The cost of renting a car may spiral this summer, as the cost of car hire ‘extras’ at the rental desk can differ by hundreds of pounds, according to a study of six rental companies (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz) by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.
The study looked at the cost of hiring a car for a week in August in five popular European holiday destinations (Dubrovnik, Nice, Naples, Malaga and Tenerife), and due to the increased demand for hire cars in the UK to reach UK holiday destinations, the study also includes five UK cities (London, Glasgow, Manchester, Swansea and Belfast).
The study found that the cost of hiring a car varies from an average of £145 a week in Tenerife (£20 a day) to an average of £491 a week in Nice (£70 a day). Within locations the prices vary considerably, but is isn’t just the cost of the hire car you need to check, but also any extras you may need.
Hiring a compact car in Manchester for a week costs on average £215 (£30 per day), however once the extras are added, the price can increase to £726, more than tripling the original quote. This increase of £511 includes £156 for super damage waiver, £73 for tyre and windscreen waiver, £103 for extra driver, £97 for sat nav and £82 for a child’s car seat.
However, it is Naples where the extras are the most expensive. Hiring a car costs on average £385 (£55 per day) for a week in August, however once extras items at the rental desk are added, the price increases to £976. This increase of £591 includes £202 for Super Damage Waiver, £71 for Super Theft Waiver, £43 for Tyre and Windscreen cover, £63 for an extra driver, £103 for a sat nav and £109 for a child car seat.
While it may be useful to have an extra driver on a car hire rental policy it can really add to the final bill. The study found that the average price, across the ten locations, is £81, with Swansea the most expensive place, charging on average £104, whilst the average price in Dubrovnik is £47.
The most expensive place to rent a child’s car seat is Naples, where the average price is £109, compared to £61 in Dubrovnik. The average price across the study is £79.
To hire a sat nav costs on average £105 in Swansea, but only £54 in Tenerife. The average price across the study is £89.
Excess Liability is the amount drivers have to pay if the hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it is not the hirer’s fault. Most rental companies have different liability for damage and theft and the liability can vary by over a thousand pounds depending on the location and rental company. The study found that the average excess liability for damage across the study was around £1400.
Excess Waiver Insurance, which protects drivers from this excess liability, is the largest cost for travellers after the cost of the rental. Many companies now offer three different policies, Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver and Tyre and Windscreen cover, with a combined average cost, in this study, of around £208 a week. However, this can rocket to an average £316 in Naples.
This is eleven times more expensive than a policy from a specialist car hire insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which charges from £27.96* for a week’s policy (or £3.49 a day), which covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices are from £42.99.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said, “Hiring a car has become even more important this year, with many people wanting to use one to get to places off the beaten track as well as avoiding public transport.
“When booking a hire car it is crucial that you know what extras you are going to need, and how much they are going to cost you, so you can accurately compare prices. You can make the most of some of the low car rental prices by bringing your own sat nav and child car seats with you, and buying stand-alone excess insurance before you leave.”
The average car hire costs in five European destinations, Nice, Naples, Dubrovnik, Malaga and Tenerife, and five UK cities, London, Glasgow, Swansea and Belfast, to hire a medium compact car for a week in August. The car hire companies of Sixt, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz were researched.
Table of average price of extras
|Car Rental Rate||Super Damage Waiver||Super Theft Waiver||T&W Excess||Extra Driver||Sat Nav||Car Seat||Total (Incl upgrades**)||Increase when incl upgrades (Combined Waiver)|
*An iCarhireinsurance.com car hire excess insurance policy for a single week’s trip (8 days) is from £27.96. These prices are for hirers over the age of 30.