Summer car hire prices have gone up by more than a third (36%) on average and in some locations have more than doubled from 2013 to 2014, according to research by iCarhireinsurance.com, the specialist provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.
The price charged for 'extras' bought from the rental desk, including hiring a child's car seat, sat nav, putting an extra driver on the policy and buying excess insurance have also gone up, on average 18% from £251 to £295. For example, in Milan hiring a child's car seat now costs £144, excess insurance is £190 and a sat nav tops £90 for a week's hire.
iCarhireinsurance.com researched the four rental companies of Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt, in Barcelona, Nice and Milan, to find out the costs to hire a compact car for a seven day rental from the 2nd to 9th August in 2013 and 2014.
Milan has seen the greatest rise with the average price to hire a compact car from the 2nd to the 9th August rising by more than 50% from £300 in 2013 to £464. This is also where the highest increase has been seen with a standard family car from Hertz costing £570 a week, up 103% on 2013.
In Barcelona and Nice, car hire costs have risen by more than a quarter (27%) compared with summer 2013 prices. In 2013, the average car hire price in Barcelona was £266, rising to £337 in 2014. In 2013, the average car hire price in Nice was £227, rising to £288 in 2014.
The price charged for 'extras' bought from the rental desk across the three locations has changed considerably over the period:
- Excess insurance: The policy that protects a driver against having to pay the first part of any claim if the car is damaged (which can be more than £1500), continues to be the largest single outlay at the rental desk. Excess insurance from the rental desk costs on average £116 for the week's hire, up 26% on 2013 prices - over five times the cost of an excess policy from a specialist insurer, like iCarhireinsurance.com, where a daily policy is from £2.99 (or an annual policy is from £39.99). Hertz in Milan charge a jaw dropping £190 a week, up 10% on 2013 and the lowest price was from Avis in Nice which was still £70 for the week.
- Hiring a Child's Car Seat: The average price to hire a child car's seat in 2014 is £58, compared with £49 in 2013 but the variation in prices is significant. A child seat with Budget in Milan is £144, up 194%, but Sixt in Nice charge only £29.
- Hiring Sat Navs: The average to price to hire a sat nav in 2014 is £76, compared with £65 in 2013. Again there is a significant price difference depending on car rental company and location. Sixt in Barcelona charge £38, but Hertz in Milan charge £90, but this is only 6% up on 2013.
- Starting Excess: The average starting excess across the three locations is £1117, up 22% on 2013. The highest starting excesses are in Milan with Avis at £1559 up 114%, and in Nice with Hertz at £1500, up 29%.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO at iCarhireinsurance.com, said: "The cost of hiring a car in Europe has gone up considerably since last summer. It's more important than ever to make sure that you shop around to get the best possible deal and don’t waste money spending more than you have to at the rental desk. Bringing your own child seat and sat nav, and buying a better, more comprehensive excess insurance from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, could save a traveller an average of £226 this summer."