The Clever Guide to Car Sharing

Car sharing is something that we’ve talked about before – whereby someone owns a car, then “shares” it with their neighbours. There are a variety of car sharing models, including the profit model, where owners can make money from hiring out their car when its not in use, and the non-profit model, where owners cannot make a profit from hiring out their car – instead, the benefits are focused towards the environment. BlaBlaCar, for example, a new car sharing agency, does not allow its members to profit from their hires, which keeps everything really low-cost – you can get to Paris for just £33, which is probably cheaper than virtually any other method of travel.

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Put simply, BlaBlaCar is an organised means of hitchhiking, where travelers announce their journeys online before they head out. Anyone interested in sharing the journey just posts the details online, and then travelers can sign up to sit in the spare seats. It’s an easy way to make your way across the continent, as it’s very popular in Europe, but it’s also a brilliant way to make long car journeys and holiday treks a little more interesting. The journey distance is calculated, and then the website gives you two figures: a suggested price, and a maximum price. This is intended to cover insurance, which also helps to reduce costs for both sides as it excludes commercial vehicle insurance.

Only a few clues are given to the driver’s personality: how chatty they are, whether they allow dogs, whether they allow smoking and whether they listen to music as they drive. You can’t choose the car or the route, and some aspects of the journey will be out of your control – for example, if the driver is late picking you up. But the price of the journey is dramatically lower than similar coach or bus services, and the benefit is that you get to sit in a homely environment with (hopefully) like-minded travelers.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re travelling for a specific reason – for example, to an airport or to a train station and you cannot be late, book the journey well in advance so that you don’t have to worry about keeping to a timeframe.

Other car sharing sites offer drivers the chance to make a little extra money on the side, but this negates the environmental benefits. A site such as BlaBlaCar means that greedy people are immediately dismissed and weeded out, offering benefits to drivers and travelers alike – plus, travelers have the peace of mind that the people that they are travelling with have been vetted and approved, and that the process is far safer than traditional hitchhiking.

All in all, it’s a fab way to get from A to B – just be prepared for some eclectic personalities!

Would You Rent Out Your Car?

More and more “car club” services are popping up all over the UK. Zipcar, for example, a company that owns a fleets of cars that drivers can hire for as little as an hour, have locations in major cities across the country. The peer to peer rental/sharing market has soared over the last few years, with thousands of people hiring out everything from their spare bedroom to their Louboutins – so why not make some money from your car, too?

Krishna Williams rents out his car

Image: The Guardian

easyCar Club have spotted a gap in the hire car market, allowing people to hire their car directly to other drivers in the local area. It’s immensely safer than hiring through a local free listings site or social networking sites, as there are a whole hot of protective measures in place, including feedback for both the hirer and the owner, insurance provided by easyCar for the duration of the hire period (which means that your no claims discount is protected, as the hire doesn’t effect your existing insurance policy), RAC cover (whether you’re driving your car or whether you’re hiring the car out) and the ability to “block out” days or weeks where you’ll be driving the car, and to accept or deny requests to hire as and when you please. Put simply, you are in control of each and every hire.

The sticking point with easyCar’s system is that they are quite stringent with regards to who can hire their car out. Vehicles must be less than five years old (although older vehicles can become hire cars – easyCar will pay for an RAC inspector to make sure that it’s roadworthy), have driven less than 120,000 miles, be worth less than £60,000 and be covered in insurance classes 1-32. This means that your average, run of the mill family/city/commuting car will fit the bill just nicely. If you have a more exotic car – like a Ferrari or a Lambourghini (lucky you) there are sites dedicated to hiring out these types of cars, with the proper insurance and maintenance cover included so that you don’t need to worry about whether your car is going to get scratched/totaled.

Something to keep in mind when considering hiring out your car is how attached you are to it. If you’re a bit of a fanatic, wash and wax it weekly and are slightly obsessive about not letting the children eat in it, hiring out is probably not the best idea – no matter the precautions, even if you stipulate that the car must be returned clean, tidy and with a full tank of petrol – the person hiring the car may have a different view on what clean, tidy and full mean. On the other hand, if your car is simply something you use to get from A to B, or you use it in conjunction with public transport, or if it’s sat in a train/bus car park each day for 10 hours whilst you commute, hiring it out could provide you with extra income for very little effort and very little fuss.

