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Pitfalls To Watch Out For When Choosing Car Rentals

Mar 5, 2008
When choosing car rental schemes over other forms of transport there are many things to take into consideration. One of them seems to be the ever-increasing fuel prices. Of course, fuel prices also affect public transport but not on the same scale.

Petrol currently costs 17p per litre more than it did last year, making the average price 1.04p per litre, or 4.77 pounds a gallon. In areas of the UK where prices are above the average, this means they are paying 5 pounds for one gallon of petrol!

For drivers with a standard 50 litre fuel tank this puts an additional 8.79 pounds on the price of a full tank and a possible 18.84 pounds a month on total car running costs. All this is due to the rise in the price of a barrel of oil, now at $100 and also affects drives of diesel vehicles.

A record average on diesel prices now sees drivers paying 110.3p on a litre compared with last year's 91.1p. It seems users of car rental will not save money in the long run, then.

Fuel tax rises caused havoc with the roads in 2005. Blockades of oil refineries were carried out by protestors furious about the price of petrol and diesel. Car rental companies saw a large drop in profits that year with more and more people using public transport to avoid the rising costs of driving.

That year saw an unprecedented running dry of petrol stations and when deliveries were made, drivers were queuing around the block for the chance of some fuel after rationing. The uproar this event caused died down and since then, the government have continued to raise the tax on fuel.

It is amazing to me that another protest hasn't been started but it seems that us Brits just can't be without our vehicles and do not want the country at another stand still as happened in 2005.

Understandable, although frustrating that we are held to ransom over any prices the government decide to inflict on us.

Instability in Iraq has been blamed for the rise in fuel costs but how does this explain the 2.2 pounds billion the government received in oil revenue since October last year. This followed a rise in fuel duty and the government plan to implement another rise next month.

Another consideration when using car rental is the insurance. Make a thorough check as to exactly what you are covered for and how much your excess is. Usual cover includes fire, theft and collision. However, even with fully comprehensive insurance, there will be an excess to pay, sometimes up to 1000. pounds Find out just how much this is before you embark on car rental to avoid getting stung if anything untoward should occur.

After campaigns to tackle the insurance scams run by car rental companies, it was discovered that many of them have been charging the full excess on any minor dent the car is returned with and in some cases, the repair work is never even carried out, in effect, meaning the car rental company are stealing the hirer's money. If you are charged for any damage always insist on seeing repair bills.

Some insurance companies offer cover for the excess of another policy. This seems a bit odd - to insure yourself against your insurance shortfalls? It means you are paying twice for the same thing. However, if car rental is something you use on a regular basis it may be well worth considering.
About the Author
Hire expert Catherine Harvey looks at the problems of car rental customers. To find out more please visit http://www.car-hire-uk.com/
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