Car Hire Extras Can Hike Up Costs

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 eight times more expensive than the original quote

A survey carried out by 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.

The study found that:

  • The average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is £175, but the location with the highest average price is Nice at £237.
  • ‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average £445, this includes £96 for Super Damage Waiver, £18 for Super Theft Waiver, Tyre and Windscreen excess for £36, £56 for an extra driver, £76 for a sat nav, £106 for a young driver, and £57 for a child’s car seat. However the location with the highest average cost of extras is Barcelona at £534.
  • The research also found that the average ‘Starting Damage Excess’, which is the amount a driver may have to pay if the car is damaged even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault, in each location is now over £1,000.
  • The highest is in Faro where the average excess is £1,393, followed by £1,174 in Nice, £1065 in Tenerife, £1,030 in Larnaca, and £1,026 in Barcelona. The average ‘Starting Theft Excess’ is also over £1,000.

Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from these excess costs.  Rental companies often sell three excess policies:  Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver and 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 £240 this half term.

Individual excess policies in Faro cost on average £111 for Super Damage Waiver, £59 for Super Theft Waiver and £29 for Tyre and Windscreen excess.

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of, said, “Hiring a car has become like booking a flight. There can so many added extras that by the time you have booked everything you need, the original deal you found may not be as good as it first seemed. It’s essential to check the price of the extras you will need before booking, and see what you can book in advance, or take with you, so you really can make the most of some of the deals available.”