Few years ago “The Independent’s Traveveller” section ran an article by Simon Calder called ” Get more from your holiday”.
Some resolutions offered by the writer
Let your digital camera ease your travels
Almost everyone carries a digital camera in the shape of a phone. Use it to your advantage. Before picking up a rental car, take pictures of any damage to the bodywork; with an obvious local landmark such as an airport terminal in the background so you can prove where and when you took it. Or, if you are leaving your car in a large car park, take a picture of the nearest location sign.
Never upgrade a rental car
Despite the odd price spike, especially in Spain in summer, car rental remains fiercely competitive. Whether you book direct with a multinational provider, find a reliable local firm, or go through a broker such as Holiday Autos or easyCar. Often they will offer very low rates in the hope that you will be tempted to upgrade when you pick up the car. In the US – particularly Orlando – the performance has been turned into an art form: “Surely you’re not planning to drive a small car like that any further than the parking lot?” Stand your ground and you may well find that you get a bigger, better car anyway, because in my experience they rarely have the “two-door subcompact” that I routinely book.
It is said that you can enhance your chances of a free upgrade by dawdling to the rental desk – if you’re at the end of the queue, the standard small cars will all have been rented out, leaving you with a superior vehicle. The other often-tried tack is to get you to upgrade your insurance by implying that the faintest scratch could result in your house being repossessed. Be confident that the all-inclusive package you wisely booked in advance is as gold-plated as you need, and decline expensive extras.