The extras sold at car hire rental desks can often double the price of the original quote, but new research has found that it is possible for the car to end up four times more expensive than the original quote.
Hiring a compact car with Budget in Malaga this summer holiday (29 June to 6 July 2019) costs £128 with Budget for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to £523.
These ‘extras’ include £62 for an extra driver (rising to £154 for a young driver), £74 for sat nav hire, £74 for a child’s car seat, £86 for Super Damage Waiver, £68 for Super Theft Waiver and £31 for Tyre and Windscreen excess cover – all adding up to £395 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £523, four times the original headline quote.
iCarhireinsurance.com looked at the costs to hire a compact car in four European destinations, Nice, Faro, Crete and Malaga, with six hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise (see table below). The study found that:
- The average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is £212, but the location with the highest average price is Crete at £263.
- ‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average £354, this includes £124 for Super Damage Waiver, £6 for Super Theft Waiver, £35 for Tyre and Windscreen excess, £54 for an extra driver, £78 for a sat nav, £115 for a young driver, and £57 for a child’s car seat. The location with the lowest average cost is Crete and the highest is Faro.
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 even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault, in three out of the four locations is over £1,000. The highest is in Faro where the average excess is around £1,500, followed by £1200 in Malaga and Nice and £750 in Crete. The average ‘Starting Theft Excess’ is also over £1,000 in Malaga, Nice and Faro.
Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from these excess costs. These policies are often expensive if bought direct from the rental company. For instance, in Faro, Avis charge £225 for a super damage waiver and another £12 for a tyre and windscreen waiver; and in Nice, Europcar charge £172 for a super damage waiver and another £57 for a tyre and windscreen waiver.
An excess policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from £2.99 a day for a European policy or £42.99 for an annual policy.
Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com, said:
Holidaying in early July is a great way to grab some good deals, but don’t forget about shopping around for car hire too. Research different rental companies, use comparison sites and always check that the headline price is not disguising lots of hidden extra costs at the rental desk. Also, before you leave the house, buy an independent car hire excess insurance product, from a specialist insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.com, take your child’s car seat and sat nav with you and don’t put an extra driver on the rental policy unless you really need to. These simple steps could save you hundreds on a week’s car hire.