by David Mathews

To make your car hire more affordable, there are a few different ways that you can ensure that your car hire doesn't catch you out with unexpected fees. For instance, when you book your car hire on our website, you can use the filters on the search results to find car hire with no security deposit.

In most cases the lead driver will need to provide a credit card when collecting the car. If you don't have a credit card, you can filter the search results for car hire without a credit card to find car hire options that will accept a debit card when you pick up the car.

It's common in most countries to hold an insurance excess on a credit card in the name of the lead driver. If you'd like to avoid having a large excess held on your credit card we also compare options for car hire with no excess wherever they're available. 


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Excess Insurance

The excess is the most you’d have to pay if the car is damaged or stolen. This can be thousands of euros, so always make sure have an insurance policy to cover this. You can take one out at the desk when you collect the car, however it’s often cheaper to buy a policy in advance.

Card Fees

When paying or blocking out an excess, it is recommended to use a credit card rather than a debit card as they typically come with more protections.

However, depending on the country there may be additional charges. For example, in Australia and New Zealand some companies charge additional processing fees

Young / Senior Driver Fees

Not all car hire firms charge extra depending on the age of the driver, but those that do will charge different amounts based on certain age ranges.

Prices can vary from €5 - €50 per day depending on if the driver is under 25 or over 60 years of age. Be careful to check the fees for this when you make a booking.

Special Cleaning

If a rental car is returned needing a wash and clean inside, then this is often good enough. However, some customers may be asked for an extra cleaning fee if the car cannot be rented out again without more expertise cleaning being needed. This can often cost up to £50 if the car is returned with something as simple as having lots of sand in it.

Also, customers should be sure not to smoke in any rental vehicle as this too can result in "special cleaning" charges.

Administration fees

Some companies charge admin fees on top of any excess amounts following an accident or damage. These can vary from €20 - €100.

Similarly, most rental companies charge handling fees if any parking/traffic or speeding fines are received - prices again vary quite a lot. These admin fees are charged on top of the cost of the actual fine or damage.

Drop-off fees

There might be fines if the vehicle is returned to the wrong location as the car will incur parking charges for being in the wrong place.

Also, key box drop-offs can sting holidaymakers as using a key-box to return keys means there is no one present to contest any damages that may be found.

Roadside assistance

This may seem obvious, but holidaymakers need to make sure they know what type of fuel to put in the vehicle and how to use the tyre-changing tools. Call-outs for these issues will often cost over €100.

Toll charges

When hiring a car, the driver is responsible for paying for any toll roads used. Many toll roads have barriers or booths where it’s possible to physically pay the toll, so these should be no problem.

But electronic tolls register the vehicle’s registration plate when driving through a checkpoint, so it is possible to go through them without realising. This can then later come back as a surprise charge.

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