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How to save money on your holiday car rental


If it hasn’t happened to you, then you will know someone it has happened to - holiday car rentals are never as smooth as they are supposed to be.

We all understand that we are organising a car from a different country, so with a different set of rules and regulations we get that it’s never going to be easy, but why is it so hard? There are often long queues at the other end, hidden charges - sometimes both at the pick-up and drop-off - and then there is the insurance: the infamous excess.

Added to this, there are baby seats to pay for, fuel costs and the additional driver. In short, it’s a minefield, but a little research can really help things along and we want to make sure that renting your holiday car is not a hardship by compiling some of the best advice in this blog.

Not looking to get ripped-off? Here are our top tips…

Worry about location

While airport car rentals may have the widest range and the biggest fleets, they face all sorts of levies and taxes which means they are the most expensive by a country mile. Consider getting a taxi into town and picking up from there, or just get the airport bus and you will see the prices drop sigificantly. It’s also well worth doing a loop, as drop-offs in different places will incur an extra charge. Finally, don’t plan on taking the car across any border because this will cost a fortune, if it is allowed.

Ensure you are insured

Read the insurance small-print. The Collision Waiver Damage (CWD) is not fully comprehensive as we understand fully comprehensive, even if it says it is. These days, the waiver could mean a sizeable charge because as budget rentals squeeze prices, the insurance takes a hit. Also, check you have the right licence for that country, as insurance won’t pay out if they think you’re on the wrong licence.

Smart booking

Could you save money on your flights, even before booking your holiday car? Whilst several commentators have disputed the claim, some believe that deleting the cookies stored on your computer could result in lower holiday flight prices when returning to a booking website. The theory is that the airline company will know from your initial visit what you are interested in, from the cookies stored on your computer, and may start to increase their prices!

When booking a holiday car rental, it’s worth checking rental websites in the country you are traveling to. Often, you only come across the most expensive options when you are booking from abroad, so if you know the language of the country you’re traveling to then it’s well worth checking local sites to get the best prices. Also, try to be flexible, as prices can change considerably if you can pick-up and drop-off a couple of hours later.

Shop around

The car seats, the extra driver and the fuel costs all vary, especially in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. This makes shopping around essential.

Credit cards

Be sure that you have enough space on your card for the deposit, and more importantly be sure that it is the driver’s card used to book the car. If it’s not, the rental company might well ask for a new deposit.  

Wherever you travel, we hope you have a great holiday! And if you’re holidaying here in the UK, don’t forget to check out the great car rental deals here at Mayday Vehicle Rentals