Questions to ask yourself before choosing your self drive vehicle
Whether you’re renting a vehicle for business or pleasure, there are plenty of things to consider before you make your booking. These include the rental terms and conditions, insurance options and policies covering additional drivers.
That’s why this month we’ve created a list of some of the most common questions you should be asking yourself before choosing your self-drive car or van.
What’s included in your rental?
When you’re searching for quotes, it’s important that you fully understand everything that’s included in your rental agreement, including any additional charges. For example, if you’re renting from an airport location, you’ll likely pay more, based on the airport surcharges.
The best advice we can give on this is to ask lots of questions. We regularly advise our customers on what option is best for their needs, especially if they have specific requirements.
Do your research beforehand and if you’re unsure about anything, then speak to the customer support team before booking your vehicle.
What are your insurance options?
All vehicle rental companies will insure you whilst you’re driving the vehicle through a collision damage waiver meaning you will only be responsible for the excess on the policy should damage occur to the vehicle. Sometimes you can pay extra to reduce this excess.
If you are renting a vehicle for a longer period of time it may be cheaper to add the vehicle to your own insurance policy, it’s best to speak to the rental company to see if this is an option.
Is the vehicle the right size for your needs?
Sometimes you might think that going for the most cost-effective solution is best, but this isn’t always the case. You need to choose a vehicle based on several factors, including:
- How much luggage you’ll have with you
- How many other passengers will be travelling with you
- Your destination (would a large MPV be suitable for a city break?)
- How many miles you’re planning on driving
- The current weather and road conditions
- Would down or up-sizing be a more practical option
What specialist vehicles are available?
Most self-drive hire companies offer a full range of specialist and commercial vehicles. Whether you need a transit van or a low loader, there are plenty of options available.
If you’re not sure about which vehicle is right for your needs, then make sure you ask the sales team before choosing one.
They’re the best people to speak to, as they have in-depth knowledge on each of their vehicles.
Who is allowed to drive the vehicle?
There are nearly always specific restrictions in place, especially when it comes to who can drive the vehicle.
For example, here at Fourways Self Drive, the driver has to be aged between 25 and 75 and must have held a driving license for at least two years. However, if you’re aged between 21 and 24, or over 75, then you may be considered.
When do you have to return the vehicle?
This doesn’t just apply to the date you have to return your vehicle; it also applies to a specific time. If you’re moving house, for example, you might have to factor in how long it is going to take you to unload all your belongings.
Alternatively, if you’re taking a long weekend break, you should allow enough time to return the vehicle, otherwise, you may be charged.
What are your mileage limitations?
Individual vehicle rental companies all have their own mileage limitations and restrictions. We would always recommend checking the daily mileage allowance before taking a vehicle, especially if you do have a long journey planned.
Any mileage driven over this daily allowance will be charged at a certain price per mile. It pays to speak to the rental company in advance, as they may be able to adjust the rental terms accordingly.
What protection do you have?
We would always recommend that you check the rental company is a member of the industry trade body the BVRLA – the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association. You will have peace of mind that the rental company will have to meet certain quality standards and the process of renting a vehicle should be a smooth and easy one from start to finish.
So there we have it, some of the key questions you have to ask yourself before choosing your self-drive vehicle. We hope that this will help you choose the right car or van in the future.
Now, we have one question for you. Is there anything that you think we’ve missed? We’re always interested in hearing from our readers; so make sure you let us know in the comments below. Alternatively, you can join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
Remember, if you need practical, transparent advice when it comes to renting a vehicle, then we’re here to help. Our specialist team of advisors are always happy to answer any questions you may have, so get in touch with us today if you’re looking for something specific.