How To Make Car Rental A Stress-Free Experience
When you rent a car, whether it’s for a week (Short Term Rental) or a few months (Flexible Long Term Rental), you want the experience to be as hassle-free as possible, and this means understanding the way Car Rentals work and knowing what to check before you drive your rental car away.
So here are the main points you should be aware of before you rent a car or van.
Top 10 Things To Consider When You Rent A Car
- Choosing Rental Cars – Book as early as possible to have the best chance to rent a car you would like on the date you need it. Bear in mind that you may not get the exact rental car you want as vehicles are grouped by type/size and the make or model you receive depends on availability.
- Mileage Allowance – You will be advised of the daily or monthly mileage allowance included in your car rental agreement, but make sure you are aware of the Excess Mileage charge that you would have to pay if you exceed your allowance. A typical mileage allowance would be anything from 1,000 to 2,500 miles per 28 day period.
- Vehicle Condition – It is very important to check the condition of rental cars inside and out and report any damage to the car hire company before you accept the vehicle, as you are responsible for any damage to a rental car during the rental period. You don’t want to be paying for damage caused by a previous renter, especially when you rent a van. Also, when you return the car, don’t leave until an inspection has been completed in front of you.
- Additional Charges – It’s always best to ask about any additional or extra costs that may apply to the vehicle rental such as delivery and collection charges, and penalties for late return of rental cars. Make sure you read the Terms & Conditions of your car rental agreement, which usually list any additional charges.
- Insurance – Unless your existing motor insurance policy covers you for car rental or van rental, you will need to take Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance from the rental company at additional cost, to avoid liability for damage to the rental car and yourself.
- Age Restrictions – Some vehicle rental companies impose a minimum driver age requirement of 25, especially if you take the rental company’s insurance. Anyone under the age of 25 but over 21 will be considered on an individual basis for car rentals.
- Driver Qualifications – In order to rent a car or van, you must have held a full Driving Licence for at least one year, and any convictions or endorsements must be declared to the car rental company at the time you make your reservation.
- Breakdown Assistance – All UK rental cars are supplied with 24 Hour Breakdown Assistance & Recovery within the UK, but bear in mind that there is usually an additional charge for European Breakdown Assistance if you take the car abroad.
- Driving Outside The UK – If you’re taking your hire car abroad, the rental company must be informed in advance so the correct documentation can be issued, and don’t forget to ask about overseas breakdown assistance.
- Fuel – Rental cars are usually provided with a full tank of fuel (less the amount used if the car is delivered to your premises) and you are expected to return the vehicle with a full tank. If you don’t, the car rental company will charge you for the amount of fuel required to top up the tank.
It always pays to choose your Car Rentals company carefully, but as long as you keep in mind the above points when you next rent a car or van, you should hopefully have a pleasant and hassle-free experience.