By Spreet Aulakh on December 1

Car hire costs six times original quote once extras added

The extras sold at car hire rental desks can often double the price of the original quote, but new research has found that it is possible for the car to end up six times more expensive than the original quote.

Hiring a compact car with Budget in Faro this summer holiday (30 June to 7 July) costs a very reasonable €96 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to €653.

These ‘extras’ include €68 for an extra driver, €130 for sat nav hire, €81 for a child’s car seat, €129 for Super Damage Waiver, €135 for Super Theft Waiver and €14 for Tyre and Windscreen excess cover – all adding up to €557 and leaving the driver with a final bill of €653, six times the original headline quote.

iCarhireinsurance.ie looked at the costs to hire a compact car in four European destinations, Nice, Faro, Crete and Malaga, with six hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise (see table below). The study found that:

  • chevron_rightThe average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is €258, but the location with the highest average price is Crete at €311.

  • chevron_right‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average €516, this includes €129 for Super Damage Waiver, €16 for Super Theft Waiver, Tyre and Windscreen excess for €35, €56 for an extra driver, €88 for a sat nav, €130 for a young driver, and €63 for a child’s car seat. The location with the lowest average cost is Crete and the highest is Faro.

The research also found that the average ‘Starting Damage Excess’, which is the amount a driver may have to pay if the car is damaged even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault, in three out of the four locations is over €1,000.

The highest is in Faro where the average excess is €1,550, followed by €1,350 in Nice, €1180 in Malaga and €829 in Crete. The average ‘Starting Theft Excess’ is also over €1,000 in these three locations.

Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from these excess costs. Rental companies often sell three excess policies: Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver and Tyre and Windscreen Excess.

In Faro, individual excess policies cost on average €166 for Super Damage Waiver, €34 for Super Theft Waiver and €33 for Tyre and Windscreen excess, totaling €233.

An excess policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.ie, covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from €3.99 a day for a European policy or €46.99 for an annual policy.

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.ie, said: “Going on holiday in late June and early July is a great way to make savings before prices rocket but make sure that you treat hiring a car as you would the rest of your holiday costs and research ways to save money. Shop around using comparison sites and check that the headline price is not disguising lots of hidden extra costs at the rental desk. Before you travel, buy an independent car hire excess insurance product, from a specialist insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.ie, and take your child’s car seat and sat nav with you. These simple steps could save you hundreds on a week’s car hire.”