Most, if not all, national car rental agencies like Capital Hire offer their customers a choice between limited and unlimited mileage. Said choice can add to the already bewildering options available, thus, increasing the risks for customers making the costlier decision.
Here are a few things that you must know before making your choice.
Unlimited mileage can initially appear to be the best choice but, upon closer analysis, it may not be for many reasons. Think hidden fees, added charges, and limitations in days and areas covered, among others. But it can also be better option for long-distance drives, such as a cross-country drive within the United Kingdom.
Limited mileage is usually the cheaper choice especially when the itinerary involves just a few miles a day. For example, you can consider limited mileage on the rental car when it will be used for short commutes to and from your residence and place of work (i.e., as a temporary car for relocation purposes).
The bottom line: Your decision will be partly influenced by the planned number of miles that the rental car will be used. You should, however, also consider other factors including the terms and conditions on the contract.
Considerations Regarding the Contract
Now, take a look at the contract to determine which of these two options will work best in your case.
First, ask about the coverage (i.e., areas) and days of the unlimited mileage. The rental car agency may restrict car use within specific areas or may allow cross-country use on certain days only (e.g., weekends or weekdays). You want to follow the letter of the contract in this regard for your own protection.
Second, check the costs for the unlimited mileage option. You may find reasons to skip the option and find ways to go with the limited mileage plan.
Third, determine the total number of miles for your trip but be sure to add extra miles for emergency cases (i.e., looking for fuel stations, getting lost). Experts suggest adding 50-100 miles to your planned miles of travel.
• Use a mapping site (e.g.., Google Maps) to calculate the total number of miles that will be travelled during the rental period. Be sure to consider the round-trip miles, too.
• Divide the total number of miles by the number of rental days, thus, calculating the average number of miles travelled per day. As an example, let’s assume that you will travel a total of 240 miles in 4 days; the rental agency charges a 25 pence per mile in excess of the limited mileage option, which is set at 70 miles.
Your average miles travelled per day will then be 60 miles (240/4). If your planned travel is less than 70 miles (i.e., 60 miles in this case), then go for the limited mileage option. If you plan to travel more than 70 miles each day, then go for the unlimited option but be sure to check the additional costs, too.
Of course, you want to choose the cheaper option.
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