Why Choose Automatic Car Hire?

We at Automatic Car Hire built the site due to the poor choice, price and availability of automatic vehicles given by car hire brokers and suppliers currently on the market.

To combat this we integrated the automatic only vehicles of many car hire suppliers and brokers into one single search meaning you can find the ideal car for you in just one click.

With the such choice in just one click refined to only the best guaranteed automatic vehicles available you can trust Automatic Car Hire to ensure you have the car you need.

If you only have an automatic vehicle licence or the thought of a manual gearbox on the opposite side than you are used, then search now and see why more and more people are using Automatic Car Hire to book their rental car.

With over 15 years car rental experience in our offices, we have set up unique deals with the best car rental brokers and suppliers on the market, to provide you with the only online resource for automatic car hire.


A recent trip to Faro where we rented an automatic car gave us some notes that we thought we would share with our users here at automatic car hire. Faro sometimes gets a bad rap and certainly the low cost base of rental cars at Faro airport has driven prices down and given a tiered system of suppliers based at the airport.

The first suppliers are the more established suppliers found in the designated car hire village a short walk from the airport, these include Europcar and Goldcar, with all cars in the car park next to the individual offices. The exit is easy coming out on the roundabout with easy access to the A22, the main trunk road which gives you east access to the whole of the Algarve and beyond.

The second lot of suppliers work from an office in car park P4, which is a good five minutes walk from the terminal. Positioned in a “temporary” office (a portacabin which has been there for years), all cars are within the same car park and again you have easy access out of the airport and to the A22.

The third bunch, and not suppliers available through automatic car hire, are based within the airport, mostly working from tables at the cafe just past the arrivals concourse. These small suppliers have cars within the airport but we prefer more reputable companies to provide automatic cars to our engine!

The A22 is a toll road and you can either prepay with your supplier or pay your tolls before you leave. We found it quite quiet as we suspect many of the locals use the secondary roads to avoid paying for the tolls on this newer

Getting The Best Rate

There are a number of tips and tricks to making sure you get the best deal on automatic car hire. It is well known due to the higher purchase cost and low availability of automatic transmission rental cars, they can be quite a bit more expensive to rent per day than the manual transmission alternative. Here, we at automatic car hire set out some ideas to save you some money on your next car rental:

Avoiding MPV’s

Do you have a large party going with you? Seven or nine seat automatic cars are not only low on availability but can be expensive. If you have a number of drivers in your party then consider two smaller automatic cars instead. The combined price of two smaller compact sized cars, even if one is an estate for the luggage can be a saving on a single seven or nine seat automatic people carrier.

Understanding Your Requirements

Take some time to work out the space you actually need in the car for you and your party to travel comfortably. Compare the car classes against your car, friend’s cars or even pop down to a car dealer to take a look at the model range. Dropping down a car class can save you quite a lot – an example of moving down from an intermediate class car (Ford Mondeo automatic or similar) to a compact class car (Ford Focus automatic or similar) will save you a considerable amount.

Additional Extras

I am not asking you to simply go without a child seat or GPS system but instead compare the cost of bringing your own against hiring it from the car hire supplier. Even hiring a GPS in the UK and bringing it with you can be cheaper than hiring one from the car hire supplier. Most airlines carry one piece of child equipment free but if that needs to be the buggy compare the price of bringing your own child seat against the total cost of hiring one. A big plus for bringing your own equipment against hiring it is that your are certain of the condition and capabilities.

Drop Off Time

Be careful when you enter the drop off time when you look for automatic car hire prices. Even stating a drop off time of 30 minutes after the pick up time will make your rental an additional day longer with the subsequent additional cost incurred. Try to keep the rental shorter even if it does mean spending more time at the airport or train station before your journey home.


Take a look at the refundable insurance offered through automatic car hire or consider driving the car with the excess amounts in place. Insurance offered by car hire suppliers can be expensive. Also bear in mind that the excess amounts on automatic rental cars is normally much higher than their manual comparable cars due to higher maintenance and value.

