Category Archives: Rent a Car Best Price Tips

Car rental in Alicante

11 Cheap Car Hire Tips Alicante Airport

Tips for a cheap car hire at Alicante Airport in Spain. Heading to Alicante and need a rental car? Millions of tourists each year rent a car at Alicante Airport, and in the high season it may sometimes be difficult to get the kind of car that you want. Then it is good to be aware of a few things when renting a car in Alicante, so your holiday in Spain get as hassle-free as possible from the start to the end.
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Rent a Car Best Price Tips

Rent a Car Best Price Tips

Rent a car best price tips on how to find the best car rental deal, understand your rental agreement and avoid problems with your car hire. Not knowing how car hire companies work can cost you a lot of money. Find the cheapest car hire and save yourself time and money.

1. Plan your trip in advance; you can always compare the best prices on In most cases it is a lot more expensive to hire at the location, so secure your best price booking at least few weeks before your trip.

2. If you are late and it seems that you miss the scheduled pick up time eg.: your flight has delayed, please advise the supplier about it. Without any notice they might be considering it as a no show and will rent out your car for an other custopmer.

3. Make sure you have all contact detail to your local supplier or in a case of emergency. Make sure you inform local supplier in a case of any accident. As per Terms and Conditions, you are obliged to contact local police and request accident report in a case of third party damage.

4. Make sure you understood what is included in the rental especially the insurance inclusions or exclusions, fuel policy, and other possible local charges such as airport surcharge, one way fee, and young driver fee…etc.

5. Read carefully your excess responsibility. Every reservation includes basic car rental insurance covering damages to the bodywork. Usually, there is also responsibility in a form of excess for any damages caused by main driver. You will need to check in Terms and Conditions: is it zero excess car rental? What is the amount that will be blocked on your credit card?

6. It is worth considering purchasing full insurance that will waive excess responsibility in a case of any damage to a vehicle caused by the main driver. has on offer very competitive rates and packages, which, in most cases, is the cheapest option, or you can read carefully local supplier, you are renting with, insurance packages paying attention to details. In both cases, in an event of damaging a car you will not be responsible for any excess, so the deposit on your credit card will not be at risk.

7. If you are planning a trip outside the country of where your rent a car, you might need to pay a cross border fee, and some suppliers might have a restriction to take the car abroad, so please arrange the cross-border before you get to the location to avoid disappointment

8. Please always check you have all required documents such as passport/ID, driving license, credit card, and rental confirmation, and also check the expiry date!

9. As for the credit card, you also need to make sure it is an embossed credit card, have enough availability to cover the deposit (usually the excess amount plus a tank of fuel), and also check your daily limit on the card and ask for a higher credit limit if necessary

10. When you get to the pickup location it is highly recommended to check the car properly if it has any scratches or damages, and mark it properly on the check in documentation. You can always take some photos about the car.

11. Please check the fuel policy carefully and also the fuel level before leaving the rental station. If you have a full to full fuel option, make sure you fill the car before drop off as refuelling can be very expensive. However if you chose to pre-pay for the fuel, you may want to return the car the least amount of fuel possible.
12. If you want to save some money it might be useful to bring your own GPS navigation or child seat with you as in most cases especially in the USA these extras are rented at a quite high price at the location, sometimes it can be more expensive than buying a new one.

13. Upon drop off, check your car again: is the car in the same condition? If so, it is still recommended to take photos of your car upon drop off, for any claim that might arise in the future! Are there any scratches done by you? If so, it is advised to take photos of any damage NOT shown in the check-in report upon pick up, then raise it with your local supplier. If you have your damage excess insurance, you are covered for any unexpected scratches or dents! Otherwise, local supplier has the right to deduct the amount of the damage from you credit card deposit, providing the damage is caused by the main driver or any additional driver under rental agreement!

14. Needless to mention, any car insurance is not valid in a case of negligence or breaking the terms of the rental agreement. In the event that the renter has behaved recklessly or negligently or driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol you may be liable for the full cost!

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Driving in Europe Advice

Driving in Europe Advise

Driving in Europe AdviceA few simple steps can help ensure your driving trip to mainland Europe runs smoothly. Much of the best advice is common sense – ensure that your trip is well-planned, that your vehicle is in good working order and that you take your time.

However, rules and regulations vary from country to country – our checklist below is not intended to be comprehensive but covers what we think are the most important

Documents you should take with you:driving licence with paper counterpart if applicablevehicle registration document (V5)passportEuropean breakdown call-out number, Breakdown cover, make sure your policy includes European cover – if it doesn’t, don’t worry – it’s easy to top it up. Just call your insurance company or email customer care and normaly they happy to help. If you don’t currently have breakdown cover, you can get an online quote in seconds for either annual European cover or Single-Trip.

Breaking down on motorways in France
If you breakdown on a motorway in France you will have to use the emergency phones at the side of the road to call out the recovery service operated by the French police – nobody else is permitted to attend broken down vehicles on this type of road. You will be charged a fee, but if you ask to be taken to the nearest exit slip, you can ask your own breakdown service provider to take you from there.

French roads, new drivers and speed limits
Whilst on the subject of motorways, it’s worth noting that in France lower speed limits apply to visiting drivers who have held a driving licence for less than two years (motorways 110kph rather than 130kph, open roads 80kph rather than 90kph and dual carriageways 100kph rather than 110kph)

Alcohol and driving
Alcohol limits for driver vary slightly from country to country – the best advice is to avoid drink completely if you are driving. As of July 2012, cars must also carry a breathalyzer and it is likely the law will be enforced as of November 2012. These are available on the high street from around £2 and may cost significantly more if bought on the ferry.

Don’t assume your car insurance covers your trip abroad – most policies include basic third party cover for driving in Europe but the only way to be certain of your level of cover is to read your policy or contact your provider.

Medical treatment
Some degree of reduced-cost care is available in most European countries, but the service is not always comprehensive and the cost of repatriation in the event of an emergency is never covered. It’s always best to have a medical insurance or european medical card.

Child seats
If you have young children and are hiring a car abroad, you might consider taking your own child seat with you. It might seem like a hassle, but the seats provided by the car hire company get a lot of use (and abuse) and to make matters worse, if it is a model you are unfamiliar with you may find the local staff unhelpful – they are often told that for reasons of legal liability they are not allowed to fit the seats themselves.

GB sticker
A GB sticker on the back of your car is compulsory wherever you are driving in Europe, unless you have number plates that include the GB euro-symbol. If you have neither of these you could receive an on-the-spot fine.Reflective tabards and warning triangles
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Croatia all require that drivers carry a reflective jacket or tabard for use if the car breaks down.

All cars in Europe must carry a warning triangle, and cars in France must carry a reflective tabbard, replacement bulbs and a first aid kit. The ferry companies will gladly remind you of this and charge around £50 for these items if you buy them onboard – Tesco sells a kit for less than £10.

