterCard, Visa (credit and debit cards), Diners Card and American Express. For further information we have posts dedicated to these topic including “Don’t forget your driver’s licence”, “Our young driver’s policy” and “Information on accepted credit cards”.
3. Check the inclusions. The most important thing you need to check for is the level of cover your quote includes. Most companies will include Vehicle Damage Cover and Vehicle Theft Cover is included in your quote (also referred to as Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection). If I was to describe this using the terminology of private car insurance then this would be like having Fully Comprehensive with an excess (so be sure to check what this is). If, however, your quote does not include this level of cover then you could be liable for the full cost of repair or replacement if your rental car was to be damaged or stolen. This is not a position I would like to be in! For further information on this try our blog post “What’s included in your quote”.
4. Check on the cost of extras. Not all the extras are available at point of booking so remember to take this cost into account when calculating the total cost of your car hire. Products designed to reduce/remove your level of excess and pre-pay fuel products are usually the most popular products that are generally only available at the counter.
5. Book the right car size. This may seem simple enough but you would be surprised how many customers try to book a smaller car at a cheaper price only to find they can’t fit in all their luggage. The problem is that, at this point, all of the larger cars may no longer be available!
These are the top things I can think of but please feel free to post your own tips or ask any questions if there is something I may have missed.