However, unless you’re planning to move as little as possible on your trip or have deliberately chosen a place to stay within easy walking distance of all the necessary attractions and amenities, a car could prove to be worth its weight in gold. Not only does it cut down on the hassle of travelling from the airport to your accommodation – a particularly welcome convenience after a long flight – having command of your own vehicle affords you the freedom to do what you want, when you want.
Yet, whilst hiring a car can certainly save you the money and time you’d spend booking and paying for taxis, there are several pitfalls that can land you in holiday hot water.
One of the golden rules of successful holiday car hire is to book as far in advance as possible. This is because it takes time to sift through the companies on offer, look for potential deals and to ensure you book the most appropriate car for your trip. Waiting until the last minute could result in you having to pay through the nose out of desperation or booking a vehicle that is unsuitable for the group you’re travelling with.
As any seasoned traveller knows, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. So, giving yourself plenty of time to assess your options is the key to getting the car and deal that best suits you. Great sites to help you narrow down your choice include travelsupermarket.com and brokers like zestcarrental.com. Price comparison sites can save you the energy you’ll spend trawling the web for deals – just be aware you are likely to see costs rising the closer you get to your departure date.
When it comes to selecting the right vehicle for your trip, remember that size doesn’t always equate to a good deal. Often, travellers assume the smaller the car, the cheaper it will be. However, the costs tend to relate to supply and demand – car hire companies are more likely to offer you a deal on models they have in surplus. If you’re able to be flexible, check out a variety of models – perhaps with more seats than you need. You could land yourself an excellent deal.
Other elements that can add to the overall cost of a hire include: registering another driver to the vehicle, mileage limitations, and fuel costs. Be sure to check out the small print before signing on the dotted line.
Booking with a reputable agency should also minimise concerns regarding being held accountable for damages that might have already existed on the vehicle. However, it still pays to give the car a thorough inspection to ensure that the condition ties in correctly with what the company has on record.
Finally, it’s important to be aware that since the paper counterpart of the driving license was rendered obsolete in the UK, those hoping to hire a car abroad should retrieve a special code from the DVLA website which will allow car hire companies to run a background check. Be warned, however, the code will only be valid for 72 hours – another task to add to your last-minute pre-travel checklist.
The task of hiring a car is made much easier the earlier you start browsing; the same can be said for travel insurance. Insurance is a strange purchase in that you spend money to buy something you hope you will never need. However, if anything goes wrong such as an accident or illness requiring costly medical treatment, the right policy can cushion you against the financial fallout.
Medical Travel Compared can help you find the best deal for your travel insurance, even those with pre-existing medical conditions. Get your quote today.