Car rental: our guide to renting a car

Driving is known to be the best mode of transport when it comes to exploring new destinations. This is so because a rented car can take you to locations where conventional modes of transport may not be easily available. And on top of that, you get to spend your time according to your own schedule which is very important especially if you’re on a business trip and not just for pleasure.

A car rental is also essential when you visit a new destination with many attractions but you only have a couple of days. So, here is our comprehensive guide providing useful information on how to find top car rental deals.

Choosing a rental company

Very often consumers do not spend much time shopping around for good car rental deals. We simply choose a car rental company recommended by a travel agent, or alternatively we use one of those increasingly popular comparison websites.

These two are good options if you’re searching for the best price. But car rental isn’t just about price. Before you proceed to any booking, you’ve got to know what's in the deal. Start with – does the price include VAT? Is there a damage excess payment? Is there a mileage limit? Any drop off and pick up fees or any surcharges?

Car rental insurance

When renting a car in the UK, rental agreements generally include CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), Theft and Third Party Liability. In other words, the rented car comes with an insurance policy and you’re covered to drive it. However, there is almost always an Excess (usually between £500 and £1,500) which you have to pay in the event of theft or damage to the rental car, even if it is someone else’s fault.

Top tips

1. Read the fine print: Make sure you check what’s included in the deal and that you understand the Terms & Conditions.

2. Buy low cost comprehensive Excess Car Rental Insurance: at the car rental desk, you’ll be offered a standard cover. Be warned that it usually is expensive and it doesn’t cover you for damage to the roof, tyres and windows.

3. If you need to drive abroad: make sure you let the car rental company know which countries you’ll be driving in. Your cover will not be valid unless you tell them. For your safety, get yourself familiar with the driving rules of that country.

4. Fuel policy: all car rental companies have different policies on fuel. Make sure how much fuel you’re required to leave in the tank when you return the car. Also, make sure you know what fuel the car uses.

5. Check the car: inspect the car carefully before you drive away. If there’s any damage, make sure it is stated as such in the car rental agreement.

Providers

RentalCars [dot] com is a very useful website if you feel like you need to compare a couple of car rental companies at once. The form is simple and it only takes 2 minutes to get tailored results.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers a wide variety of car rental programs – and local car rental customers are picked up at no extra cost.

National Car Rental is the first car rental brand to offer one-way rentals for those wishing to rent cars in one town and leave them in another.

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