Cost of Extras also down 10% but can still add £258 to rental bill

The cost to hire a car this half term in Europe has plummeted 18% from an average price of £201 to £164.

The cost of extras, including sat navs, child car seats, car hire excess insurance and extra drivers, has also fallen 10% from an average price of £293 to £258, however extras can still more than double the cost of a hire car., a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, looked at the cost of hiring an average family car for a week in six popular European destinations during half term, from 24 October to 31 October 2015, and the extra costs that families might be asked to pay at the rental desk.

Across the six destinations of Tenerife, Faro, Larnaca, Milan, Barcelona and Nice, the average costs from the five rental companies (i.e. Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar) researched were:

  • Average cost of car hire* for the week (paid in advance) - £164 (down from £201)
  • Average cost of car hire excess insurance (or waiver policy) - £104 (down from £118)
  • Average cost to put an extra driver on the policy - £40 (down from £48)
  • Average cost to hire a child's car seat - £51 (down from £56)
  • Average cost to hire a sat nav - £64 (down from £72)

However the total cost of the 'extras' at the rental desk still comes to £259, a significant additional expense on top of the original car hire price of £164.

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, which supplies comprehensive policies from £2.99 a day in Europe or £23.92 for the week - this is four times cheaper than buying this from the rental desk and it also covers vulnerable parts of the car, including the windscreen and tyres, that are frequently excluded from rental desk policies.

Without an excess policy, travellers are responsible for the first part of any insurance claim, even if the damage was not their fault including if the car is stolen. The average excess for the destinations in this study was £909 on average, but £1594 in Milan.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of said, There are some good deals to be had this half term on hire cars, but they can quickly disappear if you end up buying the extras at the rental desk. Buying your car hire excess insurance in advance, not adding an extra driver to the policy and bringing your own child's car seat and sat nav can save a small fortune.

*for the hire of a medium car e.g., an Astra, Golf, Peugeot 308.
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.