Car Hire and Cross Border Fees

There will usually be additional fees for taking your rental across borders. You should always check which countries you're allowed to take your car rental into by clicking the terms and conditions section and reading the cross border rules information on our website. For insurance reasons, you must inform the car rental company that you plan to take the rental across a border otherwise the rental will not be insured.

Renting a Car with no Insurance Excess Held on Your Card

How to Rent a Car without an Insurance Excess Held on Your Credit Card

The insurance excess is the total amount you would be liable to pay if the car is written off, severely damaged or stolen. However, the excess amount on hire cars can be very high. It's often between £900 to £2,000, depending on the car, the country and the deal. If the car is returned damaged, or it's stolen or written off, you'll have to pay up to the total amount of the excess.

When you arrive to collect the vehicle, the excess is held on your card as something called a 'pre authorised' transaction. This means that the amount isn't taken from your credit card as a normal payment, it's held as a pending transaction until you drop off the car. You don't usually pay foreign currency charges on credit cards for pre authorised payments. As long as the car is dropped off in the same condition as when you collected it, the excess amount will be fully refunded to your credit card with nothing additional to pay.

If you plan to pay by debit card, the insurance excess amount is taken from your account and fully refunded when the vehicle is dropped off. If you intend to use a debit card on collection, as the excess is often very high, we recommend to either buy Premium Cover when you book or to buy top up insurance at the rental desk.

If you'd like to hire a car with a £0 or reduced excess check out our Premium Cover options.

Car Hire including a Free Additional Driver

Look out for deals on our website which include a free additional driver bundled with the price. You can use the filters on the search results page to find bundled deals. It's also possible to add an additional driver on the extras page before you complete your booking.

Car Hire including a Free Additional Driver

Hiring a Car with a Reduced Security Deposit

Hiring a Car with a Low Security Deposit

At the collection desk, you'll usually be asked to leave a security deposit on your debit card or credit card. The security deposit can vary significantly subject to the make and model of the vehicle and the excess . Car hire Security deposits can be anywhere between £50 and £2,100.

We compare all of the car hire options with a low security deposit and in some instances no deposit at all except for fuel. When you reserve a rental with Premium Cover included, you're often able to reduce your deposit to cover only the cost of a full tank of fuel (usually less than £100), this is fully refunded when the car is returned with a full tank.

How to Rent a Car with Child Seats or booster seats

You're allowed to take along your own child seats and booster seats for your rental, so long as they meet the legal safety requirements for use in your car hire location.

You will be offered the opportunity to include them with your car rental when making a booking on our website. Child seats are paid in local currency when collecting the rental.

Car Hire with Child Seats or booster seats

How to hire a car without a credit card

How to hire a car without a credit card

You can pay for your car hire on our website using any credit or debit card, including Visa, Mastercard or American Express. We also compare car hire deals at 1000s of locations that accept a debit card on collection. You can quickly and easily find these by using the filters on the search results page or taking a look at our Premium Cover options on the extras page.

Car Hire with Cross Border Fees Included

If you plan to pick up your rental and drive it over the border into a different country, be sure to review the terms and conditions. Many car rental brands require that you inform them when you collect the car; and will charge extra fees to top up your insurance. If you fail to do so, it's possible that the rental car will not be insured when you cross over into a different country.

You can find the information relating to cross border charges and fees by checking the Rental terms and checking the Cross Border Rules section.

If you cant find the cross border terms and conditions for your car hire please get in touch with one of our car rental advisors and they'll be happy to help.

Renting a Car and Cross Border Fees

How to Hire a Car with Unlimited Mileage

How to Rent a Car with Unlimited Mileage

We offer limited and unlimited mileage rental.

Limited mileage rentals are often cheaper than unlimited. When considering limited mileage rentals, the mileage allowance will always be clearly displayed. If you choose a rental with limited mileage, you will be liable to pay a per mile additional fee if you go above the daily mileage allowance. The total mileage allowance for the rental period is calculated as (the number of rental days X the daily mileage allowance). You don't have to stay within the daily limit on every day, provided that the total miles used during the rental does not go over the number of days X the daily allowance.

When you decide to book a limited mileage rental, we recommend checking the fees for excess mileage. You can find these in our term and conditions section. It's also possible to use the search filters on our website to find hire cars including unlimited mileage which can save you money if you're planning a longer journey

How to Rent a Car with One Way Fees included

Most of the vehicle hire providers we work with permit you to collect your vehicle in one location and drop off the car at a different location. If you have chosen a different drop off location for your rental, the prices you'll see on the website will include any additional charges for this. You'll also find a full breakdown of the additional fees on the payment page.

