RICHMOND UPON THAMES, GREATER LONDON - ENGLAND
SELF DRIVE CAR HIRE
Richmond Car Hire
Car hire: why it is essential to book in advance
No matter where you take your summer break, be it Richmond Upon Thames, Greater London, Exeter or Edinburgh, car hire is usually necessary to make the most of the opportunities for interesting activities and sights, local and not so local. Car hire can really range in price, from the bargain deal to daylight robbery, so here is a brief guide to getting the most out of car hire without paying a fortune.
The golden rule when it comes to car hire, either in Britain of abroad, is to make sure that you make arrangements well in advance; in general, the earlier you book, the better the price you'll get. Never leave it till you get to your destination as you'll always end up paying more. Part of the reason for this is that you're a captive market - the hire company knows you need a car, and so can charge a premium to meet this short notice demand. Another economic factor that is perhaps more palatable is that advance bookings help the car hire company match supply to demand more accurately. Providing last minute car rental at the airport, for example, requires the car hire company to store a fleet of cars nearby for no small cost (as you know, parking is at a premium around airports). The risk for the car hire company is that they'll have a surplus left over at the end of the working week that turns no profit but still incurs storage costs.
In general, booking in advance will also allow you a greater choice of vehicles to hire - if you leave it till you get there, you're stuck with what is left. Booking car hire in advance also allows you time to check the small print regarding important details such as the spec of the car and how many drivers will be allowed in charge of the vehicle. If you are travelling to somewhere hot, like Spain for example, you can make sure that an air conditioned car will be made available. It may seem surprising, but air conditioning is often not standard, even in hotter climes. Finding out that you'll have to pay a premium for air con when you finally get to the front of a queue in a sweltering airport - or worse still, that there are no models with air con left - can be an unpleasant surprise that puts a dampener on the start of your holiday. Booking in advance means that you avoid these nasty surprises, as well as of course the aforementioned airport queue.
As with all transactions, check the terms and conditions before you book, and make the booking with a credit card if you can to take advantage of the general protection offered by credit card companies for transactions of all kinds.