Car hire can be a necessary evil. We all need to do it at some point but arranging the best deal can be a nightmare and there are plenty of horror stories about the car hire rip off with holidaymakers paying thousands for what seemed like a bargain.
The good news is that with a little forward planning, you can avoid being ripped off for your car hire. Which means a few minutes spent doing research now could save you a fortune when you arrive.
1. Be credit card savvy
You’ll be expected to pay for your car rental with a credit card so the hire company can ring-fence a deposit to pay for any damage. Make sure the card is in the name of the main driver or you could be asked to pay again.
Another well-known rip off is for the hire company to claim that your credit card payment has been declined because you’ve bought your own car rental excess insurance. Put paid to the scam by having another credit card that you can use to pay for car hire.
2. Your phone is your friend
There are multiple ways in which you can use your phone to avoid a car hire rip off. For a start, you can use it instead of hiring an expensive sat nav with your car, just download the Google maps for the area and use in offline mode. You can also use it to arrange the best car rental excess insurance deal so you don’t have to buy an expensive product at the airport.
When you pick up your car, use your phone to take photos of all four sides and use the selfie camera to take photos of the undercarriage. You can also take a video as a back up. Agree the photos/video with the company and they won’t be able to claim pre-existing damage was your fault.
3. Ignore the extras
It can seem like a good deal to hire a sat nav and car seat with your rental, but the daily costs can soon mount up. Depending on your destination, you may find that your airline lets you take a car seat for a minimal charge or even for free.
If you’re offered an upgrade when you arrive, don’t be tempted unless it comes at no extra cost. Your rental company should offer you a higher tariff car at no extra expense or a smaller car with a refund. Don’t be sold a pointless – and very expensive – upgrade.
4. Check the excess
When you hire a car it usually comes with CDW and theft protection as standard. But those insurances come at a cost and the excess can run into thousands of pounds. That means you could be left out of pocket, ruining your holiday.
The way to get around this is to buy car rental excess insurance before you travel. This will refund any excess you’re charged. Use Excess Buddy to find the very best deals with extra levels of cover including roadside recovery and misfueling protection.
Using our handy comparison, you’ll be able to find the right level of cover for short term trips or to cover you over the year if you’re a frequent traveller. That way you won’t end up buying rip off and expensive insurance after a long flight.
5. Read the small print
Nobody likes reading the small print but it could save you a fortune. For example, some companies will charge you extra for a second driver or a newly qualified one. Others will pre-sell you their own expensive insurance or charge you an admin fee if there is a problem, even when you’ve purchased your own car rental excess insurance.
Reading the small print now will stop you getting ripped off further down the line and make sure that your trip is a relaxed and enjoyable one.
Find and buy excess insurance today from excessbuddy.com