“Rent from 7 euros per day! Pay online and save up to 20%! “Advertisements like this are seen every day… But what is to be believed? What are these attractive slogans hiding? Faced with all this information, how to find your way around and, above all, how to objectively compare the different car rental rates? The editorial teams have tested it for you!
Car rental rates: what are the rental companies’ practices?
It is not easy to compare the different offers of car rental companies. To find your way around, we advise you to use the same criteria (type of vehicle, duration, period, etc.) and to carry out the same search on several different sites. You can check this website www.drivy.co.uk for further more information about car hire.
The daily call price: it depends on the category of vehicle chosen; it sometimes includes a mileage package or unlimited mileage. But always keep in mind that this is only a starting price: the actual price you will pay per day may finally be twice as high, once you have added your insurance options, services and equipment you will need. Our advice: do not rely on the price “from” to compare car rental rates but make detailed simulations.
A rate calculated according to the rental period: In most cases, the rental period will considerably reduce the price of the daily rate. We compared the price for a one-day car rental and for a 7-day rental for the same type of vehicle: we can increase from 40 to 20 euros per day!
A price that depends on the time of year: Prices are not constant all year round: they often increase during school holidays. Sometimes this difference can be small, but most of the time, the prices are soaring, especially on big weekends!
Services included in the price: or added as options… We often find the unlimited mileage service included in the starting price but you may want to let yourself be guided by a GPS, you may need a baby or child seat, snow tires? So many services that will be added to the initial price and sometimes multiply it by 2! For example, we found a price of nearly 46 euros for the baby seat option….
Unlimited mileage: is it always the best solution? This formula seems interesting at first sight and is an argument often put forward on car rental sites. But depending on your needs, it may not be the most economical. Take the time to estimate the number of kilometers you will cover, taking into account the rate per additional kilometer, which varies between 0.20 and 0.50 euros depending on the company and compare! You will realize that unlimited mileage is not always the most advantageous formula!
The “Internet” rates are often more advantageous than the “agency” rates… but beware of the cancellation conditions. On many sites, the online price is much more attractive than the agency price, (up to 20% difference). But booking by internet is often associated with costs in case of modification or cancellation, read carefully the rental conditions!
The options and additional costs to which you must pay attention
Will you be the only driver? What if you have to cancel your car rental at the last minute? Are you considered as a young driver? What does insurance and deductibles cover? Wouldn’t you already be covered without knowing it? These are the questions you need to answer to choose the options you really need!
Cancellation fees: imagine that at the last minute, you have to cancel your car rental, depending on the case, it can be very expensive! On one of the sites we studied, we found the following statement: “in case of cancellation of an online booking, the price of the rental already paid will be refunded after deduction of an amount corresponding to the maximum price of 3 days’ rental”. On another site, the modification or cancellation of the reservation can be made until the day before midnight without any charge. But be careful, this only applies if you pay in an agency and not online.
Our advice: take the time to look for this information to avoid any unpleasant surprises!
Additional driver or young driver:
Are you two going to drive together? Then you will need to subscribe to this option. It can cost you from 4.50 euros per day and per additional driver up to 18 euros! Take the time to carefully study the information you will find on this subject.
Are you a young driver? Most car rental sites will ask you how old you are before offering you other offers. While some remain rather opaque about the additional costs associated with young drivers, others clearly show an extra charge of more than 37 euros per day of rental…
What insurance do you need? Be aware that your rental always includes third-party insurance and coverage against theft and collisions, even if deductibles apply. Then, you can subscribe to additional insurance but they can amount to 21 euros per day of rental. This is to ensure that you really need these additional options.