Renting a car over owning it is the general norm nowadays. With the availability of numerous car rental services across London consumers are spoilt for choice. There are options available from car to trucks, off road to economy to super luxury ones. Consumers can hence choose from such a wide range of fleet depending on their budget and requirement. It has been seen that the percentage of ownership has dipped owing to the increasing cost of maintenance and insurance. Renting a car has become trendier and a cost effective option chosen by people to commute around.
Numerous car rental companies have emerged over the years. Car rentals have become easier with car categories breakdown along with a full vehicle fleet guides to help people make their choice. Consumers can personalize their drive and ensure that it is comfortable, safe and fun with added features like a navigation system, winter tires and baby car seats. Apart from this there are other features such as flexible rental terms. In such a case a person can enjoy his freedom and peace of mind by including features such as unlimited miles; sometimes a second driver and can also extend his insurance package.
North West London has a diverse mix of lifestyles. It invites visitors to explore and analyze the engaging mix of cultures and classes. From intellectuals in Hampstead to a punk population in Camden town, Jewish Restaurants, Wembley Stadium, Irish pubs, there are plenty of savors here. It also has prime connectivity to parts of Europe too. It is a major tourist destination and hence the rising need of car rental service in North West London is observed.
The Emerging Trend of Hiring Cars
A car is a basic lifestyle need for residing in a city like that of London. However owing to the cost of living index which is particularly higher in such a city, owning one is a constraint for most individuals. Need to own a car can be individualistic and cannot be generalized. For some it is a status requirement while for some it is for travelling. In order to cater to such needs and at the same time to wave off a recurring monthly cost, people are opting to hire cars over owing them.
Most companies have a wide variety of features which has made consumers make renting decisions prompter and easier. Various packages to suit all income levels with a variety of cars to choose from have made the overall experience pleasant and hassle free. A person need not worry about the maintenance cost or for that matter insurance as well for a hired car.
People opting for hiring cars need not worry on the depreciating cost of cars which becomes a matter of concern while disposing off in case of ownership. Also to note further, the initial down payment in case of renting cars in much cheaper in comparison to purchasing it. It is because of these reasons that car rental service has overall risen.
Features Offered by Car Rental Service Providers
There are a plethora of services offered by most car rental service providers across North West London. Let us have a look at those below-
1. Pick and Drop- Most service providers offer this. It helps in saving cost and time as well. You can probably get your hired vehicle delivered and picked up from your doorstep, your place of work or at any other place of your convenience.
2. Efficient customer care- There is mobile application of most organizations which can easily be downloaded. This way booking can be made in a hassle free manner. The reservation management system has improved over the years. Customer care executives assistance is provided throughout the process of booking.
3. Movers and Packers- Apart from hiring cars for personal use there are vans or goods carriers available too. These help in moving packages and goods ion case of relocation.
4. Added Features- many companies offer customized rental plans. Here the customer can have the option of choosing from extending his insurance package to reworking on the time frame for which the car was hired. Generally in most cases the time period for hiring a car is for a minimum locking period of 28 days. Many companies also offer the option of buying off the car at the time of renewal of the rental contract.
5. Variety of cars on hire- mainly the choice of a vehicle to hire depends on your requirement and budget. In most cases there is a wide range of options available to help consumers decide upon the same. The basic categories include multi utility vehicles, economy class cars to luxury ones. They have further options like that of hatchbacks, convertibles and sports model too. . People can also customize the look of the car as per their choice.
Tips to Find the Best Car Rental Service in North West London
North West London is a prime location that can be explored and analyzed well if you are well aware of the routes and the places. In case if you are not, the easiest option to go for is to hire a car along with a local driver who can make your touring experience memorable. However you should do your homework while choosing from the various service providers available.
When renting a car, you will need to make certain decisions, including whom to rent your car from, what kind of car to get, where to pick it up from and what is the best price to avail off.
Here are certain tips that can help you in the entire process of making a decision to choose a car for rent:
1. Always Perform a Comprehensive Car Rentals Search
This will help you understand which company is offering you services at what price. You will acquire better knowledge in the process and comparison of deals shall help you make a better choice. You can also enter destinations that you wish to visit and search for package options if available or not. It is also important to understand whether the service provider is the one who is actually selling the deals or not.
A proper breakup of the deal is very important for you to understand the actual cost of rent. You should always guard against hidden costs and hence reading the car rental contract is of utmost importance before agreeing to it. A company that offers a transparent deal with proper cost breakup should always be opted for. It is seen that weekend rates are generally cheaper in order to attract more people to opt for renting than on week days. Hence make your renting choice likewise.
2. Visit the Car Rental Company Personally
Before choosing to agree on a particular company for hiring a car it is always important that you go and visit their nearest branch. Speak to the customer care executive upfront and clarify all your doubts. Discuss your requirement and ask for all the terms to be clarified to you. Only if you come across the customer care executive to be friendly and has explained you not only the terms but the value added offerings, you can thus go for it. In cases of trouble a replacement car is likely to be sent across to you, in case you choose a well renowned company.
