It’s no doubt that hiring a car is a popular phenomenon in the UK. Whether it is taking a holiday or going on a road trip, hiring a car means that you will be able to enjoy the views comfortably be it with friends and family. Most people actually prefer travelling long distances as opposed to taking public means. They are able to enjoy their own company compared to travelling in a bus or train full of people.

However, people will often end up paying more than the quoted or agreed price leaving them disappointed and wondering where the extra costs came from. Let us now look at how these costs come about and to better understand the world of car hiring.


The greatest cost on your car hire price is mainly due to an insurance cover that claims to protect the driver from having to incur costs in the first part of any claim in the event of damage.

The best way to protect yourself from having to incur this often unnecessary cost is by doing your research before deciding on which car hire company to use. Look for standalone contracts and go with the one that best fits your budget.

Petrol or Diesel Charges

In car hire, there are two concepts that you should be aware of. These are full-to full and full-to-empty. What exactly does this mean?

Full-to-full policy refers to a situation where you receive the car with a full tank and you are expected to return it as you took it also with a full tank.

Full-to-empty policy means that you receive the car with an empty tank and are required to pay for a full tank upfront. You will also be expected to return the car with an empty tank.

When selecting your car hire company, make sure you pick one which offers a full-to-full policy. This is easier on your pockets compared to full-to-empty.

Local Taxes and Surcharges

The cost of car hire is also inclusive of local taxes and surcharges. There include the following:

  • Vehicle license recovery fee- this helps the car hiring company or agency to license their vehicles.
  • Parking surcharge- this charge covers parking for the rental agency.
  • Concessions recovery- this is a charge intended to recover the rental agency parking charged at the airport when offering car hiring services there.
  • Personal items coverage- this charge is cover meant to reimburse the driver for items lost from the car during the course of the car hire contract.

Other than those mentioned above, there are still more costs that continue to push the price up. Some include the cost for Sat Nav and child seats. This will be included whenever you require such facilities. The best thing to do would be to bring your own whenever possible.

Whenever you are taking a car from a hire agency, be sure to take pictures of all available scratches. In case you return the car with new scratches, you will doubtlessly be charged for them. Be careful not to add new scratches when the car is in your possession. Also remember to read carefully the rental agreement before signing and ensure you understand all the costs and charges included as well as the costs for extra drivers.

Understanding the costs involved in car hire is the first step towards knowing how to overcome and avoid some charges. This will help you get good deals and pay only the most necessary payments, keeping you within your budget and leaving you free to enjoy your travels.