iCarhireinsruance.com, the car hire excess insurance specialist, researched four rental companies to find out the price differential for a week's car hire over the Easter period (29th March - 5th April 2013) and also in mid-summer (3rd August - 10th August) depending on when the car was booked.
It found that a saving of almost a third (32%) could be made on average over the four rental companies by booking the hire car in August 2012, compared with two weeks before Easter on 11th March 2013.
For a summer holiday booking, those who plan ahead could make significant savings. All four rental companies charged significantly more for a week's rental in August 2013 if the booking was made seven months before, in January 2013, or five months before, in March 2013, compared to a year before in August 2012**
For example a VW Golf booked for hire in Barcelona from 3rd - 10th August would set a consumer back around £125 if booked a year before, however this price doubles to £251 if booked in January 2013 and to almost £300 if booked on 11th March 2013.
Travellers looking to save money on their summer holiday hire car costs might wish to consider booking as soon as possible as the research suggests that the prices are likely to continue going up the longer oyu leave it.
Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said, "It's almost always cheaper to book a hire car in advance, but there are stil some things drivers can do to minimise their car hire costs if they're going over Easter.
"Last minute deals are sometimes available, so it's really important to shop around, and if you don't have a lot of luggage or kids you should consider hiring from the local town as airport rentals do tend to be more expensive. It's also really important to ensure you book the right size car as different models and sizes can make a big different to the price, and booking the right car in advance is always cheaper than upgrading at the rental desk. Use our 'Car Hire Widget' to find out what size car you need."
Buying car hire excess insurance in advance, compared to purchasing it from the rental desk on arrival, will also save consumers from causing a large dent in their pocket. A European policy from iCarhireinsurance.com starts from £2.99 a day, compared to up to £15 a day from the rental companies, and includes vulnerable parts of the vehilce which are often excluded from rental companies' cover.
UK resident renting a VW Golf class car or simlar in Barcelona for a week's rental from 29 March - 5 April 2013 and dropping off at the same location
|Rental Only Cost if Booked in August 2012||Rental Only Cost if Booked in January 2013||Price Difference From Aug 2012 Booking & Jan 2013 Booking & Saved||Rental Only Cost if Booked on 11 March 2013||Price Difference From Aug 2012 Booking & March 2013 Booking & % Saved|
|Avis||£190||£220||£30.00 - 14% Saved||£262.29||£72.29 - 28% Saved|
|Budget||£106.75||£359.76||£253.01 - 70% Saved||£301.95||£195.20 - 65% Saved|
|Hertz||£209 (Astra)||£220.37 (Astra)||£11.37 - 5% Saved||£248.42||£39.42 - 16% Saved|
|Sixt||£210.52||£239.28||£28.76 - 12% Saved||£254.22||£43.70 - 17% Saved|
|AVERAGE COST||£179.07||£259.85||£80.79 - 25% Saved||£266.72||£87.65 - 31% Saved|
UK resident renting a VW Golf class car or simlar in Barcelona for a week's rental from 3 August - 10 August 2013 and dropping off at the same location
|Rental Only Cost if Booked in August 2012||Rental Only Cost if Booked in January 2013||Price Difference From Aug 2012 Booking & Jan 2013 Booking & % Saved||Rental Onlt Cost if Booked on 11 March 2013||Price Difference From Aug 2012 Booking & March 2013 Booking & % Saved|
|Avis||£190.52||£262.61||£72.09 - 27% Saved||£353.64||£164 - 46% Saved|
|Budget||£125.59||£251.37||£125.78 - 50% Saved||£297.32||£171.73 - 58% Saved|
|Hertz||£209 (Astra)||£311.19 (CMax)||£102.19 - 33% Saved||£315.20||£106.20 - 33% Saved|
|Sixt||£159.47||£262.21||£102.74 - 39% Saved||£315.83||£156.36 - 49% Saved|
|AVERAGE COST||£171.15||£271.85||£100.70 - 37% Saved||£320.49|| £149.57- 46% Saved |