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As Brits look for a getaway to make the most of the summer following the Coronavirus pandemic, demand for car hire in the UK has soared.
With uncertainty around overseas travel, many are turning to staycations with coastal and countryside areas up and down the country all proving popular.
For those without a car, hiring one can provide just the flexibility you crave, but there is no shortage of potential pitfalls and things to consider – especially when some rental companies deliver a far better experience than others!
You may want to look for firms that offer the ability to cancel a booking without any fees, for instance, or opt for those which provide exemplary cleaning services. Simply put, it’s essential to shop around.
According to Which?, the average cost of car hire in the UK equates to around £44 per day, although additional charges and unexplained costs can cause that figure to spiral.
Data from a survey of more than 2,200 rental car customers by the consumer watchdog found that one in every five people had experienced problems when hiring.
A quarter of people quizzed also said they had faced unexpected charges, placing plenty of emphasis on choosing the right rental company to use.
Which? discovered a vast gulf between the best and worst-performing car hire companies in its survey, with the top firm scoring 94%, compared to 44% at the wrong end of the scale.
Several leading car hire companies have committed to disinfecting vehicles between every rental, including Enterprise, Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Sixt.
Drivers are encouraged to research rental firms before making a booking to see what cleaning measures are being implemented, and to contact a hire firm directly if they are still unsure on anything. See our article on new car hire measures for further details.
Given the rise in demand for car hire and the need for greater cleaning measures, drivers have also been warned to expect a queue at the rental desk.
With the prospect of a localised lockdown close to home or near a chosen destination, having the ability to cancel a reservation without incurring any fees is essential.
Most firms will offer the ability to do this up until a fixed period before the rental is due to start – this is often 48 hours before – but can be longer.
Again, it’s important to check before making a booking, as every rental company will have its own terms and conditions.
Which? recommends looking to Enterprise or to Zest Car Rental if you need to hire, as both firms performed strongly in the survey for their customer service and transparent pricing, in addition to offering free cancellations until 48 hours before pick up.
If you’re planning a staycation to a far-flung corner of Britain in the coming months, you’ll want to make sure you have adequate insurance in place for your trip.
You may even want to consider an annual car hire excess insurance policy if you’re planning several trips.
With this cover, the excess you’d need to pay in the event of a claim is protected, providing peace of mind for your time on the road.
Date Created: 04/08/2020