Sneaky Things You Need to Know Before Renting A Car

Car hire can be a pain in the neck, but it’s also incredibly useful, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar spot, going on holiday or just need a car for the day. But there’s a minefield of things that you need to think about – insurance, existing insurance, roadside assistance and tax, to name but a few.

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  • A lot of the “big name” car hire companies own a lot of the slightly smaller car hire companies. Avis, for example, owns Budget. Oftentimes, the price differs massively between companies despite the fact that they’re all owned by the same company. Always, always, always do a comparison search before you go ahead and reserve the hire. If you can’t do that, or you have to make the hire at the airport kiosk, you’ll pay far more than you should.
  • Before you go ahead and say yes to the hire car insurance, check with your own car insurer to see whether or not your existing policy covers you for any accidents or incidents that may occur in another vehicle. Most car insurance policies that are fully comprehensive will cover you for hire cars. So there’s no need to take out an additional policy – you’ll just be covered twice. If you don’t know whether or not you’re covered, just give your insurer a ring before you get to the kiosk. If not, your credit card or bank account might offer insurance that you’re not even aware of, so make sure that you check!
  • It’s oftentimes much cheaper to hire a car directly from an individual, rather than a company, using services like Zipcar or through direct peer-to-peer sharing and selling sites like Gumtree. These tend to give you greater flexibility, as you can hire for shorter periods of time or even by the hour, which is really handy if you just need to drive to and from a hotel, for example, but don’t want to pick up a cab. The only downside with these kinds of hires is that you usually have to return the car to the pick-up location, which means that you’ll need alternate transport to return home. Generally, hiring from an individual or sharing service is much easier if you’re in an area with lots of public transport.
  • Make sure that the rate quoted is the rate that you have to pay. All too often, the rate advertised isn’t actually the final rate that you’ll pay – make sure that it includes everything, like roadside assistance, all of the relevant insurance (if you need it), VAT and tax. You don’t want to end up with a big ol’ bill at the end of the hire, so make sure you get the information up front.

Why Zipping is the New Renting

Chances are, you’ve heard at least a little bit about Uber and Lyft over the last few months – car sharing and “taxi” schemes designed for you to hop in someone else’s car and hitch a ride, often at a significantly lower cost than regular car services, with either (and) a big pink moustache on the front of the car or a “U” on the dash. Uber has recently hopped over the pond to the London car rental market, but Lyft is still an unknown. Luckily, though, we have Zipcar – a “car club” that want to take 1 million cars off the road, matching drivers with riders and ensuring that everyone gets to do their bit for the plant, all while getting to drive thousands of cars in locations all over the world.

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This kind of car club is completely different to your run of the mill rent a car concept – basically, everybody pays a fee to be able to drive any of the cars on their books at any time. Many of the cars are available to hire either hourly or daily, ideal if you want to pop out of town for the afternoon or go away for the weekend. You make the hire, unlock the car with your smartphone or the Zipcar app, hop in and drive away. Then when you return, you simply leave the car back at its reservation bay. There are 6 simple rules that are explained to every Zipcar member when they join, which include things like leaving the car with at least 1/4 of a tank of fuel, making sure that the car is clean/free of food wrappers and pet hairs before you leave and keeping the car smoke free, so that everyone can enjoy the ride. There are a few flaws with this though – if the car becomes damaged, there’s no way to tell who damaged the car as they’re not monitored or attended and the onus automatically fall on the last person to drive the car. That’s all well and good, but if the damage occurred between the end of your hire period and the beginning of the next hire period, you have a problem. The only way to solve this is either to take photographs of the vehicle as you leave it, or to shoot a quick video. For the extra 5 seconds of inconvenience, it’s definitely worth it – otherwise, you might be charged for something that wasn’t your fault.

Ultimately, companies like Zipcar and even the entrepeuner hiring out his car on the weekends to make a little extra money all have one thing in common: the potential to vastly change the way we see the car hire market. Zipcar estimate that each Zipcar takes 6 personally-owned cars off the road, while owners who sign up to the service typically drive less than 1,000 miles per year – adding up to huge energy savings of 121 million litres of crude oil left in the ground, which means that our natural resources are being protected. Not only that, but with fewer cars on the road, we can all enjoy cleaner, greener air and more open spaces.

