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Falling pound increasing costs of renting a car abroad

Top tips for keeping the hire car costs abroad to a minimum this summer

bank notes

With the pound having lost around 10% of its value against the Euro since this time last year (1) holidaymakers looking to rent a car abroad are urged to plan ahead to keep their car hire spend to a minimum.

There are a number of steps that can be taken before a trip which can result in big savings.

  • Buy a standalone car hire excess insurance policy – not only are these priced in sterling, but they also cover rising accident costs due to the weaker pound.
  • Avoiding renting a child seat on arrival.
  • Using your mobile phone as a sat nav rather than paying for one at the desk.

Hirers are recommended to compare the cost of standalone excess insurance at MoneyMaxim where policies start at £1.80 a day. Cover purchased at the desk costs up to €36.60 a day (2) for an excess waiver covering a family car when bought directly from a car hire company. Getting excess protection is even more important in 2016. The average cost of a claim involving a collision with another vehicle on these policies was €678 or £490 in 2015. That claim in the Eurozone this year will cost Brits around £535 due to the weaker pound (3).

The price of extras has risen too because these are paid for locally in the currency of the country the car is rented in. A child's booster seat costs €11.13 per day in Portugal (4) – adding up to over £60 per child seat for a week long break, a rise of around £6 on last year.

Instead hirers could take their own seat with them (there is a useful guide of the regulations for many airlines at Car Hire Champion) or alternatively consider products such as a BubbleBum – an inflatable booster seat for children aged 4-11, which meets all EU and US regulations and that can fit into a small bag that can be stowed away in your hand luggage.

With child seats it’s good to be aware of the different regulations across Europe – check these via the RAC website.

It’s true that getting lost on the trip to your holiday accommodation is no fun at all – rather than paying a typical €10 a day charge at the desk (5), download the free navmii app before a trip, which avoids costly roaming data usage charges as well. Again use the RAC site to be aware of the local rules for Sat Nav usage.

Mark Bower, Managing Director added, “This summer it’s more important than ever for car hirers to plan ahead for their trip. Those who do can save hundreds of pounds using just the three tips above, but those who sleepwalk up to the rental desk can face a really unpleasant shock. Our team are helping more hirers than ever, who want to make sure their trip goes without a hitch and are here to help should any guidance or assistance be needed."

Notes 1. As of 20/4/15 £1 was equivalent to €1.385. As of 20/4/16 £1 was equivalent to €1.265. 2. Hertz in Rome charge €36.60 per day for Supercover waiver 3. The data referred to above is detailed on the ‘MoneyMaxim Car Hire Insurance infographic’. Claims statistics were supplied by Questor Insurance Services Limited, age of driver statistics and data analysis by MoneyMaxim.co.uk. 4. Budget Faro charge €11.13 per day to a maximum of €113.32 per trip for child booster seat hire 5. Goldcar Malaga charge up to €10 per day to a maximum of €140 per trip for satnav hire when added as an extra.

Image courtesy of: pixabay