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Andrew Daniel

Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.

How to keep the cost of car hire extras down.

Recent research for The Observer demonstrated just how quickly car hire costs could spiral. Here's how to keep those extra costs under control.

Research by icarhireinsurance.com for The Observer compared car hire costs at five popular resorts for the Easter week from four car hire companies. The destinations reviewed were Barcelona, Faro, Nice, Malaga and Milan.

They found that the original cost of the car hire £280 from Hertz in Malaga could be more than doubled to £632 by adding two additional drivers, one of whom was under 25, a car seat, sat nav and taking out Hertz' excess insurance to reduce the excess to nil.

They found large variations in the pricing of extras between destination, even within the same company. A car seat from Hertz costs £38 in Nice but rises to £57 in Faro. That doesn't mean Nice will always be cheaper, a sat nav from Avis comes in at £50 for Faro but £97 in Nice.

Sat nav functions are built into many smartphones these days, but do make sure you load the relevant maps before you leave the UK to avoid excessive data charges. Failing that, it could be worth buying a cheap new sat nav or taking your own with you rather than pay the hire company.

Differing car fuel policies can also make a considerable difference especially for those who have chosen a car for convenience rather than touring. Many companies will charge for a full tank of fuel and expect you to return it empty. It doesn't make that much difference if you cover enough miles and don't mind driving an unfamiliar car "on empty” when you return it. Most feel it fairer to pay for the fuel they actually use – and pay pump prices rather than an inflated rate set by the hire company. That's why we've added information on companies Fuel Policies to many of the popular destinations on the MoneyMaxim car hire comparison site.

Finally, one area seen as pretty much essential these days is to take our car hire excess insurance. With collision damage waiver policies provided by car hire companies typically having excesses over £1500 and making you responsible for any damage to windscreens, wheels, tyres, underbody and roof it has become increasingly important to protect yourself against these excesses.

However you can avoid paying the inflated rates for your car hire excess insurance offered by the car hire companies. As the UK's only Car Hire Excess Insurance comparison site we compare cover and features of the leading car hire excess insurance providers. Due to the extra competition we've introduced to the market, many have exclusive MoneyMaxim discounts making it cheaper to buy policies from our site than going direct.