Car Hire Market review

Nowadays we’re told to compare and use aggregation sites for pretty much everything from car insurance to holidays. I don’t even go straight to retailers websites because often there’s a cashback site that will give you a percentage back if you click through.

So when I was contacted and asked if I’d like to try out a car hire aggregation site called Car Hire Market, with the incentive of a free weekends car hire for my troubles, my interest was piqued. We’d agreed to attend Grand Designs Live at the NEC in Birmingham so I could share my experiences of owning a Nissan LEAF with the public but ironically we couldn’t travel up in the LEAF.

No, it wasn’t to do with the range of the LEAF, which would have got me there without an issue, it was more to do with the three children and wifey. I could have taken all the kids or the wife in the LEAF but not both. I blame it on those pesky child seats; they’re very wide. The chance to test out the car hire website and put mileage on an entirely different car to our 53 plate Zafira was entirely too good a chance to pass up.

The Car Hire Market website is simple to use, even if it does look a bit busy on the homepage. Fortunately even a person like me, who has trouble remembering what day of the week it is, let alone filling in forms. It all works from the cheerful orange box next to the tree in the screenshot above.
I simply hit “choose from list” and I was away. I switched to UK, towns/cities, and was quickly trawling the cars available to pick up in Watford, which is just down the road:
The site then pulls up all the cars available for hire in the area you’re looking at and the dates you’ve specified, from a large range of rental organisations (the number will of course be dependent on your geographical location- if it’s an airport, expect to have loads and loads to choose from). You can then filter down the choice to types of car, the number of doors, the actual supplier, and several other criteria, and then pick a few of them to compare prices and terms:

We ended up with a Mercedes C180 for the weekend, and it was interesting to see how even over a couple of days hire, the price differed  quite substantially on something like this in what is a relatively small geographical area. The booking was completed without having to leave the website, which was great because it meant we only had to enter our details once and it also let us specify a collection time well after the rental premises had closed (the added bonus was the hire place thought I was some high flying German exec over for the weekend since the Car Hire Market is run by a German company).

We had email confirmation of the booking from Car Hire Market very quickly, followed up by a confirmation from Euopcar in due course.

All in all it really took the sting out of the whole sorting a hire car thing. I can easily see how useful it will be in the feature and since Car Hire Market is international, it won’t only be a boon for UK jaunts, it will be really useful if we decide to go abroad.