How To Get the Best Out of Overseas Car Hire
There are all sorts of hidden charges when it comes to foreign car rental that can result in some unexpected expenses on your credit card when you get home. Here are a few hints to help prevent any nasty surprises …
Even if you pay in advance for your hire car, you are still required to pay a deposit, which can be £1,000+ to cover any excess on the vehicle’s insurance policy.
Most rental companies only accept credit cards – debit cards are rarely acceptable. They hold the money on your credit card account, preventing you from spending it. Return the car undamaged and the funds are released; if there is any damage you are unlikely to see any of your deposit again.
If the car is involved in an accident or stolen, you’ll be liable to pay the excess on the insurance. This can be covered by paying an excess insurance but it can add a further £120+ to the price of a two-week hire.
Insurance4carhire.com offers an Annual European cover at a reasonable price that provides more cover than you’d expect including cover for damage to the rood, windows, undercarriage and tyres. If the car is damaged the hire company charges the excess to your credit card; you simply contact the insurance company and you will be reimbursed for the cost under your excess insurance policy.
If flying in and out on the same day, some car hire companies will insist on a two-day hire, even if they are airport-based and you return the car within the stipulated time.
Ensure the car is returned on time as most car hire companies only allow a 29-minute margin before they charge for a late return. In some cases the penalty can be as much as a full day’s extra rental. Often customers do not realise a penalty has been levied until it appears on the next credit card statement.
Make sure you understand the re-fuelling requirements. Some companies require the tank to be full and the customer is charged for any shorfall; others equire any empty tank.
According to insurance4carhire.com it is easy to avoid unnecessary expense when it comes to holiday car hire by carefully reading the terms and conditions of the rental, and to take out insurance against paying the excess in the event of an accident, or if the hire car is stolen. “This way, you can enjoy the freedom of having your own transport while on holiday without worrying about unexpected charges at the end of the road.”
If your UK driving licence was issued after April 1999, it will consist of a plastic credit-card sized section, and a paper booklet. In order to hire a car you need both sections otherwise you will be refused the hire and have to pay the full cost of the rental.