7 Most Common Car Hire Mistakes
We know when you’re organising your holiday, car hire is not always the simplest or most enjoyable part to sort! We often hear from customers who have found car hire to not only be stressful but also really confusing in terms of what is included in their contract and what is not. Below we have listed the seven most common car hire mistakes so you can avoid them and have a smooth and easy rental experience!
1. Not reading your car hire voucher before you pick up your vehicle
Once you have booked your hire car, you will receive an email from us with a link to your rental voucher. This includes all the basic information you need such as payment amounts, pick up and drop off details, the car hire company's contact number and so on. However, your voucher also includes a full copy of the rental terms and conditions. Whilst these may be wordy (we do try to keep them as brief as possible!) they are really important to read as they contain all the details about what you need to bring when picking up your car.
2. Not ensuring your rental is compatible with your preferred payment method
Many customers come to us looking for a debit card car hire. We have this option in a number of locations but when searching it is essential to click the debit card filter down the left hand side of the results page. This will ensure that all the results shown will let you use a debit card. The risk otherwise is that you will end up with a hire that will not allow you to use your debit card and if you haven’t got a credit card, you won’t be able to hire at all!
3. Forgetting to check your documents are valid and in date
It is easy to forget that your driving licence and passport can expire. We use them so often that we sometimes forget to check the expiry date. If your driving licence and/or passport are out of date, you will not be able to hire a car. We have had a number of customer have this issue at the car hire desk and we understand how frustrating it is. It’s worth making it a habit to pop a calendar reminder in your phone prior to your documents expiring so you know they’ll never expire without you being aware!
4. Not filling up your car with fuel just before returning it and not providing a receipt
If your fuel policy requires you to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel in it as it had when you picked it up, firstly make sure you take a picture of the fuel gauge when you collect the vehicle. By doing this you’ll know exactly how much you need to fill it back up to when it comes to returning it. We would always suggest filling the vehicle as close to the drop off location as possible and keeping the receipt to show the staff member that you have only just filled it up and that you have done so nearby. This avoids any questions over whether you have filled it up enough. Though sometimes fuel stations near airports can be slightly more expensive, the charges if the car hire company have to top up the fuel tank are significantly more so it’s well worth getting this part right.
5. Not photographing your vehicle before you take it
It’s always worth having a look around your hire vehicle when you collect it and checking for any scratches or marks that may not have already been identified on the vehicle check out sheet. If you find anything, do just let the staff member know and they will mark it down for you. If you feel it is necessary, you can also take a video whilst walking around the car as this too will show any marks that you may miss and will have a timestamp if done on a smartphone. Remember, the staff at car hire firms are only human and sometimes do miss marks! By doing the above you can let them know of any damage that has occurred before you even drive the vehicle. The staff are not there to catch you out and are generally very keen to help where they can.
6. A lack of communication with the car hire firm in the event of delays
Your flight number is always a great addition to your booking if you’re flying into an airport and picking up straight after your flight. However, if the desk is busy, there may not always be time for staff to check to see if flights are delayed. If your flight ends up being delayed please make sure you call the car hire company you are renting from by using the telephone number located on your car hire voucher. Similarly, if you land later than expected and know you will then be late to pick up the vehicle, make sure to call the hire company as soon as you land to let them know. Doing this avoids the car hire company thinking that you will not be showing up and giving the vehicle assigned to you to another customer. The majority of rental firms are very reasonable and as long as they know you are on the way they are more than happy to keep the car for you.
7. Entering the wrong pick up and return time
We all know that feeling when we enter our holiday dates time and time again on many different websites and that it’s so easy to make a small error. As soon as you book your car hire and receive your rental voucher give it a read and check that your pick up and return dates and times are correct. If they aren’t, now is the time to let us know! It’s much easier to change the timings as soon as you book. The longer it’s left the more chance there is that prices could change. If the prices increase then unfortunately there will be no other option than paying more as we more often that not have to rebook a hire which has the incorrect dates. So really, the sooner the better!
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