Beware the summer car hire price hike

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Press Release,Travel

Experts at, the travel comparison site, are urging holidaymakers looking to hire a car for popular European resorts over the summer to book now to avoid rising costs and a shortage of supply.

  • Summer car hire prices rise by more than 60 per cent in popular European destinations
  • Holidaymakers urged to book holiday car hire as early as possible before supply dries up
  • Trading up to a larger vehicle can save you over £200

Since February, researchers at have been tracking car hire costs for several popular destinations to monitor for price fluctuations*.  The message is very clear - prices are on the rise, so book early to avoid paying over the odds and potential disappointment from lack of supply.

What's more, families in particular could suffer the most from the price rises as large family cars in certain destinations show some of the largest increases.

Since the beginning of February prices in popular European destinations have increased significantly:

  • A Large Family car in Palma, Mallorca is now 65 per cent more expensive (£151.15 more)
  • A People Carrier in Faro, Portugal is now 68 per cent more expensive (£212.66 more)
  • A Large Family car in Nice, South of France is now 63 per cent more expensive (£125.04 more)

However, those looking for a compact economy vehicle could still be caught out:

  • A mini economy in Faro, Portugal is now 61 per cent more expensive (£68.59 more)
  • A mini economy in Murcia, Spain is now 65 per cent more expensive (£81.44 more)

The research has also revealed that it's worth being as flexible as possible when it comes to the category of car you book. Conventional wisdom may suggest that the larger the car you are hiring, the more you will pay, however it is certainly worth looking at different options. For example in Palma, a large family car currently costs £384, however a people carrier is just £175, so as well gaining more space, you can save yourself a massive £209. 

Travel expert Bob Atkinson from said: "As was witnessed during the Easter Holidays, there is strong demand for car hire this summer, naturally leading to a pressure on supply and an increase in prices. Undoubtedly, holidaymakers will see prices continue to rise as we move towards the peak summer season.

"Key destinations in Spain, Portugal and the South of France are already seeing significant increases in prices, a firm indication that holidaymakers should book as soon as they can if they plan to hire a vehicle. Also ensure you look at prices of slightly larger or smaller cars if you are flexible, and of course, use a comparison site such as to compare many suppliers at once".

Top tips for car hire:

  • Book ahead as soon as possible to secure the best overall rates 
  • With an upward trend in car prices as peak summer season comes close, leaving it to the last minute may mean sky high prices or no car of the type you are looking for being available.  The later you leave it the higher the price will be
  • Consider all car groups as some of the lowest priced and most popular cars are now more expensive than larger models displays all car hire prices in real time availability ensuring visitors are supplied the most up to date options.


* Research conducted by   from 1 February - 28 June 2010 of eight days car hire from 7 August - 14 August for the following destinations:


Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport, Malaga, Spain


Alicante El Altet Airport, Alicante, Spain


San Javier Airport, Murcia, Spain


Son Sant Joan Airport, Palma Mallorca, Spain


Sur Reina Sofia Airport, Tenerife, Spain


Faro, Portugal


London Heathrow, UK


Cote D'azur International Airport, Nice, France

A sample of destinations which have seen substantial price rises in the last month for Summer rentals:


Car type

Price 1 February

Price 28 June



People Carrier



£212.66 or 68%


Large family



£163.73 or 67%


Large Family



£151.15 or 65%


Mini Economy



£81.44 or 65%


Large Family



£125.04 or 63%


Mini Economy



£68.59 or 61%





£71.63 or 54%


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