Within the industry, a question that is regularly asked by travellers is ‘Why am I being charged extra when I collect my car? There are many factors as to why business travellers incur additional costs when picking up their car from a hire company, but how do you know if your car hire charges are getting out of hand and affecting your corporate travel spend?
A lot of people are not sure what the price of their hire car includes and the wording used on confirmations from some hire companies can sometimes be unclear. Business travellers have found that at individual car hire check in desks they have been pressurised to sign up for extra insurances such as Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) which they may not have needed (if their own personal insurance covers car hire), a second driver and excess waivers which were not always needed. This information is usually hidden in the small print that it is already included and therefore, put simply, it is extra profit for the car hire company and needs to be avoided.
So how do you get around this?
A good Travel Management Company will work with businesses to see what specific needs they may require when hiring a car, and will double check the needs of the individual for any extras which will be stated with the cost of the hire. Business Travel Agents will work out what works best for each business and can negotiate favourable terms with a specific car hire supplier, meaning it is clear what is included right from the start and your corporate travel spend and budget doesn’t exceed its initial expectations.
Top Tips for Car Hire
- To obtain the best rates, it is generally recommended by a business travel company that all car hire that is undertaken uses the Businesses own insurance where it can do. This will also mean the actual rates for the hire are reduced to start with.
- Check if your licence is valid. Just as in the UK you will need a full and valid driving licence to hire a car overseas, and on top of this within the EU you may be asked to provide a check code to the supplier. This enables the hire companies check your credentials before you start your hire…...a code can be obtained via the GOV.UK website however in addition your corporate travel company should be able to guide you on best practice when hiring a car for overseas use.
- Safety should be the most important aspect of hiring any car, so make sure you check the tyres and bodywork of the vehicle before you drive away. If you spot any issues, make sure you tell the car hire company and ask for a suitable replacement. Most large reputable companies provide cars under a certain age to ensure you are getting a safe and reliable car with all checks completed prior to hand over, but in more remote areas or less developed countries, this isn’t always the case.
- For some countries outside of the EU, you may need to have an international driving licence…….. this can be obtained via the Post Office, the AA Or RAC, again advice can be found on the GOV.UK website.
- You may see multiple rates come back when you search online for a hire car and this is usually down to what’s included in the rate. You may initially see and choose a low cheaper rate... however, when you get to your pickup location the car hire company may add insurance and local taxes amongst other hidden charges. A good business travel agent will always check that the local taxes, fees and insurances are included before you pick up the car. If you're not using a travel management company, always check the small print before you reserve so you know exactly what you're getting into with no expensive surprises further down the line.
- The car hire company may be able to deliver the vehicle to a business address or to a home/personal address for an individual requiring car hire with an early start. This sometimes incurs a fee, which will have been negotiated in the terms between the business, the TMC and the car hire company.
If you want to keep control of your travel budgets and not waste money unnecessarily then please use these tips to help you next time you're thinking of hiring a vehicle. If you have any top tips when hiring a car when on business please let us know and comment in the box below.