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Top Ten Tips For Happy Holiday Car Hire

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Top Ten Tips For Happy Holiday Car Hire

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Avoid unforeseen pitfalls and astronomical charges when hiring a car on your next holiday. Follow these ten simple steps from an industry expert to dodge unnecessary surcharges and stay protected.

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681 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line Distribution Date and Time: 2009-07-14 13:00:00

Written By: Tobias Bowman Copyright: 2009 Contact Email: [email protected]

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Top Ten Tips For Happy Holiday Car Hire Copyright (c) 2009 Tobias Bowman Budget Rent a Car UK www.budget.co.uk/

When organising a holiday, more often than not what can go wrong will go wrong. There is a wealth of horror stories telling of bankrupt tour operators and roach infested hotels. Car hire is not immune as the subject of these sorts of tales, however with this expert checklist you can make sure you have all the bases covered before you leave your house.

1. If you are a frequent flier with a specific airline then you may well be eligible for fantastic discounts on car hire from your service provider. Check with your airline to see if you are eligible and find out what car hire companies they affiliate with.

2. Save extra money and book online. The resources that are used to provide an online booking service are far less than over the phone, hence the savings are passed on to you. A car hire company should have an E-commerce website and if they don't then you might want to rethink your selection. If you are a technophobe then get your 12 year old child to do it for you.

3. Check the contract carefully. There is a minefield of potential contractual nightmares regarding insurance, liability clauses, excess limits, who can drive and so on. Large car hire companies will have a relatively standard contract and infrastructure to provide support for any questions you might have. Double check and ask questions because it is easier to do it before you travel.

4. Get a confirmation number. It might seem rather obvious, but your car hire provider should give you a confirmation number to confirm your reservation. This will allow them to access your details instantly and it is also worth providing your car hire company with the details of your flight. This will protect you if your flight runs into delays, as some car hire companies might rehire the car in the event of you not turning up within a certain time.

5. Is bigger better? Some car hire companies might offer you a free upgrade on the spec of your hire car. This might seem like a blessing however double check that there are no additional contractual obligations with the upgrade. Obviously the fuel bill will be higher and for those of us concerned with the environment, the fuel consumption therefore emissions will be higher.

6. On the subject of fuel, fill it up yourself. You have to return the hire car with a full tank of gas and it is seriously worth doing that at a gas station before you return the car. The fuel surcharge by companies can severely sting your wallet, so be organised and not in a mad rush. Leave yourself enough time to fill the car up.

7. Check the vehicle before you accept the hire car. Easier said than done with screaming children but it is seriously worth it. Challenge any marks or inconsistencies with the report because if you miss them, the car hire company will not and you will pay for the pleasure of repairing their car.

8. Do not drink and drive. There are so many more important reasons why, however in this context you will be void of insurance and liable for everything that happens in an accident. The same is true if you are under the influence of drugs, so just don't do it.

9. Check the time when the vehicle has to be returned. Another charge, similar to the fuel charge, that is a great source of revenue for car hire companies. There are no excuses for late return and you will be charged through the nose. If you are definitely going to run over then inform them in advance and they might be able to accommodate an extension at a pre-arranged rate.

10. Be organised. All these pointers will only work if you are organised about your car hire. People end up paying extortionate rates when they incur all these surcharges and they are in abundance; if you plan your car hire properly and use this list and you will not pay over the odds.

Tobias Bowman is a senior consultant working with a global car hire company and a veteran of nightmare holidays. Visit: www.budget.co.uk/

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