Warning on the Cost of Those Car Hire ‘Extras’

Holidaymakers face potentially spiralling car hire costs when they pick up their hire car this Easter as the cost of car hire 'extras' at the rental desk can differ by hundreds of pounds, according to a study

Hiring a compact car with Europcar in Tenerife this Easter, March 31 to April 7, costs a very reasonable £108 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to £505.

These ‘extras’ are £66 for an extra driver, £62 for sat nav hire, £58 for a child’s car seat and £211 for a Combined Super Waiver policy – all adding up to £397 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £505, four times the original quote.

For instance, while it is useful to have an extra driver on a car hire rental policy it can add up, says the survey, by iCarinsurance.com.

The study found that the average price, across the five destinations, is £54, with Barcelona the most expensive place, with Hertz charging £86, whilst in Larnaca, Enterprise only charge £19, a difference of £67. A young driver, generally under 25 years, costs £237 in Nice with Europcar, but Enterprise in Larnaca charges just £26. The average price across the study is around £119.

The most expensive place to rent a child’s seat is in Milan with Europcar charging £94 for the week’s hire, while in Larnaca, Enterprise only charge £23, a difference of £71. The average price across the study is £54.

To hire a sat nav costs £115 with Europcar in Nice, but Avis in Tenerife charges only £33, a difference of £82.  The average price across the study is £77.

Excess Liability is the amount drivers have to pay if the hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it is not the hirer’s fault. Most rental companies have different liability for damage and theft and the liability can vary by over a thousand pounds depending on the location and rental company.

The study found that the average liability for damage across the study was around £1000 but rose to £1,861 with Budget in Tenerife, and £440 with Sixt in Larnaca, a difference of £1,421. The average liability for theft across the study was £1,106, but in Tenerife with Budget it was £1,861, but again only £440 with Sixt in Larnaca.

Excess Waiver Insurance, which protects drivers from this excess liability, is the largest outlay for customers at the rental desk.

Many companies now offer three different policies, Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver and Tyre and Windscreen cover, with a combined average cost, in this study, of around £153 a week. However, this can rocket to almost £260 with Hertz in Barcelona.

This is eight times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider which charges only £31.92 for a week’s policy (or £3.99 a day), which covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices are from £39.99.

The study was conducted with five rental companies (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and Hertz) in five popular Easter destinations (Tenerife, Nice, Barcelona, Milan and Larnaca) by iCarhireinsurance.com.