Hiring a car is risky for your finances. They've gotcha on all fronts. Kiwis have found themselves hit up for thousands of dollars in excesses, seen the price balloon with extras or been squeezed out of a few dollars with poor exchange rates. Here a few tips on how to protect yourself.

Read the fine print

Car hire agreements are not all created equal. Sometimes there are exclusions that might surprise you. One reader found the insurance through the car hire company didn't cover her if she broke the road rules, such as speeding. You may find there are

Photograph/video the car's condition


Watch out for the extras

Get your own insurance cover

Consider a standalone policy

Don't hire a car at all