Fuel Type

If you are doing a bit of driving then keep an eye out for diesel automatic cars as the fuel efficiency is greater which in turn saves you money.

Fuel Policy

If you are not doing a lot of driving take some time to note the car hire suppliers fuel policy (in the terms and conditions). Full to empty suppliers will leave you feeling cheated if you bring back the car with half a tank of fuel left with no chance of a refund for it. If you are not driving that much then go for a full to full fuel policy supplier.

Additional Charges

First thing to state is that all cars shown on automatic car hire are fully inclusive meaning that the cialis price you see you pay. that said when you as a driver require addtional equipment or services from the supplier then optional extra costs do occur.

The only scenario where we at automatic car hire can see an unavoidable charge levied by a car rental company is an out of hours fee. Most flights are met without charge and most offices away from airports are open within normal office hours. The rise of travel options and budget airlines and their unusual flight times (to keep their costs down) can result in you needing to pick up the car at times that are not served traditionally by the car hire company. When this is the case then an out of hours fee could and will be levied. These are shown in the terms and conditions and you should look for these if you think your arrival is not within times you consider to be “office hours”.

Fuel, a controversial full to empty policy that began in Spain in the late 90’s has expanded to many suppliers across the world. This is where you must pay for a full tank of fuel and return as empty as possible. In some circumstances but by no means all, this could be at a higher price than you pay at the pumps so please check the terms and conditions for the fuel options available. For shorter rentals full to empty suppliers do normally operate a full to full policy (three of less days) so bear this in mind but generally if your rental is short or you are not intending to drive much then a full to full policy supplier is best for you.

Additional equipment requested when booking or at the counter will of course be charged for and these fees again are present in the terms and conditions. Consider the costs of bringing your own equipment with you. For example, the costs of bringing your child seat on the airline (checking it in) may be less than the daily fee for renting one with the car hire supplier and will alleviate any concerns you have about availability or condition of the rental equipment.


Excess Information

If you have an accident or are a victim of crime with either scenario resulting in damage to the rental car, the supplier or owner of the vehicle can take an excess for the repairs directly from your credit card even if it is not your fault.


You can purchase additional insurances at the desk but these can be costly and may not remove the excess amounts completely. They may also be exclusions in terms of cover for the underside of the vehicle or loss of the keys as common examples.


Renting a car is all about your own personal preferences but at Automatic Car Hire we understand the large excess amounts that can be in place for automatic cars due to the increased cost of purchasing and maintaining them. This is why we have decided to offer all three options when you go through the booking process.


The additional option we give is a refundable excess insurance that covers you and not the car. If you have any incident that results in a deduction of the excess amount from your credit card then you can reclaim this amount directly from the insurer at your leisure. Just request a claims form, fill in the details and any paperwork given to you and they will process and refund you the excess amount directly to your credit card.


Of course you can look in the terms and conditions of each supplier to see excess amounts and insurance options as you go through the booking process. Many people are okay with driving with the excess amounts in place, all cars on Automatic Car Hire are fully inclusive so you don’t need to pay anything extra to dive the car away. All we ask is consider the excess amounts, weigh up your options and take some time to look at the refundable excess product available.


Car Hire Insurance

More and more people renting cars through Automatic Car Hire are complaining about undue pressure being applied to them at some car rental companies. No matter if you take our refundable insurance or not, we find it utterly unacceptable that scare tactics are used to sell an optional insurance package.


We carefully choose our partners for their customer service as well as their prices and availability of automatic vehicles. Every rental made through Automatic Car Hire and completed receives an email from us for you to complete a survey of your car rental experience. We collate this information and ensure that feedback like this insurance pressure is acted upon. We convey all issues we encounter directly to the supplier and have dropped suppliers in the past due to issues we have encountered.


We want to assure all our loyal users that they do not have to take additional insurances at the desk and all cars featured on Automatic Car Hire are fully inclusive. This means the amount shown is the amount you have to pay to drive the car away from the depot. Many people are happy to rent cars with an excess in place for CDW and Theft, some take third party refundable insurances like the one we offer through the booking process and finally some prefer to take the insurances offered by the car rental companies.


