The cost of renting a vehicle in the U.K., whether high-end car rentals or cheap ones, may still be a better option for those who plan a long-term stay in the country either for business or pleasure.
The reason for this involves standard tax rates for cars that will increase by April this year. Owners of new cars that have more CO2 emissions should expect to pay up to £65 more for their annual levies. Inflation primarily serves as the main reason for the tax hike. While renting a car could be more affordable, you should still be extra vigilant on certain ways to avoid a rip-off.
Be Wary Of Providing Information Right Away
Some customers have complained about transparency of car rental contracts, particularly not being able to review the terms and conditions. You should insist on seeing the contract before signing anything. Avoid signing any document, which includes electronic files. Be wary of hard-sell tactics as well. It may seem tedious, but reading the fine print will save you a lot of trouble and distress over paying for unnecessary charges.
Some of these hard-sell strategies include additional insurance and upgrades that you may not really need in the future. For instance, an ethical company should include a full-to-full fuel policy in the contract. This would increase the basic rental cost, but you avoid spending double on fuel expenses. When it comes to a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), there are also certain things to consider prior to signing a deal.
Before You Drive Away
Customers should consider taking out a zero-excess cover if the CDW and theft protection excesses are high. If you only plan to stay for a few days in London or in another city, be sure to put the correct time on when you would first use the vehicle. Inform the company about changes in your trip such as delayed flights. Reservations are only valid for two hours, especially during peak season.
You may be tired from the trip and just want to drive away. However, you should document any defects on the vehicle before using it. The contract should also state the car’s fuel type. This is important since using the wrong one will forfeit your CDW coverage.
Higher Car Tax Rates
If buying a second-hand car seems more favourable than renting a vehicle, then be prepared to pay a higher tax by April 1. Registered vehicles between March 2001 and March 2017 will incur an additional annual tax of up to £15.
One way to avoid paying more taxes on older vehicles will require you to check the car’s emission rate. Owners of second-hand cars may no longer have to pay if their vehicles have below 120g/kilometre of emissions.
When choosing a car rental company, it pays to conduct due diligence. If you are still undecided on a service provider, ask for three quotes from three different companies to make an informed comparison. How much are you willing to pay for a rental vehicle?