Even if just a few of us start to hire cars for the day instead of buying a brand new vehicle, it’s a step in the right direction – and that’s what’s important.

Reviews: Lucketts Travel

One of the leading coach hire companies in Hampshire, plus the surrounding counties of Dorset, Oxfordshire, Avon and Somerset, Lucketts Travel provides private hire for holidays and day trips as well as hire for corporate clients and schools. Whatever your needs and whatever your budget, they have a solution for you. With a number of accredirations and awards, Lucketts are well known for their extremely courteous staff, comfortable and luxurious vehicles and fantastic service. With the ethos of a family-run business and all of the smooth service that you’d expect of a multi-national, they’re something of a surprise.

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Coach Holidays

Coach holidays have a bit of a bad reputation – full of “older” people and rather dull and boring trips to museums and factories. Lucketts is trying to change that reputation with their range of unique coach holidays – not only do you get to travel to some fantastic places, but they’ll pick you up from home and drop you back at home, too. You don’t have to be a couple to go, either – they provide single room accommodation for holidays, as well as day trips and excursions around the UK and throughout Europe. They take people on everything from shopping trips to stately homes, all at great prices.

Coach Hire

They also provide coach hire for private and corporate clients. With more than 100 coaches, buses and people carriers to choose from, you can hire their vehicles for everything from weddings to holidays. You can either drive them (if you hire a people carrier), or if you hire a coach, one of their fully accredited Guild of of British Coach Operators will operate it for you. Each coach comes with luxury seating and air conditioning as standard.

How to Hire

Hiring is fairly simple. You can use the tabs at the top of the page to choose what you’d like to hire, fill out the information about when you’d like to hire and where you’d like to hire from – as well as what you’d like to hire the vehicle for – and they’ll get back to you with a quote, as well as a list of all available vehicles for the hire period. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone, you can give them a call and one of their advisors will tell you everything you need to know. If you’re a school, or if you’ll need to hire a coach on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to give them a ring – they offer a number of discounts if you’re a regular customer.

Reviews: Budget UK

Budget UK is one of the UK’s largest car hire providers, with over 3,100 locations across the world in 120 different countries, giving their customers access to a huge fleet of vehicles. They’re a brand that is recognised globally, with locations across the world, including America and a number of European countries. Wherever you are in the world, Budget Car Rental is committed to finding you the perfect car at the perfect price, at some of the very best rates that we’ve seen on the market.

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About Budget

Budget have long been known as one of the cheapest car hire providers, but that doesn’t mean that you get less for your money. Their aim is to provide you with the most value for the least amount of money. They offer a range of payment plans, including pre-payment plans so that your bill is paid off before you travel, as well as a number of discounts and offers that provide savings if you book early, for longer periods of time or for business purposes. From time to time, they’ll also offer discounts if you book and pay online of up to 25% and there is also the occasional flash sale for different locations around the world.

Making a Hire

Hiring a car is fairly simple. Just click on “Get a Quote” at the top of the page, then choose where you want to make the hire from (airport or city) and the date and time that you want to hire the vehicle to or from. You’ll then be shown a list of vehicles that are available for your chosen times and dates and you can then narrow your choice down a little bit further. There’s just one catch – you must be over 23 to hire a car and drivers under the age of 25 may well have to pay a surcharge. You can hire everything from a small sports car to a huge 8-seater family wagon – just ask or specify before checkout. If you don’t know what you’re after, or what you want from the hire, you can either email them or just give them a quick call and their friendly team will be able to offer help and advice.

Managing the Booking

Once you’ve made the booking, everything else can be done fairly quickly, depending on the vehicle and package that you’ve chosen. You could pick up or drop off your rental car, or, they can deliver to you too, which means that you get a shiny new hire car without having to leave the house!

Great Escape Car Hire Review

It seems like we review a lot of car hire companies here at Hire Jungle, but Great Escape Classic Car Hire is definitely one of the most unique! With the largest fleet of classic, vintage vehicles in the UK, Great Escape offer a vast range of classic and performance motors in several convenient locations throughout the UK.