As of July 2012, cars must also carry a breathalyzer. These are available on the high street from around £2. Again, these are likely to cost significantly more if you buy on the ferry.

You will need to adjust your car’s headlamps to suit driving on the right as failure to do so will dazzle oncoming drivers and could land you with a fine. Headlamp beam converter kits are widely available but Halogen or Xenon headlamps may need adjustment by your dealer.

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Not to do Rent Car

10 Things Not to Do When Renting a Car

Not to do Rent CarIn 2012, industry estimates put the annual revenue of U.S. car rental companies at more than $24 billion, with 1.857 million cars at 18,293 rental locations. With so many folks renting cars so frequently, you would think the process would be straightforward and transparent — yet somehow it is anything but.

Do I need to buy additional insurance? If not, am I exposed at all? What about paying to refuel the car? I hear horror stories about phony damage claims; should I be worried? No one is around to inspect the car with me; should I be worried? Can I drive to Mexico? What about all the other stuff they offer me at the rental counter? These questions come up pretty much every time we rent a car. Again, anything but straightforward.

Among all your options, there are some things you don’t need to do, or even should not do, when renting a car. Below are 10 of them.

1. Prepaying for gasoline.
Prepaid gasoline charges appeal to our desire for simplicity while traveling, and also to concerns about being late for flights, as every few minutes added to the trip to the airport create more risk for arriving too late to board. As airport security has added considerable time to this process, rental companies have come up with new options for car refueling, and are giving them the hard sell at the rental desk.

Unless you are completely sure you will return the tank empty, or you have a pre-dawn flight that would make it worth the money not to have to refuel, don’t fall for this one. Even the option where they charge you only for fuel you actually use is tipped aggressively in the rental agency’s favor because the cost of having them refuel your car is always higher than the cost of doing it yourself.

To beat the rap on this one, don’t make the next mistake:

2. Failing to check on your way out for a place to refuel on your way back.
The best time to find a place to refuel your vehicle is immediately after you pick it up. As you are driving away from the airport or rental agency, take note of the local gas stations, and make a plan to return to the most easily accessible or best-priced of them at the end of your rental. The road and neighborhoods around airports can be confusing and unfamiliar, so you don’t want to be driving in circles looking for a gas station as your flight time approaches. Figure this out on your way out.

3. Purchasing insurance, reason No. 1: your own auto insurance covers you.
Before accepting this one at face value, it should be emphasized that auto insurance policies can vary considerably, so you will want to check with your own insurer directly. If you have the minimum legally permissible coverage, it may not include coverage for rental cars — whereas if you have what companies call “full coverage,” it almost certainly does. Call or email your insurer to find out.

In general, the rule of thumb is that the coverage you have for your main vehicle extends to your rental vehicle, because the rental is considered a replacement vehicle under the policy. So if you have comprehensive coverage on your own car, your policy would also give you comprehensive coverage for the rental vehicle.

Most policies will cover you even if the rental car is a “better” or more valuable car than your own car, so you don’t have to worry if you get an upgrade or rent a much better car than the one you insure at home.

It is worth mentioning that an accident in a rental car will typically raise your rates if you have to make a claim on your own insurance policy.

4. Purchasing insurance, reason No. 2: your credit card covers the rest.
Anything your own car insurance does not cover, it is likely that your credit card will. In some cases the credit card coverage is as good as or better than your auto insurance; in others it is intended to be secondary insurance to help cover anything your auto insurance does not.

Of course, you will need to pay for your car rental using that card; just having a qualifying credit card does not give you any protection.

5. Ignoring one possible caveat: “loss of use” insurance.
A new-ish fee applied by car rental companies in the event of a damaged vehicle is “loss of use” charges, which are applied for the potential revenue lost when one of their cars is off the road during a repair. This is typically charged in the amount of a day’s rental for that vehicle, and most auto insurance companies do not cover this fee. Many credit cards do, however, as shown in the link above; American Express, Mastercard and Visa all offer “loss of use” coverage with rentals paid for with most of their cards.

6. Ignoring potential offers for upgrades.
In the past, I’ve recommended reserving a low-priced car and then inquiring about upgrades at the rental desk. This works best at busy times when the garage is running low on lower-priced cars, and may offer you free or very affordable upgrades to a larger car class due to inventory management issues.

In most cases, the desk agent has considerable discretion in setting upgrade rates, so if he or she asks if you are interested in a larger car, respond that it depends on the price; you might find yourself in a much bigger and better car at minimal additional cost.

7. Failing to check for AAA, AARP, reward program or other discounts.
Many membership programs establish relationships with car rental companies as a member perk. These include travel organizations like AAA, airline frequent flier programs, age-specific organizations like the AARP, and even some sports- or hobby-focused groups. Rental car discounts are typically listed on the organization’s website; you are already paying membership dues, so have a look before booking and you could find a great deal.

8. Making too cursory an inspection upon departure.
When you pick up your car, check it inside and out for anything that could potentially be considered damage before you drive away. Look for scratches, scuffs, loose parts, working power windows and mirrors, and more.

Keep an eye out for problems both small and big; the tendency is to take a quick walk around the car looking for scratches and blemishes, thinking that big problems would have already been noticed, but this is not always the case. I once rented a car that had a loose back bumper that the car rental company had not noticed previously. If I hadn’t caught this before we left the garage and an inspector had seen it later, I would have been held completely responsible — I would simply have thought that someone had banged into the car while it was parked, and that it had happened during my rental.

Your best protection here: take photos or a video of a slow walk around the car, and “kick the tires,” so to speak.

9. Leaving final inspection to chance.
Recently, the procedure of returning cars has come to resemble checking out of a hotel, where you leave your keycard on the night table and head out the lobby door with only a wave to the front desk — no more official checkout, key return or interaction of any kind needed. Car rental returns have taken on a similar feel; as often as not, you follow signs to the back of a row of recently returned cars, take out your stuff, leave the key in the car and walk away without ever speaking to anyone directly.

If it feels unsettling just to leave the car without an agent checking it over, it should; the most serious complaints about car rental companies in recent months have been disputes over damage claims. If no attendant is present at dropoff (and sometimes when there is), the dispute later becomes your word against theirs. Unfortunately the terms of the contract, and the fact that the rental company has your credit card number, makes it very hard for you to win one of these disputes, at least not without considerable expenditure of energy, resources and potentially money (for a lawyer, court appearance, etc.).

Again, your best protection here is to take photos or a video of a slow walk around the car.

10. Crossing international borders.
Most U.S. car rental agreements do not allow you to drive the car across international borders (which means to Mexico or Canada for domestic rentals). Additionally, your U.S. car insurance rarely covers international car rentals, so you will likely want to purchase insurance from the rental company at the time of rental.

