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AA Travel Insurance

Car rental tips when on holidays

Published 8th July 2022Read Time 4 min

Renting a car while holidaying abroad is proving to be quite expensive this year. You not only have extra rental and insurance costs, but now you have record high fuel prices to contend with too.

With prices at the forecourts unlikely to come down any time soon, you might be wondering how can you save some money. Well fear not, because we have rounded up our top car rental tips when on holidays.

Plan in advance

Our first piece of advice is to plan your holiday well in advance! It is a known fact that prices rise when holidays or car rentals are left to the last minute. Renting a car is in high demand across Europe this summer, so to ensure you actually get a car and to ensure you get it for a good price, book your spot in advance. This will make sure the dealer is aware and you have a good trip! Win, win.

Book locally

Think you’re better off going with big rental companies? Think again. Small rental companies often provide cheaper prices, so booking locally is a great way to go. We always give the advice to shop around where you see fit, but at the same time don’t book with a brand or company you have never heard of. One top car rental tip when on holiday is to not book with airport hire companies. Cars are in demand there, so prices will soar. Think cost over convenience.


What about insurance? Our tip is to buy from a third-party insurer rather than from the rental firm, which will prove to be more expensive. Why not check out AA Insurance and get a quote today.

Check the car before you drive away

This is to ensure you don’t get blamed for any damage you didn’t cause. Before you leave the car park, check the car thoroughly and make note of any existing issues like scratches or dents on the wing mirrors, doors and the bonnet and take a photograph of these. Write down the damage and get both parties to sign, including the dealer.

High fuel costs while abroad

Find out how you’re going to pay for fuel when on holidays. There are usually two ways you can pay for fuel in a hired car; full-to-empty or a full-to-full policy. The full-to-empty policy might seem straight-forward, but remember you are paying for the rental firm’s costs. They fill up the tank and you pay, meaning they could be purchasing the most expensive fuel on the market. And what happens if you don’t use the full tank? That will also cost you money.

The full-to-full policy means you can choose where you purchase your fuel, ultimately opting for a cheaper option on the market and if you don’t use the full tank, you will only have to fill up what you used.

It’s also important to shop around for fuel while on holidays, and drive efficiently. Here are the AA’s top fuel saving tips.

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