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Car rental insurance for UK vacation

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I am planning travel to UK for 2 weeks around XMas/NY. Planning to rent a car there. Can someone help me with a few questions:

 

1. I only know of expedia for car booking. Any other website suggestions for cheap rentals?

2. I am assuming I should buy rental insurance. Any suggestions on who to buy it from? From the website that rents me the car?

 

Thanks

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Any other website suggestions for cheap rentals?

 

Cheap or reasonable & trouble-free?

 

I used to use Holidayautos but the last few times have booked via ADAC (everything u need is inclusive).

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I can recommend Insurance4carhire.co.uk - they've got good reviews from the travel sections of UK newspapers and when we needed to make a claim (puncture, Madeira) they paid promptly and with no quibble.

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avoid rentalcar.com... I had the unfortunate situation where I booked a car with CWD and 3rd party insurance and when I went to collect the car they did not accept that it was included even though it slearly said so on the confirmation. I ended up paying 400 euros for the smallest budget car for 6 days in portugal. The original price was only 200 Euros..

The complaint process was useless...

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@drifterwayfarer

 

take a look here at moneymaxim where you can make a comparison on the various car hire excess insurance policies that are available. I could recommend the insurance company I have used for the past few years but that really depends on the type of policy you want so the comparison site I think is a better option for you. You can take a policy out for the rental duration or for the year which would cost around £40.00 for European cover.

 

The excess insurance in the UK for car rentals is voluntary, meaning you either have your own policy through a broker, you can take the additional cover through a booking agent which is more expensive than a yearly policy if the rental is longer than 4-5 days, you can take the rental companies very expensive policy or you can opt out altogether which in my experience is not recommended regardless of how good a driver you think you are.

 

In addition it does not matter whether you book with rentalcars.com, ADAC, holidayautos or Bodge it and leg it rentals they are all booking agents (with the exception of the last) not rental companies and they make a lot of money from selling people those additional excess policies which you are under no obligation to purchase.

 

Unfortunately in most cases like the above posters the issues with the insurance being paid twice isn't actually anything to do with rentalcars.com specifically as this would of happened with any other booking agent using that same rental company.

 

I rent on a regular basis and for me it's all about price and vehicle type and I have mainly used rentalcars.com with no problems.

 

If you are flying into the UK which is most likely then see if you're airline has an affiliated program with any of the rental companies. Ryanair for example have a partner program with Hertz and I always rent through them if I'm flying as they are normally the cheapest.

 

My advice especially for UK rentals is use any reputable booking agent and compare prices or book direct with the rental companies. If booking with a booking agent then always read the small print. Be aware that if collecting a car from an airport some rental companies are not located within the airport and so a short shuttle bus journey may be required which should be indicated when booking.

 

 

 

@galloping clogs, the Portugal rental wasn't with Avis by any chance?

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What about AutoEurope, When we are renting cars through Europe that is who we use, you can rent the car with or without insurance, or shop around with specific rental companies...Sixt is another that comes to mind, Hertz, Budget.

Also, if you purchase travel insurance, most of the companies offer car insurance coverage, fine print if the rental company does not accept the insurance, they will reimburse for the cost of policy.

Try a travel agency and let them shop around for you.

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Thanks everyone. I'll try out the comparison website Sir Percy wrote about, and the few others you guys mentioned.

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One more - are there any car rentals in UK, especially at the airport, that rent cars for say 6-24hrs? Like ZIPCars in the US...

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They all do, you're charged the daily rate for it.

 

I rent quite often with several of the big firms, fly in in the morning and return car in afternoon when flying back.

 

In most cases it's nearly always cheaper than taking the train depending on where one needs to be of course.

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ok, so looks like no cars that go by the hourly rate with drop off locations throughout the city...

 

I will get the daily rate car then. Its just that its much easier to have a car if 2 people r hauling 4 pieces of luggage

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I always rent my cars with Europcar (UK, France, Italy and Portugal) never had a problem with them and price are competitive also.

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@Sir Percy

 

it was Budget (now part of Avis if I'm not mistaken)

 

I've also regularly used rentalcar.com without a problem but after this incident I will probably go direct with the supplier in future.

Funnily enough, after I got nowhere with my complaint with rentalcars, I thought I'd try my luck with Budget, and yesterday I got a refund for 200 euros :)

 

The only other word of caution I have regarding hire cars is the petrol policy. I got stung on that trick a couple of years ago (also Portugal but with gold cars!) where the car came with a full tank of petrol which we had to pay for upfront regardless of how much or little petrol was used. It was company policy and no way round it so turned out very expensive for 100 miles.

 

Regarding insurance I also use Insurance4carhire.co.uk. Can't say if they're any good, as luckily I've not had to make a claim.

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ok, so looks like no cars that go by the hourly rate with drop off locations throughout the city...

 

That's what Taxi's are for!

 

As far as I know there are no companies in the UK that offer an hourly rate, it just isn't a viable option given that you can rent cars for less than £35.00 a day.

 

Until coming to Germany many moons ago I'd actually never seen hourly rentals, in most cases I think they are more expensive offering less flexibility than a normal day rental but I think that represents the German mentality but that's for another post.

 

Couple of points that spring to mind, first, be careful with one way rentals they can double the cost of the rental when dropping off at a different location. Occasionally you might find a company offering this in the price but I have very seldom seen it.

 

Secondly, if you're driving into London and enter the congestion zone you MUST purchase in advance or by midnight on the day of travel the congestion charge If you don't the rental company will charge your credit card and it's not cheap.

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ok, so looks like no cars that go by the hourly rate with drop off locations throughout the city...

 

That's what Taxi's are for!

 

As far as I know there are no companies in the UK that offer an hourly rate, it just isn't a viable option given that you can rent cars for less than £35.00 a day.

 

Until coming to Germany many moons ago I'd actually never seen hourly rentals, in most cases I think they are more expensive offering less flexibility than a normal day rental but I think that represents the German mentality but that's for another post.

 

Couple of points that spring to mind, first, be careful with one way rentals they can double the cost of the rental when dropping off at a different location. Occasionally you might find a company offering this in the price but I have very seldom seen it.

 

Secondly, if you're driving into London and enter the congestion zone you MUST purchase in advance or by midnight on the day of travel the congestion charge If you don't the rental company will charge your credit card and it's not cheap, £65.00 if paid in 14 days plus whatever the rental company adds on for admin.

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