Understanding car hire mileage limits

Car hire mileageWhen you pick up a hire car, you’re not always able to drive it as far as you want, as some rental companies impose mileage limits.

In such instances, you’ll have a certain number of miles included in the deal, and covering any extra miles will come with a fee attached.

However, if your rental comes with unlimited mileage, you are free to explore your holiday destination as much as you wish.

If you’re renting a car in Europe, you can expect to come across both limited and unlimited mileage offers, which is why you need to work out what is best for you.

Pros & Cons of Limited Mileage Deals

If you’re staying in a city or intend to restrict the amount of time you’re behind the wheel to transfers to and from the airport, then a limited deal could offer greater value.

While limited mileage deals can be cheaper, you do run the risk of racking up hefty fees if you need to exceed that limit for any reason.

Limits vary by rental company too, so you’ll need to check what is included as part of your deal in the terms and conditions before you book.  Most limits are shown as a daily cap, which can range from 20 miles per day to 250, although this should be confirmed in any paperwork and at the rental desk.

However, they add up to form a total at the end of the trip, meaning drivers still have the freedom to explore as they please – for example, if you hire a car for four days with a 25 mile daily limit, you can drive up to 100 miles while in possession of the car.

Avoiding Mileage Charges

It’s essential you check that the odometer matches any mileage figures in the paperwork for your hire vehicle and then you’ll need to carefully watch how many miles you drive.

Of course, it’s not always possible to account for the unexpected so if you do go over a car hire mileage limit, you’ll be charged at a fixed rate for every mile you go over.  These charges will then be charged to the credit card that you used for a deposit when hiring the vehicle.

Alternatively, if you know you’ll be driving a lot or are unsure of how far you’ll go, looking for an unlimited option is probably the best route to take.

If you are going to hire a car in the coming months, you may also want to consider purchasing car hire excess insurance.

This added extra can provide peace of mind by covering the excess you would need to pay should your hire car be damaged or stolen – and cover costs less than you might think. 

Date Created: 10 September 2018