New year thoughts turn to far away holidays ... and car hire tips

Car hire made easy
Car hire made easy

We're here to steer you toward getting that extra mile from your holiday car hire.

OK, admittedly it may not be uppermost in your thoughts amid current cold snap, but summer sun still shines like a distant light at the end of winter's dark tunnel.

But, because it's never to soon to plan stay-cation and overseas get-aways - here soundtracked by BBC Top Gear viewers' favourite driving song Queen's Don't Stop Me Now - travel extras expert HolidayExtras.com has compiled top tips on how to make most of holiday car hire.

Extra fuel charges and choosing right insurance are among handy anecdotes to ensure smooth ride behind the wheel on coming jollies.

Providing holiday-makers with freedom to explore destinations in their own time while opening up experiences and locations available, car hire is an extremely popular choice for those heading abroad.

With so many companies and services to choose from, however, the process of hiring a vehicle ahead of a holiday can be overwhelming. Not only are consumers faced with a number of providers when booking but the differences in the protocol they adhere to can also cause confusion during the break itself.

But this needn’t be the way. With a few top tips to hand and a little preparation time, hiring a car for an upcoming get-away can be a smooth ride!

With over 33 years of experience, and a mission to make every trip a better trip, Holiday Extras is the UK’s favourite destination for travel extras. Here, the company shares family-friendly five point plan to make the most of car hire.

Avoid Fuel Charges

When collecting your rental car, make sure you chose the “Full to Full” refuelling option. If you select Full to Empty alternative (when leaving the resort with a full tank, and returning the car on an empty one) you may be charged an extra fee by the provider for the service of refuelling.

Choose the Right Insurance

It may seem more economical to purchase the cheapest excess policy (with the lowest cover). However, to avoid paying out in case of damage, make sure you take out sufficient insurance cover for your journey well in advance. Holiday Extra's Excess Refund Policy add-on protects you for up to £3,000 worth of possible excess charges to give you peace of mind should you have an accident or damage the car in any way.

Beware of Mileage Caps and One Way Fees

Most of the providers Holidayextras.com works with offer unlimited mileage. However, in certain locations, such as Portugal, some suppliers do cap mileage. In addition, you may on occasion be charged for returning the car to a different destination from the one you picked it up at. If you’re planning on driving long distances or one-way, make sure you look out for mileage caps and drop-off charges before you depart to avoid nasty surprises at the end of your journey.

Don’t be Caught Out in the Wrong Car

Do your research before booking a car to avoid disappointment on arrival, or having to pay extra to upgrade. For example, if the car carries five people, will there be ample room for all your items of luggage or other travel needs? Booking well in advance will reduce the chance of your chosen car being unavailable when you arrive, as there isn’t always a guarantee the exact car is going to be available on the day.

Get snap happy

Finally, we recommend fully assessing the car before you set off and photographing it from all angles to avoid any existing damage being wrongly attributed to you once you’ve dropped the car off. It’s a simple and quick action that can provide you with a lot of peace of mind on your break.

UK's market leader for travel add-ons, Holiday Extras offers more information and opportunity to book destination car hire at Holidayextras.com or on 0800 1313777.

The company offers wide choice of holiday booster options including UK airport parking, airport hotels, worldwide airport lounges, destination car hire and holiday insurance.

Established in 1983, Holiday Extras makes bookings for over 7 million travellers each year. The company has been listed ten times in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For and reached number twenty in 2016. The same year Holiday Extras won TTG’s Car Hire Supplier of the Year and Holiday Essentials Company of the Year awards.

Holiday Extras booking app is available to download now via atHolidayExtras.com link.