AA SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS RISING COST OF CAR HIRE ABROAD

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A recent survey conducted by AA Travel Insurance finds that 12% of motorists have reported an increase in the cost of car hire this year. The AA evaluated the costs of hiring a car at home and abroad over the summer months using four main car hire companies and a selection of models and destinations. The table below outlines the average costs in key destinations. Motorists must be prepared for significantly higher prices abroad this year. Prices varied dramatically between car hire companies, location and season with July and August significantly more expensive. It was also found that the desired model pre paid for was not guaranteed. Car hire companies have highlighted a number of fleet shortages across the board and urge motorists to book early to avoid disappointment.

Excess Charges

Your car hire agreement generally covers you for Collision Damage Waiver and Theft. However, In most agreements you are still liable for the first portion of the repair or replacement costs (the excess) A high excess can apply to a small scratch on a car, a chip in a windscreen and damage to tyres or mirrors. Excess amounts usually run into several hundreds of euro and in some cases for larger cars can be in excess of €1,000, so it may be well worth the extra money. Typically, however, the cost for Super CDW cover offered by the car hire companies is high. Some insurers offer Super CDW policies that are personal to the insured person rather than to the vehicle. If you plan to hire a car for more than a few days or if you frequently hire a car during the year, this form of Super CDW cover may be more cost effective for you than taking the hire company’s Super CDW insurance for the duration of an individual hire.

Excess fees range from €600 to €2500 per week depending on the model of the car and chosen destination. Motorists need to be aware that charges below exclude Personal Accident Insurance. Often motorists end up paying additional costs for Personal Accident Insurance (ranging from €30 to €70), Supplementary Liability Protection (€50-€80), Super Collision Damage Waiver (up to €100), Super Loss Damage Waiver (€80-€130), and Super Personal Accident Insurance (up to €127). These additions significantly drive up the cost of car rental.
Additional Requirements (Often Hidden charges)
Surcharges for additional items vary enormously from company to company and between destinations. This is what drives up the cost of car hire abroad. In a number of cases, Prices are not confirmed until pick up. In the case if the U.S, additional charges are not available on the website and instructions are left to revert to reservations staff.

GPS
GPS charges varied from €50-€110.

Child seats
The cost of child seats was up to three times the cost in some regions varying from €28 to €83. Baby booster seats also varied significantly between €10 and €70.

Young Driver Surplus charges
Young driver charges (under 25’s) ranged from €83 to €230.

Second driver surcharges
If you are planning to add a second driver this could have a big impact on the cost of car hire. To add an additional driver costs between €30 and €80. If it’s manageable in terms of how you plan to use the car during your trip, have only one nominated driver.

Take the following example. A week in Malaga in July using a medium sized car will on average cost €499 upon booking. This figure doubles when you include GPS, a child seat, additional driver and personal accident insurance to just under €1,000. Then theres the risk upon returning home. Check out the additional charges for each of the above when comparing car hire offers so that you have a fuller and more realistic understanding of the “all inclusive” price before you set about making a final decision.