Hiring a Car

Whether your require a hire car for your holiday abroad, or simply wish to rent a car for a few days nearer home, we have a few tips to make booking car rental a little easier.

  • Know the dates and times you want to collect and return your hire car. Most car rental companies rent cars on a daily basis. A few hours late returning the hire car will usually result in an extra day’s charge, so plan your travel accordingly.
  • Know the size of car you need to rent. Gone are the days of squeezing 8 lithe passengers into a mini. You must have a seat, with a seat belt, for each individual. And don’t forget the luggage. Hiring an estate car, MPV or minibus might be best if the kitchen sink forms part of your usual holiday packing. Be aware that, for some reason best known to the manufacturers, suitcases and car boots are usually totally different shapes. If you’re planning to pack your hire car boot to its full potential, take soft baggage. Sports bags are much easier to load than one hard suitcases.
  • When collecting your rental car, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the controls. Find the light switch before it gets dark, check out where reverse gear is before you get stuck somewhere and check whether it’s petrol or diesel!
  • If your car rental agreement carries an excess on the insurance, be sure to check the car over for damage before you leave or buy cover against the excess before you go.
  • Be sure you understand the return procedure before you drive away in your hire car.
  • Be aware that most car rental companies offer cars on an ‘or similar’ basis. It is not usually possible to specify a particular make or model (or colour!) of hire car. The following examples may be helpful…
  1. Mini or Budget Hire Cars – Ford Ka, Nissan Micra, VW Lupo, Fiat Seicento, Seat Arosa
  2. Economy Hire Cars – Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Fiat Punto, Opel Corsa, Peugeot 206
  3. Compact Hire Cars – Ford Focus, VW Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Fiat Stilo, Peugeot 307
  4. Intermediate Hire Cars – Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra, Peugeot 407, Citroen C5
  5. Estate Cars/Station Wagon – Ford Focus estate, Opel Astra estate, Peugeot 307 estate
  6. People Carrier – 5 seats – Ford Cmax, Seat Altea, Renault Scenic, Citroen Picasso
  7. People Carrier – 5+2 seats – Opel Zafira, Renault Grand Scenic, VW Touran
  8. People Carrier – 7 seats – Ford Galaxy, Renault Espace, VW Sharan, Citroen C8, Fiat Ulysses
  9. Minibus/Minivan – 9 seats – Ford Tourneo, Peugeot Boxer, VW Transporter, Citroen Jumper, Mercedes Vito
  10. Cabriolet/Convertible – 2 seats – Peugeot 206 CC, Ford Street Ka, Opel Tigra
  11. Cabriolet/Convertible – 4 seats – Peugeot 307 CC, Renault Megane CC, Opel Astra Cabriolet, VW Golf Cabriolet
  • One way car hire may be a useful way to get to and from your UK airport – often cheaper than parking at the airport for a fortnight. A one way rental can also make the most of a touring holiday abroad if you can arrange your arrival and departure flights from different airports. However, one way rentals between countries are not usually possible and, where they are, the prices are extremely high.
  • When booking your hire car, be sure to give all flight information – numbers and times – and to inform the car hire company if there are any changes.
  • Book your hire car in the main driver’s name and make sure that all drivers take both parts of their driving licence with them. The main driver will usually need to leave a deposit by credit card at the start of the rental.
  • Check out driver age limits. They can vary country to country.
  • Check out of hours charges. If arriving outside normal operating hours, you might find a more expensive supplier will charge a lower out of hours fee making the total better value.
  • Check different sized cars. Suppliers sometimes have discount deals on larger cars.
  • Don’t lose the hire car keys – electronic key fobs are expensive to replace and your car hire supplier will charge you for it though Questor excess insurance will cover lost keys.
  • Damage to wheels, tyres, glass and car interiors is not normally covered on your hire car's insurance though Questor excess insurance covers these items in most circumstances.

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