How to Avoid Paying Hidden Extras for Car Hire

If you’re jetting off into the sunshine to relax, you don’t need the stress of haggling or looking for hidden costs; just a quote, your car and the keys. A good broker gets straight to the point saving you time on your holiday and money. But there are many car hire companies out there who may take advantage of holidaymakers, so here are a few tips on how to make sure you avoid paying for things you don’t need, or hidden extras when hiring a car:

Use an Online Broker

You don’t need everything they tell you about. Buying the basic package from an online broker, such as Holiday Autos, means that you can check the hire price first. Instead of looking at airline deals with car hire attached, check out brokers direct who can give advice on getting the cheapest deal from car hire suppliers within the country you’re travelling to.

Buy Your Insurance Separately

It’s not ideal to have an expensive bill for car hire damage at the end of your holiday when funds are already running low – therefore you do want to be covered in case of those unforeseeable events. But it is the additional costs to car hire which can push the costs up – particularly things such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or ‘Super’ CDW Insurance. Most cover starts from around £150 a week, but there is a way around paying this much (so you can save your money for ice creams and souvenirs!) You don’t want to pay for any damage within the first £500 – £1000,  therefore buy your insurance independently rather than through the car hire supplier,  you can then pay just a quarter of this price.

Take Car Accessories with You

Why wait until you get there to hire the things you need? It’s much cheaper to buy them at home, e.g. a satnav abroad can cost between £70 and £80 a week to hire, or around £20 cheaper at home for a UK and Europe based one to buy then take with you.
Avoid hidden charges too with child seats. They can cost between £60 and £80 to hire on holiday, but as little as £8 to buy at home and most airlines won’t charge you to take it with you. (Just check out the additional baggage costs to cover your back though).

Check the Fuel Policy

Some car hire suppliers limit the mileage, add on a surcharge for Under 25s or insist on a full to empty fuel policy for some rentals. Holiday Autos find out exactly what you’re paying for so there’s no nasty surprises – a broker will be aware that all car hire suppliers have different policies and will know things such as, a lot of Spanish hire companies insist you pay for a full tank at the start of your hire and return it empty. If you don’t use all the fuel, it can be a huge waste of money and also lead to the rather precarious scenario of trying to return a car with next to no fuel to the depot with an imminent homeward flight to catch! (Holiday Autos give you 29 minutes grace but you have to make sure it’s back by then or you’ll hold up their next booking and be charged for an extra day).
Just give your broker a nod if you would prefer a car hire supplier operating a full-full policy. This is often the better value fuel policy, but some rental rates work out cheaper with a full-empty policy so decide with your broker’s guidance.  They can search the world for the best car hire suppliers and advise on fuel policies then haggle for a cheap price for you.

Take Proof of the Car’s Condition

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Before you leave with the car, walk around it, photographing or videoing it as proof of how it was when you hired it. Make a list of any damage, no matter how small and get someone at the rental desk to sign it. Do the same on its return and then hand the keys back to the car hire supplier. This way there can be no dispute over whether you caused the damage and you should keep hold of all your evidence even after handing the car back.

Question any Comebacks

Should your car hire supplier blame you for any damage, then this is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to go with a car hire supplier that has a UK presence in the first place. You should have the aforementioned evidence at the ready, and then ask them to provide evidence of the alleged repair costs. If the supplier is based in the UK it means that it is easier to get hold of them to fight this out if you know you are innocent.
Holiday Autos are a well-known, reputable, UK-based car hire broker, where you can select a car hire package where you don’t have to pay for unnecessary extras, making it more convenient and cost effective for you. With pick up locations worldwide you can collect your car  at most airports and big cities with prices starting from around £10 per day, making things as stress-free  as possible – Holiday Autos have plenty of travel industry awards to boot to prove it.  So you can be sure you are in safe hands. To find out more about Holiday Autos or to book car hire, visit