Thursday 8 December 2016

Car rental in Rome

Published 17/07/2011 | 05:00

Buongiorno, Signore Berlusconi. So Italy is toast now, too. Welcome to the club. Head off to see the Colosseum before it gets taken over by a German or French bank. You won't have much money left after renting a car for a 40-year-old for two weeks in August. Mind you, nor will the Italians. We've highlighted the difference between paying upfront and paying when you arrive at the car-rental desk. Car rented from Hertz.

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Best Upfront -- €539.41

Avoid Pay on arrival -- €656

Saving €116.59

contact www.hertz.com

Postage costs

Companies should really check out the savings offered by Citypost, which offers cut-price deals on posting letters and parcels on its routes. For a small company sending 1,000 normal letters:

Best Citypost -- €480

Avoid An Post -- €550

Saving €70

contact www.citypost.ie or 1890 240 240

Home phone and broadband combo

Sometimes you don't need enough broadband welly to launch a shuttle, you just need enough to have a squint at Facebook, buy a few books on Amazon or send some emails. Having 30mb of oompf is a bit like having a Ferrari for nipping down to the shop for a paper. This is for somebody making 200 minutes of local calls and 200 minutes of mobile calls with broadband of less than 10mb. As Eircom is the biggest fish in the pond, we've taken its best offer. It's the 52nd best deal out there on the list of quotes from www.callcosts.ie. Permanet is only available in the Deep South of the country. Digiweb is the next cheapest.

Best Permanet.ie Talk & Surf Time 1mb -- €67.24 per month

Avoid Eircom Talktime and 8mb basic broadband -- €96.01

Saving €345.24 per year

contact www.permanet.ie or 1890 818599

Credit cards

I suppose that if everyone hates you, there's no harm in sticking up the two fingers to your customers. Credit-card interest rates have soared to positively obscene levels, so it's time to cut up your cards and never use them again, or at least try your damnest to pay off the balance each month. Ulster Bank's rubbish standard Mastercard will charge you 22.6 per cent APR. Quite simply, that sucks. MBNA cards are horrendous, too, with rates up to 21.40 per cent. It seems online-only credit cards are your cheapest option. Calculations based on a €1,500 debt.

Best Bank of Ireland Clear -- 13.30 per cent APR

Avoid Ulster Bank Standard Mastercard -- 22.6 per cent

Saving Up to €139.50

contact www.bankofireland.ie or local branches

Non-Irish-owned bank savings

The simple rule is that the higher the interest rate offered by a bank, the more it's sweating over its future. Rates offered by banks that aren't owned or partially owned by the taxpayer aren't nearly as good. For a €10,000 lump sum that you can reef out in a hurry, Ulster Bank will pay you just one euro a year if you put the money in its easy access account. So will the Permo and Bank of Ireland.

Best NIB e-Saver/NationwideUK Easy access -- three per cent

Avoid Ulster Bank easy access -- 0.01 per cent

Saving €299 in interest over a year

contact nationalirishbank.ie or nationwideuk.ie or local branches

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