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Selecting your car hire company

When choosing where to book your car rental  be sure what the headline price does, and more importantly, does not include.

The cheapest price almost certainly will not be the cheapest option. It will probably cover the cost of renting a car and nothing else.  You may think that is all you want but surely you want to drive it!  If it is rented on a "Time and Mileage" (T&M) basis every mile you drive will cost extra.  So which is cheaper, T& M @ 20 a day and 60 miles @1 per mile or 40 unlimited mileage.  Obviously T&M will cost 80 including  mileage which is  40 dearer than unlimited mileage.

Even unlimited mileage can be an expensive option compared with an 'all inclusive' rate as such irritating items as tax needs to be paid.  This can be state, local, government or VAT.  They should all be included in an inclusive rate but not in an limited mileage rate.

Collision Damage waiver is an expensive item but again should be included in an 'all inclusive' rate as should location surcharges, security fees ,loss waiver uninsured driver protection and breakdown cover.

Do inclusive charges include everything? Well the answer has to be no. Petrol is extra of course but so are other things such as child seats, ski racks and GPS but I think you will accept that these are extra's. Another extra that maybe charged is a  one way fee  levied by the car rental company if you do not return the car to the location it is picked up from although rentals within Florida, California and some other states this is not charged..  

The car rental company may well want to charge you for other extras such as personal accident insurance (which you may have already as part of your travel insurance, a higher roadside assistance insurance or even a car upgrade so be careful what you mark as 'accept' on the rental agreement which you sign.

Even this is not the end of the story. To obtain the best rates payment will need to be made in advance. Be aware what the charges are if you cancel. Many companies give no refund.  Cheap-car-rental charge just one days rental on cancellations and this is usually cheaper than the cancellation insurance charged by other companies. Cheap-car-rental, like most companies, do not give refunds when cars are returned early. Many companies make a charge for amendments, cheap-car-rental do not.  When comparing rates consideration should be given to the worth of such rules and add them to the total cost.

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