Summer holiday car hire warning as prices have DOUBLED – how to avoid it

HOLIDAYMAKERS setting off for the May half-term break may need to factor an extra expense into their spending money as the cost of car hire soars.

Those driving abroad on their spring getaway or summer holiday are face soaring prices if they're hiring a car.

Some families will see prices have risen as much as 50% compared to a couple of years ago, adding more outlay to cost of a holiday.

According to iCarhireinsurance, the average cost of hiring a car for a week this half-term is now £344 – up from just £199 in 2019.

That's before you factor in extra costs of equipment such as a car seat or sat nav.

Purchasing excess insurance can add an extra £177 to your hire costs while insuring an additional driver could heap £61 more on to your bill.

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Hiring a child's car seat is around £58 and a sat nav £82 – something more people might need this year, now that roaming charges are back for many mobile phone users.

iCarhireinsurance looks at the cost of hiring a medium car, such as a Volkswagen Golf or Peugeot 308, for a week from May 28.

It looks at prices in five popular travel hotspots: Barcelona, Faro, Larnaca, Nice and Tenerife, comparing costs from six rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Europcar.

Nice was the most expensive place to hire a car at a whopping £504 for the week – up from £351 in 2019.

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In Barcelona, the cost had more than doubled to £414, up from £175.

Tenerife saw the smallest increase, with car hire now £187 for a week compared to £122 in 2019.

But the cost of the Tenerife car hire rocketed to £475 if you included all the add-ons, the study found.

Ernesto Suarez, founder of iCarhireinsurance, said: "Prices for most things are going up, and car hire is no exception, but good deals are still available if you shop around.

"Make sure you check the price of any extras you may need, or the headline price you are quoted may not end up being as good as you thought."

How to keep car hire costs down

One reason that car hire costs are creeping up is that there is shortage of available vehicles in some destinations, such as Spain.

Holidaymakers should book in advance to make sure they can get a car – and lock in a good deal.

Comparison sites can help you find the best deals, but be careful to check the small print.

Watch out for things such as whether the hire includes a full tank or petrol, which could add to your expenses if you only plan to do a few miles.

Check prices for different sized cars too – don't just assume the smallest one will be the cheapest.

Buying your own insurance in advance can also help cut costs, rather than being sold pricey policies at the hire kiosk.

It might also be worth checking whether there are cheaper alternatives to hiring a car, particularly if you don't plan on driving much.

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Find out if your hotel offers a free or cheap transfer option, for example, or whether apps like Uber are available.

Avoiding shelling out for costly extras too – it might be cheaper to buy a roaming data plan than to rent a sat nav, for example.

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