Credit card companies may help here, as most do offer coverage in many international destinations; see Rental Car Coverage: What Does Your Credit Card Offer? for the international coverage policies of the major credit card companies.

Stateside, typically rental counters located near the borders either display or explain this policy clearly — if you rent a car in Nebraska, they might not mention it, of course — but you want to be aware of this yourself. If you do drive across international borders and you have a problem, most of the protections of your rental contract, insurance and other sources may be negated.

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9 Ways Car Safe

Nine Ways to Keep Your Car Safe on the Road

9 Ways Car SafeTravelers put their cars to almost every use imaginable: as a place to eat meals, hide things, take shelter from the elements and even live (on a trip to Pamplona several years ago, the smallest guy in our traveling party slept in the trunk).

Since your car can be almost your home away from home while traveling, you will want to take some precautions to protect it and the things inside it. Ideally, you wouldn’t leave anything valuable at all in your car, but the reality of travel is that your car is going to serve as much like a safe deposit box or luggage storage closet as transportation — especially during the day when you’re between hotels. Read on for nine tips to help you protect your car and everything in it while traveling.

1. Load and hide your stuff before you reach your destination.
By the time you pull into a hotel lot, valet queue, parking garage or any parking spot, everything you plan to leave in the car should already be well stowed and hidden. To pull into your spot, and then take your most valuable items and pack them in the trunk, is to broadcast to anyone within view exactly where to focus their attentions if they want to rip you off. The best approach is to put your things in the trunk or other safe compartment before you even get into the car at the beginning of your trip.

2. Unload your stuff away from your parking spaces as well.
Similarly, if you are planning to return to the same parking area, you will want to take your stuff out of the car away from the lot if possible. If you open the trunk and take out all the good stuff each time you return to your car, eventually someone will notice. Best case is to be able to pull over somewhere safe away from either your home base or destination, and get your stuff then.

3. Choose your parking space wisely.
When I lived in Manhattan, I found that a shift of a few feet in where you left your car overnight could make the difference between your car being safe and your car being robbed. On one street in particular, there was a fire hydrant in the middle of the block, and all cars on one side of the No Parking Fire Zone were safe, and most cars on the other side were robbed on a regular basis. It had everything to do with sightlines; the spots beyond the fire hydrant could not be seen by folks in the foyers or lobbies of any of the local buildings. Out of sight, out of safety.

Here its recommendations for your best parking spots when traveling:
A) In airport lots, we recommend parking in view of the exit toll booths or parking office if possible, or just as well within view of a shuttle pickup location or kiosk. The increased foot traffic and eyeball count will discourage potential thieves. Well-lit areas are next best; most airport lots have surveillance cameras in place, so making it easier for an attendant to see your car on a grainy camera will help.

B) Park “trunk out.” If you are storing items in your trunk, you will want to point the trunk out into the lot aisle, where more people can see anyone trying to break in. Don’t give thieves the opportunity to use your car as cover while ripping you off.

C) When parking on the street, try to park within sight of a busy store or hotel entrance, under a street lamp, near a busy corner or out in the open away from things that might provide shelter to a thief (like thick or low-hanging trees). The busier the street, the better.

4. When in doubt, use a parking garage.
Parking on the street is the most vulnerable place to be, so if you are uncomfortable with your street parking options, by all means use a parking garage instead. Although you are safer in a parking garage, that does not mean that you are invulnerable; certainly enough travelers get ripped off by garage personnel everywhere. Remove or lock up any really juicy items — GPS units, accessories for your cell phone or MP3 player, a loose E-ZPass apparatus — in order to remove temptation. All of the same precautions above apply; no matter where you park, make it as difficult and uninspiring to potential thieves as possible.

5. Self park when you can.
Most attendant or valet parking garages are safe on the whole — but if you make it too easy, the temptation to steal can be too great for a person working at or near minimum wage.

6. Assume thieves want to steal your car.
It turns out that most thieves will try to steal a car outright rather than break into a car; if there is anything valuable inside, they can take it and dump the vehicle, and certainly there is a market for hot cars as well. For this reason, parking your car in a well-lit place where there is likely to be some foot traffic is always a good idea. Similarly, visual cues that might deter a thief can be critical — even if they are just for show. Things like a steering wheel lock or a blinking alarm system light will inspire thieves to move on to the next vehicle, even if you don’t have the alarm activated.

7. A neat car is less likely to get robbed.
A car that is filled with jackets or beach towels that appear to be covering items of value, or that has wires sticking out here and there suggesting that electronic devices may also be stowed, are much more likely to attract interest. If a potential thief sees nothing but car upholstery, he or she is less likely to be curious about what might be hidden in the car.

8. Check for your valuables as soon as you return to your car.
Notwithstanding our second rule above, if you have any suspicions, you will want to make sure nothing was stolen before you pull out. If your car does get ripped off, you want to figure it out at or near the location it was robbed, in case you have to file a complaint. When surveying your vehicle, keep in mind that thieves know what to take — often items you won’t notice until you are long gone. For example, a common tactic is to take a camera out of a camera bag, but leave the bag behind; it looks like it was undisturbed so you won’t figure it out for hours or days.

9. Rent wisely.
When renting a car, keep the following tips in mind:
A) Rent models that are not easily exposed or broken into, and that have a trunk big enough to store anything you need secured. A hip and tiny convertible sounds like a great idea, but it could not be harder to hide stuff, and easier to break into.

B) The more modest and nondescript the rental model, the less likely to attract attention it is.

C) Don’t leave your rental contract in the car, as this document has just about all the information you will need if the car is stolen — and also all the information a thief will need to evade detection if he or she is stopped for any reason before you report the vehicle as stolen.

Remember that as a traveler or tourist, you are a mark. (For example, a Florida law requiring rental cars to display a special sticker was repealed a few years ago after it became clear that criminals were targeting tourists in rental vehicles.) Making the time and effort to take a few precautions with your vehicular home away from home can help ensure that you and all your stuff return home intact.

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Driving Europe

Driving in Europe

Driving Europe Some people are terrified of the very thought of driving in Europe. This fear has been going on for centuries. Honestly-there are accounts of people terrified of Italian horse and buggy drivers and things don’t seem to have changed a whole lot since.

While it’s probably wrong to generalize, I’m going to take a crack at it anyway. Europeans, by and large, drive more aggressively but pay more attention to the road than Americans. Personally, I like this because you can safely figure that the guy in the red Ferrarri is going to race you for the 7 feet you’ve left between you and the BMW ahead of you, and you’ll be right at least 99 percent of the time. Knowing what people are likely to do is half the battle toward automotive safety. The rest is driving skill and paying attention. (In contrast to the above, and as explanation to our European readers of the sometimes bizarre behaviors one sometimes encounters on American roads, I point the gentle reader toward an absolutely hideous movie called L.A. Story, in which 4 drivers pull up to a four-way stop, motion each other to go, and then all crash into each other. In short, European drivers rush to take their right of way, even if they have to take it from someone else, and Americans rush to give it up when they’re not in a hurry–unless they’re going slowly in the left lane of the freeway of course.)

