A 12-country study of car hire costs reveals that the USA is the cheapest place to hire a car this summer, whilst the UK is the most expensive.

Across all destinations, a driver will be paying on average £273 to rent a compact family car (e.g. a VW Golf) for a week this summer (1 - 8 August 2015), although once 'extras' are added at the rental desk, including excess waiver insurance (EWI), an extra driver, a sat nav and a child's seat, the average price shoots up to £524.

To find the best value holiday car rental destinations, iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, looked at the cost of a week’s basic hire with four extras payable on arrival (i.e., excess waiver insurance, an additional driver, a child's car seat and a sat nav) as well as the price of a tank of petrol (40 litres) in 12 countries (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, the USA, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Belgium and the UK). Five rental companies' costs were compared, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar. (Please see full table in Notes to Editors).

The USA (Orlando) is the cheapest place to hire a car, costing £106 on average for the week, with 'extras' costing £187 in total (an extra driver is £56, a sat nav is £63, a child's car seat is £49 and a full tank of petrol is £19), compared with an overall average, at all the destinations, of £294. NB. The car hire rate in the US includes full Collision Damage Waiver with zero excess, meaning a customer does not need to purchase excess insurance cover (EWI), which is usually the biggest single outlay when a traveller picks up their hire car.

Turkey (Dalaman) is the most reasonable holiday hotspot, outside of the USA, to hire a car with the rental price costing on average £241, and the 'extras' a more reasonable £171 - an extra driver costs £18 to add on, a child's car seat £23, excess insurance £49, a sat nav £36 and petrol £45, leaving the driver with a final bill of £412.

The UK is the most expensive place to hire a car, closely followed by Italy and Portugal. However the most expensive place to hire is with Hertz in Portugal (Faro) this summer where a traveller would pay £614 for the car hire, then an additional £88 for the excess waiver, £53 for a child's car seat, £38 for the extra driver (or £82 if they're under 25 years), and £58 for a sat nav, coming to a total of over £850.

Petrol costs* vary widely across the nations. The cheapest place to fill up (based on 40L of petrol) is Florida where a full tank of petrol costs only £19, half the price of European petrol prices, which range from £39 in Spain to around £50 in Italy and the Netherlands. The UK surprisingly falls in the middle of the study, with a full tank costing around £45, which was similar to Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Belgium.

From the cheapest to the most expensive (for the car hire cost, plus four 'extras' at the rental desk and petrol) the 12 countries (and 13 destinations) stacked up as below:

  1. USA (picking up from Orlando Airport, Florida) - total cost is £294
  2. Turkey (pick up from Dalaman Airport) - total cost is £412
  3. Holland (pick up from Amsterdam Airport) - total cost is £441
  4. Belgium (pick up from Brussels Airport) - total cost is £484
  5. Germany (pick up from Munich Airport) - total cost is £490
  6. Greece (pick up in Crete) - total cost is £572
  7. Ireland (pick up from Dublin Airport) - total cost is £573
  8. France (pick up from Nice Airport) - total cost is £647
  9. Spain (pick up from Malaga Airport) - total cost is £664
  10. Spain (pick up from Barcelona Airport) - total cost is £683
  11. Portugal (pick up from Faro Airport) - total cost is £686
  12. Italy (pick up from Milan Airport) - total cost is £702
  13. UK (pick up from London Heathrow) - total cost is £725
  • Italy, apart from the UK, is the most expensive place to hire a car, costing over £290 on average, with 'extras' adding an additional £412 (excess insurance costs is £145, an extra driver is £49, a sat nav is £80, a child's car seat is £87 and a full tank of petrol is £51), leaving the driver with a final bill of £702 on average.
  • Excess waiver insurance is still the most expensive cost at the rental desk costing on average £92 across the survey - this is almost four times more expensive than a car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which costs £23.93 for the week (from £2.99 a day for European cover and £36.99 for annual cover) and can be bought before leaving home. The most expensive price for excess waiver for the week was £186 in Barcelona with Budget.
  • The average cost of the other extras, across the survey, is £50 for a child's car seat (most expensive is £130 with Budget in Milan), £44 for an extra driver (most expensive is £89 in London with Avis) and £65 for a sat nav (most expensive is £123 with Hertz in Brussels).

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said: “Our annual international study highlights the importance of doing your research when booking a hire car. Not only do hire car rates vary considerably depending on location and provider, but the price of the extras can easily double a low headline price. By bringing your own child seats and sat navs, limiting the amount of additional drivers, and buying an excess insurance policy in advance from a specialist provider, you can make sure that you keep more of your hard-earned holiday money to spend on the things, or people you love."

For more information please contact:

  • Frances Knox, Frankly PR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. + 44 7850 470123
  • - Or Ben Wooltorton, Sales and Marketing Director, Halo Insurance Services Ltd
    Tel: +44 7739 719 570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* Petrol costs sourced at:

Europe prices
USA prices

For 40L of petrol:

UK - £47.36
IRELAND - £43.51
FRANCE - £42.92
BELGUIM- £44.99
GERMANY - £43.81
PORTUGAL - £46.18
SPAIN - £38.78
ITALY - £50.62
GREECE - £46.18
TURKEY - £44.70
USA (EAST COAST) - £18.54

Full table of costs to rent a compact family car (e.g., a VW Golf) for a week, from 1 - 8 August, with cost of 'extras' payable at the rental desk and the percentage increase that this adds to the original car rental price.

AMSTERDAM £181.46 £69.60 £40.27 £29.27 £67.94 £388.54 114%
BARCELONA £334.25 £129.09 £55.40 £54.42 £70.78 £643.93 93%
BRUSSELS £174.75 £88.30 £56.59 £32.87 £86.72 £439.22 151%
CRETE £344.64 £78.89 £25.09 £25.80 £51.70 £526.13 53%
DALAMAN £240.56 £48.80 £23.00 £18.42 £36.16 £366.93 53%
DUBLIN £278.88 £105.59 £35.33 £52.88 £56.01 £528.69 90%
FARO £412.75 £65.19 £54.66 £42.89 £64.56 £640.06 55%
FLORIDA £106.49 £0.00 £48.77 £56.19 £63.04 £274.50 158%
LONDON £299.61 £138.74 £75.01 £79.45 £85.05 £677.86 126%
MALAGA £313.38 £129.09 £55.40 £56.06 £70.78 £624.70 99%
MILAN £290.04 £144.96 £86.85 £49.25 £80.30 £651.40 125%
MUNICH £199.03 £115.46 £49.60 £35.51 £46.85 £446.45 124%
NICE £371.74 £88.40 £38.91 £36.39 £68.62 £604.07 62%
Average £272.89 £92.47 £49.61 £43.80 £65.27 £524.04 100%

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.