Easter holidaymakers may find their original car hire cost tripled once they've faced the gauntlet at the rental desk.

The priciest extra for car hirers to fight off is the rental company's own excess waiver insurance which can double the cost of the hire car. Budget in Larnaca, Cyprus, for instance, are selling this at £168 for the Easter week (26 March to 2 April 2016), despite charging only £120 for the hire of the car.

Additional costs charged by Budget in Larnaca include £27 for an extra driver, followed by £55 for a sat nav and finally a child's car seat costing £27. These extras at the rental desk add up to £277, which triples the original hire cost.

In a study of five popular Easter break destinations (Tenerife, Nice, Barcelona, Milan and Larnaca), iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, looked at the costs charged by five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and Hertz).

Car Hire Excess Insurance

Car hire excess insurance or waiver policies were the largest outlay for customers at the rental desk with Hertz and Europcar charging almost £200 for a week's policy in Milan. The average cost across the study was £111.

This is significantly more than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, and charges only £31.92 for a week's policy (or £3.99 a day) and which covers all the vulnerable parts of the vehicle often excluded by rental companies' policies. Annual polices are from £45.99.

An Extra Driver

While it's useful to have an extra driver on a car hire rental policy it can add up on the bill. The study found the most expensive place to add an extra driver was in Milan, costing £63 with Hertz. The average price was £46 across the five destinations.

A young driver, generally under 25 years, could cost over £200 in Nice, with Hertz charging £203 and Europcar charging £205.

A Child's Car Seat

The most expensive place to rent a child's seat is in Milan with Budget charging £137 for the week's hire, while in Larnaca, Sixt only charged £24. Expect to pay between £43 to £70 for the week, with the average price £52 across the study.

A Sat Nav

The most expensive place to rent a sat nav was in Milan and Nice with Avis charging £98 in both destinations and the most reasonable charge was in Tenerife levied by Avis again but only £30 this time. The average price across the study of £68.

The average car hire costs in five European destinations, Barcelona, Larnaca, Milan, Nice and Tenerife, to hire a compact car for a week, from 26 March to 2 April 2016. Car hire companies of Sixt, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz were researched.

Location Car Rental Excess Insurance Starting Excess Value Extra Driver Sat Nav Young Driver Car Seat Total (inc upgrades) % Increase 'with Extras'
Barcelona £233.98 £111.98 £852.65 £55.41 £71.52 £109.61 £54.16 £527.05 125%
Larnaca £151.24 £71.87 £549.59 £19.07 £50.19 £62.81 £27.58 £319.95 112%
Milan £366.36 £174.74 £1,287.31 £55.16 £87.07 £111.25 £79.11 £762.43 108%
Nice £272.61 £102.88 £966.26 £46.18 £78.92 £187.32 £45.21 £545.81 100%
Tenerife £161.20 £94.98 £836.30 £53.47 £54.77 £98.95 £52.87 £417.31 159%
Average £237.08 £111.29 £898.42 £45.86 £68.49 £113.99 £51.79 £514.51 121%

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: Getting a great deal on your car hire is not enough to keep costs down as travellers can have extra costs sprung on them at the rental desk. It pays holidaymakers to research their options before their trip; buy car hire excess insurance from a specialist provider, take their own child’s seat and sat nav; and try to keep extra drivers to a minimum to ensure their hard-earned cash does not line the rental company’s coffers.

Notes to Editors

Halo Insurance Services Ltd is a ground-breaking online insurance broker which was founded in 2009 by Ernesto Suarez, a leading insurance expert specialising in non-standard motor insurance. Its products include car hire insurance, van hire insurance and car club excess insurance all of which have been designed to offer more cover for a better price than the excess waivers offered at the rental desk.

Halo operates the retail brands iCarhireinsurance.com in the UK, leihwagenversicherung.de in Germany, Aseguramicochedealquiler.es in Spain and Huurautoverzekering.com in the Netherlands. It also provides insurance solutions to a number of commercial partners involved who provide software and booking services to car hire operators.

Awards won:

FINALIST – 2014 British Insurance Awards – Personal Lines Broker of the Year Award
WINNER - 2013 British Insurance Awards – Insurance Start-Up Award
FINALIST - 2012 British Insurance Awards – The E-Business Award
WINNER - 2011 Insurance Times Awards – Broker Innovation of the Year
Halo Insurance Services Limited is registered in England number 6929208. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 504629 for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

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.