Deciding whether to hire a car for your holiday can be tricky. So here are some questions to ask yourself to help you make a decision.
Some package holidays do and some don’t. As transfers can cost £30 – £40 per person, car hire becomes more attractive financially if you put that money toward the cost of hiring a car. The other advantage is that you can drive straight to your accommodation, you don’t have to do the round of 20 other hotels prior to your drop off or on the way back to the airport. It may also be easy to get to your accommodation by public transport, or a taxi may be a feasible option if your accommodation is fairly close to the hotel and/or if you are travelling with several people.
If you enjoy relaxing by the pool or on the beach, car hire may not be for you. If you are staying in a town or on a bus route, you may be able to do a few local trips by public transport. Some hotels have free shuttle buses but check the frequency of service. The day trips sold by holiday reps are usually pretty expensive but then you get picked up and dropped off at your hotel and are driven around with no concerns about finding your way or parking. But a hire car will give you much more flexibility in where to visit.
If even thinking about this makes you feel nervous, it may not be a good idea. It does also depend on your destination, for example I wouldn’t want to drive (or try to park) around a large town or city.
Some hotels charge for parking, sometimes it’s free of charge, sometimes it’s down to finding a place to park in the street near where you’re staying. However, it’s really frustrating if you can’t find a space close by or if you’re not a dab hand at reversing into tiny spaces, especially with a strange car.
If you do decide to hire a car, shop around to find the best deal, as prices can vary a lot between different suppliers. Check carefully exactly what is included in the price quoted. I’ve seen many companies who claim to offer inclusive prices but if you read the small print there may be extra charges for things such as a second driver, an out of hours fee if your flight is late and/or an excess of several hundred pounds if the car is stolen or damaged.
Posted : Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 12:22
Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.