Car Hire In Europe Rockets To £500 A Week

Mon 9th Aug 2021

Holidaymakers being stung by financial penalties related to covid when visiting the continent this summer can expect another bite, with car hire prices surging to record levels.

The prospect of a long-awaited holiday abroad has proven to be too tempting for many this year, with hundreds of thousands prepared to pay for a regime of lateral flow and pcr covid testing, just to get some well-earned sunshine in green and amber listed countries.

And while some travellers have had to pay a covid test supplement in the region of £350, if they want to hire a car once they land abroad they could be in for another shock.

New research published by a car hire insurance firm has found that the cost of hiring a car on the continent has risen to an average of £500 a week, rising by more than £300 in some areas of Europe.

Covid uncertainty has contributed greatly to the cost of hiring a car, many car hire companies sold their stock in 2020 to meet overheads, and they have taken a safety first approach to replacing that stock as travellers slowly return to normality. Supply and demand has meant that there are not enough cars to meet the growing number of holidaymakers and therefore prices are at a premium.

The research published by reveals that when insurance extras, additional driver coverage, a sat nav, childs seat and fuel are taken into account, the cost of hiring a car from Geneva in Switzerland is £1,091 for a standard compact family car.

Switzerland is the most expensive location when considering extras, though the Greek island of Crete has the most expensive average price, at £655 for a week.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of said: “There’s always a lot of variation in car hire prices which are heavily influenced by supply and demand, which is why there can be big differences in the same locations. You may even get a different price with the same rental company depending on how far in advance you book your vehicle.


“Also, not forgetting the disruption caused to the car hire industry by the pandemic, which has put particular pressures on the ability of firms to estimate summer demand. Rental companies have also faced additional costs, such as enhanced cleaning regimes and other measures at collection and drop-off. These operational measures are inevitably going to have an impact on price.


He concludes, “One way you can be sure to save money is by taking extras with you, such as child car seats and sat navs, and buy excess insurance from a standalone provider before you travel.”