Global study shows USA is the cheapest place to hire a car whilst Portugal is the most expensive.
- Paying for extras at the rental desk doubles final cost
- Petrol costs vary widely
A 15 country study of car hire costs worldwide reveals that the USA and Turkey are the cheapest places to hire a car this summer, whilst Portugal and Spain are the most expensive.
Travellers will be paying on average £301 to rent a compact family car (e.g. a VW Golf) for a week this summer (29 July - 5 August 2017), across all destinations, although once 'extras' are added at the rental desk, including super damage waiver, super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen cover, an extra driver, a sat nav and a child's seat, the price doubles to £626.
In Portugal, the most expensive country in the study, drivers pay on average £839 to hire a compact family car with the extras outlined above. (NB. £398 for the week, as well as £119 super damage waiver, £115 super theft waiver, £26 tyre and windscreen cover, an extra driver (£48), a sat nav (£73) and a child’s car seat (£62) takes the final price to £839).
To find the best value car rental destinations, iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, looked at the cost of a week’s basic hire with four extras payable on arrival (i.e., excess waiver insurance, an additional driver, a child's car seat and a sat nav) as well as the price of a tank of petrol (40 litres) in 15 countries (Australia, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, The Netherlands, UK, and the USA). Six rental companies' costs were compared, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Europcar. (Please see results below).
Petrol costs* vary widely across the nations. The cheapest place to fill up is in Florida where a full tank of petrol costs only £20, half the price of European petrol prices, which range from £41 in Spain to around £56 in the Netherlands and Italy.
The USA (Florida) is the most reasonable destination overall. The average cost of a week’s rental is £196 and the cost of extras including a tank of petrol is only £197. One of the reasons Florida is so reasonable is because the car hire rate in the USA often includes full Collision Damage Waiver with zero excess for overseas travellers, meaning a customer does not need to purchase excess insurance cover (EWI), which is usually the biggest single outlay when a traveller picks up their hire car. However insurance in the USA is complicated and does vary depending on the state and the rental company.
From the cheapest to the most expensive (for the car hire cost, plus 'extras' at the rental desk and petrol) the 15 countries stack up as below.
- USA (picking up from Orlando Airport, Florida) - total cost is £393
- Turkey (pick up from Dalaman Airport) - total cost is £482
- Australia (pick up from Sydney Airport) – total cost is £492
- Canada (pick up from Vancouver Airport ) – total cost is £506
- The Netherlands (pick up from Amsterdam Airport) - total cost is £551
- Germany (pick up from Munich Airport) - total cost is £624
- Ireland (pick up from Dublin Airport) - total cost is £682
- UK (pick up from London Heathrow) - total cost is £700
- France (pick up from Nice Airport) – total cost is £713
- Greece (pick up in Crete) - total cost is £766
- Italy (pick up from Milan Airport) - total cost is £789
- Switzerland (pick up from Geneva Airport) – total cost is £792
- Croatia (pick up from Dubrovnik Airport) – total cost is £809
- Spain (pick up from Barcelona Airport) - total cost is £836
- Portugal (pick up from Faro Airport) - total cost is £891
When it comes to the ‘extras’, excess waiver insurance is still the most expensive cost at the rental desk. These policies protect drivers from the excess cost if their hire car is stolen or damaged which in this study average around £959 if a car is damaged or £1062 if a car is stolen. However in Australia it can be as much as £3135 with Sixt in Sydney.
Rental companies often sell three excess policies: Super Damage Waiver (SDW), Super Theft Waiver (STW) and Tyre and Windscreen Excess. These cost on average £96 for SDW, £32 for STW, and £25 for tyre and windscreen excess, a combined total of £153 – this is more than six times the cost of a car hire excess policy from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which costs £23.93 for the week (from £2.99 a day for European cover and £37.99 for annual cover) and can be bought before leaving home.
The most expensive price for excess waiver for the week was Budget in Croatia where the SDW costs £225, and the STW is £130, a combined price of £355; more than the original rental price of £318.
The average cost of the other extras, across the survey, is £51 for a child's car seat (most expensive is £111 with Hertz in Milan), £48 for an extra driver (most expensive is £92 in Geneva with Avis) and £72 for a sat nav (most expensive is £157 with Avis in Geneva).
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said:
“Holiday-makers often don’t factor in the cost of car hire when they’re booking their holiday but as our annual survey shows it can cost between £148 (Florida - Europcar) and £654 (Crete - Europcar) to hire a car for a week this August. It’s also not enough to just look at the car hire price as companies make a lot of their money on the ‘extras’ they sell at the rental desk, from hiring out car seats and sat navs to selling excess waiver policies. To ensure, you don’t incur any surprise costs which can double or triple your original hire cost, take your own car seat and sat nav, don’t put any extra drivers on the policy and purchase an independent car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist insurance company, like iCarhireinsurance.com, before you travel. When it comes to car hire this summer, make sure you’re in the driving seat and aren’t being taken for a ride.”
|Destination||Car Rental Rate||Super Damage Waiver||Super Theft Waiver||T&W Excess||Combined Super Waiver||Starting Excess Damage||Starting Excess Theft||Extra Driver||Sat Nav||Car Seat||Petrol||Total cost (Inlcuding upgrades)|