Simple holiday check that could save up to £261 before you travel | The Sun

A SIMPLE holiday check before you travel could save you up to £261.

A holiday can be an expensive treat and with prices sky high, we'll be wanting to cut costs wherever we can.

If you're hiring a car while you're away then you'll want to make it as cheap as possible

How much you pay could massively depend on when in the year you book it.

The cost of car hire has nearly halved since January this year, according to research from

On average, weekly care hire prices have fallen by 45% from £578 in January to £317 now.

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This means that if you booked your vehicle in January for a holiday in August, you could have potentially paid £261 more compared to booking in July.

The research also evaluated different holiday destinations.

Drivers who booked their car in January for an August holiday in Barcelona would pay £590 compared to just £228 in July.

While those travelling to Nice would pay just £318 by buying their car in July.

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In January, they would pay £638.

If you're heading to Crete, then booking in January could have cost you £553.

But booking in July would cost you £407 – this is a smaller saving than the other destinations but is certainly not to be sniffed at.

If you have found a cheaper deal elsewhere, you may be able to cancel your car hire.

Ben Wooltorton, head of direct to consumer for Europ at, said: “If you’ve already booked your hire car for this summer, it’s certainly worth checking prices again to see if they’ve fallen since you first booked,

“Some companies offer free cancellation without penalty, within a permitted time frame, usually 48 hours, allowing you to cancel and rebook a better deal."

Generally, booking car hire is cheaper further in advance, but you can sometimes get better prices closer to your departure date.

If you've got free cancellation on the policy, it's worth checking ahead to see if you could save yourself some money.

What can also come with car hire is car insurance.

Rental companies might charge you an average of £155 for a week's holiday, according to the research.

If you want to save money, you could buy a standalone car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist provider before you travel – this could save you well over £100.

How else to save money on car hire

Booking, cancelling and then re-booking is one way you can cut the costs of car hire when abroad. Here's a few other tips you can use:

Check the small print

You'll want to check the small print of your contract when it comes to picking up the vehicle.

Sometimes there can be extra insurance, mileage charges or confusing fuel policies in amongst the paperwork that can sting you.

Avoid paying too much for add-ons such as sat-navs when you could save money by using an app on your phone as well.

Bear in mind you might be with a provider that charges you to use your data abroad though.

Meanwhile, some firms charge you if you return the car without a full tank, so make sure you check for that in the contract.

Give the car a once over

Make sure you give any rental car a once over to ensure you're not charged for any previously-made damage.

Take pictures of the inside of the vehicle and make a note of its condition on the hire company's form, especially any scratches or dents.

These can be a source of dispute between you and a car hire company so if there's anything it hasn't logged, make sure you report it before taking off.

That way you won't be charged when you return it.

Steer clear of airport desk rip offs

If you're not booking ahead and waiting until you land at your holiday destination, it might be worth steering clear of companies with kiosks at the airport.

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They sometimes charge hundreds of pounds more when you could just book through a branch outside.

Sometimes they offer you a free shuttle from the airport to their branch too.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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