3. Do a Thorough Background Check
Due to the rise in fraud cases it is the ultimate responsibility of the consumer to do proper background search of the company from which he is hiring. It is advisable that you read all reviews from customers online before taking your call. It is recommended that services should be undertaken from a well-established organization of repute with branch offices all over. In such a case even if you happen to come across a problem, you can immediately refer your case to the nearest branch.
4. Be Careful with you Card Details
Most of the payments are done online. Be wary of revealing your internet banking details or credit/debit card details. Only reveal such information to organizations that offer proper confidentiality of a consumer’s data. In most cases the norm is to take a part payment to confirm your booking and the rest after you have availed of the services. Always guard against companies that operate on a prepaid model of payment as you are ideally paying off even before taking the service.
5. Don’t Make Impulsive Decisions
It is very important to understand that you are not making a decision to rent a car out of impulse. Understand your requirements and the purpose behind the decision. In cases where you take an irrational decision, chances are that you miss out on checking vital information such as the condition of the car, the insurance coverage, receipts of insurance premium payments, and so on.
While you are in the process of decision making always check through the condition of the car not only the exterior but the interior as well. You can also take along a car fanatic who would be in a better position to judge the working condition of the car. Get all the paperwork thoroughly checked in by your lawyer. Test driving a car is also a good method of evaluation.
6. Book Your Car in Advance
It is always advisable to book your car much prior. As the saying goes that the early bird gets the real worm. No matter how clichéd it may sound but it hold true for booking cars on rent. It is primarily because rates depend on how many cars are available at the time of rent. Hence book your car at least a week or two prior.
7. Check the Fuel Options
When it comes to fuel charges, car renters have the two options. They can either choose to pay in advance for a full tank and bring the car with the fuel tank empty, or they can also refuel the tank as per their requirement. Most companies suggest that you should go ahead in terms of paying for the prepaid model, but it is not convenient unless of course you are absolutely sure of using the same to the full. Else it so shall happen that you may end up paying much more than you actually consumed. However though it does save time and energy of having to wait in a gas station.
8. Be Careful of Hidden Costs
Most car rental service in North West London provide a combo package so that you can upgrade to a larger vehicle at a comparatively lower cost. However it is recommended opt for it only if you truly require a larger vehicle. If you don’t, the original offer would be much cheaper for you. Besides, a larger vehicle generally tends to require much fuel; hence the cost that you save initially is burned out in a different way.
9. Parents Get Your Own Child Safety Seat
In case you are travelling with a child, you can save on additional costs by bring your own child safety seat. Most service providers charge you additionally if you happen to require the same. Also you can do a research to find out that there is numerous car rental services in North West London who provide for child safety seats at no additional cost. This can thus bring down your car rental expenses significantly. You can also save for paying extra for a navigation feature, as you can easily use your smart phone for the same.
10. Check for Membership Options
Opting for club memberships can also bring down your car rental costs. Most companies have memberships wherein a member can pay for services for a year and avail of certain perks and privileges. This is advisable in cases you are a frequent renter. Perks include extra mileage, additional insurance coverage; free rental days and airline miles to name a few. In case you are looking forward to save costs always opt out for a smaller available model. In case you are looking forward to hire cars on a short note then probably choosing from a reputed brand is advisable. If you looking ahead to rent a car for a longer period of time you can get better deals from a local service provider.
11. Ask for Discounts
You can always ask for discounts for any major national organizations like that of credit card programs to which you belong. Always check for promotional codes if any to further lower your costs. Taking precautionary guards against such mistakes can hugely save your car rentals expenses to a great deal.
12. Don’t Pay for Addition Insurance Coverage
You should also never pay for additional insurance coverage which is just not required. In case you happen to make your payment from a credit card, it will automatically pay in for anything that your personal policy does not cover. At the same time you would not have to pay for the deductibles too. Hence check through all insurance policies so that you can decline to take additional ones.
13. Double Check Currency Conversions
Always double check currency conversions as some sites may project the dollar rates to be cheaper while it may give you a complete different picture in reality. Do convert your prices in order to understand fudged up rates. This will give you better clarity in comparing prices and help take your decisions better. Apart from this it is the trend is the longer you rent the lesser is the price per day. It might so happen that renting cars for a period of seven days might cost you the same as renting for a period of two days.
14. Pay Upfront Fee
You should always opt out for paying an upfront fee for renting cars. Most likely you shall end up getting a discount and paying for generally the amount that was told to you. This shall prevent you from an overseas transaction fee on your credit card. Apart from this in case you are purchasing a collision damage waiver as insurance most likely it would be cheaper in case you pay upfront.
Also it has been seen that there are typically a lot of conditions when it comes to cancelling the transaction. In such cases be wary of the cancellation fee and unless you are sure of the company’s cancellation policy, you should only then take your decision.
15. Read the Contract Properly
Last but not the least; do ensure that you read the fine print of your reservation voucher after having made the payment. Many a time people tend to overlook minor details in a state of hurry. Either they are jetlagged or in a rush to hit the roads. Do not forget to take a copy of your voucher along with you. Many a times it so happens that you book your rental over phone and chances are that might skip over certain details. In such cases you might end up paying more than the actual cost. Hence reading the same before moving ahead may help you avoid unpleasant surprises.
