Choosing the right car for a golf trip

Car hire: Some important lessons

Choosing the right car for a golf trip

If you`re planning a golfing holiday in the sun with your mates, don't leave anything to chance when it comes to what sort of vehicle should you choose to rent from your destination airport?

There are several lessons to be learned if you're going to avoid problems at the start which could ruin the rest of the holiday.

What car?

Four golfers plus luggage plus four sets of golf clubs is not going to fit into any old vehicle.

Ideally you should be thinking of at least a 7-seater people carrier with fold-down rear seats to accommodate all your gear. The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, Renault Espace, Vauxhall Zafira or Ford Galaxy are ideal for this purpose.

Choose the right class

Remember that when you hire a vehicle at an airport you will be offered a certain 'class' of vehicle rather than a specific model and the actual interpretation of each car rental class and the vehicle supplied will differ by country and company.

Note too that when you choose a particular model when pre-booking, the company only agrees to provide that vehicle 'or similar'.

Book in advance

It's much better to book your chosen vehicle in advance, either via the internet or by telephone. Remember, too that the 'rack rates' at an airport desk are often higher than if you book direct and if demand has been high you may be left unable to hire the class of vehicle you really need.

At the time of booking always mention if there will be an additional driver, as this may increase the rental fee and some rental companies have rules about minimum and maximum ages for drivers so make sure the drivers meet the criteria.


Check what type of insurance is standard and decide whether you would like to purchase additional cover. If you are a member of a frequent flyer programme you may be entitled to a discount so check your documents on that, too.

When you pick up your rental vehicle you will need to show a valid national or international driver`s licence for each driver, an identification document such as your passport and in most cases a credit card.

Check car for damage first

Before driving off you should check the car for any damage and report any not already marked on your documents, otherwise you could be held responsible. And check what the agreement is regarding fuel use. Usually you are expected to return the vehicle with a full tank, so make sure the tank is full BEFORE you drive off. You will be charged a high fee (greater than the cost of the fuel) if the tank is not full on your return.

If you are unfamiliar with the type of vehicle supplied, ask to be shown the controls. The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, for example won`t start unless the brake pedal is depressed and the handbrake is operated by a control on the dashboard!

Once you have sorted your car rental, hopefully your first golf course is only a short drive away.

And finally...

Don`t forget to pay attention to a few simple rules for keeping your hired vehicle safe:

• Park only in a well lit, highly visible location, in high traffic areas if possible.

• Move your car during the day to improve its location if necessary.

• Remove all interior valuables from plain view. Make sure doors are locked and windows are closed.

• If you are on your own use valet parking for greater personal security whenever possible.

We hope this helps and that you can enjoy your next golf trip in safety and comfort.

Remember that the 'rack rates' at an airport desk are often higher than if you book direct and if demand has been high you may be left unable to hire the class of vehicle you really need

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