Car Hire with One Way Fees included

Hiring a Car with No Cancellation Fee

Hiring a Car with No Cancellation Fee

All of the rentals we list on our website include free cancellation. This means that you can cancel your booking and receive a refund at any point up until 48 hours before you collect the vehicle.

If you have purchased the Essential Cover product to insure your car hire excess, you're able to cancel this with a full refund up until the rental start time.

All refunds are processed by us in less than 24 hours. If you cancel the booking, the money will be back in your account in 7 days.

Stress Free Car Rental's Premium cover

Premium insurance is the highest level of car hire insurance we provide.

Choosing Premium Insurance is completely optional, you can also decide to purchase Premium Cover at the car rental counter, It can be less expensive to book this in advance on our website at the same time as you make your car hire booking.

Lots of our clients decide to choose the Premium Cover option when renting a vehicle because it usually lowers the security deposit for the excess to zero meaning that you have no large security deposit or car rental insurance excess risk. Customers can also often pay with debit cards with Premium Cover if credit card is a problem.

So that you're able to make an informed decision regarding which car rental insurance product is right for you, we work closely with our car rental partners to give you the option to rent a car including a Premium cover product.

On our website it's possible to buy Premium Cover alongside your car rental, so that you understand the exact cost of everything before completing your booking.

Why Stress Free Car Rental is different

There's a bucket load of reasons why we're different from our competitors but to start, it's important to recognise that Stress Free Car Rental exists because of our frustration with the process of renting a car.

Car hire providers we work with include big car hire companies like Europcar and Hertz there are some firms we know will not give you the experience or price that you deserve - so we don't list these on our website.

Stress Free Car Rental don't like to work with just any car rental firms. We're selective to only work with car rental brands you can trust. work hard to ensure that we provide our customers with all of the best car hire deals in with no nasty surprises.

Stress Free Car Rental compares millions of cheap car hire deals at 1000s of car rental locations to hunt down great offers and make booking them on our website as easy, quick and Stress Free as possible

Stress Free Car Rental won't be beaten on price. Our car hire price match promise means if you find the same hire vehicle at a lower cost, we'll match it.

The reason we decided to do things a bit differently is because we got fed up of seeing people being hit with unexpected fees and knew we could provide a more transparent service.

Hire car terminology explained

Fuel policy (full to full vs full to empty)

Fuel policy (full to full vs full to empty)
The rentals on our site include a fair full to fuel fuel policy.

You'll be asked to pay a small deposit for fuel on your credit card when you pick up the car. Ensure that you fill the rental up and return it full and there's no additional fees for fuel.

You will see full to empty fuel policies on some other websites that seem to be offering better deals. Be sure to check the small print for full to empty rentals as usually the admin and refuelling fees associated with full to empty fuel policies always make it more expensive than full to full .

Third party liability cover

Third party liability insurance insures in case you cause an accident. If you do, it could kill or injure other people (such as your passengers, people in other vehicles or pedestrians), or damage property (their vehicle, house or possessions, for example). Since they need to be protected, you could be responsible the cost of any damage, or treating any injuries or financially covering their loss of earnings, as well as any legal costs and court costs.

Third party liability is usually subject to an excess, which means you would have to pay the first part of any claim (normally between £900 to £2,000, varying dependent on the value of the car, the deal and the country). When you insure your excess , you will be reimbursed for all of the excess you have to pay. If you decide to take out Premium Cover, the excess can be reduced .
Third party liability cover

Insurance excess

Insurance excess
For rentals outside of the US and Canada there's usually an excess to pay* - just like on domestic car insurance in the UK. However, the excess on rental cars is high. It's usually between £1,000 to £3,000. If you decide not to insure the insurance excess you could be liable to pay for damage up to the value of the excess amount. Check out the Premium Cover hire car options if you'd like to avoid having a large amount blocked on your card .

Theft liability insurance (theft protection)

It insures the amount due if the rental car is stolen. It usually includes an excess amount, which means you'll be required to pay the first part of any claim (normally between £900 to £2,500, depending on the car, the country and the deal.