Europeans driving on the autobahns and autostrade, as already noted, tend to do most of their driving in the right lane, using the left one only to pass (except, of course, in Britain, which is a special case entirely.) The person in the left lane isn’t likely to enforce his arbitrarily chosen version of the speed limit on you, even if he’s going 200 km/hour. Chances are, he’ll move over to let you pass, a courtesy infrequently extended to fellow drivers here in the US.

The above is, of course, just my opinion. I love driving in Europe, especially Italy. But then I’ve enjoyed driving at Laguna Seca and Sears Point raceways in flameproof underwear, too. Others less inclined toward the exhilaration that comes from a well-built car at speed have put their crystal-clear assessments about European driving on the web, and we’ve got some links to them, of course.

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Driving tips long road trips

Driving tips for long road trips

Driving tips long road tripsGoing on a long road trip? Before you go make sure you and your car are prepared. Here are some driving tips for long road trips, better to be safe than sorry.

Before beginning a long drive, always get enough sleep and eat something before you go. Highly caffeinated beverages are not necessarily the best way to stay awake while driving. While initially you will feel more alert, the effects can recede with time, and your attention may wander although you remain awake.

Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, even if you don’t feel sleepy. Grab a snack, get some fresh air, and stretch your legs by walking around. If you need to, take a quick nap.

If you can, share the driving responsibilities with someone else. This will allow you to keep an eye on each other while driving and also enable you to nap without losing time. If you’re driving alone, turn on the radio or put on some music, and keep your window cracked open. You may also want to refrain from using your cruise control if you’re driving alone at night — having to concentrate on maintaining your speed can help you stay awake.

If you do have to pull over, move your vehicle off the road. Never park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane for any reason except an emergency.

Search the Web for traffic update sites and listen to radio traffic alerts, especially when approaching major cities. If you don’t have a smartphone, all-news stations on the AM dial are often your best bet.

Not even a GPS unit is infallible, so we recommend bringing a detailed map or road atlas as a backup just in case. A mapping app on your smartphone is another must-have for long road trips.

If you are driving a rental vehicle, familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipment (horn, brakes, hazard lights). For an amusing but true look at this issue, see The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental.

Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, which vary from state to state and especially overseas. Is it legal to make a right turn at a red light?

Before setting off on a long car trip, be sure your vehicle is in prime condition — that tires are properly inflated, all fluids are at their proper levels and you have a full tank of gas. (For particularly long road trips, you may want to have your mechanic do a more thorough check.)

Consider becoming a member of AAA or signing up for your car insurer’s roadside assistance program. You won’t regret it when your car breaks down on a lonely back road.

Don’t wait until your gas gauge is sitting on E to refuel. On an unfamiliar road, you never know when the next gas station will appear. As soon as you hit a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to fill up.

When traveling with kids, be sure to stop often — not just for snacks and potty breaks, but also for fun. See a cool playground along the way? Pull over and throw a Frisbee around. You’ll also want to pack toys, books and music for the car — not to mention your motion sickness remedy of choice. For more ideas, see Family Car Travel.

Stock up on snacks and drinks at grocery stores rather than gas stations or convenience stores — you’ll get a wider and healthier selection, as well as better prices. For more advice, see Eating Well and Staying Active.

On longer trips, keep napkins, plasticware and a small cooler handy for meals on the go. You’ll also want some spare change for tolls, as well as a first-aid kit, flashlight, pillow and blanket. Keep a set of jumper cables, a spare tire or donut, and extra fluids for the car (such as windshield wiper fluid) in your trunk.

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Driving with kids tips

Driving with kids this holiday? This will help you survive

Driving with kids tipsDriving with kids this summer? Need some help avoiding motion sickness and keeping the peace between quarrelsome kids? Here are some tips that will help you, and that will make this road trip a great success.

Be Smart Plan Ahead
Before you hit the road, be honest with yourself about what you and your children can handle in the way of a road trip. While older children might be capable of dealing with 10+ hours in the family van, chances are your 4-year-old isn’t. Generally speaking, young children should not be subjected to confinement in a car for more than six hours a day. This is just as much for your sanity as it is for theirs.

If your family car is better suited to in-town trips rather than long hauls, think about renting a van. A van will, at minimum, leave everyone enough room to create their own personal space. If your 8-year-old doesn’t share his toys, chances are he isn’t going to want to share elbow room either. If you decide to rent, make your reservation well in advance, especially during peak travel times. See our article oncar rental tips for more information.

Start packing, at least mentally, a few days before you leave. Let the kids help pack their own bags if they are old enough, and discuss the trip with them — kids are much better behaved when they know what to expect. Packed bags mean less confusion, less standing around and less frustration on departure day. This translates into a pleasant start to your road trip.

A great way to avoid the inevitable question (are we there yet?) is to give kids a map, or, even more fun, help them create their own. You can trace the route together and point out interesting landmarks so that they will have a sense of where they are going.

What to Bring in the car
Safety first — if you decide to rent a car, bring your own car seats. Chances are they are of a higher quality than those provided by rental car companies and more comfortable for the kids too. Bring along a first-aid kit to treat minor mishaps.

Just this once, go against your parenting books and let the television baby-sit your kids. Portable DVD players might just be the key to your sanity on a long trip — you may want to go as far as to get one for each child. No arguments about whether to watch “Dora the Explorer” or “Spiderman” means peace and quiet for you.

Whatever you were planning on bringing in the way of snacks — double it. And toss the rules about junk food on the roadside — this is one time to let your daughter have another cookie or your son another juice box. One day of poor eating cannot destroy a life of healthy habits. Pack their favorite healthy snacks, and keep the junky ones for when you get desperate.

Some other items to consider: books on CD, their favorite music CD’s, blankets, pillows and favorite small toys. Coloring books and crayons will also keep the young ones occupied — surprise them with a new one when the car gets moving. Keep the car clean by taking along a trash bag to collect the remains of snack time and moist wipes to clean up minor spills. An easily accessible (not packed deep in the trunk) change of clothes is a wise idea in case of spills or accidents.

How to avoid and treat Motion Sickness
Over-the-counter drugs are available for treating motion sickness; many must be taken before the trip starts. Consult your doctor before giving your kids any new medications. If your child complains of dizziness or nausea, chances are it is just motion sickness and can be cured temporarily by getting out of the car for fresh air. If you can’t stop the car, open the car window and encourage the child to look outside the car rather than focusing on a point inside the vehicle. Avoid hard-to-digest foods and keep dry crackers on hand to munch on if nausea sets in.

