A family hiring a standard family car in Malaga, over the Easter week, could hand over an additional £352* at the rental desk when picking their car up.
Purchasing excess car hire insurance (at £130), extra driver's cover (at £74), a child's seat (at £67) and a Sat Nav (at £81) from the rental desk will push the overall cost up by an additional 125% (nb. the basic cost for the week was £280).
iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading standalone provider of excess car hire insurance, has compared the prices of four rental companies at five popular destinations for the Easter week, 29 March - 5 April 2013, to reveal the hidden costs at the rental desk.
Looking at the destinations of Malaga, Faro, Nice, Milan and Barcelona, iCarhireinsurance.com found great variations in the costs that travellers would be paying at each destination.
An Extra Driver
Putting an extra driver on a policy can be costly ranging from up to £74 with Hertz in Barcelona, to £41 with Avis in Malaga, to £20 with Sixt in Nice. Budget for around £50 as this was the average cost, although if the driver is under 25 expect a steep hike again with an average charge of around £100.
A Child's Car Seat
If you can, take your own car seat otherwise you could be looking at paying up to £80 in Milan for instance. The average price was around £50 across the four destinations of Faro, Malaga, Barcelona and Milan, falling to £38 in Nice.
Another expensive addition. The cost of hiring a Sat Nav ranged from over £85 in Milan with Avis and Hertz, to a more reasonable £56 in Faro with Budget and £38 in Barcelona with Sixt.
Excess Car Hire Insurance
"The sting in the tail at the rental desk," said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO at iCarhireinsurance.com. "This will make the biggest dent in the holiday budget."
If excess waiver insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £1600 if the car gets damaged or even stolen. Visitors to Barcelona and Malaga over Easter could be looking at a week's excess insurance costing them £168 if bought from the rental desk - this is over eight times the cost of an iCarhireinsurance.com policy at £21 for the week (at £2.99 a day).
The most reasonable place to purchase excess insurance was in Nice, where it costs £73 on average from the four rental companies, however this is still three and a half times more than a policy form iCarhireinsurance.com. iCarhireinsurance policies are also more comprehensive and cover vulnerable parts of the vehicle which are frequently excluded from car hire companies' policies.
"Many travellers do not factor in excess insurance in their holiday planning and are therefore surprised when they're stung with expensive and often not very comprehensive cover at the rental desk", said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO at iCarhireinsurance.com. "When a small scratch on the paintwork can cost hundreds to repair make sure you buy your excess insurance before you fly from a specialist supplier like iCarhireinsurance.com for a fraction of the price."
"To avoid these costs at the rental desk, we strongly advise travellers to take their own child's seat, think twice about putting an extra driver on the policy, take their own Sat Nav with them and to buy their excess car hire insurance in advance to save up to eight times compared to the rental desk prices."