A 12 country study of car hire costs worldwide reveals that the average price to hire a compact family car (e.g. a VW Golf) for a week this summer has rocketed to £652 a week, compared to just £310 in 2019, an increase of £342 – a 110% increase.
Once ‘extras’ are added at the rental desk, including super damage waiver (£137), super theft waiver (£11), tyre and windscreen cover (£41), an extra driver (£57), a sat nav (£81) and a child’s seat (£65) and 40 litres of petrol (£65) the price reaches over £1,000 (£1,030).
To find the best value car rental destinations, iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, looked at the cost of basic hire for a week in 2022 (30 July – 6 August 2022) and compared it the same week in 2019 (27 July – 3 August 2019).
It also looked at the price of six additional costs, payable on picking up the car (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 12 countries (Australia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and the USA). Six rental companies’ costs were compared, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Europcar. (Please see the results in the table below).
Turkey and Germany are now the cheapest places to hire a car this summer, and Switzerland and Croatia are the most expensive. Average weekly car rental rates in 2022 are listed below from the cheapest to the most expensive:
Turkey (Dalaman) £299 – (£292 in 2019)
Germany (Munich) £378 – (£212 in 2019)
Australia (Sydney) £500 – (£229 in 2019)
Spain (Barcelona) £609 – (£258 in 2019)
Italy (Milan) £617 – (£364 in 2019)
USA (Florida) £650 – (£231 in 2019)
France (Nice) £731 – (£417 in 2019)
United Kingdom (London) £743 – (£183 in 2019)
Greece (Crete) £775 – (£460 in 2019)
Portugal (Faro) £784 – (£428 in 2019)
Croatia (Dubrovnik) £806 – (£289 in 2019)
Switzerland (Geneva) £933 – (£353 in 2019)
In Switzerland, the most expensive country in the study, drivers pay on average £1,497 to hire a compact family car with the extras outlined above this summer. This is £933 for the week’s rental, as well as £157 super damage waiver, £57 tyre and windscreen cover, £87 an extra driver, £139 for a sat nav and £52 for a child’s car seat and £72 for 40 litres of petrol, taking the final price to £1,497.
However, it really does pay to shop around, as in Switzerland it is possible to rent a vehicle for a week from Europcar for £720, whilst Hertz are quoting £1,116, a difference of £396. The biggest difference is France (Nice) where Avis is quoting £529 for a week compared to £1,388 with Budget, a difference of £829.
Turkey is the most reasonable destination overall. The average cost of a week’s rental is £299, and the cost of extras including a tank of petrol is only £165, making a total of £464.
Petrol costs vary widely across the nations. The cheapest place to fill up is in the USA where a full tank of petrol costs only £45, but a full tank in Greece is £83. (see table below).
Excess waiver insurance is the most expensive extra cost at the rental desk. These policies protect drivers from the excess cost which they have to pay if their hire car is stolen or damaged even if it is not their fault. In this study the average excess is over a £1,000 if a car is damaged. However, in Australia the average is £2,688.
Rental companies often sell three excess policies: super damage waiver, super theft waiver and tyre and windscreen excess. These cost on average £137 for super damage waiver, £11 for super theft waiver and £41 for tyre and windscreen excess, a combined average total of £189. This is more than five times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, which charges from £35.48 for a week’s European policy, which covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. Annual European polices are from £44.99.
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said: “Prices for hiring a car have rocketed this year so it’s more important than ever to shop around when booking your hire car, as prices really do differ by hundreds of pounds. There is also a worldwide shortage, so if you want a hire car this summer, it’s a good idea to book as soon as you can.
“Excess liability is now more than £2,000 in some countries, and more than £1,000 in most countries, so it’s important to have excess protection. However excess waiver from the rental desk now costs on average £189. Drivers should do their research in advance and consider buying a car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist insurance company, like iCarhireinsurance.com, before they leave. The savings you can make if you buy insurance in advance and take a sat sav and child car seat with you can be considerable.”