Options for Car Rental Company
There are innumerable car rental services in North West London to choose from. Most of us start our search on a travel booking site like that Expedia. However it is but natural that you might like to determine which company’s offer involves the best combination of rates with the fees and the extras that you are looking for.
Service, pick up and drop, are other determinants of your decision making process. Even though such information is available over the internet it is easier to make a phone call to get all your questions answered.
There are numerous Europe based agencies in North West London such as the YesCarRentals. It is a well reputed car rental service provider in London. With a wide fleet of cars available for hire, it has deals and offers to suit the need and budget of all. It further offers to rent cars to young drivers over the age of 21, which is the unique selling proposition of the firm. Its main objective is to help the process of renting cars easy and accessible for everyone.
Some Common Mistakes to Guard Against While Renting Cars
There are many a time that in the process of renting a car we overlook certain areas and go ahead with our decision. Mentioned below are certain common mistakes which should be taken care off while renting cars:
· You should take guard against booking your car from the airport. Most people do so and end up paying a very high premium for the convenience. In such cases you have to incur a lot of surcharges which accounts to almost 10% of the rental rate in addition to other taxes. However most car rental services in North West London are more than happy to pick you up from the airport. This way you do not have to sacrifice convenience for cost savings.
· In situations where the booking of the car requires you to return the car with a full gas tank, do remember to do so. In case you forget to do so, the company has full rights to pay you a predetermined price per gallon of gas which is generally higher in comparison to local gas prices.
· Make sure that you know the percentage of the add-on that is payable along with the rental fair. In most cases the taxes for international car rentals can be around 10-30%. Additionally international car rentals are subjected to a possible value added tax (VAT). Hence you should read the agreement before agreeing on the liability.
· Pre rental inspection of utmost importance. You should always check for even minute details before hiring a car. This may include scratches, cracks in light covers, mirrors or wind shields, body dents, chipped paint, stains in the upholstery or other seemingly minor problems. The reason why you should mention such instances before hiring only so as to notify that you are not held responsible for such problems and pay for it later on at the time of return.
· When it comes to insurance be knowledgeable about the insurance coverage that the car has. Generally Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) is the most important one that provides accidental death and medical coverage for the renter and additional passenger during the time they are riding or driving with you. Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) provides protection against the loss or theft of personal belongings from the rented car. You need to check with your own auto insurance in order to understand whether additional excess coverage is already provided or not. In case it is then you need not opt for any additional insurance.
· Always ensure to verify your confirmation before departing. Your confirmation voucher will have reference code, the duration details, your payment amount, and the specifications of the car that you have reserved besides the company name. In case you have two different flight timings to attend ensure that you inform the same to the car rental company so that they may hold your reservation and not cancel it. Most often people forget to inform the company as a result of which their bookings are cancelled.
· In case you happen to return the car after four hours from the time you were supposed to return, it is generally advised to extend your contract over another day rather than paying for the hourly rents which is generally higher. People often end up paying a huge amount failing to return the car on time.
· All rental cars are liable for all parking and traffic violations. Hence be wary of the traffic guidelines while taking the car on rent. Most insurance coverage and contracts are void if you happen to encounter an accident under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can lead to severe financial expenses if not taken guard against.
· In case you have hired a driver along with the car make sure to check all his license documents before allowing him to drive. In case you have already mentioned that you can drive yourself and still they have send across a driver, make sure to notify them at once. Failing to do so, a huge amount of charge may be levied upon you without your requirement for it also.
· In case you are opting to drive a car all by yourself, do make sure that you own a valid International driving license. This shall be further verified by the car rental service provider before handing over the car to you for rent. They might as well keep a photocopy of your driving license with them as well.
Renting cars have always been convenient over owing them. They give the sense of ownership of cars for a given period of time without having to take additional responsibilities for the same. You can have your peace of mind and freedom as well. The trend of renting over owing is predominant in case of urban and well-populated areas.
People have chosen this path because of the convenience it offers and reduce the burden of maintenance, insurance and depreciation drastically. With numerous car rental service providers available in plenty across various destinations in North West London, people have more options to choose from. Companies with various outlets are available making it easier for people to book their reservations.
You can hence ideally let go off the perils of ownership. However it is very important to do your research before opting for hiring cars. Make sure you guard against the mistakes as mentioned above in the article and follow the tips for renting, which would make the entire process a pleasurable one for you. However having said to make your research the best way still is to go by the reputation of the company while choosing a car rental service.
Author Bio: Vineet Agarwal has been long associated with V1 Technologies which offers world class Website Design, SEO & PPC, Domain & Hosting, Mobile AppDevelopment and other similar services. Aside from being a dynamic entrepreneur, Vineet is an avid traveller and loves exploring new countries and culture. Discount car rentals interest him largely and he has been extensively sharing his knowledge with friends and peers about discount car rentals and mistakes to avoid when hiring cars.