Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive News Car hire prices 20% cheaper this half term than last year

Car hire prices 20% cheaper this half term than last year

by LLB Finance Reporter
29th May 24 8:29 am

A new study of car hire costs in Europe this May half term reveals that prices are down by 20% on last year, but a week’s car hire is still 12% higher than in 2019.

In 2019, it cost £199 on average to hire a medium compact car, e.g., a VW Golf or Peugeot 308, for a week, whereas in 2024 the cost has risen to £225. Prices have dropped by 20%, however, from last year when the weekly average price was £280.

The study by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of car hire excess insurance, looked at the cost of hiring a medium compact car for a week, from 25 May – 1 June 2024, in five destinations (Barcelona, Faro, Larnaca, Nice and Tenerife) with six rental companies, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Europcar, and compared these to the same week in 2019 and 2023.

Average weekly car rental rates in 2024 range from £135 in Tenerife (£163 in 2023), £213 in Larnaca (£243 in 2023), £204 in Faro (£271 in 2023), £211 in Barcelona (£309 in 2023) to £363 in Nice (£431 in 2023).

The study reveals that ‘extras’ purchased from the rental desk can cause costs to spiral. In 2024, drivers will pay on average £67 for an additional driver, £67 for a child’s car seat, £82 for a sat nav and £194 for excess protection, including theft and collision damage (£163) and tyre and windscreen damage (£31), totalling £410. In 2024, it costs £635 to hire a car including all these extras purchased from the rental desk.

While it may be useful to have an extra driver on the rental policy, costs vary from £32 in Larnaca, on average, to £84 in Barcelona.

The most expensive place to rent a sat nav is Nice costing £115 on average, compared to £63 in Larnaca.

A child’s car seat varies in price from £42 in Larnaca, on average, to £84 in Barcelona.

Excess Liability is the amount to pay if the hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it is not the hirer’s fault. The study found that the average excess liability for damage and theft across the study was around £1,400.

Car hire excess protection, which protects drivers from this excess liability, is usually the largest outlay for travellers at the rental desk.  Many car rental companies offer different policies, commonly known as super damage waiver (£163 average cost) and tyre and windscreen cover (£31 average cost), with a combined average cost in this study of £194 a week in Europe, which is almost six times more expensive than a car hire excess policy from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, charging only *£33.15 for a week’s policy,  covering damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices with iCarhireinsurance.com are from *£41.99.

Ben Wooltorton, from iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “Hiring a car on holiday gives you the freedom to explore new destinations and to visit places which might be hard using just public transport. It’s great to see that prices are down from last year, but it’s worth remembering many car rental companies offer 48-hour free cancellation, so it’s a good idea to secure a car but as you get closer to your holiday see if there’s a better deal on offer.

“It’s also really important to check the prices of any extras you may need, so there are no costly surprises when you come to pick up the rental car. Considerable savings can be made by buying car hire excess insurance from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, rather than the excess protection policies sold at the rental desk.”

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