If you choose to insure your excess with us, however, you will be refunded for any or all of of the excess you pay (See essential cover). With Premium Cover the excess amount is often reduced.
Theft liability insurance (theft protection)

Extra driver costs

Additional driver costs
Car rental contracts is between the car hire company and the individual that signs the agreement and will be the named driver. This requires that you will need to ask for any other drivers to be added, this usually means an additional cost (which can be up to £11a day or even more). However, there are occasional special offers where extra drivers are free. Beware of being asked if you'd like to add a driver without being informed of the price.

Excess Insurance

Choosing excess cover means you'll be reimbursed for any of the excess that's held on your credit card by the car rental company when you drop off the car.

This insurance also tends to cover other potential costs, like cleaning, towing, admin fees and misfuelling fees.
Excess Insurance

Damage Liability

Collision damage waiver (CDW)
CDW provides insurance protection for damage in the same way the insurance you usually have on your personal car does. CDW includes an excess amount which you can choose to insure separately (See Excess reimbursement insurance). Our website also list rental cars on the site that include CDW with no excess amount

Car rental in made simple

Stress Free Car Rental are based in Manchester UK and we are on a mission to make renting a car a Stress Free experience

Extra drivers are available to book in advance on our website on step two of our booking process. In many cases you will pay for additional drivers when you pick up your rental.

Vehicle types at each car hire location can vary. The car rental company will always provide you with a car that’s the same size in terms of body style, passengers and luggage capacity but the exact type may vary from the one booked. If you require a particular make, at most car hire locations we offer pre bookable guaranteed models from selected car rental companies . You can use the filters on the site to find guaranteed model deals.

We only offer car rental that includes a full to full fuel policy. Full to full is always better value compared with other car rental fuel policies.

You can use the filters on our website to find your perfect car rental, including rentals with an automatic gearbox, diesel fuel and low security deposit options.

Car rental availability can change significantly at different times of the year. Christmas is an important factor to consider that influences car rental prices. Factor this in when planning your rental in advance.

What are we all about?

We work hard to make sure that car hire on holiday is easy!

Review the cheapest car hire prices in from brands you can trust, including Enterprise, Hertz and Keddy.

Confused by security deposits? We are here to guide you through the whole process. We endeavour to provide complete clarity regarding security deposits and all of the other charges involved.

Rent your car now with no credit card fees or hidden payments.

We spend hours examining detailed T&Cs so that you don't have to. All key facts of the hire contract are clearly displayed every step of the way

To be listed on the site, all rentals have to include a fair full to full fuel policy and absolute clarity about security deposit and insurance costs.

Picking up your Car hire without a credit card and other ways to pay.

Pay with American Express, Visa or a Mastercard credit card or a debit card provided by a bank or credit card company when hiring a car on our website.

It's practical to know the payment options for your car hire in , as some payments for add ons (such as GPS and extra drivers) might have to be settled in the local currency (either in cash or by credit card) when you pick up the car.

Would you like us to take payment using something other than credit card or debit card? Feel free to get in touch to let us know. We are open to new ideas about how to improve the service we offer to make arranging your car rental a Stress Free experience.

Many of the car hire brands we work with accept a debit card when you arrive at the collection desk to pick up the car; often these do have special terms and conditions associated to them. Always be sure to check the terms and conditions if you want to pick up the car using a debit card.

Very often, car rentals that come with the Premium Cover option will allow you to use a debit card when you pick up the car without any extra fees. You're able to compare if a debit card is accepted, along with all of the car rental security deposit and insurance options on the extras page of the booking process.

It's important to consider when deciding if you'd prefer to use a debit card when collecting your car, car hire companies frequently block an excess on the lead drivers credit card, this is often a significant amount of money , if you choose to pay with a debit card this might be debited from your bank and not returned until weeks following you've returned the car.

Frequently asked questions

What do I need when I collect the car?

To collect your car the lead driver should present a Valid driver's license, Passport or National Identity Card, Credit or debit card in the lead driver's name, Home and local (hotel, villa etc) address and a Booking confirmation email. Any other requirements at collection will be clearly explained in your booking confirmation email.

Can I cancel my rental if I change my mind?

Yes, you can cancel your booking with a full refund anytime up until 48 hours before you collect the car.

Are there any hidden charges in your prices for car rental?

We work diligently to make sure that the prices you see on our website for your car rental include all costs. Including anything you need to pay when you collect the car

For my car rental, how can I reduce the insurance excess?

Security deposit amounts vary for each car rental supplier and location. You can easily find the lowest security deposit options using our search filters

What's the most economical fuel policy for car hire?

