Holiday car hire: where to find the best deals
Whether you’re away for a long weekend or a few weeks, hiring a car is often the most convenient way to get around while you’re on holiday. With a car at your disposal, you’ll get to travel on your own schedule and avoid being a slave to strict train and bus timetables.
But hiring a car overseas may not be as straightforward as it sounds, and it’s often easy to get stung by high prices and poor vehicles. The solution is to do your homework: compare prices, providers and reviews thoroughly online before making your decision. Here’s our pick of the best car hire comparison and advice sites on the web.
Best websites for comparing overseas car hire
When comparing worldwide car hire, it’s best to trust the experts. Silversurfers has partnered with Car Trawler who are one of the largest car hire providers with all the top brands such as Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Dollar, National and SIXT to offer the very best prices and car hire at over 30,000 locations worldwide.
Look for well-established brands that you recognise and have a strong reputation to be sure of a quality service. Holiday Extras, for instance, compares car hire prices from a range of major hire companies, including Avis, Alamo, Sixt and National Car Rental. You can choose to pick up your car from several major airports around the world too, so you can begin your driving holiday as soon as you get off the plane. What’s more, if you find a cheaper quote elsewhere, you could get your holiday car for free from Holiday Extras, so it’s certainly worth beginning your search here if you have a tight budget.
If you’d like to get your travel arrangements sorted out as quickly as possible, consider booking your hire car as soon as you book your flights. For instance, if you’ve booked flights through a comparison site like Skyscanner, you’ll also be able to use their car rental comparison tool to find the best deal. You won’t have to input extra information either, since the site will already be aware of your travel dates and destination.
Lastminute.com also has a wide range of overseas car hire deals, with regular special offers on their ‘Destination of the Month’. Elsewhere, Holiday Autos claims to compare 800 different providers – but you should beware of deals that seem too good to be true from companies of which you have no previous knowledge.
RCA car hire is another great site for comparing overseas car hire, whether you’re an RAC member or not. With 30,000 pick-up locations around the world and a simple, secure booking process, this site offers a seamless online experience that you can trust.
Car hire advice
Not sure how to pick the best deals? MoneySavingExpert.com’s cheap car hire page offers a wide range of valuable tips – from how to beat excess insurance costs to avoiding stealth charges. So if you’re feeling flustered by holiday car hire, this is essential reading.
If cost is a particular concern, don’t miss this Guardian article on holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off. And this advice from the AA on hiring a car abroad is very useful if you’re worried about insurance implications or you’d like to know more about the European car rental conciliation service scheme (ECRCS).