We aim to be the best comparison service on the internet for automatic hire cars and we will continue to strive to be just that. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the site please contact us using the contact form.

New Cars For 2013

Well with 2013 well upon us and the launch of a host of new cars reported here to Automatic Car Hire HQ, we thought we would give you our pick on the cars that we expect to be very much part of supplier automatic car hire fleets worldwide.

If you are fan of convertibles for your trip abroad you will be well aware of the Citroen Pluriel and the limitations it brings against the romantic visions of say a Ford Mustang convertible that you may of had when booking. That said in Spring a new material topped Citroen DS3 Cabrio will bring a new wave of head scratching from renters in car hire parking lots wondering what really is a convertible car?

Also in Autumn the new Citroen C4 Picasso comes on sale which will also feature the grand Picasso for those seven seat lovers out there. It will feature the EGS6 gearbox which is another example of a fine automatic gearbox that can happily be flicked over to electronic manual version if you want to control it.

Over at Ford you would have thought the new and much heralded Ford Mondeo would be launched in 2013 but because of major “restructuring” over at Ford Europe it has unfortunately been pushed back to 2014 (Much to the delight of Opel / Vauxhall and their Insignia which is due a face lift in mid 2013). Anyway, initial specification place the new Ford 1.0 litre, three cylinder Eco boost engine under the bonnet or you could go for a 1.5 litre turbo diesel and finally a 2.0 litre petrol / hybrid in late 2014.

The new Fiesta is launched in January 2013 and also features that amazing 1.0 litre Eco boost engine or the good old 1.5 TDCi diesel with both having an automatic option.

A big fan of hiring cars in Spain and mostly getting Seats, we were very happy to read about the new Seat Leon which is based on the same platform as the new VW Golf just significantly cheaper, starting at only £15,670. The 1,6 litre TDI can also be ordered with Volkswagen’s mouth watering 6 speed DSG twin clutch automatic gearbox getting a very splendid 72.4 mpg. Also for you worried about getting the straw donkey, sixteen bottles of sangria and your suitcases back the airport we are happy to announce an increase in luggage capacity from 340 litres to an impressive 380 litres.

If though the original is the best  for you then the new Golf although more expensive comes with the even more impressive 7 speed DSG dual clutch transmission giving the same 72.4 mpg but also proving the mother company always keeps the best to themselves!


Booking through a car hire broker is an excellent way of saving money, it is most circumstances a way of getting a car with a major supplier without paying the direct prices. Brokers shift large amounts of rental volume and tout business between suppliers to get low net rates. The suppliers are attracted to this as it is a great way of pushing volume, sustaining fleet levels, gaining a new customer base as well as the broker taking care of the “front line” of customer care.


You may end up away from a major supplier in car hire hotbeds like Alicante airport especially if you looking for the “lead in” priced cars. If you want to end up with a larger supplier when booking through a car hire broker then study the terms and conditions. A full to full fuel policy and other indicators within the terms and conditions are excellent indicators of larger worldwide suppliers.


When booking through a car hire broker you must remember that your original contract is with the broker and not the car hire supplier. You may have signed an agreement when you picked up the car but factors such as the rate code you are on are prevalent to the broker. So remember these tips when booked through a broker.


If you need to extend your car rental contact the broker and not the supplier or local desk. The large brokers we work with have international numbers for you to contact for any concerns. If you go to the supplier you may have to go back to the airport and sign a new agreement which could be at their higher daily rate. If you contact the broker they can extend the rental for you at the original rate and you may not have to return to the rental desk. If you are returning early, also contact the broker although I know a lot will not give refunds after a car is returned early so please contact them as early as possible!


When something goes wrong contact the broker first as they have a higher weight with the supplier than you as a single customer. Although it may not have anything to do with them, in most circumstances they will more than happy to advise and help where they can.


Finally brokers will have different amendment and cancellation policies than the supplier you have ended up with. You cannot contact the supplier direct to amend or cancel as they will not touch the booking. So if you are unsure or need to amend a booking look at these policies within our terms and conditions when booking you car rental through Automatic Car Hire.


