Frequently asked Questions

When do people consider car hire?

Car hire can be ideal for holidaymakers needing a vehicle, whether they’re travelling abroad or taking a break, or other motorists needing a car for a short period of time.

Which car hire company should I choose?

Typical choices are:

  • Economy: Vehicles with low fuel consumption.
  • Family cars: Space and comfort in a vehicle designed for all the family
  • Convertible: The holiday dream – often at a premium price
  • Luxury: Particularly suitable for business travellers
  • People carriers: If you have a large family
  • 4x4s: Anyone planning to travel off-road

Should I get the cheapest car hire policy available?

Not necessarily, the cheapest deal you find may not include features that you need. For example, air conditioning or enough boot space to fit all of your luggage.


Do I need a credit card to book a hire car?

You should be aware that many providers will not accept cash, cheque or even a debit card and will insist on a credit card.

Where do I pick my hire car up from?

This will depend on which car hire company you choose. Many can be collected at the airport but – if that’s not the case and the hire firm doesn’t offer a shuttle service – remember to factor in the potential cost of things like airport transfers or taxis.

Where do I drop my vehicle off?

This will typically be at the pick-up point. If you want a different drop-off point, you’ll need to arrange this with your provider and, probably, pay a premium for the service.

What’s an excess waiver? Do I have to pay it?

When you arrive at the hire firm, many will ask you/encourage you to pay an extra fee that may be called an excess waiver, theft protection, collision damage waiver, additional liability insurance, or something similar. If you don’t and the vehicle is damaged or stolen in the rental period, you’ll have to pay the excess stated in the terms and conditions – note that excesses can be prohibitively high. There are also specialist insurers offering car hire excess insurance policies that you may want to research and consider before travelling

Will my car be manual or automatic?

Your hire car could have either type of gearbox, so if you need a particular one make sure you specify it when you book.

How do they work the fuel use out?

This will vary from firm to firm, but perhaps the most common is a ‘return it as you received it’ policy – so that could be a half-full tank, full tank, or anything else specified by the hire company. Watch out for deals where you’re ‘sold’ a tank of petrol and can return the vehicle empty – you’ll be paying the price set by the hire firm for that tank of petrol or diesel.

Are there any mileage limits?

This will vary – some policies are unlimited, others have set mileages. If you plan to drive across national borders make sure that this is covered by your policy.

Can I get a child seat?

Many rental firms will let you hire a child seat, but costs could be high – you may want to consider taking your own.

Will I have sat-nav?

More and more modern vehicles come with this as standard or you may be able to pay the hire firm extra for it – check with your provider, or take your own… or use a map!