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Tuesday, 24 May 2016 09:16

10 top tips saving car hire drivers over £750

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Driving in the Summer

iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of standalone excess insurance, launches today its ‘Car Hire Hit List’, featuring ten top tips to save drivers up to £760* on a week’s hire.

The hit list is based on the hire of a compact family car for a week.

  1. Book early – iCarhireinsurance.com research found that in 2015 holidaymakers saved on average £100 i if they booked their summer hire car in February instead of waiting until June. Last minute deals do exist but to guarantee a good price, and the car you want, book as soon as you can - Saving approx £100.
  2. Use price comparison sites – The price charged by car hire companies varies significantly so always shop around to make sure you get the best deal. E.g., Hiring a car for a week in 2015 (6-13 Aug) in Crete cost £291 with Europcar and £468 with Sixt. However hiring in Barcelona for the same week Sixt charged £245, and Hertz charged £369. Use a price comparison site to shop around as the price between companies can vary by hundreds of pounds – Saving approx £150ii.
  3. Get the right sized hire car for you - Being unable to fit in that pushchair or extra bag could cost you over £100 to upgrade to a bigger car. E.g., booking a compact car to pick up from Alicante Airport for a week in Aug (6 – 13 Aug) costs £233 if booked in advance, but if you need a Ford C-Max, which can carry three large suitcases and two small cases, on arrival, you would pay £456 at the location, compared with £314 if you’d booked it online in the first place - Saving approx £140.
  4. Shop around for car hire excess insurance – If a hire car is stolen or damaged even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault means they are liable for the excess which can be as much as £2,000. Hire car companies charge on average £16 a day for excess insurance/waiver to protect drivers from this, but this can be as much as £28 a day! Buy a standalone policy from £2.99 a day or £37.99 for an annual policy from iCahireinsurance.com – Saving approx £90iii on a week’s holiday.

    If you travel more than once a year, an annual policy could save even more.
  5. Take a spare credit card – If you don’t buy the car hire company’s excess / waiver policy they will often insist that the excess is held on a credit card until the car is returned undamaged. Take a spare credit card with you, as having £2,000 held on your one credit card could seriously limit your holiday spending. - Saving £110iv.
  6. Protect your tyres and windscreen – Often rental desks’ excess policies exclude damage to windows, tyres and undercarriage, and sell a separate Tyres and Windscreen excess policy for around £32v a week. All iCarhireinsurance.com policies include, as standard, cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle including windscreens, tyres, roof and undercarriage - Saving approx. £30.
  7. Sharing the driving increases the costs - Adding a named driver to your rental agreement could cost almost £10 per day and if the driver is under 25 this could be as much as £30 per day. If one of you is going to do 90% of the driving is it really worth the extra cost? Different companies charge different amounts, so if this is important to you, factor it in when making the booking. – Saving approx £70vi.
  8. Do you need a SatNav? - It can cost over £80vii to hire one for a week, and often this cost is not disclosed to you when you book. If you have a detachable SatNav at home, it is normally cheaper to upgrade to European mapping and take it with you, or consider getting a SatNav app for your smart phone - Savings approx £80 if you take one with you (or £30 if you buy one for £69.99).
  9. Hiring a car seat for your child can cost up to £70viii for the week – Many airlines will take car seats in their hold for free, so consider taking yours with you. For older children why not purchase an inflatable booster child seat? Saving approx £70.
  10. Check the exchange rate – Some companies let you pay for your extras when you book your hire car, but others cannot be paid for until you arrive at your destination. Changes in the value of the pound against the Euro can make a big difference in price so keep this in mind when making your booking. With the average cost of extras totalling £276ix a 10% change in the value of the pound against the Euro can add or remove £30 from your bill. Saving approx. £30

Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO, iCarhireinsurance.com said, “When hiring a car the headline price is often not the price you actually end up paying, and often the prices for extras are not available until drivers reach the rental desk. We created this ‘Hire Car Hit List’ to help drivers get the best deal and avoid the pitfalls.”

*The £760 saving is obtained by adding the booking early saving of £100; shopping around for car hire £150, booking the right sized car in advance of travelling saving £140; buying excess insurance from a specialist provider like iCarhireinsurance.com saving £90; and in addition not buying a Tyre and Windscreen excess policy from the rental desk costing £30; not putting extra drivers on the policy saving £70; not hiring a sat nav, saving £80, or a child’s car seat, saving £70; and finally as Sterling is falling against the Euro paying in advance in Sterling where possible and saving, in this example, £30.


  1. iCarhireinsurance.com analysed the price data from its 2015 quarterly car hire benchmarking surveys to find the difference in price for a week’s car hire mid-summer (1 – 8 August 2015) depending on when the car was booked. The survey includes data on four rental companies (Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt) for two popular destinations (Barcelona and Nice) and found that customers who booked in February 2015 got a much better deal on their summer car hire than those who waited until June.
  2. iCarhireinsurance benchmark for destinations 6-13th August 2015 found that hiring a car for a week in 2015 (6-13 Aug) in Crete cost £291 with Europcar and £468 with Sixt. However hiring in Barcelona for the same week Sixt charged £245, and Hertz charged £369. A difference of £177 and £124 respectively, averaging £150.
  3. In March 2016 iCarhireinsurance.com’s quarterly benchmark looked at the average car hire costs in five European destinations, Barcelona, Larnaca, Milan, Nice and Tenerife, for a week from 26 March to 2 April 2016.  Car hire companies of Sixt, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz were researched. It found that the average excess waiver price was £16 a day (£111 a week). £111 minus £23.92 (£2.99 x 8) = £87.08
  4. If drivers don’t have space on their credit card, they have to buy the rental desk excess cover at an average of £111 for the week / £16 a day. (Source in footnote ii).
  5. 32 is the average price for a week’s tyre and windscreen excess policy sold by the rental companies. This figure is from iCarhireinsurance.com’s study of the hire car costs in five destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, from five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt) from 28 May to 4 June 2016. Full research is available on request.
  6. An extra driver costs £9 a day if hired from Europcar in Barcelona and Nice from 28 May to 4 June 2016, but for a young driver this rockets to over £30 a day if hiring from Europcar, for instance, during this week. NB. These figures are from iCarhireinsurance.com’s study looking at the hire car costs in five destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, from five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt) from 28 May to 4 June 2016. Full research is available on request.
  7. A sat nav if hired in Barcelona, for a week, from 28 May to 4 June 2016, costs £88 from Europcar. These figures are from iCarhireinsurance.com’s study looking at the hire car costs in five destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, from five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt) from 28 May to 4 June 2016. Full research is available on request. NB. A Garmin satnav from Currys costs £69.99.
  8. A child’s car seat costs £70 if hiring from Budget in Tenerife for a week, from 28 May to 4 June 2016. This figure is from iCarhireinsurance.com’s study looking at the hire car costs in five destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, from five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt) from 28 May to 4 June 2016. Full research is available on request.
  9. Average total price of for ‘extras’ bought from the rental company using iCarhireinsurance.com’s 28 May to 4 June 2016 study, as detailed above, is: car hire excess insurance costs £87, an extra driver costs £44, a sat nav costs £63, a child’s car seat costs £50 and Tyre and Windscreen excess costs £32. Full research is available on request.
Last modified on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 11:30
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