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 as does using a company that will deliver the car to your home address for free*. 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.
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 fuel 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.*
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 rental companies in the UK with a minimum hire age of 21. For drivers under 25 a small surcharge applies.
Inspect the Car
When you collect the car or have it delivered (for free with Europcar), 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 your paperwork given to you by the 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, Sat Nav, car seats, etc
Ensure you keep the rental 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 telephone number available free of charge to all customers covered by Europcar’s insurance.
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? Alternatively check what time it will be collected. 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 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 rental agreement.
Key Europcar Facts:
- Europcar offers free door to door delivery and collection through its weDeliver service** or pick up from a Europcar branch – theres 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 Sat Nav 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 £248 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
Simply call Europcar Reservations on 0871 384 1089 or log on at europcar.co.uk to make a booking.
** Through Europcar’s weDeliver service, delivery and collection is free for the first 10 miles and after that a per-mile charge of just £1.50 will be applied. The service is available from 152 of Europcar’s 197 locations (excludes
London and airports where good transport links make collecting a vehicle easier for consumers). Once booked by phone on 0871 384 1087, the car or van will be delivered to the customer’s home within the 2 hour time slots from Monday to Friday and Saturday morning.
*Price quoted based on national average as published by the AA. Prices checked weekly.
***Prices correct as of 30th June 2009