If you’re travelling abroad or you’re preparing to enjoy a staycation, you may be thinking about renting a car. If you have limited experience of car rentals, and you’re not sure where to begin, follow these simple steps to avoid any stress and get the best deal.
Before you go
Before you travel, it’s worth carrying out some research. This will give you an idea of prices and you can then make comparisons between different companies. Look out for prices, which appear to be impossibly low. The chances are that the firm is advertising a basic price, which then increases significantly when you add insurance and extras.
Consider when you want to rent your car and where you will pick it up and drop it off. You may have to pay extra for different locations. If you’re flying, hiring a car at the airport can help to save you money on transfers. Think about whether you want the car for the entire holiday, or you just fancy a couple of days of exploring. Generally speaking, it’s better value to take a car for a longer period, than for a day or two. Younger drivers with less experience will probably pay more than drivers over the age of 25.
Narrow your search criteria to suit your dates and the kind of vehicle you want. Have a look at cheap car rentals with HotWire and weigh up the options.
When you hire a car, you will need to present some forms of ID and a valid driving licence. Make sure you have the relevant documentation with you. If you wish to add a friend or your partner on to the policy, they will also need their driving licence. You will be asked to sign a rental agreement, so read the small print carefully. You may wish to take out extra insurance to give yourself peace of mind.
Once you’ve signed your contract, a representative will talk you through the basic controls. They can also give you directions to your first port of call. Listen carefully, especially if it is a make or model, which is new to you. Ask any questions and have a trial drive around the car park.
If you’re driving on the other side of the road, take extra care at roundabouts and junctions. It can take you a while to get used to looking the other way and adjust to your new road position. Pay attention to the speed limits and lookout for pedestrians. Crossing rules can be a little more relaxed abroad, so watch out for people in the road when you’re in urban areas. Build your confidence slowly and you’ll soon be whizzing around without a care in the world.
Hiring a car should be simple. Most modern companies offer online booking, so you can select the vehicle and package you want and pay for it within minutes. Make sure you get a good deal and don’t forget to pack the relevant paperwork. Get to grips with your new car and have a wonderful holiday!
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