Travelling with children- Top tips for smart car rental
Getting a rental car when you are going on holidays with your kids is always appealing because you don’t have the hassle of public transport and as we all know, kids do not travel light! So avoid those stresses, plan your holiday at your family’s pace and get a rental car. But before you do, read here for some key pointers.
Booking a rental car - Shop around for best deal
Like anything else, if you are making a purchase it is always best to have a shop around for value. The best way to this for car rental is to use a comparison site such as Car Booker‘s so that you can compare all the different aspects of your rentacar and get the best value.
Pick up location – at the airport or by shuttle bus
This is particularly important if you are travelling with kids. Where are you going to collect your car? Usually for airport car hire there a number of pick up options;
- Airport Pick Up – airport rental desk, airport pick up – most convenient and most expensive
- Shuttle Bus – airport desk, shuttle bus to pick up – less convenient but costs less
- Meet & Greet – no airport desk, person will meet you there – cheapest way to rent a car
You will need to decide what your budget allows, it is worth the extra few euro to pay for airport pick up or will you get the shuttle bus to your rental car and use the money for a holiday treat!
This is why we always recommend you use a comparison site, you can see what the different brands have on offer and what you get for your money. This picture below from Car Booker shows you very clearly the difference in pick up location and the price different. Car Booker makes booking your rentacar easier.
Type of car – check the number of pieces of luggage
We can sometimes confuse value for lowest price. When travelling with kids, we would always recommend that you pick the larger carsize that your budget can stretch to. This is will give you more room for bags and more overall comfort. Check out the image above which shows you the number of people and the number of bags that will fit in each car. This is really clearly displayed on Car Booker, so you can decide before you book.
Also, we would always recommend checking out the next car class up from what you are looking at. Often there is only a few euro in the difference and for that few euro, you could be travelling in comfort and luxury with your family.
Extras & how to keep the costs down
When travelling with kids, you will need to consider the following in your rental car – depending on their age of course!
- Air-conditioning – when in hot climates, this is a must. The majority of cars have it as standard these days – just double check (see icon on the image above)
- Baby Seats & Booster Seats – these are always available to rent locally with your car hire (you can book them in advance but you always pay locally for them). Costs can vary from €10 to €80 for a two week rental, so depending on what you are being offered, it can be worth, searching a little harder, or sometimes even brining your own.
- Fuel Policy – keep an eye on for the type of fuel policy on offer – try to avoid ‘pick up full, drop off empty’ as you will have to pay the rental company for the fuel and their price is usually over the pump price that you would have to pay.
- Excess Insurance – always consider this carefully. We would recommend it as we would hate you to be out of pocket for the excess should anything go wrong. This covers not just an excess but also windscreen and tyre damage which is not often covered on your main policy. So for the price of a stiff drink at the beach per day, you have peace of mind on your insurance.
- GPS – you can either bring a GPS with you or rent one locally, always check the prices before hand as some of these can be quite costly. However, there are special offers available in some locations for FREE GPS, so always check step 2 of the search engine.
Depending on how long a drive you have, it can be worth bringing a few in-rentalcar entertainment distractions and some snacks and drinks. As a general rule of thumb, we would advise avoiding anything messy or sticky in the food department and anything that can melt as far as toys are concerned such as crayons, play d-oh etc.
Laws vary from country to country, and usually kids under 12 have to use boosters/seat belts and cannot sit in the front seat of the car. Either check local laws or use that as your guideline.
If you are going to be in the car in strong sunlight hours, always use a pull down or window shade of some sort to protect your kids from the strong sunlight and help keep them cool.
For even more information and to see a short video on travelling with kids, check out our car rental video guide. And remember, always drive safe.