Holiday tips: vehicle rental

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Renting a car whilst abroad tends to save many tourists some money getting around and exploring the local areas. Having your own transport also means tourists can take tours on their own terms, and explore at their own rate. However, car rental fees can sometimes be quite expensive, especially for those who fail to plan ahead – without booking in advance, you may find that fire prices will eat into your spending money. Here, car dealers, Lookers plc give you their top 10 tips for holiday car rental that can help make savings on rental rates.

Compare costs online

Do your research online – you might find that some rental companies advertise discounted rates on their website or comparison sites to attract more customers. Some even feature a virtual selection of the vehicles they have available on their websites. This is a great aid in helping holidaymakers decide what rental vehicle will best suit their needs.

Weekly rental savings

If possible, it is a good idea to hire vehicles on a week by week basis. It is easily possible to save up to 30 per cent over daily prices by renting a vehicle for a full week. However, this price is only cheaper for those who can make use of the car for at least five consecutive days. Those of you travelling to an area for two or three days should stick to a day by day rate.

Rental insurance

Take note of the insurance policy included with your rental vehicle. In some places, the insurance cover that is provided by rental companies may already be included if the car hire is paid by credit card. Others may receive the same cover as part of their personal car insurance policies, so it is always a good idea to examine their existing cover before signing up.

Plan in advance

In some cases, you might be able to get a cheaper rate by booking your rental vehicle in advance. We recommend booking at least seven days in advance if possible to secure the best rate. Making a reservation during a slow period may offer an even better rate than usual.

Pay as you go gas

Whilst some drivers will have an idea of how much fuel they will need for their trip, it is usually cheaper to purchase fuel as needed. This helps avoid purchasing a full tank of petrol that will not all be used.

Stick to the vehicle size you need

Don’t go too big! Rental companies may offer free upgrades to larger vehicles, but changing to a bigger car may prove more expensive; bigger cars usually mean higher fuel consumption. Sticking with the smallest size necessary will save on petrol or diesel costs. Think exactly what you may need from your Holiday car.

Steep airport rental rates

Renting a vehicle at the airport, although convenient, can prove to be the more expensive end of the bargain once taxes and fees are added. Visitors who reserve a holiday car at a town centre rental location can often avoid these additional charges.

Pack your own child safety seats

Many rental companies charge extra for families who require the use of a children’s car seat – with additional costs covering the rental of a car seat too. We recommend that you take your own child safety seat with you – whilst your children are likely to be more comfortable in their own seat that they are used to, it will also help you avoid additional fees.

Save as a renters club member

If you travel a lot, and as a result, find yourself renting vehicles on a regular occasion, it might be worth enrolling in one of the frequent renter clubs operated by some of the larger car hire companies. These programmes also tend to offer rewards and benefits, such as free rentals.