October 16, 2012 07:48 ET

Extras at Rental Desk Can Double Cost of Car Hire for Families

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2012) - Families planning to hire a car this half term are being warned that buying extras at the rental desk, such as excess insurance and child seats, can more than double the cost of hiring a car.

iCarhireinsurance.com looked at the four leading car hire companies and found those renting a family car this October in Milan would be charged 120% of the rental cost with Budget for excess insurance and a child seat and 110% with Hertz (see table 1).

The average cost of purchasing excess cover and hiring a child seat is 81% of the average cost of renting a car from the leading four providers.

To save money families are being urged to purchase their car hire excess insurance in advance and consider bringing their child seats with them to avoid being stung by the extras at the rental desk. Policies from iCarhireinsurance.com can be bought online for only £2.99 a day or £39.99 for an annual policy. They also include cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies' policies.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said, "Many people choose their hire car provider because they offer the best price, but the added extras can make this a false economy. Excess insurance is one of the most expensive added extras sold at the rental desk, so make sure you don't get caught out and save more than 82% by buying from us before you fly."

Table 1: Excess Insurance and child seat costs for UK resident renting a VW Golf class car in Milan (Milan Airport) for a week's rental from 27.10.2012 – 03.11.2012 and dropping off at the same location

Avis Budget Hertz Sixt Average
RENTAL COST ONLY £232.43 £151.39 £236.12 £292.09 £228
EXCESS INSURANCE £109.14 £123.49 £184.48 £119.77 £134.22
CAR SEAT £41.16 £59.18 £76.06 £28.49 £51.22
COMBINED EXCESS AND CAR SEAT COST £150.30 £182.67 £260.54 £148.26 £185.44
Excess and Car Seat Cost as % of rental 65% 120% 110% 51% 81%

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