• Cyril McAree

IRISH HOLIDAYMAKERS FACE SPIRALLING CAR HIRE COSTS THIS EASTER


The cost of renting a car may spiral for hire car drivers this Easter, as the cost of car hire ‘extras’ at the rental desk can differ by hundreds of euros, according to a study of six rental companies (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz) in five popular Easter destinations (Tenerife, Nice, Barcelona, Milan and Larnaca) by iCarhireinsurance.ie, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.

Hiring a compact car with Budget in Tenerife this Easter, 13 to 20 April, costs a reasonable €133 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price increases to €602. These ‘extras’ are €70 for an extra driver, €105 for sat nav hire, €84 for a child’s car seat, €98 for Super Damage Waiver, €77 for Super Theft Waiver, and €35 for Tyre and Windscreen cover - all adding up to €469 and leaving the driver with a final bill of €602, more than four times the original quote.

While it may be useful to have an extra driver on a car hire rental policy it can really add to the final bill. The study found that the average price, across the five destinations, is €66, with Barcelona the most expensive place, with Hertz charging €110, whilst in Larnaca, Enterprise only charge €21, a difference of €89. A young driver, generally under 25 years, costs €267 in Nice with Europcar, but Enterprise in Larnaca charges just €29. The average price across the study is around €139.

The most expensive place to rent a child's seat is in Milan with Hertz charging €132 for the week's hire, while in Tenerife, Avis only charge €24, a difference of €108. The average price across the study is €67.

To hire a sat navcosts €138 with Hertz in Barcelona, but Avis in Tenerife charges only €40, a difference of €98. The average price across the study is €91.

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 excess liability for damage across the study was around €1100 but rose to €1950 with Budget in Tenerife, and €500 with Sixt in Larnaca, a difference of €1450. The average liability for theft across the study was €1,300, but in Milan with Budget it was €2318, but again only €500 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 €184 a week. However, this can rocket to almost €294 with Hertz in Barcelona. This is nine times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.ie, 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 €48.99.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.ie, said: “When booking a hire car it is crucial that you know what extras you are going to need, and how much they are going to cost you, so you can accurately compare prices. You can make the most of some of the low car rental prices by bringing your own sat nav and child car seats with you, and buying standalone excess insurance before you leave.”

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