iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of car hire excess insurance, researched the cost of hiring a medium compact car* in Barcelona, Bodrum, Faro and Larnaca, comparing the prices between half term week (27 October – 3 November), and two weeks later (10 - 17 November 2018). Six rental companies were researched: Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Enterprise.
The most significant increase was found in Larnaca, Cyprus, where the average cost of hiring a family car during half term is £153, but the price drops to £113 two weeks later, a saving of £40. Budget, for instance, is charging £157 for a week’s hire over the half term week, but only £89 two weeks later, a saving of £68. Avis is charging £166 for a week’s hire over half term, but only £106 two weeks later, a saving of £60.
It is a similar story in Faro in Portugal. Europcar is charging £213 during the half term week, but only £156 two weeks later, a saving of £57. Hertz is charging £190 during the half term week, but only £161 two weeks later, a saving of £29.
Bodrum and Barcelona show less variation between the two weeks, but as with all destinations there are significant differences between rental companies. During half term in Barcelona, Europcar is charging £160 for a week’s hire, but Budget only £97, a saving of £63. In Bodrum, Europcar are charging £214 a week, but Sixt only £93, a saving of £121.
The costs of extras, from the rental desk, also remain very similar (i.e., sat navs, child seats, car hire excess insurance, etc.). However, as these can add an average £320** to the hire car bill, drivers should bring their own where possible.
Car hire excess insurance is generally the most expensive extra bought from the rental company, and this October costs on average £156 for the week. Sat Navs cost on average £64, followed by £53 for a car seat and £47 for an extra driver. Travellers can avoid paying the high costs at the rental desk for car hire excess insurance if they buy a policy in advance from a specialist insurer, including iCarhireinsurance.com, where policies start from only £2.99 a day, or £39.99 for an annual policy.
By not taking an excess policy, travellers are responsible for the first part of any insurance claim should the rental car be damaged or stolen, even if the incident wasn’t their fault. For the destinations researched in this study, this was on average £967, but £1575 on average in Faro.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said: "Going away during school holidays is always more expensive, and it seems that in some destinations this also includes hiring a car. It’s more important than ever to shop around to get the best deal and check the price of any extras you might need, as these can add over £300 to the cost of the hire car. If possible try to take these with you instead of paying for them at the rental desk, including car hire excess insurance from a specialist provider like iCarhireinsurance.com.”