Read this before renting a car in the UK

icarhireinsurance.com looked at the costs of renting a car and found that it’s possible for the car to end up eight times more expensive than the original quote.

Hiring a compact car when travelling can sometimes be a daunting experience. If getting the car itself is hard enough, there are also extras fees that we can’t live without. For example, hiring a compact car with Budget in Tenerife this May (Half Term from 26 May to 2 June), costs a very reasonable £75 for the week’s hire, however, once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to £634. Now, that’s way too much to be called just an ‘extra’.

These so-called extras include:

  • £61 for an extra driver
  • £91 for satellite navigation hire
  • £73 for a child’s car seat
  • £152 for a young driver
  • £85 for Super Damage Waiver
  • £67 for Super Theft Waiver
  • £30 for Tyre and Windscreen excess cover

This adds up to £559 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £634, eight times the original headline quote.

The study

icarhireinsurance.com looked at the costs to hire a compact car in five European destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, with six hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise. The study found that:

The average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is £175, and the location with the highest average price is Nice at £237. However, the location with the highest average cost of extras is Barcelona at £534. In addition, the research also found that the average ‘Starting Damage Excess’, which is the amount a driver may have to pay if the car is damaged in each location is now over £1,000.

The most expensive average excess insurance is in Faro where the average cost for a Combined Super Waiver policy is £240 this half term. Individual excess policies in Faro cost on average £111 for Super Damage Waiver, £59 for Super Theft Waiver and £29 for Tyre and Windscreen excess.

The solution

An excess policy from a specialist insurance provider covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from £2.99 a day for a European policy or £39.99 for an annual policy, meaning that drivers could save as much as £216 in Faro, £184 in Tenerife and Barcelona, and £165 in Nice, if they shop around for excess insurance this half term.

“Hiring a car has become like booking a flight”

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of icarhireinsurance.com, said: “Hiring a car has become like booking a flight. There can so many added extras that by the time you have booked everything you need, the original deal you found may not be as good as it first seemed. It’s essential to check the price of the extras you will need before booking, and see what you can book in advance, or take with you, so you really can make the most of some of the deals available.”

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