It found that in 2013 a traveller booking a hire car in January for their summer holiday saved on average £154 compared with those that booked in April 2013, but some saved as much as £562 by booking early.
The benchmarks include data on four rental companies (Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt) for five popular destinations (Barcelona, Faro, Malaga, Milan and Nice) and found that customers who booked in January 2013 for a week’s car hire mid-summer (3-10 August 2013) got a much better deal on their summer car hire than those who waited until April.
It found that drivers hiring a standard family car in Nice with Budget could have saved £298 (60%) by booking in advance, and those booking with Hertz could have saved £254 (55%).
Drivers hiring in Faro with Hertz could have saved £387 (48%) by booking in advance, and those booking with Sixt could have saved £231 (48%).
Malaga drivers hiring with Avis could have saved £98 (27%) and Barcelona drivers also hiring with Avis could have saved £91 (26%) by booking in advance.
The greatest saving to be found was drivers hiring in Milan with Budget who could have saved £562 (61%) if they had booked in January instead of April.
Across all 5 locations an average saving of £154 (32%) could be made by booking in January 2013, compared with April 2013.
Buying car hire excess insurance in advance, compared to purchasing it from the rental desk on arrival, will also save consumers a lot of money. A European policy from iCarhireinsurance.com starts from £2.99 a day, compared to an average of £16 a day from rental companies, and includes vulnerable parts of the vehicle which are often excluded from rental companies’ cover.
Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said “It is incredible the amount that can be saved by just booking a few months early. There are often some good last minute deals available for those who are prepared to wait, but to guarantee a good price, and the car you want, it is a good idea to book as soon as you can.”