If you’re hiring a car in popular European sun spots this half term, be prepared to pay up to double the standard rate.

iCarhireinsurance.com researched the cost of hiring a medium compact car* in four destinations during half-term; Faro, Tenerife, Barcelona and Larnaca, comparing the cost difference between October 21st to 28th and November 4th to 11th 2017. 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 £190, but the price drops to £110 two weeks later. Faro in Portugal is a similar story, where the price increases on average by £60 during half-term week (£172, up from £110) and Barcelona too, with a £50 discrepancy between half-term and November (£201 vs. £150). Tenerife showed less variation, with prices increasing by only 8% during half-term week.

The costs of extras remain the same (sat navs, child seats, car hire excess insurance, extra drivers, etc.), but these can still add an average £353 to the hire car bill. We always recommend bringing your own and buying the additional insurance independently in order to make significant savings.

Car hire excess insurance is generally the most significant extra in terms of cost, which this October will set you back on average £154 for the week from the rental desk. Sat navs are next, with an average price of £75, followed by £57 for a car seat and £50 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.

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 £1200, but £1700 in Faro.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said: Unfortunately going away in school holidays is almost always more expensive and this applies to car rental costs too, however the research shows that no matter when you travel over £300 can be saved by not spending any money on ‘extra’ costs when you pick up your hire car. Always buy car hire excess insurance before you travel from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, take your own child’s car seat as well as your sat nav or use your smartphone and don’t put any extra drivers on the policy unless you really need to.

*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.