British drivers could save £160 on car hire costs when visiting popular tourist hotspots this Easter

British drivers could save £160 on car hire costs when visiting popular tourist hotspots this Easter

WATCH: Drivers react to price changes caused by inflation

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 16/02/2024

- 09:29

Car hire prices are still more than 50 per cent more expensive than before the pandemic

Drivers could save up to £160 on car rentals for holidays abroad this Easter as prices drastically drop due to inflationary pressures.

Brits who book in advance could pay 47 per cent less on car rentals for Easter breaks and 38 per cent off holidays this summer.

Popular holiday destinations such as Mallorca, Madeira and Orlando in the United States saw price differences on rentals reach up to £146 compared to last year.

While rates for Easter destinations are still 53 per cent higher than pre-pandemic, the price drop from last year is notable and represents the significant impact inflation has had on travel.

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car hires at airport

Brits could pay 47 per cent less on car rentals


Notably, Rhodes in Greece and Nice were recorded as more expensive to rent cars at Easter than last year with the French city seeing a 97 per cent increase from last year.

Lanzarote had the cheapest average rental costs for summer holidays, at £190 per week, equal to a 27 per cent drop from 2023.

Corfu, however, came out top as the most affordable car rental destination for the Easter holidays, falling by almost half, with prices now £74 cheaper when booked in advance.

For summer prices, nine of the 13 destinations surveyed came out as cheaper than last year, with Rhodes, Funchal, Alicante, Corfu and Palma seeing prices fall by more than £100 per week on average.

According to Which? last year’s price hike was caused by manufacturing shortages of new vehicles with these problems now settling and car hire companies finally being able to restock their fleets after being forced to sell during the pandemic.

Despite price drops, due to operational costs increasing as a result of inflation and the cost of living crisis, car rental companies are feeling the squeeze on their profits.

Which? said: “When this happens, car hire companies need to find other ways to increase their revenue, and we tend to see more incidents of the kind of behaviour that has given the car hire industry a bad name over the years.

“This can include illegal pressure selling of insurance, spurious damage charges and even unexplained fees being added on to customers’ bills.”

Tips from money saving expert Martin Lewis warned of the car hire excess insurance trap.

While basic insurance will usually be included on car hire bookings, customers will still have to pay an initial amount or excess if they have a crash or there’s damage to the car.

This excess can range between £100 to as much as £1,000 in extreme cases.

The site said: “When you collect your car, hire firms often try to flog 'top-up' insurance which removes your excess, so you'd pay nothing in the event of an accident or other claim.


Car returns on holiday

Lanzarote had the cheapest average rental costs for summer holidays


“What's more, standalone excess policies often cover more than the basic insurance offered by car hire firms, such as damage to wheels and windscreens. Policies and their limits vary from company to company, so always check before buying.”

Offering advice to customers, Which? reminded drivers to always book with a recommended car hire company, or a trusted broker and to be wary of potential insurance scams.

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