The pitfalls of car hire are greatly exaggerated with many misconceptions about car hire companies looking for damage as a way to making money. The truth is that car rental fleet managers would prefer to keep their fleet in top condition and not remove any cars for repairs. A car lost from the fleet is car not available for rentals. Bear in mind also that the car would have already been booked for clients and with it out of the fleet a replacement must be found from other locations which in turn has costs associated.


One thing that does irk many a customer is the full to empty fuel tank. We at Automatic Car Hire listen to the feedback from our customers gained from an email sent out a few days after you return the car. It simply asks for a couple of star ratings based on your experience and also a free fill form where you can tell us in more detail of anything on your mind. It is here that we have found that insurance and fuel policies are problems for a proportion of car renters worldwide. Please bear in mind that as a cost comparison model featuring brokers we have an excellent mix of suppliers worldwide to gauge a genuine feedback model.


Firstly lets talk about the fuel policies as this is something that you can weigh up before travelling. As we have said many times before please check the terms and conditions before booking as it is here that the fuel policy of the chosen car hire supplier is featured. Full to empty does have advantages especially for long rentals and high mileage rentals. If though you are only driving to a villa for a few days you are going to need a full to full hire car. Remember the cheapest is not always the best option for you when you take into account the full package of costs.


Lastly the insurance, if you have take our refundable excess insurance you do not have to take any additional insurance when you pick the car up. Remember car rental staff are normally incentivised to sell insurance so they may put pressure on you or give you the hard sell. Simply turn down all insurances and pick the car up as is. Any talk of not being able to do this is completely false and should be taken up with the desk representative’s supervisor. Don’t be bullied you are completely covered!


When booking car hire you should of course consider the price. Our cost comparison model is based primarily towards comparing prices, this is what is considered the most important factor for our users. There are though a number of other extras and points you should look at before booking and in some cases these effect the true cost of the car rental.


Firstly I am sure many a reader will be crying out insurance. This is true if you book direct where you could be looking at varying expensive insurances at the counter which vary very much from supplier to supplier. Not only in the daily cost but in the cover and also the excess amount reduction with some not even removing the total excess amount and in fact just lowering it. This is not the case with automatic car hire as we offer a single low daily refundable excess insurance available if you wish on the book page. This covers you for the total excess amount as well as extras such as key cover.


So what should you consider? Well it comes down to what you need from your trip and rental car, what mileage are you looking to do and also the use in terms of your party.


Fuel policy is a big one, if you are going to be using the car a lot and over a longer period then full to empty could work for you. No hassle in terms of filling the rental car up on return and in truth the premium on the tank of fuel is not in all cases excessive compared to pump prices. Most prefer full to full though and this is something displayed in the terms and conditions and should be part of your judgement on which supplier or rental car to book.


How many drivers do you need for the hire car? Some suppliers offer free additional drivers and some have higher costs per day than others to register an additional driver. If you want another member of your party to drive then consider this as you book. Also remember the additional driver will need all their documentation and be at the rental counter with you to sign on. If they are arriving later you will probably be able to go back to the desk to sign them on if the desk is open, again please check the terms and conditions.


Any children travelling with you? We always recommend bringing your own child seats or boosters but you can hire them locally for a daily fee. Yes again these vary from supplier to supplier so again check the terms and conditions and consider these in the total price and car selection. This is true for many other additional equipment and winter fees charged for snow chains and such so look at what you need and counter in the rental fees.


Finally the space you need. This is not just in terms of comfort for the passengers which would make you book a larger car but in terms of equipment. Take ski car hire for example, an intermediate estate can carry your skis and equipment no problem and will be cheaper than a compact sized car with a ski rack rental. Also it will be much more comfortable for your party to travel in.


Take some paper and write down exactly what you need from your automatic car hire and factor in your requirements in the total price displayed. Compare cars even from the same car hire brokers and they may be from different suppliers and have different terms and inclusions. Remember car hire brokers work with multiple suppliers even in a single airport location.

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