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Car hire or car rental is a great product but there are some tips and hints that can help to ensure you get the service you expect and dont get caught out by some of the typical pitfalls that lurk out there.

Expect to pay considerably more than the headline basic price:

The basic cost of the rental often excludes extras that are pretty much essential such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Excess Insurance to cover the excess payable on CDW, and sometimes even tanks of fuel. Check the details of your quote BEFORE you confirm a car hire booking to make sure you know what you are paying for and what it will actually cost.

Some items can only be paid for locally:

Items such as additional drivers, young driver supplements, CDW excess, sat nav, ski racks, baby seats etc. often have to be paid for locally when you collect the car.

Consider buying "excess insurance" before you go

Consider buying "excess insurance" from a standalone provider before you go and not the car hire company, as cover is often cheaper and better - check the detail on both options before you buy.

Save money and take your own extras

You can save a lot of money by taking your own items such as baby seats and sat navs (consider downloading a sat nav app to your mobile), and this also guarantees availability; at busy times rental stations can run out of these items.

Beware of differing fuel policies

Rental companies operate a range of different fuel policies. Beware of "Full-empty" policies, where you get the car with a full tank but must return it empty. You wont get a refund for any unused petrol. Ful-full policies are usually the safest bet, and keep receipts for the petrol you put in and a note of mileage so you can prove your case if the rental company suggest you didnt fill the car up when you returned it.

Check for damage when you collect

Always check carefully for any damage to the vehicle before you leave the rental station and make sure it is recorded on the documentation. If this is not possible for some reason take a picture with the time and date to show the damage existed befoore you drove off. Dont forget to check windscreens as well as bodywork and tyres.

Check the bill and keep your paperwork

Check the paperwork very carefully when you collect and return the car. Dont sign for anything you do not understand or are not prepared to pay for either at the start of rental or on returning the car. Check your credit card statement very carefully the month after your rental return and make sure that you are happy with any charges that have been levied

Book your car hire now!!

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