How to keep the Peace in the back seat
Take advantage of sights along the way, even if it’s just at a neighborhood park or a McDonald’s with a playground. Although it might add time to the trip, stopping often will keep the journey interesting for young travelers. Sometimes a quick stop to burn off energy is all they need to get back in the car happily.

Plan your road trip with your child’s sleeping schedule in mind. Many parents choose to leave late in the evening and let the children sleep while they divide the driving. Other parents will try their best to adhere to nap times in the car — after all, few things are more unpleasant than a child who’s missed his or her nap.

Don’t expect your children to share nicely. Make sure you’ve packed ample toys, games, books and snacks for each child so the fighting is kept to a minimum. If there is room, change up the scenery in the car by letting an old-enough child ride in the passenger seat while an adult rides in the back seat with a younger child. Lastly, if you are traveling with a spouse, consider designating roles: driver and entertainer. The driver will concentrate on the road while the other keeps the peace — keeping your whole family happy and, most importantly, safe.

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Ripped off Prague Taxis

How to not get Ripped Off by Prague Taxis

Ripped off Prague TaxisLots of things can go wrong if you choose the wrong taxi. Prague taxis are infamous for overcharging tourists, especially in the more touristic areas of Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. After being scammed by a taxi driver in Prague when travelling from the Main Train Station, I did some research on Prague taxis in order to avoid being ripped off again.

My advice is to always call the AAA taxi service or, for travel from the airport or train station, pre-book a taxi with Prague Airport Transfers sro. Both are reputable companies, highly recommended by travellers to Prague. AAA taxis have the letters ‘AAA’ clearly marked on the side of their cars and on their car bonnets/hoods. Do beware, however, as there is another company in Prague also operating cars displaying the letters ‘AAA’, but with different-sized lettering: their ‘AAA’ letters start large and taper to smaller (first A is large, second is medium-sized, third is small) and, to put it politely, this company might charge you more than the official AAA Radio Taxi company. There are also some taxi cabs that do not belong to the official AAA taxi company, but which craftily park at the FAIR PLACE ranks when no official taxi cars are around.

First rule is to board only AAA Radio Taxi, ProfiTaxi and other official marked vehicles. Most of their drivers speak at least a bit of English and are generally honest. Fares are reasonable as they operate a reliable meter. It is also a good idea to check your route before leaving so that you will be aware if the driver clocks up extra kilometres to make a profit.

If possible, don’t hail taxis off the streets, especially in the more touristic areas, as you risk paying an inflated fare. The usual tactic is to quote a ‘maximum’ fare for a given destination, then drive around long enough to ensure that the meter clocks up the quoted maximum. Instead, call for a taxi from the companies indicated above (you can ask any cafe/hotel/restaurant to call one for you).

If you really need to hail a taxi in the more touristic areas, look out for the ‘FAIR PLACE’ taxi sign. This is a system implemented by Prague’s municipal authorities with a view to guaranteeing fair prices and safety for taxi journeys. The taxis operating under this system can be found at the areas marked with a sign “FAIR PLACE” and a thumbs-up image. As mentioned above, however, you might still come across the odd dishonest driver here.

The official rate for licensed cabs is 40 CZK flag fall plus 28 CZK per kilometre, and 6 CZK per minute while waiting. If you know the address of your destination and alighting point, check out the approximate cost. Some unscrupulous taxi drivers manipulate their meters to make them run faster, so keep an eye on the meter for any abnormal behaviour.

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Driving in Prague Centre

Driving Prague CentreThe ultimate guide to driving in Prague Centre. It is not worth the effort or money to drive in Prague. The large quantity of 1 way streets and the crowded roads are both extremely infuriating.

Moreover, parking in the centre is frequently limited and only available to locals who own parking stickers, which they have paid for in advance. The sole time when you may wish for a car, is if you have a few spare days and you want to venture out to other places in the Czech Republic.

The worst thing for you in Prague will be the trams and buses. Keep in mind that you must give way to them at all times. Be aware that trams will be on your left and are usually hard to see. Finding a parking space and driving in the city centre requires quite a lot of patience, and you should be prepared for frequent jams etc, similar to other world cities. There are also plenty of one-way streets and no-turns. The road system and traffic handling in Prague is not the best, and definitely needs a lot of improvement. Drivers in Prague are also quite aggressive and are not willing to give way unless they really have to. All Prague’s drivers seem to always be in a rush, and ready to step out of the car or open a window and shout at you if you are too slow, or make some driving error. Occasionally, usually at night at some crossroads, the traffic lights controlling the junctions turn to “flashing orange”. This means that nobody has the right of way and traffic must sort it out for themselves. All vehicles are required to drive with lights on.


Rent a Car Best Price in Prague

PraguePrague have quite a few local and international hire companies at the airport and in city. Prices can differ greatly, so be sure to shop around. We will show you how to get the best price on rent a car in Prague.

If you are only staying in Prague, it makes no sense to hire a car as the city centre is quite compact and you will be fine using public transport or walking. Just imagine narrow, cobblestone streets; human traffic doesn’t make driving a pleasure! If, however, you decide to do a couple of day trips, this can be an exception. You can find car rental agencies directly outside the airport on the ground floor of the airport parking garage and in the city centre; all international companies are represented. You might be charged extra if you opt for an airport pickup.

Several major rental agencies have offices at the airport and also in the city. Prices can differ greatly, so be sure to shop around. Major firms like Avis, Budget and Hertz offer Western-style cars starting at around $50 per day or $300 per week (you will pay approximately double compared to local car rental companies), which includes insurance and damage waiver; cars equipped with automatic transmission and air-conditioning are available, but are generally more expensive. Typical rate for the cheapest car for a day is around $35 if you rent a car through a local company. It’s best to reserve your rental car before you leave home, and it may be less expensive as well. Smaller local companies, on the other hand, can rent Czech cars for significantly less (around $35 per day), but the service and insurance coverage may he inferior.

It is easier to arrange a rental online rather than on arrival. Not only will you save cash (around 20%) but you’ll also be able to find out about deposits, drop-off charges, cancellation penalties and insurance costs without having to make yourself understood in a foreign language.

Drivers from EU countries, the United States and some other countries need no international driving permit to rent a car in the Czech Republic, only a valid domestic license, along with the vehicle registration. If you intend to drive across a border, ask about restrictions on driving into other countries. The minimum age required for renting is usually 21 or older, and some companies also have maximum ages; be sure to inquire when making your arrangements. The Czech Republic requires that you have held your driver’s licence for at least a year before you can rent a car.

The maximum speed allowed in built up areas is 50 km/h; this rises to 90 km/h on main roads and 130 km/h on motorways.

Insurance: Third-party insurance coverage is usually required. When you’re renting a car, check rental’s contract carefully especially your liability in case of an accident. Instead of risk paying plenty of money if there is an accident, you can generally pay an additional daily amount to the rental company for an ‘insurance excess reduction’ policy.

