Covid-19 has been a nightmare for everyone involved. It’s been two years of restrictions and uncertainty, but hopefully, it’s coming to an end. While slowly things are beginning to get back to normal and most importantly we can start travelling again.
The problem is that many businesses are still closed, and while there are a lot open, they’ve had issues along the way. One of the biggest in this group is rental cars. It is impossible to have a company with thousands of cars sat in stock not being rented. As such, cars have been sold and not been replaced. With the world getting back to normal, holidaymakers have created a problem as there are not enough cars to rent, for the demand. As such, prices have substantially increased.
How To Book a Cheap Car Rental
While rental prices have increased substantially, there are still some great deals out there if you look for them. It would help if you got creative ideas on finding low prices on car hire, even at peak periods. The best plan is to book early, the early the better, but this is often not possible. Below are seven ways to book a cheap car rental
Flexibility With Your Booking
If you want it cheap, then you have to do research. You can make use of comparison sites that will deliver results with speed. You can book through a car hire company or via different booking sites.
The charges from some of the providers are based on the age of the drivers. The price range can be under 25 or over 75. The prices might be requested at the pick-up desk upon your arrival or may be factored into the price listed by the comparison website.
Search for car hires with flexible policies. Some rental companies don’t charge anything when you cancel your reservation. This is crucial while travel restrictions are uncertain. The pandemic affected rental companies like every other sector of the economy. There are waivers by some of the rental companies to attract customers, and you can cash in on this. The best policy for you is something that is flexible. It is a brilliant way to save money there is a change in your plans.
With Europcar, you can cancel or change your booking without paying, even if your trip is 48 hours away. At Avis, you can cancel your reservation free of charge. But you must do that within 24 hours prior to the scheduled booking time. On the other hand, Budget allows free cancellation without charges 24 hrs before takeoff.
It is advised that you put in place flexibility measures in your travel plans. The coronavirus travel restrictions can upset your travel plans at the last minute. When you book in advance for car hire services, you can save a decent £100.
The Fuel Policy
Make sure you check the fuel policy of the rental company before you sign the dotted line. What happens to the rest if you fuel the tank to full capacity and use only half of the fuel? The best service providers will give a refund on fuel that you did not use after every journey.
Some car hire companies add admin fees for fueling the tank. You should check the terms and policies on fuel before you put down your money. The best way to go about it is to look for car hire companies that will give you return policies for fueling your tank.
Bring Your Own Child Seat
Watch out for child seats, they are an expensive proposition. If you want to bring down car hire costs, it is best to bring your own child seat. While it is possible to rent one on arrival, hire companies like to charge.
If you decide to pay for your child’s seat through the rental service provider, then you will pay £5/day. It is on the high side. A child seat is compulsory in Europe for kids under the age of three. There are booster seats available for people up to age 12.
If you’re looking for car hire and anything like me, you probably head over to your favourite global comparison site. But what about a local provider? Often they don’t advertise on these large comparison sites.
As a result, it can be a great idea to check out the local car hire companies in the place that you’re going. They may not offer airport pick up, or that may have an additional fee for it, but the price is often substantially lower.
Protection On Package Holidays
You can lower the cost of renting a car by going through a licensed travel agent. If you do, often you will get extra protection on your car hire at no extra cost as it comes in a package.
An example of this is ATOL. You will get extra protection if you hire through any of their licensed agents or websites. You will get an alternative arrangement or a full refund of your money if there are difficulties with the booking.
There are ‘DIY’ options where you can pay for everything and get total coverage through a single transaction, but often they are much more expensive than taking the package option.
Use Your Credit Card
Are you having problems with overseas car hire? You can resolve the issue by paying with your credit card. You must make sure you pay the amount in full. When the total cost for renting a car surpasses £100, you will get extra protection. There is a legal provision for that under section 75, your credit card company will be liable alongside the rental company if things do not go your way.
Watch Out For Late Fee’s
If you have agreed to return your car by 4 pm and you actually return it at 8pm, you could be in for a shock in the form of a late fee. Late fees could be anything from a £50 late fee charge to a full day rental.
Remember, the rental company has your credit card on, and there will charge you on the spot for any lateness. If you don’t want any late fees, make sure you return the car at the scheduled time and in a clean state. I would also highly recommend that you’re around when the car is being inspected and take photos as evidence when you return the car if you cannot wait for the inspection.