Car hire can cost seven 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 seven times more expensive than the original quote.

Hiring a compact car with Budget in Faro this May Half Term (27 May to 3 June), costs a very reasonable £79 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price can increase to £588.

These ‘extras’ include £57 for an extra driver, £108 for sat nav hire, £68 for a child’s car seat, £285 for a combined excess / waiver policy – all adding up to £518 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £597, seven times the original quote.

iCarhireinsurance.com looked at the costs to hire a compact car in five European destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, 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 £151, but the location with the highest average price is Nice at £250.
  • ‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average £333, this includes £91 for super damage waiver, £34 for super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen excess for £38, £47 for an extra driver, £71 for a sat nav and £53 for a child’s car seat. However the location with the highest average cost of extras is Faro at £509.

Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from the excess cost, which can be as much as £2,000, if a hire car is stolen or damaged even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault.  Rental companies often sell three excess policies:  Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver, Tyre and Windscreen Excess, or if available a combination of these.

  • The most expensive average excess insurance is in Faro where the average cost for a combined super waiver policy is £232 this half term.
  • Individual excess policies in Faro cost on average £106 for super damage waiver, £113 for super theft waiver and £42 for tyre and windscreen excess.

A policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from £2.99 a day for a European policy or £37.99 for an annual policy, meaning that drivers in Faro could save themselves over £200 if they shop around for excess insurance this half term.

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