All of our rentals include a full to full fuel policy. You'll pick the car up with a full tank of fuel and be asked to leave a small deposit for fuel when you collect the car. The deposit is refunded when you return the car with a full tank.

Hassle free Essential insurance options

As well as being friendly, easy to use and of course, stress free, we offer two additional levels of insurance when you hire a vehicle with us.

Essential cover appears as a choice in the car hire insurance options. For some geographical/partner car rental combinations the cover isn't always available.

Essential cover doesn't cover things like cleaning fees, mechanical repairs, third party injury, loss of theft/damage to content in the car and other things. For more details see the T&Cs on the extras page

Essential cover, offered when you make your vehicle booking, is a car hire excess reimbursement policy which covers you on a range of additional costs that standard insurance does not.

Essential Cover comes with fire, weather, theft, damage caused to the vehicle, flushing the engine after misfuelling, key cover and much more.

Map view of car rental locations

Why book with Stress Free Car Rental?

We don't call ourselves Stress Free Car Rental for nothing! Our aim is to make the car hire process as easy as we can.

We don't hide any charges, we are transparent from the get-go.

Booking couldn't be simpler, there are filtering options and everything possible has been explained with key information explained in each section.

Picking up at an airport but not sure of your flight number? It's ok! - you can complete your booking now and add the flight number to your rental later on. Adding your flight number will help the car rental provider to wait for you if the flight is late. Always review the terms and conditions to understand what to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed.

Free Cancellation! You're able to cancel your car hire and get a refund until 48 hours before collecting your car.

Just let us know and we'll do the rest - it really is that, well, simple!

Making a car rental booking

We aim to be the best car rental website around so that you know when you book with us you're getting the best price, value and service.

All of the deals on our website include all extra fees including anything that you're required to pay when you pick up the car, including (but not limited to) one way fees, additional drivers and young driver fees.

Once your booking has been made, managing it couldn't be simpler, you'll receive a booking reference which can be used, along with your email address, to check the status of your booking including payments and prices.

When searching on our website for your rental, information you'll need:

  1. Pickup location & car hire
  2. Pick-up & drop-off date
  3. Pick-up time and drop-off time
  4. The drivers age

To begin your stress free booking process, head over to our homepage and input the required details then in just a few seconds we'll bring up some of the best deals based on your details.

Hiring a car, can be a stressful, surprisingly costly, experience which is why our clever matching technology will find you your perfect hire car at your dream price.

Car rental excess, security deposits and insurance

We get how daunting and frightening choosing a rental car insurance product can be. The additional fees that are included in the price of hiring a car can be very confusing, these can include:

  • The cost of hiring the vehicle
  • Any extras (e.g. child car seats & sat nav)
  • Insurance costs

Stress Free Car Rental offers three levels of car hire excess cover, basic, essential and premium and we help you find the hire car that suits you and your trip. You're able to view the details of these on the extras page of our website when booking your rental.

Many car rental websites mask the expensive insurance excess and security deposit costs in the terms and conditions. Customers are then surprised when the cash is taken from the debit card account or the amount is held on their credit card. We think this is unfair and can really obstruct your plans which is why we work differently at Stress Free Car Rental.

Things to remember when driving away your car hire

You'll have received car hire location collection instructions with the confirmation email. Take time to understand how to find the vehicle rental pick up location before you begin your trip

Be sure to check the fuel type for the car and check which side of the vehicle the petrol cap is on

Spending some time to photograph and report any damage, whether internal or external, will help to prevent any disagreements with the car hire provider when returning the car

All the rentals listed on the web site include a full to full fuel policy. Always ensure that the tank is full before you set off. If it is not you should inform the car hire company immediately

You should check the wheels and locks for issues as well. These are easy to miss when you are in a rush to begin your trip

If you've not already ,check the vehiclehire terms and conditions. There could be additional charges for crossing borders etc so ensure that you understand these.

If you have purchased Essential excess cover on the web site or you have a different policy, we recommend to take time to check the vehicle for pre existing damage. We also recommend taking photos with your phone of each part of the vehicle. If there is damage on the vehicle that is not highlighted in your hire agreement you must report this to the car rental provider

Popular Locations for Rental Cars in North America

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No need to worry if your plans change

We'll process your refund in under 24 hours. All rentals booked with us can be cancelled up until 48 hours before you collect the vehicle

All car hire brands on our website are following local government guidelines re vehicle sterilisation and social distancing at the collection desk.


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