Car Hire

Why rely on public transport at your end destination, when car hire prices can work out so cheap. Beware the hidden extras many hire companies add though. This article looks at how to find and compare the best car hire deals.

Compare Car Hire Sites

With so many web sites out there offering car hire, there simply isn't time to check each one for the cheap deals. Fortunately comparison web sites can do much of the legwork for you. They will go off and compare prices across an increasing number of car hire companies.

The sites I recommend to check are:

Travelsupermarket A formidable site for finding cheap deals across a variety of areas.
Carrentals Easy to use site that covers many car rental companies.

However, with car hire, it's not just about finding the cheapest hire price. Insurance for the car can add a lot more to the final price that you pay.

Car Hire Insurance

Car hire companies make a tidy profit from selling insurance. They will try to sell it either at the time of purchase or when you go to collect the car. It’s not unusual when you go to collect a hire car to be asked if you want extra insurance for bumps and scratches. When you are put on the spot it can be hard to say no.

It's worth checking out what is and isn't covered by the standard insurance before you hire the car. Include any additional insurance costs in your price comparisons. Be aware that the standard insurance cover provided varies between hire companies.

It can be cheaper to arrange your own additional insurance cover rather than purchase it from the hire company. The following companies can arrange this:

Car Hire Excess Insurance Daily and multi trip
Car Hire Excess Daily and annual cover
Protect your bubble Daily and annual cover
Questor insurance Daily and annual cover
Insurance 4 car hire Daily and annual cover

One good tip is to take plenty of pictures of the hire car when you collect it. That way should a dispute arise over a dent or scratch, you can show what the car was like when you collected it.

For an example of how car hire comparison sites compare have a look at a comparison exercise I performed for car hire car at Gibraltar.

Other car hire costs

In addition to the hire and insurance costs, you should also take the following into account:

Child car seats Many hire companies charge an additional daily fee for these.  If hiring for several days that fee can add up.
Petrol Some companies charge extra if you don’t return the car with a full tank or the same amount of petrol that it left the hire centre with. The prices they charge for this petrol are normally much more than you will pay had you topped it back up yourself.

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