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Some advice to choose your car rental company
The choice of company
Generally, the more the brand is well known, the less surprises you will get. A car rental company with multiple agencies will allow you to give your car back in an agency different from the departure (a one way fee may apply).
Some brands (easyRentACar for example) offer rates that are changing according to dates, in order to spread their cars. In that case, watch the rates from day to day!
Be careful with very low prices (i.e. "£15/day"). Those fares often exclude additional fees, insurance and kilometer charges. They might also only be available for specific dates.
The choice of car
Categories are named with letters: A means a small car (Peugeot 106, Opel Corsa...). You must check your budget of course but also the number of people travelling with you and luggage. Also the gap between two categories might be small, so why not hire bigger?
Usually when you book you will not choose exactly the brand of the car but only the category. Ask about availability and upgrading if you can.
If you do not have to drive long distance, choose an offer which limits the free mileage; fares are often better. On the other hand, for long trips, this formula is very expensive and it's better to choose unlimited mileage (tank must be filled to the same level as when you got the car).
You can ask for accessories (baby seat,...) but they might not be available or expensive.
Your contract must include a basic insurance for responsibility. For any damage during rental you will be liable to pay an excess, depending on the level of Collision Damage Waiver purchased beforehand, and regardless whether it was your fault or not. You should ask if you require any additional insurance cover.
In order to avoid disappointment, it is advised to book in advance. Moreover it could allow to get better deals.
Departure date: it's better to choose a time when the agency is open, in order to get directly the documents and check that everything is correct (especially the state of the car). Similarly for the return, but some car rental companies allow you to leave the keys in their letter box for returns out of hours.
Collection: usually you should collect the car from the agency. Mind that there is an additional tax if you collect from an airport, or charge if you wish the car to be delivered.
You should check the car for any damage and sign to confirm this (including lights, mileage...and if the tank is full).
Returning your car
For ease, choose a company with suitable opening hours, convenient for your needs. However with large companies (Avis, Hertz,...), you can return the car to an other location (a one way fee may apply).
The car and must be returned with full tank of fuel if it was given with a tank full, otherwise a refuelling charge will apply.