So you’ve made up your mind and selected the right model of the vehicle you are hiring. All that is remaining is the paperwork. But have you figured out the hidden costs of hiring a car? Yes, car hire services often have hidden charges that you should unpack before you sign the contract.

What are the hidden costs?

Knowing how much you are paying for the car is the first step before you commit yourself to anything. Clearly, understand the monthly or weekly car rental prices you are expected to pay. Also, ensure that you are comfortable with the upfront cost, any payment that may emerge at the end of your contract, and any other charges included in your agreement.

If you casually take the rate offered by the rental company at face value, you may think that you’ve landed a fabulous deal. However, you’ll be surprised to find that your bill has considerably rung up at the rental counter. Insurance, airport surcharges, licensing fees may inundate them to the extent that by the time all these car rental hidden costs factored in, you may have paid double what you previously paid.

So we’ll break down some of the hidden charges which you rental companies may notify you when you are returning the car.

Airport Fees

Of course, it is quite convenient to hop from the plane and head straight to the car rentals section. But, remember that all car rental companies operating at the airports pay a concession fee which is factored into your bill. If you hire a car at the airport, be diligent in ascertaining whether the charges are inclusive or not. If not, then know that you’ll have to pay for it later.

Fuel prices

When it comes to fuel policy, each rental company has its own set of rules. The three packages offered by rental companies concerning fuel are full-to-full, full-to-empty, and pay for what you use.

If you get a full-to-full package, you are expected to return the car when fully fuelled. So when you arrive, check the nearest petrol station, and fill the tank before you return the vehicle.

If you get the full-to-empty package, you are required to pay the rental company the money for the fuel up front, and you can then return the car empty. However, the truth is that returning a vehicle with an empty tank isn’t feasible.

If you get the pay-as-you-use package, the rental company will expect you to return the car with the exact amount of fuel it had when you took the vehicle from the company.

It is advisable to choose a ‘full-to-full’ policy because as you fill up, you will not be slapped with a bloated invoice for the fuel and you will not pay for what you didn’t use.

Insurance cover

When driving in the UK, you have to be insured. But unfortunately, most private car insurers exclude hire and hire purchase cars from their insurance policies. So you have no option but to take insurance specifically for this purpose or accept the hire car company’s insurance arrangements and maybe negotiate excess fees. Usually, the hire company’s counter staff may persuade you to purchase their excess waive cover. But, if you are diligent, you can buy a policy online in advance.

Nonetheless, whichever option you choose, you need to be clear on the insurance cost and how it affects the overall hiring cost.

Road tax

Ensure that you are clear whether the car rental service quote includes the road tax. It is even more critical now that paper discs aren’t issued for road tax.

Conclusively, it is essential to get a clear picture of how much you are paying by getting a breakdown before you sign the agreement. Engage the car rental company to give you this after every payment and use that to make a decision.

So, if you’re looking for a budget car to hire, Bristol Car & Van Hire is your safest bet. We offer the best service with very competitive van rental prices. Contact us.