5 Tips to slash the cost of car hire abroad

Travel 2017-5-31

Going on holiday can be pricy as it is, so if you need to get out and about whilst you’re there, you don’t need the added cost of a hefty car hire bill. We’ve gathered some top tips to help you keep the cost down when renting a car abroad.

  1. Find the cheapest car hire deals with comparison sites

It pays to do your research before you go on your trip. Comparison sites such as Kayak, Carrentals and Skyscanner can help you find the best deal on the market. Once you’ve found it, approach some companies directly to see if they can beat it.

Hitachi Top Tip: Don’t forget to check for an extras such as sat nav, child seats, cashback offers, cleaning charges etc as these can all affect the overall value of the deal.

  1. Book early

Booking your car hire in advance could save you hundreds, especially if you book off-peak when demands are low. So if you’ve booked your holiday nice and early, or know for sure when you’ll be going, then start roaming those comparison sites sooner rather than later to bag yourself a deal.

  1. Get your own excess insurance policy

Most car hire companies will offer basic insurance as standard, but will often try to talk you into buying a pricy excess policy to cover you if the car is scratched or dented. This additional insurance could add a large amount onto your daily car hire cost - money you could be spending elsewhere.

It’s much cheaper to get your own excess policy from an independent provider. Comparison sites such as Moneymaxim, Questor and Carhireexcess.com compare lots of excess insurance providers, making sure you get the best deal for you.

  1. Pay by credit card

It’s important to have that extra protection in case anything goes wrong abroad, especially if you don’t speak the language, as it can often be difficult to fight your case. So if possible, pay on a credit card. As long as the total car hire cost is over £100, you’ll get extra protection from your credit card company if things go wrong under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

  1. Avoid hidden charges

Hiring a car abroad can be tricky, and you can sometimes face extra charges, so it’s important to take a few simple precautions to prevent any problems occurring;

Avoid fuel charges, as some car hire companies state that you need to return the car back full of petrol, and if not, they charge a small fortune for ‘refuel charges’.

Under 25s have to pay more; check the small print before you go, as some car hire companies charge through the roof for drivers under the age of 25 (some don’t even hire out at all to under 25s)

Inspect the condition of the car inside and out, take pictures of any damage or wear and tear before you agree to hire the car. This means that if the hire company try and charge you for damage that was there when you got the car, you have the evidence to prove it wasn’t your fault.

If you follow these simple tips you should have a trouble free experience without paying more than you should.


Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.

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