Car Hire UK
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Car Hire UK Guide
Hiring a car for a UK holiday may be a good way to travel while on holiday, particularly if someone doesn’t have a reliable car, or if they prefer to leave their own car at home. And, a hire car could be useful in all kinds of other situations too. Of course, the utility of a hire car depends on several different factors, and there may be a lot to consider when choosing a car rental.
Is a Rental Car the Best Option?
Depending on the reasons for needing transport, a person may decide that hiring a car isn’t the way to go. For instance, if they’re planning a sight-seeing holiday that could take them all over the country, hiring a car may make the journey a lot more comfortable; on the other hand, if someone is visiting the capital for business or pleasure, they might find it more affordable and more convenient to use taxis or public transport rather than a London rental car.
How Big a Car is Needed?
When choosing a hire car, it may be best to think about how many people it needs to accommodate, and the bags and other luggage or equipment there might be. The purpose of the vehicle is typically important too—if someone is planning on a road trip, for instance, they may want a fairly roomy, comfortable car that has good fuel efficiency. On the other hand, an off-road vehicle might be a better option if travelling on difficult terrain.
A smaller 2-door mini might suffice for shorter trips, or if you’re travelling alone or with a partner and don’t plan on taking lots of luggage. An economy-class vehicle is typically a 4-door car with a good level of fuel efficiency. Couples or families with 1 or 2 children could be likely to find these a suitable choice. A larger family car could work well for families of most sizes, with room for 2 adults and 3 or 4 children and luggage. A “people mover” may suit families with 4 or more children, or a group of adults travelling together. These typically carry 6 to 8 people, with plenty of room for luggage and sports equipment. A rugged vehicle such as a 4×4 might be a good option if someone is planning on travelling over difficult terrain. However, be sure to check with the car hire company to make sure that it could be driven off-road.
What Documentation is needed to Hire a Car?
The documents that a person might need to rent a car depend partly on the company, and possibly whether the person is in the UK or abroad. Wherever they are, they’ll usually need a valid driver’s license, but if in Europe or elsewhere overseas they may also need an International Driving Permit. As well as this, they may need to obtain a DVLA code, which is usually provided to the rental company to allow them to check their driving record. Many car rental companies don’t ask for these codes, but it could still be important to have it, in case they do ask. The code that is obtained is usually only valid for 21 days, so it’s important not to get the code too far in advance.
How to Save Money on UK Car Hire
When renting a car in the UK it could often be the case that a person could find cheap car hire as long as they’re happy to forgo all the “extras” that company reps may attempt to sell. Many companies now offer cheap daily hire charges in order to compete online, but try to sell additional expensive services such as collision damage waiver insurance and fuel deals. While this coud sometimes make it tricky to find and compare car hire deals, it does mean a bare-bones car rental may be very affordable.
One of the best ways to save money on car rental is to book as early as possible. The closer the booking date is to the pickup date, it could be more likely to cost more. Don’t assume that the smallest cars could be the cheapest. It could be wise to spend some time comparing car hire companies and someone may find a larger car for less if flexible. However, remember that a larger car may be less fuel-efficient or have some other drawback, so take this into account when making a choice. Check fuel charges as well as daily rates. Some companies may put a hard limit on mileage, while others may stipulate to fill the petrol tank up before returning the car. Others may offer a “full-to-empty” policy, which means they could provide a car that has a full tank, which the hirer could return as empty as they like; however, this usually means paying far more for the petrol than they would if they filled the tank themselves. Avoid optional extras such as car seats and Satnav, which are typically expensive.
Needing Hire Car Insurance
Many car rental companies these days may attempt to sell collision damage waiver insurance. This is usually a simple waiver of the excess that applies if someone is involved in a car accident while driving the rental car. Because this insurance is typically expensive, many people find it’s preferable to take out their own hire car excess insurance rather than purchasing from the car rental company.
Finally, be sure to inspect the car closely for damage before driving away, and make sure the condition of the car matches the inspection sheet. If possible, take some pictures so that there is a visual record of the car too.