Booking a car hire is usually the last step when planning your holidays. You’ve already decided on a destination, you have probably booked your flight, and you’ve most likely seen about a hotel or some other accommodation arrangement. Now you’re all set and ready to hire a car. While booking a car is simple enough, people often overlook the simple details that make a good trip into a great one. Extras might sometimes means an extra cost, but they often can prove indispensable to an enjoyable journey. Here are some you might find useful.
Baby/booster seats – The rules and regulations ruling the proper seats for children in cars vary between countries, so if you’re travelling with your kids, make sure you make the proper arrangements when it comes to car seats. You can often hire them directly at the desk, but you should keep in mind that suppliers keep them in limited numbers, and that by booking them early on together with your vehicle, you’re ensuring their availability.
GPS – Maybe you are old school and you believe in good old reliable maps. Maybe you think that if you get lost you only need to ask a friendly local for help. But this is the digital age, when there are all sorts of gadgets to make your life even easier. Having a GPS is an incredibly simple yet practical way of making sure you get to where you’re going. You should keep an eye out for promotions offering free GPS.
Additional driver – Some people may not be aware that when you hire a car, only the person named on the voucher is allowed to drive it. If someone else tries to drive the car, it might create a paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. Well not really. But it would mean that that person would not be covered by the vehicle’s insurance in case of an accident. Also means law enforcement would be less than amused if they got wind of the fact someone not legally entitled to drive that car was driving it. So if you intend for someone to drive the car other than you, you need to add them to your booking as additional drivers. That usually means paying a small(ish) fee for each additional driver. Once again, keep an eye out for special offers of free additional drivers. Much like aliens on an X-Files episode, they’re out there.
Zero Excess/Excess Refund – In car rental, there’s a thing called the excess. What that means is that if there is an accident, there’s a set amount for which the driver is responsible before the car’s insurance kicks in. For instance, say there’s an accident with £1200 in damage and the excess is £800. The driver must pay those £800 and the insurance will cover the rest. This realisation may make some people feel uneasy, so car hire companies often offer additional packages to cover the excess.
Winter tyres – In some occasions, you may wish to get winter tyres in order to feel safer when driving in snow destinations. In other occasions, national governments will care very little about whether or not you feel safe, they will ensure you ARE safe, by declaring winter tyres mandatory during winter months. If you’re travelling in the winter, make sure if snow tyres are mandatory in the country you’re travelling to, and budget accordingly.