Hiring a Car? Points for consideration.

by Julie on March 8, 2017

Are you holidaying in the UK this year?  Hiring a car is a good idea so that you can drive yourself around this beautiful destination with its excellent road network. You could be driving around the Highlands of Scotland admiring the stunning scenery or exploring the rolling hills of the pretty Cotswolds at your own pace stopping at quaint country pubs for lunch. Perhaps the coastal villages of Cornwall and Devon are more your idea of a good holiday but either way – hiring a car is the best way of exploring.

Finding a Hire Car

When it comes to hiring a car in the U.K., you’ve a range of options. The most prominent brand names in this industry, most of which you’ve probably heard of, have offices scattered throughout the country, so you’ll never be far away from a pick-up point.

Your average car hire company will likely have a website that allows you to determine your requirements, and indeed the above companies all have their own online presence. Through these websites, you can view the cars on offer, which are typically broken down into categories by size; this in turn determines daily rate.

What to Look For in a Hire Care

When looking for a hire car, there are a number of things that you should take into consideration, to ensure that you get a car that not only suits your purpose, but doesn’t cost you more than it needs to.

Car / Cabin Size

If you’re leasing the car for business or a one-off, long trip, think about whether you’re carrying any passengers. For journeys made alone, it would make little sense to hire a people carrier or SUV. Not only would the daily rate cost more, but it’d also consume more petrol than a smaller car, resulting in unnecessarily high cost.

Insurance Coverage

It’s important to remember that your regular car insurance won’t cover you for any damage caused to the hire car, for which you are liable. When you lease a car, you sign a document stating that you’ll be personally liable for the excess on any damage inflicted on the vehicle. Without proper insurance coverage, you could be left with a hefty bill, should the worst happen. This can often be anywhere from £500 to £2,000. Luckily, there are options to cover car hire excess.

When picking up your hire car, the leasing company will often try to sell you their own excess insurance. Bear in mind that these policies are opportunistic and will often be pricier than you can find elsewhere. By doing a little research online prior to leasing your car, you should be able to find a car hire excess insurance policy or annual policy that is much cheaper.

Engine Size

Again, consider the journey that you’re making and whether a smaller engine will do. For simple journeys from A to B, moving home within the same city, or any other short distance, a 1 to 1.2 litre engine wouldn’t be a problem. Only if you’re traversing motorways or crossing the country should you begin to think about bigger engines. This, too, will help keep costs down.

Number of Days Rental

By being smart when you plan your journey, you can potentially save a whole day’s worth of rental fees. Research the opening hours of your leasing company and try to plan around them, picking the car up as early as possible, and getting it back before 5 pm a day earlier. It’s all too easy to leave the drop-off until the following day after you return from your journey, but by doing so, you’re paying for an extra day in which you won’t even use the car.

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