The cost of renting a car may spiral for hire car drivers this Easter, 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) in five popular Easter destinations (Tenerife, Nice, Barcelona, Milan and Larnaca) by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.
Hiring a compact car with Budget in Tenerife this Easter, 13 to 20 April, costs a reasonable £116 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to £527. These ‘extras’ are £61 for an extra driver, £92 for sat nav hire, £74 for a child’s car seat, £86 for Super Damage Waiver, £67 for Super Theft Waiver, and £31 for Tyre and Windscreen cover - all adding up to £411 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £527, more than four times the original quote.
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 five destinations, is £57, with Barcelona the most expensive place, with Hertz charging £97, whilst in Larnaca, Enterprise only charge £18, a difference of £89. A young driver, generally under 25 years, costs £234 in Nice with Europcar, but Enterprise in Larnaca charges just £26. The average price across the study is around £123.
The most expensive place to rent a child's seat is in Milan with Hertz charging £116 for the week's hire, while in Tenerife, Avis, only charge £21, a difference of £95. The average price across the study is £59.
To hire a sat nav costs £121 with Hertz in Barcelona, but Avis in Tenerife charges only £34, a difference of £87. The average price across the study is £80.
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 £1000 but rose to £1,708 with Budget in Tenerife, and £435 with Sixt in Larnaca, a difference of £1,273. The average liability for theft across the study was £1,195, but in Milan with Budget it was £2,030, but again only £435 with Sixt in Larnaca.
Excess Waiver Insurance, which protects drivers from this excess liability, is the largest outlay for customers at the rental desk. 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 £169 a week. However, this can rocket to almost £262 with Hertz in Barcelona.
This is nine times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which charges only £27.92 for a week's policy (or £3.49 a day), which covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices are from £47.99.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “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 standalone excess insurance before you leave.”
Table of the lowest and most expensive car hire costs. The average car hire costs in five European destinations, Barcelona, Larnaca, Milan, Nice and Tenerife, to hire a medium compact car for a week, from 13 to 20 April 2019. The car hire companies of Sixt, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz were researched.
|Lowest Rental Desk Price||Most Expensive Rental Desk Price||Average Price|
|Car rental||£114 – Larnaca, Budget||£448 – Milan, Europcar||£226|
|Young Driver||£26 - Larnaca, Enterprise||£234 - Nice, Europcar||£123|
|Additional Driver||£19 - Larnaca, Enterprise||£97 - Barcelona, Hertz||£57|
|Child Car Seat||£21 – Tenerife, Avis||£116 - Milan, Hertz||£59|
|Sat Nav||£35 - Tenerife, Avis||£121 – Barcelona, Hertz||£80|
|Excess Waiver Insurance |
(including cover for damage, theft and tyre and windscreen damage)
|£47 - Larnaca, Sixt||£262 - Barcelona, Hertz||£169|
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)|