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Beach, Blanket, Bucket and Spade – Car hire to go far this summer. Europcar’s top car hire tips

With the renaissance of the UK holiday showing no signs of stalling as Brits look to re-discover the joys of holidaying at home and make their holiday budgets go further, Europcar, the UK’s leading car hire company is offering its tips to stress-free car hire.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director said: “In a bid to save cash, families are reducing costs on car maintenance and even downscaling their car to a more economical vehicle. This means that when it comes to that UK holiday, hiring a bigger, safer car for the trip makes enormous sense. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips on how to get the best out of car hire in the UK this summer.”

Early Bird Catches the Deal
Book as early as possible to get the best deal. Larger cars tend to get booked up fast in the summer months. Rates do vary from day to day so shop around for the best rate. Europcar’s rates are price-shopped on a daily basis.

Suits You Sir
Work out how much room you need for passengers and any luggage and whether you need child seats. Consider hiring a Sat-Nav to limit the in-car arguments and think about whether you’ll want to share the driving – a good idea for stressed out parents. All of these can be booked in advance with Europcar.

Get covered
All rates are inclusive of insurance but there will be an excess to pay if you do have an accident. Check what this excess is and decide if you would like to reduce or eliminate it through optional covers provided. Europcar offers Options+, a simple menu of products, with bundles to offer great cost-savings. For example, Risk Reduction Plus includes a free additional driver and Sat Nav from just £9.99 a day.

Top Up Your Tank
All Europcar’s vehicles are supplied with a full tank of petrol but you have the choice to return it full or pay for the fuel up front and return it empty. Europcar charges 5p under the average high street pump price if you buy upfront.

Take ID
When you pick up the car, you need to show a full driving licence (held for at least a year), and present a photo-card licence as well as the paper counterpart (the older style driving licence is also accepted) for all named drivers. A credit or debit card, plus one of two other forms of identification may also be necessary. Europcar is also one of the few hire companies in the UK with a minimum rental age of 21. For drivers under 25 a small surcharge applies.

Inspect the Car
When you collect the car, you should inspect the vehicle carefully, looking for any signs of scratches or damage to the interior, bodywork, wheels and windscreen. If you do spot something, make sure this is recorded on the paperwork you’ve been given by the Hire Agent.

Cross the T’s
Before driving away, make sure you check the paperwork is correct and that it clearly states what you have paid for, ie cover to reduce the excess, additional driver, GPS, car seats, etc

Hire Agreement
Ensure you keep the hire agreement throughout your hire in case of emergencies and make sure you understand who or what to do in the event of accident or breakdown. Europcar offers FirstCall Assist, a 24/7 number available free of charge to all hire customers covered by Europcar’s insurance.

Homeward Bound
Check where and when you need to return the car to – will you be dropping the car off to the same place you picked it up from? Returning the car late may incur additional charges so make sure you are on time. Allow plenty of time to drop-off the car and get it checked by one of the hire Agents. Make sure that you both agree on the condition of the car and you note and sign for any damage on all copies of the hire agreement.

Key Europcar Facts:

  • Europcar offers door to door delivery and collection or pick up from a Europcar branch – there’s one on average just 20 minutes away from every customer
  • Europcar offers over 40 different models of cars to hire
  • Options+ from Europcar is a simple menu of additional items such as baby seats, additional drivers and GPS which can be bundled with excess waivers to halve the cost
  • It’s not only more convenient to hire rather than take the train, it’s often far more cost-effective. For example, 2 people travelling from Bristol to Edinburgh could save up to £233 on the price of a train fare, by opting to hire a car instead*
  • Hiring a newer car is greener than driving an older vehicle
  • Cars are on average less than 6 months old
  • Hires taken by June 30th 2009 are up to 50% off from Europcar
  • Simply call Europcar Reservations on 0871 384 1089 or log on at europcar.co.uk to make a booking.

    *Prices correct as of 7th January 2009

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