How To Find Cheap Car Hire Deals Online
If you’re a regular traveller, you’ll know that not all car rental deals are the same and it takes some serious searching to find the cheapest price. The question is, how do you know what to look for? If it’s your first time, you’ve also come to the right place. At Simply Holiday Deals, our industry experts know all the tips and tricks, to deliver cheap car hire deals straight to your inbox.
With varying rates, hidden fees and so many options online, knowing how to lower your car rental expenses makes all the difference. Here’s how to do it.
Book in Advance
Unlike hotel and flight deals, it’s usually a good idea to book your rental car in advance. Supply and demand dictates that the more cars booked for a popular holiday location in peak season, the higher the prices will soar, and vice versa. This is particularly important if you have special requirements, such as a larger car for a group or automatic transmission, as opposed to manual.
Booking in advance also gives you the added bonus of securing fantastic deals and discounts. In anticipation of off peak seasons, in particular, many car rental companies promote significant price decreases or free inclusions in the overall rate. You’ll also give yourself plenty of time to find the right car hire supplier to suit your needs.
Set Your Requirements
When you know exactly what you need and, more importantly, what you don’t, you’ll save money on car hire. Write a list of all your requirements and don’t deviate from it, or let yourself be swayed by unnecessary add ons. Questions to ask yourself include how long you’ll be driving for, if you need extra room for children or space for luggage and how important the brand, make or model is to you.
Usually, the more compact the car, the cheaper the price so choose depending on your needs first, desires second, if cost is the most important consideration. An upgrade to a shiny, newer model might seem appealing at the time, but won’t make much difference to your holiday unless you intend to drive the whole time. In terms of add ons, like children’s car seats, safety vests, ski or bike racks and GPS devices, it’s much cheaper to take your own if you can.
Always Research the Hidden Extras
Have you ever seen an incredibly cheap price advertised for a flight, only to realise it’s actually twice the price after fees are added at checkout? While many airlines now pride themselves on advertising prices inclusive of fees, car hire deals sometimes present a minefield of hidden charges.
Always check what fees are included in the quoted price and that they’re clearly stated before booking. Those to look out for are sales tax, vehicle license fees, premium location charges, registration recovery fees, credit card surcharges, additional driver fees and administration fees. While it’s impossible to escape fees, knowing what you’re paying for, up front, helps you get the cheapest car hire deals.
Pick Up at the Cheapest Location
While it may be convenient to pick your rental car up from the airport, unless you’ve booked a prearranged deal, it’s not always the cheapest option. The rates for airport rental cars are often higher and attract additional fees for airport taxes.
The good news is, you’ll generally find car rental companies within a short distance of airports, especially in major cities. You may even be able to walk to a supplier, or take your hotel shuttle to town and rent a car there. Also remember that the cost of getting a bus or taxi to pick up your rental car is often far cheaper than the fees for collecting from the airport.
Opt to Return Your Rental Car to the Same Location
Depending on your holiday, it may not be cost effective or appropriate to return a rental car to the same location, if, for example, you’re flying in to Barcelona and out of Seville. However, if you can do a round trip, you stand to save a lot of money on the overall price. Many car rental suppliers charge a substantial fee for pick up and drop off in separate locations, so check their classifications against your itinerary, before booking.
Hire a Car for Longer
This tip may sound counterintuitive, but it pays to investigate in order to get the cheapest possible price. When you’re getting a quote, add an extra day or two on to your initial dates. Often, you’ll receive a discounted rate for a longer trip, even though you plan to return the car earlier.
Just make sure to check if the company charges early return fees. If not, it often saves money to take advantage of the lower, weekly base rates and some suppliers even offer refunds for early returns.
Research Rental Company Insurance
Before you sign on the dotted line for rental company insurance, make sure you check if your credit card company, travel or home insurer covers it. If so, you stand to save a lot of money, as rental car companies generally charge more. If you do decide to insure through a car hire company, carefully research additional extras on offer, or automatically included. For example, you probably don’t need Personal Effects Coverage, if you intend to take your luggage with you each time you park the car.
Make the Most of Discounts and Deals
Coupons, deals and discounts take a sizable chunk out of car hire rates. It takes a fair amount of research, however there are always opportunities to reduce your costs. When you don’t have the time, or the inclination, this is when Simply Holiday Deals saves you the effort. We’re always online scouring for the best deals to deliver straight to you. This way, you can take advantage of cheap car hire deals online and drive off into the proverbial sunset, on your next holiday.