Car hire in France: Four things to keep in mind

When travelling abroad, hiring a car can be a really convenient option.




For one thing it gives you a level of freedom to explore that doesn’t restrict you to public transport routes, which can be particularly useful if you’re staying in an area where services are few and far between.

It means you can quickly call out to the shops if you’ve forgotten something, and enjoy days out away from where you’re staying far more easily.

The benefits are clear, but there are a few things you might be wise to do to make sure you get the right deal and avoid paying more than you need to.

Here are four things to keep in mind:


1. Book in advance

Between packing your bags and generally getting organised to make your way to France, it might seem tempting to leave organising car hire until you arrive.

But, if you like to save money (and who doesn’t?), it’s worth doing some research in advance. Not only will this allow you to shop around between providers for the best deal, it also gives you the chance to take advantage of any special offers they may have.

And, if nothing else, you can arrive safe in the knowledge that your transportation is already arranged.


2. Check the fuel policy

It’s common practice for many UK car hire firms to provide you with a car full of petrol (under the agreement that you fill it back up again on returning it).

However, some companies will instead charge you for a full tank of petrol on arrival. If you’re borrowing a car for a shorter period of time, this can really add to the cost as it’s unlikely you’ll get anywhere near to using it.

Be sure to check before you book.


3. Make a note of any damage

Picture the scene: you’ve driven the hire car carefully and avoided leaving a single scratch on it, but when the time comes to return it you’re told you’ll be charged for damage you didn’t cause.

Don’t be afraid to challenge this if it arises, but the best way to avoid this situation occurring at all is to ensure even the smallest of marks is noted down on the paperwork before you drive away.

Time consuming as it may be, an extra few minutes could save you money in the long run.


4. Take extras with you

A quick and easy way for car hire companies to make money is by charging you for extras.

If you think you’ll need a sat-nav or child seat it’s best to think about taking your own with you, or at very least factoring in the additional expense before you book.


France Driving - Pocket Guide


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