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Car hire ‘extras’ can add £500 to your bill

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
23/05/2017
Extras sold at car hire desks often double the price of the original quote, but some drivers could end up paying seven times as much, research has found.

Hiring a compact car with Budget in Faro this May half term costs a reasonable £79 for the week. However, once extra items are added at the rental desk, the price for seven days rises to a staggering £588.

The extras include £57 for an extra driver, £108 for sat nav hire, £59 for a child’s car seat, £285 for a combined excess/waiver policy which all add up to £509 on top of the original £79 quote.

iCarhireinsurance.com compared the cost of hiring a compact car in five European destinations – Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona – with five different car hire companies – Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

It found the average price for a week’s hire was £151, with hire companies in Nice charging the most at £250. However, the location with the highest average cost of extras was Faro at £509.

‘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.

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 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.

The table below shows the average cost of extras across European cities offered by five car hire rental companies:

car hire 2

*Total (incl upgrades*) car rental, super damage waiver, super theft waiver, T&W excess, extra driver, sat nav, and car seat (doesn’t include Young Driver).

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “Many people book their hire car based on the headline price they see, and don’t check the price of the extras they’re going to need. It is incredibly important to look beyond the headline price, and make sure you know what you’ll really be paying.

“Buying excess insurance from a specialist provider and not the rental company, bringing your own sat nav and child seat and not putting any extra drivers on the policy can save car hirers hundreds this summer.”

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