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Half term car hire prices in Europe up 60% since 2019

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Car rental prices in some of the most popular holiday hotspots have gone up by a staggering 60 per cent since 2019, analysis reveals.

Holidaymakers venturing to Europe this half term will find themselves shelling out £90 more on average for their vehicle hire than two years ago, according to iCarhireinsurance.com.

It looked at the price of hiring a medium compact car from six rental companies – Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz – in the four popular half-term holiday destinations of Barcelona, Tenerife, Faro (Portugal) and Larnaca (Cyprus), and compared them to 2019 prices.

It found the average price to hire a car this autumn is £241, compared to £151 two years ago.

Larnaca is the most expensive half-term destination to hire a car, averaging almost £300 for the week. But prices vary considerably between rental companies with Sixt (£432), Hertz (£344) and Avis (£338) charging above the average and Europcar (£242), Budget (£224) and Enterprise (£204) costing less.

Hire car drivers are urged to watch out for high starting excess values, particularly in Faro where Sixt’s excess is set at over £2,200.  Without an excess policy, travellers are responsible for the first part of any insurance claim for theft or damage, even if is not their fault.

In the study, an excess waiver policy cost £176 on average across Europe, which is slightly more than in 2019 (£158).

Ernesto Suarez, founder and chief executive of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “For many of us, this half term may be the first time we’re venturing abroad so make sure that you don’t pay through the nose for the privilege. There are still some good deals to be had if you shop around rental providers, and don’t buy extras from the rental desk.

“Buying your own car hire excess insurance in advance, not adding an extra driver to the policy, and bringing your own child’s car seat and sat nav can save a travelling family a small fortune.”