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Car hire extras can quadruple costs

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Written by: Emma Lunn
12/11/2019
Winter sunseekers hiring a car abroad should be on the lookout for extra fees levied by car hire firms.

The average price to hire a car in Barcelona this November is £129, but once extras such as excess insurance, a sat nav, a child car seat and extra drivers are added, this rockets to £569, an increase of £440, according to iCarhireinsurance.com.

A survey carried out the car hire excess insurance provider compared the cost of renting a hire car in Barcelona, Faro, Larnaca and Tenerife for the week 23 to 30 November 2019, from six rental companies: Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Sixt.

The average price to rent a car across all four destinations was £141, but when the extras were added this rose to £496, an increase of £355, three-and-a-half times the original price.

Expensive extras

This is because the average price for super damage waiver is £113, super theft waiver £16, tyre and windscreen cover £37, extra driver £56, sat nav £75, and a child car seat £58.

The same is true across all four destinations. In Faro, the average price to hire a car is £157, but when extras are added this becomes £567, an increase of £410.

In Tenerife, the average price to hire a car is £146, but when extras are added, this becomes £476, an increase of £330.

In Larnaca, the average price to hire a car is £131, but when extras are added becomes £372, an increase of £241, nearly three times the original rental quote.

Shop around

iCarhireinsurance.com says it pays to shop around. Whilst the average price to hire a car is £141, it is £248 with Hertz in Faro, but only £77 with Sixt in Faro.

Super damage waiver is £113 on average, but £195 with Hertz in Barcelona, and £31 with Sixt in Larnaca.  An extra driver costs on average £56, but Budget in Faro charges more than twice this price at £114. A sat nav costs on average £75, but Budget in Faro charges £115.

Excess

If a hire car is damaged or stolen the driver is liable for the excess, which is usually more than £1,000 for damage and theft.

Excess waiver insurance is one of the most expensive extras, costing on average of £166 a week from rental companies.

However, it can be bought from specialist insurance companies, such as iCarhireinsurance.com, from £2.99 a day, or £42.99 for an annual policy for European cover.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and chief executive of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “Car hire costs can be confusing, but getting a good price on your rental car doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s normally the price of the extras which come as a surprise. Once you’ve found a good deal, make sure you check the prices of the extras you need. Simple things like taking your own sat nav and child car seats, as well as buying car hire excess insurance from an independent provider in advance can give huge savings, and mean that the original car hire deal really is as good as it seemed.”

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