Travellers will be paying on average £302 to rent a compact family car (e.g. a VW Golf) for a week this summer (28 July – 4 August 2018), across all destinations, although once ‘extras’ are added at the rental desk, including super damage waiver, super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen cover, an extra driver, a sat nav and a child’s seat, the price doubles to £626.
In Italy, the most expensive country in the study, drivers pay on average £873 to hire a compact family car with the extras outlined above. This is £369 for the week’s rental, as well as £186 super damage waiver, £58 super theft waiver, £16 tyre and windscreen cover, £56 an extra driver, £94 for a sat nav and £94 for a child’s car seat, taking the final price to £873.
To find the best value car rental destinations, iCarhireinsurance.com, looked at the cost of a week’s basic hire with six extras payable on arrival (i.e., super damage waiver, super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen excess waiver, an additional driver, a child’s car seat and a sat nav) as well as the price of a tank of petrol (40 litres) in 16 countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, UK, and the USA). Six rental companies’ costs were compared, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Europcar.
Petrol costs vary widely across the nations. The cheapest place to fill up is in Florida where a full tank of petrol costs only £22, half the price of European petrol prices, which range from £47 in Spain, to £51 in the UK to around £58 in the Netherlands and Italy. Other reasonable petrol destinations include Australia and Canada where a full tank costs around £35.
Turkey is the most reasonable destination overall, closely followed by the USA. The average cost of a week’s rental in Turkey (Dalaman) is £222 and the cost of extras including a tank of petrol is only £231. In the USA (Florida), the average cost of a week’s rental is £215 and the cost of extras including a tank of petrol is £258.
The average cost of the extras, across the survey, is £53 for a child’s car seat (most expensive is £159 with Budget in Milan), £50 for an extra driver (most expensive is £108 in the USA with Enterprise) and £74 for a sat nav (most expensive is £147 with Avis in Geneva).
Excess waiver insurance is the most expensive extra cost at the rental desk. These policies protect drivers from the excess cost if their hire car is stolen or damaged which in this study average around £1,000 if a car is damaged. However, in Australia it can be as much as £2,000.
Rental companies often sell three excess policies: super damage waiver, super theft waiver and tyre and windscreen excess. These cost on average £107 for super damage waiver, £18 for super theft waiver and £24 for tyre and windscreen excess, a combined average total of £149. This is more than six times the cost of a car hire excess policy from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which sells a week’s policy for £23.93, i.e., from £2.99 a day for European cover (£3.99 a day for worldwide excess cover, or USA and Canada cover from £5.99 a day), and this can be bought before leaving home. Annual policies are available from £39.99.
The most expensive price for excess waiver in the study was Italy with Hertz charging £376 for super damage waiver alone and in The Netherlands, Enterprise was found to charge over £200 for this waiver.
From the cheapest to the most expensive including the week’s basic hire, a tank of petrol (40 litres) and the six extras payable on arrival at the rental desk (i.e., super damage waiver, super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen excess waiver, an additional driver, a child’s car seat and a sat nav), the 16 countries stack up as below:
- Turkey (pick up from Dalaman Airport) – total cost is £453
- USA (picking up from Orlando Airport, Florida) – total cost is £473
- Australia (pick up from Sydney Airport) – total cost is £507
- New Zealand (picking up from Queenstown) – total cost is £557
- The Netherlands (pick up from Amsterdam Airport) – total cost is £611
- Germany (pick up from Munich Airport) – total cost is £613
- Canada (pick up from Vancouver Airport ) – total cost is £646
- UK (pick up from London Heathrow) – total cost is £706
- Spain (pick up from Barcelona Airport) – total cost is £709
- Greece (pick up in Crete) – total cost is £721
- France (pick up from Nice Airport) – total cost is £721
- Ireland (pick up from Dublin Airport) – total cost is £730
- Croatia (pick up from Dubrovnik Airport) – total cost is £767
- Switzerland (pick up from Geneva Airport) – total cost is £799
- Portugal (pick up from Faro Airport) – total cost is £846
- Italy (pick up from Milan Airport) – total cost is £931