Renting a car can add so much freedom to your holiday. Wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go there, is up to you. Put off by the price? Actually, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. As luck would have it, here are the top 10 ways to save on your rental car in Paphos.
1. Book Early
The simplest way to get the best deal on car rental is to book in advance, particularly during peak travel periods, such as school summer holidays. And while there’s no guarantee that booking early means you’ll get the exact car you’re after, if you leave it late you’ll be left with whatever the hire car company has available – and a family of four into a small two-seater just won’t go.
2. Be Smart on Size
Think practically and go for functional over fancy – that sporty soft-top might look the part, but is it really worth paying extra for? Then think about exactly what you and your road-trip buddies need from a car in terms of size and spec, and don’t forget to factor in the fuel costs. If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, you’ll need a car that goes easy on the fuel.
3. Check the Fuel Policy
Different rental companies offer different fuel policies. The most common is ‘full to full’, which means you pick the car up with a full tank and return it with a full tank. That way, you only pay for the fuel you use. Some car rental companies use ‘full to empty’ policy, where you pick up the car with a full tank of fuel and you’re then expected to return it empty. Not only can this work out more expensive, but you could be stuck with the choice of returning the car with petrol still in the tank or risk running on fumes for that final leg back to the airport.
4. Find Your Best Value Insurance
It might not make much sense to take out extra insurance when you’re trying to save money on car hire, but it’s worth thinking about. Find your happy balance between what you’re risking having to shell out versus what you pay upfront for protection. If your rental car gets stolen, or if you’re at fault for an accident while driving it, your car hire company will charge you an excess to cover the cost of the first part of any claim, which could be as much as €1,000. Only some kinds of damage are included in the basic cover that’s included when you hire a car, so you could actually be faced with a bill for thousands. There are various options for cover: you can buy extra cover when you book the car, buy separate hire excess insurance (also known as excess waiver insurance) online, or leave it to chance. If you do decide on extra cover, you’ll have more choice online before your trip, rather than leaving it to when you get to the desk when you pick-up your car.
5. Always Inspect for Damages
Most people are in a rush to leave once they receive their car, however if you take a minute to inspect for damages, this may protect you against false claims later.
6. Pack Your Own GPS and Child Seats
If you need a baby or car seat, consider taking your own from home to avoid paying extra to hire them from the rental company. Hire charges are added daily and can quickly mount up. Most airlines will allow you to take some baby equipment free of change. If you don’t have your own GPS, you can download free maps on your phone that don’t use expensive data while you’re abroad. And there’s no harm taking a map as back up.
7. Choose Your Driver
If you’re heading out on an epic road trip it makes sense to share the driving, but adding an extra driver can really push up the price of car hire, particularly if they’re under 25. Work out if you’ll be able to get away with just one driver for the whole holiday as it could save you quite a bit of money. If you definitely want to share the driving, look out for special ‘free additional driver’ offers which can make a big difference to the cost.
8. Get Your Timing Right
Car hire companies usually charge rental fees in blocks of 24 hours, so time your pick-up and drop-off right to avoid being charged for an extra day’s hire. If you’re picking up the car at midday, try and make sure that you’re drop-off is at midday too. If you choose a later drop-off, you’ll be charged an extra day – even if it’s only an hour.
9. Pick Your Pick-up Location
If you are happy to take a little longer getting to your rental car, it’s worth taking a look at exactly where you can find the cheapest place to pick up your car from. Car hire companies that have their counter inside the airport terminal can be more expensive than those that are a shuttle-bus away, for example.
10. Stay Steady on The Roads
Driving in a foreign country means different road rules and regulations. There’ll be different speed and alcohol limits and unfamiliar road etiquette, so take a little time to get clued up before you leave. So that’s it, you’re off, with more money in your pocket to enjoy your trip. Bon voyage.
Via Rental Cars