Saving Money on Your Car Hire

If you are planning on renting a car when you go on holiday you may be interested in the following top tips to help you save money, on both the car hire itself, and the car hire excess insurance.

Purchase car excess insurance from a standalone insurance provider

When you hire a car, typically the rental car company’s own basic insurance is included in the price to cover any damage to the vehicle, loss or theft etc.

Where you may typically save money is on the excess insurance – this covers the often high excess amount on rental cars abroad (amounts of £1,000 are not uncommon).

The excess amount is the first part of any claim that is made – so if something happens to your rental car, even if it isn’t your fault, you may typically be liable for the first part of any claim (so the amounts could be up to or over £1,000).

You may or may not know that there are two ways to take out insurance for your rental car. The first is with the rental company, and the second, with a standalone insurance provider. The latter may typically be the more competitive option, both for price and cover offered.

Recently there was a European wide review of the car rental industry. This followed after some complaints about the services offered by rental companies in different countries. Now companies have promised to make changes to the industry. While taking insurance with a rental company may improve in the future, you may still want to consider taking it with a standalone insurance provider.

General tips

The above is perhaps one of the most helpful tips for saving on car hire insurance, now onto more tips to help you save money on your car hire.

  • where possible take your own car seats for children as they are often an expensive option to add-in with the rental company;
  • take your own sat-nav if possible, again, another expensive add-in with rental companies;
  • if you plan on taking more than one or two trips per year, and renting a vehicle,  you may benefit from taking out annual excess insurance;
  • bear in mind that the rental company wants you to take their insurance and so they may give you sales patter to try to persuade you. This may include them telling you that the independent insurance you took out isn’t valid, which typically is not the case;
  • note that when renting the car, the company asks for your credit card details and generally pre-authorise a sum of money for the excess. This may be in the region of around £600, in the currency of the country. Therefore you need to have enough funds available on the credit card to pay it, if needed, then claim it back from the insurance policy;
  • check the fuel policy of the rental company as they may charge you for a full tank of fuel and expect you to bring the vehicle back with an empty tank. This may mean you lose out, as you may not use the majority of the fuel;
  • check the vehicle over before you drive off in it and make a note of any damage to it, along with taking photos, if possible;
  • check the car over when you take it back to the rental company and have someone from the rental company look at it with you. This way they cannot say that you have damaged the vehicle if it were to get damaged after you left it.

Hopefully these car hire insurance tips will help you to save money on your car rental along with the insurance to cover it.

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