Easter holidaymakers need to watch the cost of the car hire extras as prices from rental companies can differ by hundreds of pounds, according to a study of five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and Hertz) in five popular Easter break destinations (Tenerife, Nice, Barcelona, Milan and Larnaca) by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.

While it's useful to have an extra driver on a car hire rental policy it can add up.  The study found that the average price, across the five destinations, was £51, with Barcelona the most expensive place costing £75 with Hertz, whilst in Larnaca Hertz only charge £4.

A young driver, generally under 25 years, could cost £229 in Nice with Europcar, but Sixt in Larnaca charge just £35. The average price across the study was around £120.

The most expensive place to rent a child's seat is in Milan with Budget charging £149 for the week's hire, while in Larnaca, Sixt only charge £27, a difference of £122. The average price across the study was around £60.

To hire a sat nav could cost up to £112 with Avis in Milan, but Budget in Tenerife charges only £30 - a difference of £82.  The average price across the study was £76.

Excess Liability is the amount drivers have to pay if the hire car is damaged or stolen. Most rental companies now have different liability for damage and theft and the liability can vary by over a thousand pounds depending on location and rental company.

The study found that the average liability for damage across the study was around £900, but was £1560 with Budget in Milan, and £430 with Sixt in Larnaca, a difference of £1,130. The average liability for theft across the study was £1037, but in Milan with Budget it was £2391, but again only £430 with Sixt in Larnaca, a difference of £1,961.

Excess Waiver Insurance which protects drivers from this excess 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 of around £160 a week. However, this can rocket to almost £340 with Sixt in Milan.

This is fourteen times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which charges only £23.92 for a week's policy (or £2.99 a day), which covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices are from £37.99.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “It is important to make sure when booking a hire car that drivers check the cost of the extras they need. With prices varying by hundreds of pounds it isn’t worth the risk of just waiting to see what they will cost at the rental desk. Many extras can be bought in advance such as standalone excess insurance at a significantly lower price than any of the rental companies, and by taking a child seat and sat nav with them, a lot of money can be saved.”

The average car hire costs in five European destinations, Barcelona, Larnaca, Milan, Nice and Tenerife, to hire a compact car for a week, from 8 to 15 April 2017.  Car hire companies of Sixt, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz were researched.

Table of lowest price and most expensive extras

Lower Rental Desk Price Most Expensive Rental Desk Price Average Price
Young Driver £35 – Sixt, Larnaca £229 – Nice, Europcar £120
Additional Driver £4 - Larnaca, Hertz £75 – Barcelona, Hertz £51
Child Car Seat £27 – Larnaca, Sixt £149 – Milan, Budget £60
Sat Nav £30 – Tenerife, Budget £112 – Milan, Avis £76
Excess Waiver Insurance (including cover for damage, theft and tyre and windscreen damage) £48 – Larnaca, Sixt £340 – Milan, Sixt £160

Table of average price of extras

Destination Car Rental Rate Super Damage Waiver Super Theft Waiver T&W Excess Extra Driver Sat Nav Car Seat Total cost (Inlcuding upgrades) % Increase when incl upgrades (Combined Waiver)
BARCELONA £344.65 £99.43 £35.35 £41.92 £64.10 £88.57 £64.81 £734.06 113%
LARNACA £185.29 £73.56 £0.00 £24.23 £21.49 £56.83 £32.04 £295.65 59.6%
MILAN £379.66 £134.76 £72.42 £15.31 £60.18 £97.44 £97.95 £879.82 131.7%
NICE £410.23 £102.28 £0.00 £36.74 £48.74 £85.15 £49.90 £742.86 81.1%
TENERIFE £158.12 £85.88 £35.35 £38.34 £60.53 £50.15 £62.60 £492.66 119.4%
AVERAGE £295.59 £99.18 £28.62 £31.31 £51.01 £75.63 £61.46 £629.01 119.4%
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.