Friday 10 July 2009

Book your car hire early this summer - you might not get one at the last minute

Due to the world economic situation, it appears that many car rental companies have not been replacing their car hire fleets and decreasing the number of vehicles they have.

Earlier this week I heard of two people who had decided to take a last minute break at a friend's villa in the south of France arrived at Nice airport hoping to rent a car. They could not find anything apart from an Audi TT that was rather expensive for the week due to the type of car it is.

One of their friends contacted several car rental companies on the phone and was politely told they had no vehicles available.

Eventually they were able to source a vehicle (but would not be able to collect it for a couple of days) from a vehicle body repair company that provides courtesy cars. This was only possible because the villa owner actually knew of this company.

I normally use Holiday Autos and looked on their website seaching for cars at Nice airport for the next day. There was a message saying "We do not have any cars that meet your requirements" and I found the same situation on the 11th July looking for a car from 12th.

I then tried looking for a car from the 12th Augusst and had no problems. Remaining with a search in France for around 12th July and tried Lille Airport. Obviously not such a popular area in northern France as there are cars available.

Finally moving on to another popular location Alicante in Spain, there was no problem, however who knows in a few days time they could be just as busy, so whenever possible try and book well in advance, particularly in the height of the summer when events like the Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival is on.

Remember of course when book you car rental, from any car rental company to take adequate car hire excess insurance. Companies like insurance4carhire.com and questor offer great value policies that are usually cheaper than those offered by the car rental companies themselves.

You will normally be quoted a daily or weekly or period of rental you require cost for the car rental, however there are normally extras like car hire excess insurance, additional drivers, airport collection fee (not memany airports add this on, however Dublin airport in Ireland does and it a lot of money as it appears an easy way to make additional income from their clients) so check this out first.

Have a great summer holiday and if you have any experiences you want to share please use this blog.

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