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Rent a Car Inurance

Rent a Car Insurance – All you need to know

Rent a Car InuranceRenting a car? Buying the over-the-counter insurance that rental car companies sell could be the dumbest move you’ve made all day. That is, unless it’s the smartest.

The question is, are you covered? Too many travelers have no idea, and it’s in that cone of uncertainty that the rental car companies are able to pounce and profit.

If you don’t know, for example, what your liability coverage your own auto insurance policy provides, or whether or not your credit card is any use in times of rental car trouble, then why, the agent will be asking you, would you want to drive off the lot without peace of mind? Why indeed.

Trouble is, peace of mind doesn’t come cheap. Think hundreds of dollars added to your weekly rental costs, which are already skyrocketing, as competition goes all but extinct in the more-consolidated-than-ever rental car industry. It’s war, and you’ve got to be ready to do battle. We’re here to help.

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Are you the owner of a car?
Yes? Great. Then you probably have an insurance policy. You’ll say this to the guy behind the counter. He’ll counter with: Do you know if your coverage is adequate? Are you going to be stuck with a huge deductible? They’ll throw it all at you. And if you can’t answer the questions confidently, suddenly, you’ll be wondering: Hey! Maybe I should be buying the insurance here, because, really, what if something happens and I’m not covered? Stop. Stop it right now. Before you leave home, examine your policy documents or call your insurance provider and ask. Questions like: Am I covered for damage, theft and loss of use? Liability for injury to others (personal and property) while in the rental car? Personal effects if stolen or damaged? How screwed am I, as regards deductibles and such, if I find myself in any trouble related to the above? You should know the answers to all of these questions.

Coverage through your credit card? Maybe. Probably not.
Too many people think that their auto insurance policy plus their credit card coverage benefits equals all set. Again – maybe you are, maybe you’re not. Have you read the documents? Too many renters learn the hard way that what most cards provide is “secondary” coverage, meant only to bulk up your auto insurance policy, paying out after that has been exhausted. Your Visa card, for example, can be a great asset, but if you don’t follow all their rules (the coverage may be invalid if you rent a mid-size car in Cincinnati on a Tuesday when it’s raining), the very thing you think is going to keep you out of trouble might end up leaving you in a world of hurt. Across the board, it’s wrong (really, really wrong) to assume that one size of coverage fits all card brands. Some higher-end Mastercards might be great, for example. Others card levels may offer little protection. Examine each card document carefully. Finally, note that credit cards tend to mostly offer collision, damage and theft coverage, if they offer anything at all – personal liability (hitting a pedestrian, crashing into a store front, or injuring drivers in another car) and personal effects are generally your problem. Again: Read.

So you’ve got nothing
Say you go over both your auto insurance policy and your credit card documents, hundreds of time. Say you now fully accept that rental car-wise, you’re less than protected. Don’t just wing it – winging it can lead to all kinds of trouble, such as you being stuck with a bill for thousands of dollars or a huge jury award. Besides upgrading your credit card to something more useful and bulking up on your auto insurance you can also sign up for primary coverage with a third party (but again, this will only be coverage for damage to the rental car, it’s not personal liability coverage).

What is this “primary coverage with a third party?”
Simply: It is a separate policy that protects you when you rent cars. Maybe you are protected with your credit card and your auto insurance policy, but if you get into an accident and have primary coverage elsewhere, you can leave your insurer out of the loop entirely, avoiding any potential rate increases. American Express cardholders can purchase a Premium Rental Car Protection policy for less than the cost of one day’s damage waiver in many destinations. For $24.95 per rental period of up to 42 days — $17.95 if you live in California – you’ve got $100,000 in coverage for damage and theft, plus $100,000 of Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage, $15,000 for excess medical expenses and up to $5,000 for personal property loss. The real deal here? No deductible. Nada. It’s a good policy. Best of all, it kicks in automatically when you begin your rental using that card. When you do, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stop agents in their tracks – most know about the policy. Tell them you’ve got it and they’ll generally understand that they’re dealing with someone who has come prepared.

But what about other liability?
As long as any accidents involve just you and, say, a lamppost, you’re now well and truly protected. Bump into a billionaire in a supermarket parking lot, however, and you may not be adequately protected, liability-wise. Many drivers lack the proper liability protection, often assuming that that they’re safe, hiding behind their homeowners or renters policies. More than once, after hearing about all the coverage we’ve got, the rental car agent has asked the question, “What about liability?” While rental car companies are required to build basic (and limited) liability protection into their rates, they won’t tell you this. Generally, you’re going to be fine in a fender bender situation, but if you find yourself in some horrible scenario where you can be sued for lots of money, then make sure you are covered (if you’re a high net worth individual, you probably have an umbrella liability policy, which should be enough, but check with your agent). For those that are not covered, the agent will be happy to sell you Supplemental Liability Protection, often quite reasonably priced at about $10 per day. Then again, liability protection isn’t something you should be sorting out on the fly with some kid at the Enterprise counter – this is a matter for your insurance broker.

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Rent a Car – tips and advice for best price

Rent a car tips and adviceWhen you rent a car for your holiday there are a number of tips to follow, whether you are renting for the first time or are a regular driver. Our guide will drive you through the main points to ensure you have hassle free rental.

1. Know the type of car you need
By understanding how many people you need to carry, how many bags you will have and the kind of use you are going to put your car to, it will help you to select the right size of vehicle. Decide beforehand what type of car you need based on the number of travellers and the amount of luggage

2. Use price comparison to search for the best value car deal Make sure you compare like for like.

3. Check you reservation
When making your reservation, ensure you read the terms and conditions and that you are aware of the items that are included within the price and those that you will need to pay extra for. Can you take the car to the locations you want? Can you cross borders or go off road? Is it suitable for ski resorts?

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4. What you bring when you collect the car
When you come to collect your car make sure you have driving licences for all those wanting to drive. This includes both paper and photo versions. You will also need your car hire voucher and a valid credit card for one of the drivers.

5. Read the documentation you are presented with before signing.
This will clearly detail what is and is not included, specifically regarding insurance cover and any excess for damage to the vehicle. You may wish to reduce this by paying an additional fee or by planning ahead to cut your excess even more. It should also be clear any charges that are being made in addition to your original rental fee. These would cover items such as additional charges, fuels, child seats and roof racks for example.

6. Check the fuel type
Is your car hire petrol or diesel and how the fuel tank is accessed.

7. Check your personal contact details
Make sure you have contact details for your rental company in case you should breakdown or be in an accident to hand.

8. Before taking off – check the car
Before driving off ensure you check the car for damage against your rental documents. In case of any discrepancy then return to the rental desk to have anything noted. You should also familiarise yourself with the controls of the car as they may be different to those you are used to.

9. New country? Drive carefully
So you are ready to drive off and all your bags and passengers are secure – don’t forget that you may well be in a foreign country with different road signs and speed limits as well as driving etiquette different to home. And make sure you know what side of the road you are driving on.

