my-moneymaxim Search
0800 520 0699
(or 0118 321 8197)
Monday to Friday9am - 8pm
Saturday9am - 6pm
Sunday & Bank Hols10am - 4pm

Susan Care

Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.

Car hire extras can double the original cost

Research by Post Office Travel Money found adding extras like excess insurance could double costs. Avoid the worst by buying excess insurance before you go.

A survey by Post Office Travel Money has revealed how adding in the cost of extras can more than double the cost of a one week car hire.

The basic cost for a one week car hire in the popular Spanish destination of Alicante was £94.09. However adding an extra driver and Excess Waiver Insurance increased the price to an eye-watering £216.61.

Likewise adding these options in Rome or Pisa increased costs from £97.59 to £287.53.

Post Office Travel Money head Andrew Brown said: "It is tempting for holidaymakers to keep costs low by sticking to the basic headline cost when they book car rental online but this is a false economy.

"Although many rental companies do not show the cost of EWI [excess waiver insurance] online, you can establish the price by calling them. There are also companies who will provide this cover before you leave home.”

MoneyMaxim offer the opportunity to compare both car hire and car hire excess insurance in the same place on our unique service and can confirm big savings can be made by checking what is included in the price and not relying on the excess insurance offered by the car hire company.

While we can't say what car or car hire companies the Post Office Travel Money specified, a quick check on our site showed a Nissan Micra with air-con available for a week for £51 from Economy Car Hire, including Full Collision Damage Protection and a Free Additional Driver. This car comes with our least favourite fuel policy where they supply and charge for a full tank at a higher rate than pump prices and you return it empty. Economy also offered a Ford Focus at £123 with a fair fuel policy where you collect it with a full tank and are expected to return it in the same state.

Alternatively, 121 carhire offer a VW Golf for £65.71 with the additional driver at £19.18 and excess insurance (they have a sale with 60% off) for £31.43. Using our site, you can get the excess insurance from the same insurer (Questor) with a slightly higher level of cover for £17.84 saving a further £13.59.

The message is clear, the more research you do the fewer unpleasant surprises you will get and the more money you can save.