Car hire can be a great way to explore a new destination or get around on a business trip, but it’s important to be aware of the potential hidden fees that can quickly inflate the cost of your rental. These fees, such as additional driver fees, airport surcharges, and insurance fees, can be frustrating and unexpected, but they can be avoided with some careful planning and research.
In this blog post, we will discuss how you can navigate the world of car hire and save money by avoiding hidden fees. We’ll provide tips on how to book early, compare prices, read the fine print, avoid airport pick-up, bring your own extras, fill up before you return, choose the right type of car, check for discounts, be careful with additional drivers, and check your rental period. By following these tips, you can enjoy a stress-free cheap car hire experience.
One of the easiest ways to save money on car hire is to book early. Most car hire companies offer lower rates for bookings made in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you may be hit with higher fees and limited availability. Booking early not only saves you money, but it also gives you more options to choose from.
Before you book a car hire, be sure to compare prices from different companies. There are many websites that allow you to compare prices from multiple car hire companies at once. This can help you find the best deal and avoid hidden fees. However, it’s important to note that the cheapest price may not always be the best value. Look for a company that offers the services you need at a reasonable price.
Read the Fine Print
Before you sign a car hire agreement, be sure to read the fine print. Hidden fees can often be buried in the terms and conditions of the agreement. Be sure to look for fees such as additional driver fees, airport surcharges, and insurance fees. Some car hire companies may also charge a fee if you return the car late or to a different location than where you picked it up. Knowing what fees to expect can help you plan your budget accordingly.
Avoid Airport Pick-up
One of the most common hidden fees in car hire is the airport surcharge. If you can, avoid picking up your car hire at the airport. Instead, opt for a location off-site. This can save you money and also give you more options to choose from. If you must pick up your car at the airport, be sure to factor in the additional fee when comparing prices.
Bring Your Own Extras
Car hire companies often charge extra for things like GPS, car seats, and toll passes. If you have your own GPS or car seat, be sure to bring them with you. This can save you money and also ensure that you have the equipment you need. If you plan on using toll roads, check if the car hire company offers a pre-paid toll pass. This can be a cheaper option than paying for each toll individually.
Fill Up Before You Return
Car hire companies often charge a premium for fuel if you return the car with less than a full tank. To avoid this fee, be sure to fill up the tank before you return the car. This can save you money and also ensure that you don’t get hit with an unexpected fee. If you are unsure where to find a petrol station, use your GPS or ask the car hire company for a nearby location.
Don’t Buy Unnecessary Insurance
Car hire companies often try to sell you extra insurance that you don’t need. Before you purchase any insurance, be sure to check with your own insurance provider to see if you are already covered. Many credit cards also offer car hire insurance as a benefit, so be sure to check your card benefits before you buy any extra insurance.
However, if you don’t have personal car insurance or a credit card that offers car hire insurance, you may need to purchase insurance from the car hire company. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid any unexpected fees.
Choose the Right Type of Car
The type of car you choose can have a big impact on the cost of your car hire. Larger cars and SUVs tend to be more expensive, while smaller cars are usually cheaper. If you don’t need a lot of space, consider renting a compact car or an economy car to save money.
Check for Discounts
Many car hire companies offer discounts for things like AAA members, military personnel, and seniors. Be sure to check if you qualify for any discounts before you book your car hire. You can also look for promo codes online or ask the car hire company if they have any current promotions.
Be Careful with Additional Drivers
If you plan on having someone else drive the car, be aware that most car hire companies charge an additional driver fee. This fee can be quite high, especially if you plan on having multiple drivers. To avoid this fee, consider limiting the number of drivers or having just one designated driver for the trip.
Check Your Rental Period
Car hire companies often charge by the day, so be aware of the rental period when you are booking your car. For example, if you plan on picking up the car at 10 am and returning it at 2 pm the following day, you may be charged for two full days of rental. To avoid this, try to return the car as close to the pick-up time as possible.
The Bottom Line
By following these tips, you can avoid hidden fees and save money on your car hire. It’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best value, so be sure to weigh the costs and benefits of each car hire option. With a little bit of research and planning, you can ensure that your car hire experience is both convenient and affordable.