When should I book?
You can get some good deals if you book early. According to the money saving expert, it’s possible to get holiday car hire for £3 a day by booking early, so don’t leave it until you’re there. You can also book through the UK office of well-known car hire companies which can offer reassurance as well as a high level of customer service.
Level of insurance
This may be more limited than you are used to in the UK and if you want full protection you will often need to take out a top-up policy. Ask the car hire office to explain the options available and the cost of each option and read the policy terms before you pay for the policy so that you can ensure the policy will in fact cover you.
Who will be driving?
All drivers will need to be named on the car hire documents and the costs charged for additional drivers will vary significantly. The cost of adding young and/or inexperienced drivers can also be high so you will need to factor that into the cost of car hire.
The car hire company is likely to charge a large deposit even if you have excess reduction insurance. Make sure you have enough credit on your credit card to cover this.
Read the documents
Read the hire contract carefully and query anything you do not understand or any charges you were not expecting.
Inspect the car thoroughly and make sure any damage is recorded on the contract. Take photos of all sides of the car before you drive away in it. When you return the car ensure that the car hire company inspects the car with you and signs it back in as having no damage.
Research local driving laws and regulations such as speed limits and drink/drive limits and be aware of the documents/items you are required to have in the vehicle and make sure the car hire company provides these items.
Katherine Allen has practised in the field of Travel Litigation for over 17 years. She has been recognised as a leader in dealing with claims arising out of package holidays, road traffic accidents in foreign countries, accidents while working abroad and accidents occurring on aeroplanes, trains and ships. For more information, get in touch via our contact page.