- 1 in 3 book cheapest car available

- 1 in 7 thought had paid for everything in booking

A third of car hirers book the cheapest car available, but this may prove a false economy when they come to pick the car up and are faced with a barrage of extra costs at the rental desk.

According to a new YouGov survey by, the leading provider of stand-alone excess car hire insurance, 33% of travellers will book the cheapest car, but only 22% check the price of any ‘extras’ they might need when making the booking, e.g., excess waiver insurance, an extra driver, a child’s car seat or a sat nav.

A low headline price for the hire car can hide extra costs at the rental desk. For instance, over one in seven car hirers (15%)have spent additional money when they picked their car up even though they thought they'd paid for everything when they booked their hire car; and 19% were shocked at the price of 'extras,' which can double or triple the original car rental price.

For instance, travellers to Faro this summer will pay £156, on average, for a week's car hire (from five rental companies researched*) only to be faced with an average cost of £130 for car hire excess insurance (£96 for basic waiver policy and £34 for tyre and windscreen excess policy); a child's car seat costing, on average, £59; a sat nav costing, on average, £58; and an extra driver costing £43. The total bill for 'extras' is £290, which when added to the hire car bill makes the week's hire £446 - almost three times the original hire car bill.

The biggest hit on a consumer’s pocket is the car hire excess insurance charged by the rental companies. This protects hirers against the first part of an insurance claim if the vehicle is damaged or stolen (even if it's not the renter's fault). This can cost around £17** a day, compared with a policy from a specialist provider like which costs from £2.99 a day or £37.99 for an annual European policy and includes vulnerable parts of the vehicle which are often excluded from rental company policies. Only one in four consumers (25%) said that clear information was available on excess waiver / insurance products when they made the booking.

The survey also found that only 54% understood the car hire company’s policy on fuel when they made their booking, which could be risky as some rental companies charge for a full tank of petrol at pick-up.

It’s important that travellers are not taken in by a low headline price only to be stung at the rental desk, said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of However it is possible not to spend a single penny if you bring your own sat-nav (or use an app on your mobile) and child's booster seat, and don't put an extra driver on the rental agreement. Also, always research your rental provider’s car hire excess insurance in advance of travel, and compare this to the cost of an online excess insurance policy from an independent provider like, which can give savings of around £14 a day.

For more information please contact:

  • Frances Knox, Frankly PR  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. + 44 7850 470123
  • Cath Roan, Roan Media This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 7081 817 451
  • Or Ben Wooltorton, Sales and Marketing Director, Halo Insurance Services Ltd - Tel:  +44 7739 719 570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2088 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th - 29th April 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* surveyed the costs to hire a compact car in, Faro with five hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt , for a week's hire from 28 May to 4 June. The most expensive excess insurance in the study was charged by Europcar in Barcelona who quoted £152 for a week’s cover.

** surveyed the costs to hire a compact in Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona with five hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt , for a week's hire from 28 May to 4 June. The average cost charged by the rental companies for an excess/waiver policy was £119.

Notes to Editors

Halo Insurance Services Ltd is a ground-breaking online insurance broker which was founded in 2009 by Ernesto Suarez, a leading insurance expert specialising in non-standard motor insurance. Its products include car hire insurance, van hire insurance and car club excess insurance all of which have been designed to offer more cover for a better price than the excess waivers offered at the rental desk.

Halo operates the retail brands in the UK, in Germany, in Spain and in the Netherlands. It also provides insurance solutions to a number of commercial partners involved who provide software and booking services to car hire operators.

Awards won:

FINALIST – 2016 British Insurance Awards – Digital Innovation Award FINALIST – 2014 British Insurance Awards – Personal Lines Broker of the Year Award WINNER - 2013 British Insurance Awards – Insurance Start-Up Award FINALIST - 2012 British Insurance Awards – The E-Business Award WINNER - 2011 Insurance Times Awards – Broker Innovation of the Year

Halo Insurance Services Limited is registered in England number 6929208. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 504629 for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.