How to get the extra mile from your holiday car hire

With the freedom to explore destinations in your own time and open up the experiences and locations available, car hire is an extremely popular choice for those heading abroad. We'll help you pick the right car for you and avoid the pitfalls of hiring a car abroad.

With so many companies and services to choose from, the process of hiring a vehicle ahead of a holiday can be overwhelming. Not only are consumers faced with numerous suppliers when booking, but the differences in the protocol they adhere to can also cause confusion during the break itself. But this needn't be the way…With a few top tips to hand and a little preparation, hiring a car for a getaway can be a smooth ride!

With over 36 years of experience, and a mission to take the hassle out of every holiday, Holiday Extras is the UK's favourite destination for holiday extras. Below, we shares our top tips for hiring a car this summer.

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1. Avoid fuel charges

When selecting your rental car, make sure you choose the "Full to Full" refuelling option. If you select the "Full to Empty" alternative (i.e. leaving the resort with a full tank and returning the car on an empty one) you may be charged an extra fee by the provider for the service of refuelling.

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We have vehicles available from 900 provides in 160 countries

2. Purchase excess insurance

To avoid paying out in case of damages, make sure you take our sufficient insurance cover for your journey well in advance. All hire comes with a certain level of insurance as standard, but this may not cover you in the way that you'd hope.

We'd always recommend purchasing a refund policy prior to collecting your car. With that in place, you shouldn't feel pressured into taking any extra insurance over the counter when you land at your destination. Car hire firms will often try and persuade you to purchase a premium insurance product on arrival but these can be more expensive and, as it's often a physical payment, it would be strictly non-refundable.

Holiday Extras excess insurance:

Holiday Extras Excess Insurance protects you for up to £3,000 worth of possible excess charges to give you peace of mind should you have an accident or damage the car in any way. You will still need to leave a deposit on arrival, but this is not a physical payment and the full amount will be released to your card following your rental if the car is returned on time and with no damage. If you do have an accident, the cost of the repairs will be taken out of the excess.

Book your overseas car hire early

It pays to book your holiday extras as soon as you book your trip, an car hire is no exception. Prices usually go up the longer you leave it, so it pays to plan ahead.

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3. Beware of mileage caps and one-way fees

Most of the providers works with offer unlimited mileage. However, in certain locations, such as Portugal, some suppliers do cap mileage. In addition, you may on occasion be charged for returning the car to a different destination from the one you picked it up at. If you're planning on driving long distances or one-way, make sure you look out for mileage caps and drop-off charges before you depart, to avoid nasty surprises at the end of your journey.

4. Don't get caught out in the wrong car

Do your research before booking a car to avoid disappointment on arrival, or having to pay extra to upgrade. For example, if the car carries five people, will there be ample room for all your items of luggage or other travel needs? Booking well in advance will reduce the chance of your chosen car being unavailable when you arrive, as there isn't always a guarantee the exact car is going to be available on the day.

5. Get snap happy

Finally, we recommend fully assessing the car before you set off and photographing it from all angles to avoid any existing damage being wrongly attributed to you once you've dropped the car off. It's a simple and quick action that can provide you with a lot of peace of mind on your break.

Most of all, if you book with Holiday Extras you'll be booking with a 36-year-old, family-run business based in Kent where more than a thousand people are dedicated to working every day to make your holiday hassle-free. So in the rare event that anything does go wrong - you know you won't be on your own. You can always give us a call, and one of our hundreds of travel advisers will be on your side to sort it out.

Next article: Every minute, Holiday Extras saves another customer £100 on their airport parking

Almost 1 in 5 UK travellers say they still pay for their airport parking on the day! But last year a Holiday Extras customer saved £100 on their airport every single minute by booking ahead with us.

Save a hundred pounds on your airport parking

We're here to help.

Need some help booking your overseas car hire? Want to talk to a travel expert?

We want to help you travel hassle-free!

If your question is urgent, you can reach us on 0871 360 2603 or +44 1303 816201 when you're calling from abroad. Our contact centre is open from 8am to 9pm on weekdays and 8.30am to 8pm on weekends.

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