By Spreet Aulakh on July 3

Car hire costs this summer quadruple 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 more than four times more expensive than the original quote.

Hiring a medium compact car with Avis in Faro for a week this summer (29 June to 6 July 2019) costs €130 for the hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to €632.

These ‘extras’ include €66 for an extra driver, €88 for sat nav hire, €79 for a child’s car seat, €256 for Super Damage Waiver and €13 for Tyre and Windscreen excess cover – all adding up to €502 and leaving the driver with a final bill of €632, four 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:

  • - The average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is €238, but the location with the highest average price is Crete at €295.

  • - ‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average €399, this includes €139 for Super Damage Waiver, €7 for Super Theft Waiver, €40 for Tyre and Windscreen excess, €61 for an extra driver (€130 for a young driver), €88 for a sat nav, and €64 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 around €1,700, followed by around €1,200 in Malaga and Nice and €850 in Crete. The average ‘Starting Theft Excess’ is also over €1,000 in Malaga, Nice and Faro.

Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from these excess costs. These policies are often expensive if bought direct from the rental company. For instance, in Malaga, Hertz charges €218 for super damage waiver and another €76 for a tyre and windscreen waiver; and in Nice, Europcar charge €195 for a super damage waiver and another €65 for a tyre and windscreen waiver.

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 €48.99 for an annual policy.

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.ie, said: Holidaymakers can pick up some great bargains going early in the season but don’t forget to treat your car hire as you would the rest of the holiday in terms of shopping around, planning ahead and making sure that you don’t pay any more than the car hire’s weekly rate. It’s easy to be scared in buying things you don’t need at the rental desk so before you leave the house, buy an independent car hire excess insurance product, from a specialist insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.ie take your child’s car seat and sat nav with you and don’t put an extra driver on the rental policy unless you really need to. These simple steps could save you hundreds.