10. What to do if problem with car
During your rental if you encounter any problems at all then report them to the car hire company where you collected the car. If you incur driving penalties and fines then these should also be reported.

11. What to remember when you return the car
Returning your car, you should ensure that you know whether you fuel tank should be left empty or full. Make sure you have emptied all of your belongings and that you have checked under seats and in door compartments for any documents, sun glasses and wallets before leaving the rental station. The car will be checked for mileage, fuel and any damage before a final statement is issued. Check beforehand if you need to return the car with a full tank of petrol

12. What to check when you get back home
Returning home check your credit card statement to ensure any additional charges are valid. If not then challenge these back with your car rental company immediately.

Now is the time to rent a car

Now is the time to rent a car for your holiday

Now is the time to rent a carWith the Easter break nearly upon us and schools having already broken up, many families will be planning a getaway of some kind. But if you’re not setting off on your break for another week, now is the time to secure your car hire deal.

Even if you are staying at home this Easter and going away over one of the two bank holidays in May, it’s still well worth booking your car rental deal now before prices rocket.
We compared the price of renting a car in seven popular destinations this spring. This is what we found…

Car hire this Easter
If you were taking the kids on a two-week break to Spain this Easter, you would probably have departed this weekend (April 5 and 6) on flights to Majorca, Malaga or Alicante. If you had also booked car rental for your two-week break in the sun, boy would you have booked a bargain.

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In comparison, when we checked prices for the following Saturday (April 12) for just one week, prices escalated considerably. The price of a mini economy car at Palma airport came to £14.36 per day, an economy car in the Costa del Sol came to £16.75 per day, and the cost of the same car in the Costa Blanca came to £14.64 per day.

Even so, these deals were still cheaper than those we found for the week beginning Easter Saturday (April 19), despite the fact that most families will be back in the UK and in school before your week’s holiday is over. For example, hiring a mini economy car at Palma airport would cost you £15.45 per day, while an economy car in the Costa del Sol would cost £17.07 a day.

It’s not often that families claim that travelling in the school holidays is giving them a fantastic deal; however, it’s clear that those travelling at the beginning of the Easter break have bagged the best deals.

This hiccup in pricing is a result of over-supply in the main destinations at what is still a relatively early part of the overall season. Of course, it’s too late now to benefit from the really cheap prices for this weekend, but even if you’re going away on April 12 or April 19, booking now will ensure you get the best price possible – don’t leave it until just before you go when prices may have escalated further. Booking early also means you’re more likely to get the car of your choice.
What’s more, it’s not all bargain deals for early travelling families as it does depend on where you’re heading to.

While rental prices in Pisa reflect the same as those in Spain, prices for Faro, Orlando and the Canary Islands are actually cheaper for those travelling next weekend (April 12 and 13) and the week after (April 19 and 20), so book now before prices rise.

Car hire for the May Bank Holidays
Where you can be certain of saving money is if you’re off on holiday during one of the two bank holiday weeks at the beginning or end of May. The latter holiday is one of the biggest getaway weeks of the year and while prices are beginning to increase, they are set well below the prices we are seeing for the Easter break.

With less leeway on actual travel dates, it is therefore imperative that you book now to get the very best deal. According to our search tool, one week’s rental in Malaga, Alicante, Majorca and Tenerife is still available for under £10 a day, as is the Algarve when picking up at Faro airport. Orlando and Pisa are more expensive, but they are still well below the current Easter peak price and rentals can be found for under £14 a day.

Five tops tips to cut your bank holiday car rental costs
Book early and use our price comparison service to compare the best deals online today.

Opt for airport pick-up and drop-off to get the very best deals.

Slash the cost of extras by taking your own child seats (most airlines won’t charge for bringing a child seat on board), saving you up to £70 per seat per week.

Read the terms and conditions carefully when you collect your car and stick to things like the fuel policy. Plus, don’t sign up for insurance and products you don’t need and return the car on time and in a clean condition to avoid penalties.

Take out car hire excess here in the UK and save up to 65% on reducing your excess to nil and with far better cover than that offered by the car rental companies.

Rent a Car Best Price in Advance

Rent a Car in advance and get Best Price

Rent a Car Best Price in AdvanceIf you’ve booked your next holiday and can’t wait to jet off, don’t leave booking your hire car until the last minute. In fact, being organised and securing a car in advance could result in significant savings, leaving you with more money for your well-earned break.

And, according to research, now is the ideal time to book, as car hire prices in popular destinations such as the Spanish mainland and the Canary Islands are up to 26% cheaper than they were two years ago during peak travel periods.

What are the benefits of booking my hire car in advance?
If you are planning on hiring a car for all or part of your next holiday, the obvious benefit of booking early is finding the best price. For example, we found savings of more than 70% when comparing the price of booking online using with the walk-up price at a rental desk in Malaga Airport at the end of February*.

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The closer you leave securing your car hire to the date you want to pick it up, the higher the price tends to get as you will be choosing from limited supply of cars. Prices particularly tend to rocket in August when cars are in short supply. Some car groups even sell out completely – especially the smallest cars and the large family vehicles.

This means that, as well as being able to smugly bag a bargain, booking in advance will give you the full choice of what is available allowing you to find the best car for you – whether that is a family-friendly people carrier or a sporty convertible. And, don’t just assume that the smallest car (usually called mini economy) is always going to be the cheapest option. Sometimes the next level up (economy) can work out at the same price or even less.

Book now to secure prices lower than two years ago
Prices for peak holiday periods – Easter, Whit week and August – are currently lower than they were in 2010 making now the ideal time to find a car hire deal. We’ve carried out searches for car hire during these periods and found that rental is currently 8% cheaper overall during the Easter holidays and a huge 22% cheaper in Spain (including the Canary Islands and the Balearics). For Whit week, this saving increases to 26% cheaper overall and 34% cheaper in Spain. And in August the figures show that car hire is 17% cheaper overall and 27% cheaper in Spain.

However, these prices are current and are likely to go up, so book now to guarantee a low price.

Maximise your savings and protect yourself
If you’ve found the best car hire deal for you and have pocketed the savings, don’t undo all of your good work by wasting money on any car hire extras such as car hire excess insurance. While this is important to buy – it protects you from excess charges of up to £2,000 if your hire car is damaged or stolen – it can cost as much as £20 a day depending on the company you have bought it through and the location. So, shop around in advance for this too. TravelSupermarket has put together some handy tips on car hire excess insurance and suggest a cheaper option. Read more here.

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Rent a Car this summer? Best Price Tips

Rent a Car this Summer? Best Price Tips

Rent a Car this summer? Best Price TipsBooking a rental car might not be the most exciting item on your summer holiday to-do list, having your own wheels while away can really allow you to get to know your destination – whether you want to escape the crowds and find a secluded stretch of sand outside of the main tourist resorts, or to complement your beach break with a few days of local culture.