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Great Escape Classic Car Hire was founded in 2006 by classic car lovers Graham and Janine Eason to make renting a vintage car, easy, fun and most importantly, affordable, with prices starting from just £95. Great Escape is now the UK’s biggest classic car hire company with locations around the UK, either operated by Great Escape staff or by like-minded enthusiasts who hire their cars out through GE.

Pricing

Great Escape put a huge amount of work into pricing their cars. At least 35% of the hire cost goes straight back into maintaining the fleet of vehicles, ensuring a high level of reliability. All hire prices are fully inclusive, meaning that the price displayed is the price paid, including breakdown cover. Hire packages include: full 24 hours use of the vehicle (not just AM to PM), 150 miles per day (unless otherwise stated or agreed before the hire), parking for your own vehicle, an 18-point check of the vehicle before the hire, local rail and airport pick-up, insurance, breakdown cover, carbon off-setting, a leather-bound in-vehicle information pack and a vehicle familiarisation tour.

Packages and Hires

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Great Escape offer two hire packages, whether you want to self-drive the vehicle or be driven. The self-drive package is outlined in detail above, and the chauffeur package provides much of the same benefits – but all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the luxury of your classic car.

There are also a range of gift vouchers if you’re looking for a gift for a classic car enthusiast. Buy a specific gift voucher for a certain car, day and time, or buy a gift voucher for any value that you like so that your recipient can choose the perfect car for them. There are also regular Classic Car Rallies throughout the year – the perfect gift or day out for anyone who loves classic cars, including breakfast, lunch and the chance to drive five classic cars on some of the best roads in Britain.

Great Escape also cater corporate events, giving workers the opportunity to network and chat whilst driving some fantastic vehicles. The general format of the day will be for drivers to take turns navigating and driving the vehicles, swapping vehicles along the route, stopping for lunch halfway through the day – but there is a huge amount of scope to adapt the day to suit your requirements.

Whether you want to hire a car for a weekend away in the Cotswolds, self-drive a vintage motor to your wedding or take a spin on a rally day, Great Escape Classic Car Hire can help.

Sixt Car Hire Review

Sixt car hire is one of the fastest-growing car hire companies across Europe. They’re an international company, offering their services in over 4,000 locations across 105 countries. With a range of cars in their expansive fleets, from practical 7 seater family cars to vans, small economy vehicles and even limousines, they really have thought of everything.

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Sixt have a huge number of branches up and down the country – making them the go-to hire car company wherever you are in the country. With 20 London van and car rental locations alone, they also provide car hire from some of the UK’s biggest and busiest airports, including Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted. They also offer hire car in cities throughout the UK, including Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds plus many more – wherever you are in the UK, you won’t be too far from Sixt Car Hire!

If you’re looking to hire a car abroad, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Sixt have offices throughout Europe in popular tourist hotspots like Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Tenerife – and they even have rental spots in America, too. To help you on your journey, they also offer a number of driving regulation guides for countries all over the world.

Hiring a car with Sixt is incredibly easy. Go to their homepage, then simply input your pickup location and date and drop-off location and date. A huge range of cars will then be displayed, ranging from vehicles on the budget end of the scale right through to the priciest. Each price displayed is exactly what you pay – no hidden costs or charges, the price includes 300 free miles (you’ll pay just 6p per additional mile), loss damage waiver, third party insurance, registration and road tax. You can also choose additional extras, such as a SatNav, baby seat, car seat, booster seat, tire and windscreen protection or an additional driver. You can also choose to lower the excess on the loss damage waiver by paying a little bit extra, and you can choose whether to pay up front or on arrival.

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Sixt also offer a range of optional extras for loyal or regular customers. The Sixt Express card lets you jump queues, picking up the keys to your hire car as soon as you arrive at the hire location – or to go straight to the front of the queue should you not have booked your hire car in advance. There’s also an automated check-in option if you’re an Express card holder – all you have to do is input your details and the keys will be given to you via a secure safe, a little like a vending machine, letting you grab and go. If you’re hiring a car from an airport, tell them your flight details and they’ll make sure that the car is waiting the second you get off the plane – meaning that you don’t have to hang around.

Wherever you are in the world, hiring a car is easy with Sixt.