Winter sunseekers are paying 60% more for car hire than they were pre-pandemic, according to a new survey by iCarhireinsurance, a leading provider of car hire excess insurance.
In 2019, it was £141 on average to hire a car for the week, whereas in 2022 it is £234.
The survey carried out by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of car hire excess insurance, compared the cost of renting a medium compact hire car, e.g., a Ford Focus or VW Golf, in the popular winter sun destinations of Larnaca (Cyprus), Barcelona, Faro and Tenerife for a week from 19 – 26 November 2022 compared to the same week in 2019. Six rental companies were surveyed, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Sixt.
It found that the car rental price for all four destinations had risen by 60% or more since 2019, with Barcelona up 60% (an increase of £77), Faro up 64% (an increase of £100), Tenerife up 69% (an increase of £100) and Larnaca up 74% (an increase of £97).
The 2022 survey also looked at the two additional destinations of Nice and Milan, finding it costs, on average, £331 in Nice and £408 in Milan for a week’s hire in November, compared to the cheapest destination in the survey, Barcelona (£205) followed by Larnaca (£227), Tenerife (£246) and Faro (£257).
There are some bargains to be had though. For instance, in Larnaca two rental companies, Budget (£165) and Europcar (£181), are charging below £200 for the week’s hire; and similarly in Faro, Budget (£195) and Enterprise (£180) are below £200.
Winter sunseekers should be wary, however, of the price of car hire extras, which can more than double costs. For example, hiring with Budget in Faro, the weekly rental cost is £195, then the extras offered include Super Damage Waiver costing £265, Tyre and Windscreen Excess £35, an extra driver £68, sat nav £90 and a car seat £81, totalling £539 in extras alone.
The average price to rent a car across all six destinations in 2022 is £279, but when the extras are added the final price is £690, an increase of £411 – over double the original price. This is because the average price for Super Damage Waiver is £157, Tyre and Windscreen Excess cover £48, Extra Driver £61, Sat Nav £76 and a child ‘s car seat is £69.
If a hire car is damaged or stolen the driver is liable for the excess which is on average over £1,300 for damage and theft across the survey. Excess waiver insurance is one of the most expensive extras, costing on average £205 a week (£157 for Super Damage Waiver and £48 for Tyre and Windscreen Excess) from the rental companies. It can be bought from specialist insurance companies, like iCarhireinsurance.com, to avoid buying it from the rental companies and costs from only £3.99 a day or £44.99 for an annual policy for European cover.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said, “Car hire costs can be confusing but getting a good price on your rental car doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s normally the price of the extras which can come as a surprise.
“Once you’ve found a good deal, make sure you check the prices of the extras you need. Simple things like taking your own sat nav and child car seats, as well as buying car hire excess insurance from an independent provider in advance can give huge savings and mean that the original car hire deal really is as good as it seemed.”