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Car hire in the UK more expensive than in Europe

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With the May half-term just around the corner, many families will be looking to get away. But car hire costs have risen dramatically.

The average price to hire a car in Europe this May half-term has risen from £199 a week in 2019, to £344 a week now.

However, once extras are factored in, such as an additional driver (£61), child’s car seat (£58), a sat nav (£82) and excess waiver insurance (£177), the average price increases to over £722.

Research by standalone car hire excess insurance firm iCarhireinsurance looked at the cost of hiring a medium compact car, e.g., a VW Golf or Peugeot 308, for a week, from 28 May – 4 June 2022.

It looked at five different destinations (Barcelona, Faro, Larnaca, Nice and Tenerife) with six different rental companies – Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Europcar, compared to the same week in 2019.

It found that average weekly car rental rates in 2022 range from £504 in Nice (£351 in 2019), £414 in Barcelona (£175 in 2019), £359 in Faro (£203 in 2019), £257 in Larnaca (£145 in 2019) to £187 in Tenerife (£122 in 2019).

However, the study also compared prices for three UK destinations, London, Manchester and Glasgow in 2022.

The average weekly car rental rates for 2022 range from £344 in Manchester, £593 in London to an eye-watering £1,083 in Glasgow.

iCarhireinsurance said the additional public holiday for the Queen’s platinum jubilee may be increasing demand and pushing up prices as a result.

And if extras are added at the rental desk, the car hire costs could rise further.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance, said: “Prices for most things are going up, and car hire is no exception, but good deals are still available if you shop around.

“Make sure you check the prices of any extras you may need, or the headline price may not end up being as good as you thought. Also consider buying car hire excess insurance from a specialist insurance provider rather than the excess waivers sold at the rental desk.”

 See’s Six ways to cut your car hire bill for more information.

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