When you go on holiday and you hire a car, you don’t want to pay any more than you budget for. But hire cars can be expensive if you do not plan properly.
You can save money on the vehicle by shopping around and booking it as early as possible. However, no matter how much you pay for your car, you could still find yourself out of pocket if something goes wrong, and that is why many people opt for car hire excess insurance. Here is how you can protect yourself from unexpected costs:
- if something goes wrong, the car is usually insured so you will not have to pay for the whole cost. However, you may have to pay for the first part of the repair costs, known as the excess. This can sometimes be very high, as much as £1,500, and it may be prudent good to get insurance for this excess;
- car hire firms will nearly always offer you their own car hire excess insurance product. However, there are some problems with this. For a start, it can be very expensive. In addition, they are sometimes not very comprehensive. You want to protect yourself from a high excess fee, but that does not mean you want to pay a lot of money for insurance. Always be on the lookout for tricks used by car hire firms to increase prices, like those covered on this AOL guide;
- the other option is to buy car hire excess insurance before you travel. The car hire company may want you to use their product, but you don’t have to. You can often use cover from an independent provider, such as Bettersafe, often for a lot less and with more comprehensive protection;
- sometimes the savings can be significant, and in addition you can budget in advance because you know exactly how much you are spending. That means there are no nasty surprises when you pick up the car;
- independently sourced policies can often turn out to be more comprehensive. For example, they may provide cover for the windscreens, tyres, roof, undercarriage and more. These areas are often not covered by insurance provided by the car hire firm, but a separate policy may cover them so you know you are fully protected;
- make sure you have enough balance on your credit card if you take out an independent policy. The car hire firm will want this for protection, and they may take as much as £500 as a security deposit. As long as there are no problems with the car, this should be returned;
Don’t spend more money than you have to when you go on holiday and hire a car. Look around to see if you could find a more suitable policy before you go away on holiday, and you may be able to make some savings at the same time as ensuring you are protected should anything go wrong.