Hiring a car when you jet off on holiday provides plenty of flexibility, but it can come at a cost.
However, new research from TravelSupermarket has revealed that there are major advantages to booking early, especially when it comes to saving money.
The comparison website found individuals that leave booking car hire until the last minute, such as at the airport, could pay as much as 1,400% more than those who book early.
Even registering for car hire two weeks in advance could help you save, based on an analysis of the prices listed across the website for the May-half term period.
TravelSupermarket focused on the cost of booking car hire for eight days from Saturday 26 May to Saturday 2 June for a 30-year-old driving a compact car such as a Ford Focus or Seat Leon.
Those advance costs were then compared to prices that would be quoted to an individual were they to walk up to the rental desk at an airport and request a vehicle for the same period.
Depending on where you go across Europe, booking in advance could save drivers more than £300 for the half term week.
Many prices are lower than might be expected as most European schools do not have their holidays and as it is still relatively early in the season.
The biggest mark-up at an airport rental desk was found in Alicante, where prices were an astonishing 1,401% higher than pre-booked car hire.
Paying for hire at the airport would cost £197.63, significantly above the £13.17 – or £1.65 per day – it would cost to book in advance.
Similar savings were possible in Malaga, where pre-booking costs less than £20 and purchasing at the desk adds up to nearly £300 – meaning costs could be 1,399% higher!
Booking in advance provided some of the biggest savings when travelling to Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.
Savings of £357 were possible in Faro, while it also pays to book early in Barcelona and Athens. So if you’re planning to hire a vehicle in the coming months, it might be worth planning ahead and booking sooner rather than later.
TravelSupermarket also advise that the majority of online car hire prices are unlikely to go down during the peak summer season, meaning the best deals could be the ones you see now.
If you are hiring a vehicle in the coming year, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance, which covers the excess you would need to pay should your vehicle be damaged or stolen.
This can amount to hundreds or even thousands of pounds, and the additional cover often costs less than you might think. Get a quote today to see how little it could cost you.
Date Created: 18/05/2018