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Car Hire; How To Find A Great Deal

Aug 1, 2008
When you are travelling it is often the most advisable course of action to utilise a car hire firm. This however creates problems in itself as you must look for the best deal, the most suitable vehicle and the insurance costs of hiring a car. Below is a brief summary of rental tips that can make your car hire experience that much more enjoyable and stress free.

When choosing a car to hire it is important to recognise what you need the vehicle to do. If you are heading on a family holiday with kids in tow and a hefty amount of baggage a larger model is advisable but if you are looking for a vehicle that will save you the most money on rental fees and fuel, a smaller model may be desirable. In addition if you are looking for a vehicle that will be environmentally friendly you may want to hire a hybrid car. You should also consider your own driving ability, if you can only drive an automatic, be sure to make this clear when you are booking the vehicle.

If you are booking for a short period of time one of the major rental companies are usually best. For longer periods however finding a smaller local company can result in great rates. The problem with using smaller companies however is that their support services are usually less widespread. Major companies normally have deals with break down services that are rarely included with smaller companies. It is always advisable to shop around for the best deal as rates vary immensely depending upon the type and time of hire as well as the extras that are included in the contract.

As part of your shopping around it is always advisable to ask the car hire companies whether they grant discounts. Discounts can normally be assigned to frequent flyers and specific credit cards. In addition if you are booking online there is normally a discount available, with some companies this can be as much as ten percent. If you use car hire services regularly a great way to save money is to join the loyalty club, normally it is free to join and the privileges and preferential rates can be considerable.

When renting a vehicle it always advisable to read the terms and conditions of the contract carefully. Try to understand whether any charges will be applicable if you have to cancel, whether the charge at time of booking will have any charges added when it comes to hiring the car and how long the car will be held if you are late arriving. Whenever you book it is always advisable to receive a confirmation number, with online booking this will be sent to you by email but if you are booking over the phone, ensure that you receive it so you have proof of your purchase, the last thing you want is to turn up at the desk to find out that they have given your car to someone else.

When you pick up the car remember that by picking up away from the airport you can save yourself money. Additionally check your own motor insurance premium to see if you will be covered, if you are you will not have to take the additional insurance premiums. Of vital importance is to check over the car carefully for damage before you leave, if you find any alert the company so you are not charged at the end of the hire period.

By following this advice you should be able to hire a car with the minimum of stress and ease. By being conscientious in your research it is always possible to gain a great deal. Study the contracts and be sure to barter, ultimately this will lead to an attractive deal at the best rate.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty looks into the best way to secure a great car hire deal that takes into account price as well as services.
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