Fresh blow for British holidaymakers as the cost of hiring a car abroad has TRIPLED in the three years since Covid first broke out
British holidaymakers face a fresh blow this summer as the cost of hiring a car abroad has tripled over the past three years since the Covid pandemic.
According to research by iCarhireinsurance, it will cost 110 per cent more than in 2019 to rent a small family car from July 30 to August 6.
Studying six rental companies in 12 countries, the insurer and comparison site also found that hiring a car in Florida has risen from £231 to £650, a 181 per cent increase.
Likewise, in the most expensive location analysed, Geneva, the price has risen 164 per cent from £353 to £933.
British holidaymakers face a fresh blow this summer as the cost of hiring a car abroad has tripled over the past three years since the Covid pandemic
Today’s cost and availability crisis began in 2020 when the travel industry shut down and rental firms began selling cars to survive.
Industry estimates say American rental firms sold a third of their cars in the first year of the pandemic, while European firms cut fleets by more than half.
Many firms have been unable to replace fleets due to stock issues, which has also led to a huge increase in costs.
US rental company Hertz fleet numbered 481,000 in March compared with 700,000 in 2019.
Alex Hasty, from the comparison site Compare the Market, told The Times: ‘Organising your car hire abroad before you go could help save you time, money and stress. Queuing up at a car hire desk when you arrive, rather than comparing car rental companies ahead of your trip, could mean you’re not getting the best deal.
Today’s cost and availability crisis began in 2020 when the travel industry shut down and rental firms began selling cars to survive
‘You might also have to make do with what’s available, rather than a car of your choice. By planning ahead before your trip, you can work out a fixed cost, pick a suitable car and any extras you might want.’
‘Rocketing car rental prices are set to hit holiday budgets hard wherever you go this year,’ says Rory Boland, editor of the Which? Travel guide.
In the worst cases, he says some areas may run out of cars completely.
Booking early can take some sting out of the situation, as even today’s prices may look like bargains by the time the school holidays arrive.
Another tip is to pay in full when you book. That’s because rental firms may be taking bookings now for cars they hope to have delivered over the next few months.