Car rental can be a bewildering experience, but it really needn’t be, says Neil Cunningham, managing director of Hertz. Here are his top six tips for a smoother journey whatever type of vehicle you’re hiring…
Whether the booking is for business or pleasure, for a car or other type of vehicle, take the time to understand the insurance options and services available to you, and select the package which best suits your needs.
The key considerations to bear in mind when renting a vehicle for yourself, or drawing together a rental policy for your employees, are:
1. Insurance cover
It is important that you recognise the potential risks involved in renting a vehicle and take all the necessary measures to minimise them for yourself and your staff. Ensuring that you and your employees have adequate insurance cover and understanding your liability in case of damage or an accident is key. This will help you assess the type of cover to choose when renting a vehicle at home or abroad. Recognising potential risks is vital to assess the extras to include with each rental. These are normally based on factors such as the destination and length of rental.
2. What happens if the car breaks down?
All the information required in the unlikely event of breakdown is provided at the rental desk – and it is also available online. Understanding this information before starting your journey can save a lot of time and worry should the worst happen and you suffer from a breakdown or flat tyre. Make sure that you and your colleagues read and digest the information provided.
3. And what about fuel?
Car rental companies supply their vehicles with a full tank of fuel and most of them expect the car to be returned with the same amount of fuel. If time is tight, then it’s possible to pre-purchase a full tank up front in order to avoid any unexpected refuelling service charges, but this could prove to be an expensive option if you’re unlikely to use a full tank. Understand the costs of each option and be clear to your staff what the company policy is.
4. Other useful extras
Purchasing a tank of fuel or an optional insurance waiver at the beginning of your rental can certainly provide added peace of mind. Most rental companies also offer a host of other extras to make your journey run smoother, from satellite navigation systems, to portable WiFi hotspots – such items can become a very useful travel companion!
5. Vehicle collection
Another additional service worth considering is delivery and collection of the vehicle by a customer service representative. This option saves time and it can be particularly useful if the vehicle is only required for part of a business trip or holiday.
6. Car rental rewards
Additionally, many car rental companies have their own loyalty programmes, which embody a number of advantages and result in great time and cost savings for the both renters and their companies. These schemes, usually free to join, are particularly useful for frequent travellers as the points they earn can often be used for free rental days.
IoD members can access 10 per cent discount on global car rentals with Hertz, the IoD’s preferred provider of car rentals, as well as a whole range of other specially negotiated benefits. To find out more, visit www.iod.com/carrental