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Top 10 tips when renting a car for holidays

Travellers who are spending their holidays abroad can typically save a little money by renting a car to provide their own transport. However, car rental fees can sometimes be quite expensive, especially for those who fail to plan ahead. Here are 10 tips for holiday car rental that can help make savings on rental rates.

Use the internet for car rental comparison-shopping

Many providers advertise discounted rates and feature a virtual selection of the vehicles they have available on their websites. This is a great aid in helping holidaymakers decide what rental vehicle will best suit their needs.

Rent your holiday car by the week, if possible

It is easily possible to save up to 30 per cent over daily prices by renting a vehicle for a full week. However, this price is only cheaper for those who can make use of the car for at least five consecutive days.

Reconsider car rental insurance

In some places, the insurance cover that is provided by rental companies may already be included if the car hire is paid by credit card. Others may receive the same cover as part of their personal car insurance policies, so it is always a good idea to examine their existing cover before signing up.

Reserve your car rental in advance

Booking your rental vehicle at least seven days in advance will usually help ensure the lowest possible rate. Making a reservation during a slow period may offer an even better rate than usual.

Pay for fuel as you go

Unless you intend to do a lot of driving on holiday, it is usually cheaper to purchase fuel as needed. This helps avoid purchasing a full tank of petrol that will not all be used.

Stick to the vehicle size you need

Rental companies may offer free upgrades to larger vehicles, but changing to a bigger car may prove more expensive; bigger cars usually mean higher fuel consumption. Sticking with the smallest size necessary will save on petrol or diesel costs. Think exactly what you may need from your Holiday car.

Watch out for airport rental rates

Taxes and fees at airport rental stands typically result in higher prices. Visitors who reserve a holiday car at a town centre rental location can often avoid these additional charges.

Bring your own child safety seats

Travellers who have young children can avoid car seat fees by bringing their own safety seats.

Sign up for a frequent renters club

Anyone who rents vehicles on a regular basis may save in the long run by enrolling in one of the frequent renter clubs operated by some of the larger car hire companies. These programmes also tend to offer rewards and benefits, such as free rentals.

Car Rental with Charles Hurst

Charles Hurst, part of the Lookers PLC group, provides holiday car rental in Belfast, Northern Ireland.