If you follow our advice on reserving, acquiring, and returning a rental car, you can cut costs on car hiring and save a significant amount of money. This can be the deciding factor between an affordable car hire and an expensive trip.

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Make sure to reserve your rental car.

Try the rental car brokers.

When you use a car rental broker, you can look at prices from multiple companies on an one website, which can simplify the process of price comparison. However, not every price will necessarily cover the same things, so it is important to check before making a reservation. Be aware that different brokers have varying degrees of influence over the products that their suppliers sell to you, and that you may be offered additional services even after you believe that you have already paid for everything. Some brokers are able to negotiate special arrangements with their suppliers. Find out more about the best vehicle rental brokers here.

Be familiar with the available coverages.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of everything that is covered by the insurance that the rental car company is providing for you. If it has large excess costs and you do not wish to take up their top-up super collision damage waiver insurance, it is possible that you would be better off taking out a separate policy for the additional cover. A daily excess insurance coverage will be the most cost-effective choice for you if you are only going to be using the rental car for a short period of time; however, if you want to rent a car for a longer period of time or more than once each year, an annual policy might be the better option for you. Be sure to check that the policy covers all aspects of the automobile, including the tyres and the windshield, before purchasing it. To assist you in avoiding being taken advantage of by dishonest businesses, our analysts scan through pages upon pages of reader comments to identify the genuine problems that are now affecting vacations, flights, and car rentals.

Make sure you check the fuel policy.

In most cases, the most cost-effective way to rent a car is to get it with either a full or half-full tank when you pick it up. However, some car rental businesses require that you pay for a full tank even if you return the vehicle empty, and they do not provide refunds for any unused fuel. We routinely receive complaints from individuals who believe that they have been taken advantage of by this policy, and we strongly advise you to steer clear of it.

Make sure you reserve your rental vehicle well in advance.

There are numerous discounts available for early booking and online booking, so if at all possible, book your trip up to three months in advance. You should also check out the automobile rental agencies that received the highest ratings from Which? members.

Verify the age requirements.

When renting to drivers under the age of 21, several car rental businesses will impose an additional surcharge, and access to certain higher-performance vehicles will be limited to renters who are at least 25 years old. Some companies would refuse to hire to persons older than 70 years old, while others might tack on an additional premium for the youngest and oldest drivers.

Sat navs

Although sat nav and GPS gadgets might be helpful, the cost of hiring one for a week, which ranges from £70 to £80, is not good value. There is not much of a difference in price between buying one and downloading a sat nav app onto your phone, which would cost less. Check out our Best Buy sat navs.

There are mileage limits as well as one-way expenses.

Be sure to ask what expenses are included because some rental car companies will charge you a one-way fee if you return the vehicle to a different place than where you picked it up. The majority of rentals come with unrestricted mileage, but some do have limits; therefore, it is important to verify.

Obtaining the Upgrades for Your Rental Car

You could be offered a free upgrade to a more spacious vehicle. This is acceptable behaviour so long as you are not required to pay a higher price. In most cases, you will be presented with this offer because the size of automobile that you reserved is no longer available. This is not your problem; it is the responsibility of the rental car business, which is required by law to provide you with the services for which you have paid. If they do not, then they have broken the terms of the contract. Therefore, if they provide you an automobile that is bigger, it must cost the same amount of money. Should you receive a vehicle that is smaller than the one you paid for, you are entitled to a return for the difference in price.

Insurance

It is almost certain that you will be requested to purchase more excess waiver plans. If you already have protection for everything you may want, you don’t need to give in to the pressure to buy more. There have been indications that some of our clients who have purchased third party insurance have been informed that it is not legitimate. If you already have insurance, you shouldn’t give in to the pressure to acquire additional coverage just in case.

Damage

Make sure that any damage to the vehicle is noted on the paperwork that the firm has provided you with before you leave, and take your own digital photographs of the vehicle before you do so. Bring to an employee’s attention any damage that has not been documented and obtain their signature confirming that they are in agreement with the record of the damage.

Damage caused by your return of the rental automobile

Ensure that an employee inspects the vehicle alongside you to look for any new damage, and request a signed receipt stating that there will be no more charges.

Fuel

If you are required to return the car with the same quantity of fuel as when you picked it up, comply with this requirement. If you do not, the rental car company will replenish the tank and charge you an amount that is more than the going rate. You won’t know how much it costs until the bill arrives in the mail.

Unanticipated costs and fees

If you discover that your card was used in an unexpected way, you should contact the company and request an explanation along with any supporting documentation. If you are not satisfied with the explanation, you should inform the company that the money was taken ‘under protest,’ and you should also contact the card company about the issue.

In accordance with subsection 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you have the legal right to file a complaint against the card provider if you made the purchase using a credit card. If you made the purchase with a debit card, you have the option of requesting that your card issuer use the chargeback system to cancel the transaction and refund the money.