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You’ll also have the ease of turning up to your resort airport with a car ready to collect, saving the hassle and expense of navigating public transport and taxis.

So, why not get organised and sort your summer hire car out now? Read our top tips below to help you save some valuable spending money.

Don’t leave it until the last minute
Booking your hire car in advance will both save you money and ensure that you find the best vehicle for you. As the summer holidays are a peak time for travelling, hire cars are in high demand and, if you leave securing your vehicle until the last minute, you may be left with little or no choice of cars as demand outstrips supply.

Advance booking is always cheaper than turning up at the airport with crossed fingers. For example, if you are looking to hire a family car from Malaga Airport from July 21-July 28, Hertz’s pay-on-arrival price is £279.38. However, the cheapest family car on TravelSupermarket for the same dates is just £150.76 – that’s a saving of £128.62 for being organised.
And, if you are travelling to Alicante on July 28 and would like a mini economy car for two weeks, you would pay £390.37 based on Europcar’s pay-on-arrival price, whereas a quick search on TravelSupermarket found mini economy cars on the same dates from just £239.68 – again a significant saving of £150.69 for a few minutes of research.

Hertz is also starting to sell out of cars in its family collection for popular Spanish destinations during July and August – so if you have a clear idea about the car you want, start shopping around now.

Use a price-comparison site
With certain car types now unavailable and prices varying between different companies, shopping around using a price-comparison site such as TravelSupermarket will allow you to see quotes from the biggest providers in the same place – so you can book safe in the knowledge that the deal you have found is one of the most competitive out there.

And, if you are booking your hire car before June 24, take a look at TravelSupermarket’s top car hire offers including 10% off car hire with AtlasChoice and an extra 5% off bookings in European destinations with Enjoy Car Hire.

Don’t assume that the smallest car is the cheapest
While you may be willing to squeeze all your family and luggage into a small car in the quest to save some valuable spending money, don’t assume the smallest car type (usually called a mini economy) will always be the cheapest. Take a look at a few options and note down the prices before you book as sometimes the next level up (usually called economy) can work out at the same price and even less in some cases.

What about car hire in the UK?
When on a staycation, it can be tempting to be a bit more relaxed and to sort out all of your extras, such as car hire, at the last minute. However, the price of UK car hire also goes up during peak holiday periods such as the summer months. And with events such as the Olympics taking place on our doorstep this year, it is even more important to book your hire car in advance to avoid wasting unnecessary money as car hire prices rocket.

Are there any other ways to make savings?
If you’ve found a hire car at a brilliant price, why not make further savings by shopping around for your car hire excess insurance? This is important to buy as it protects you from any excess charges should your hire car be damaged or stolen, but if you leave buying it until you turn up to pick up your hire car, you could end up paying over the odds.

Some car hire companies charge as much as £20 a day for this cover – depending on the location and the level of cover you opt for – but you can buy this in advance for as little as £2.99 a day. You can also turn up to your car hire desk safe in the knowledge that you can avoid any high-pressure sales pitches to take out the insurance on arrival – the last thing you need after a tiring flight.

How to keep rent a car costs as low as possible

How to keep your rent a car prices low

How to keep rent a car costs as low as possible

How to keep your rent a car prices low

Some of the best discoveries on a holiday can be found when you’re exploring in a rent car. Having your own wheels allows you to stumble upon stunning viewpoints as you drive, to look around nearby attractions without having to master the local public transport system, and to access secluded beaches many travellers will not find.

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Shopping around to find the best deal on your rental car always makes good sense, but there are several other hidden costs that can catch you out and cause your car rental costs to spiral. Read on to find out how to avoid these hidden costs and to keep your overall car rental costs low.

How to find the best rent a car best price deal
Whether you’re looking for a sporty vehicle, a super mini or a larger family car, you’ll find the best deal on your hire rent a car by shopping around online in advance. Not only will this save you money, it will help you to secure the vehicle type you want rather than turning up and choosing from the cars everyone else has left – if there are any left at all.

Being organised is particularly essential during peak travel periods, such as the school summer holidays, when many of the popular car types will sell out well in advance.

Don’t forget your car hire excess insurance
Once you’ve sorted out your hire car itself, there are still significant savings to be made, and car hire excess insurance is a common area that trips holidaymakers up.

The cover (also known as excess waiver insurance) is an important purchase as it means you won’t have to foot the first part of the bill should your hire car be stolen or involved in an accident. Recent research from the Post Office found that drivers without this insurance risk paying up to £1,186 in excess charges. But there’s no need to pay over the odds for this protection.

Some extra charges that can be avoided
Even if you’ve pre-booked your hire car and have already bought your excess insurance, the chances are the car hire rep will still have other extras and upgrades up their sleeve to sell you. So, to avoid paying any more than you have to, here are a few extra charges you can avoid.

Personal accident insurance
This will pay out should you be seriously injured or die in a car accident while you are away. However, this is likely to be covered already by your travel insurance policy, so double check to avoid paying for protection twice.

Daily charges to hire sat navs or child car seats – If you know you will rely on a sat nav or are travelling with children and will need car seats, be prepared and bring your own from home to avoid steep daily charges. Not only will this save you money, but it will ensure the quality of the items is what you are used to.

Extra drivers
Adding additional drivers, particularly those under the age of 25, can bump up the cost of hiring a car. So, find out the costs and think realistically about whether the price justifies how often the extra person will actually be behind the wheel.

At some rental desks – particularly in the USA – you will be told about other higher-spec vehicles that are still available to hire. Unless you can justify the extra cost, don’t let yourself be tempted or, before you know it, you’ll have handed over more of your hard-earned cash.

A pitfall to be aware of
When you pick your hire car up, you may be asked to leave your credit card details as a deposit. To prevent any problems, find out how much this deposit will be and make sure you have adequate funds available. And, remember, this type of transaction is not suitable to put on a pre-paid card.

Keep your fuel costs down
According to the Post Office’s Motoring on the Continent report, UK drivers in Europe can expect to pay significantly more for fuel this summer than last. So, it’s just as important to shop around for fuel while you are away as when you are at home.
Many car hire companies now also operate ‘fuel empty’ policies, whereby you pick up your hire car with a full tank of fuel and are charged for it at a price set by your company. You are then expected to return your car with an empty tank. If you want to avoid this type of policy to control your own fuel costs, find out the rules of the company you are planning to hire with before you book.
Don’t get fined for inadvertently breaking the law
If you’ve managed to escape from the rental desk without paying over the odds for a single item, don’t fall at the last hurdle by picking up a fine while you are away for inadvertently breaking the law. To prevent this, check what the speed limits are on all road types in your destination, do some research on the drink drive limits and find out which essential items you are required by law to have in your vehicle.