With the price of petrol rocketing and vehicle tax steadily rising, fewer and fewer people are able to afford the cost of driving. Public transport will only get you so far (and will put a big squeeze on your wallet). Removal companies can often be expensive and plenty of horror stories exist that might put you off letting a stranger handle your precious cargo. For those of us planning to holiday within the UK and who either don’t own a car or don’t trust their car to get them much further than work and back again then car rental might be just the ticket. Equally for those holidaying on the continent renting a car in Blighty may save you serious headaches down the line.
The cardinal rule of hiring anything from a bicycle to a camera or indeed a car is to inspect the product before you hire it. Do not hand over any cash, or any card details, until you’ve done a thorough inspection of the car. It is highly recommended that you take a digital camera (these days a smartphone will suffice) with you in order to keep a record of the cars aesthetic. Ideally, for trips to the continent, take a mechanic or engineer with you – they will be able to give you a quick assessment of any immediate mechanical problems. Once you have collated a digital gallery of any of the car’s imperfections, show your findings to the salesman or reception clerk and have them sign the cars check sheet.
2. READ THE SMALL PRINT
I can’t stress this enough. So many consumers gloss over the small print with little regard to what they’re actually agreeing to. A recent internet phenomena TL; DR (Too long; didn’t read) encapsulates the exact folly on which companies (especially insurance companies) capitalize. Read the small print in the office, with the salesman. Don’t feel pressured; even if there are people waiting to be served, leaving unprepared may cost you more than money.
Many rental companies offer Collision Damage Waiver (which will cover the standard £500-1000 excess). Make sure you fully discuss the insurance with a salesman (as senior as possible). You ARE entitled to buy your own insurance but most UK rental companies will offer very fair terms in their CDW making it obsolete.
From Car and Van hire in Waterlooville to Moped hire in Waterloo, Belgium – reading the small print is an essential skill in any consumer’s arsenal.
1. Administration, paperwork and account checks.
The most important piece of advice one could be given is to keep hold of any and all paperwork given to you by the rental company. Full-to-empty fuel tariffs, marks or scratches on the vehicle or mileage limitations may apply retroactively to your account. As many hire companies put provisional withdrawals on your account (to cover any damage or limitation breaches) it is always a good idea to check your balances up to three weeks after delivering the keys.
N.B: ALWAYS ensure your keys are returned to a representative or at the very least are deposited within the property you took them from. Thefts are known to occur!