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Eastern Med Boasts Best Value Car Hire But UK Tourists Could Steer Their Holiday Autos Into Excess Trouble By Cutting Corners

Press release   •   Jul 11, 2014 23:00 BST

- Holiday car hire costs least in Cyprus, Malta and Turkey
- Majorca is most expensive in the eurozone – costing £200 more than Cyprus
- Under half of UK holidaymakers cover themselves against high excess charges for car damage; over three-quarters fail to insure against tyre or window damage
- Failure to do so could cost over £1,000 in excess charges

According to the latest Post Office® Travel Money Car Rental Report, families planning to rent a car abroad this summer should look to the Eastern Med for best value, where car hire is cheapest¹. At the other end of the scale hiring a car in the eurozone costs most in Majorca and rental costs are highest of all in Norway.

Cyprus emerged as best value in the Post Office Travel Money survey of 16 European destinations – both for a week’s basic car rental and when a tank of unleaded petrol plus two extras - Sat Nav hire and an additional driver – were added. At a total cost of £295, a week’s rental cost from Larnaca Airport was under half the price in Norway (£614) and over £200 less than in Majorca (£514), most expensive of 11 eurozone destinations surveyed.

Malta was also good value at around £317 for a week’s car hire from Luqa Airport including fuel and extras, with Turkey (£325 for pick up from Marmaris Airport) in third place. Turkey scored well because of the combined price for Sat Nav hire and an additional driver (under £56), which was by far the cheapest of the 16 holiday destinations. By contrast, the two extras cost over three times as much in Switzerland (almost £178).

However, the Post Office Travel Money Car Rental Report suggests that UK holidaymakers could be steering into trouble by cutting corners on their car rental. Over half of those questioned in consumer research for the report (56 per cent) failed to take out Excess Waiver Insurance (EWI) that reduces the excess payable for accidents or theft to zero². Even more – 76 per cent – did not take out insurance cover for tyre, undercarriage and window damage.

Yet, risk-takers who damage their rental car and do not have EWI or tyre, undercarriage

and window insurance could pay at least £418 (Turkey)³. They would face an excess charge

of double that amount in the Spanish Costas and Majorca (£839) Malta (£866) and Portugal (£903), rising to over £1,000 in Ireland (£1,069) or Switzerland (£1,129).

In every country the Post Office surveyed the insurance cost was a fraction of the excess charge payable. In the case of Turkey, this was just £23 for a week compared with a potential excess bill of £418. In most other countries the cost of reducing the excess charge to zero was around 10-12 per cent of the excess payable. These included Portugal (£88 compared with a £903 excess bill) and Majorca (under £97 against an excess of £839).

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “These figures make it clear that it is a false economy to cut costs by sticking to the basic cost when booking car rental online. We advise against taking a risk that could cost hundreds of pounds if your hire car suffers damage or is stolen.

“What is more, don’t leave it until you get to your holiday destination to find out how much the hire car is really going to cost. Calculate all the costs by doing your homework in advance to find out the realistic price of car rental and holiday motoring.

“Carry enough foreign cash to cover the cost of car hire extras because most of them – including EWI, Sat Nav and additional driver charges – have to be paid when you pick the car up in your holiday destination. It is better to carry money with you than to incur charges for paying on plastic, especially as higher value currency transactions attract improved exchange rates in our branches or online and will save you money in the long run.”

Currencies for the Post Office Travel Money Car Rental Report destinations surveyed are among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches, while over 10,000 offer euro over the counter and 4,000 offer Turkish lira. More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at for next day branch or home delivery.


For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094

Christine Ball
01798 874177 / 07976 285997

¹ The Post Office Car Rental Report was compiled using an average of prices for one week’s basic car hire (paid in advance) in Europe and Florida together with the cost of two extras payable when collecting the car from an airport and 40 litres of unleaded petrol. Figures in brackets in the basic car hire column denote positions for destinations based on the cost of one week’s basic car hire, without extras or fuel. Car rental prices were researched online and by phone from Avis, Budget and Europcar, and unleaded petrol prices sourced from


Total cost

Basic car hire (advance)

Extra costs payable on arrival

40 litres unleaded petrol

Sat Nav hire

Additional driver

  1. Cyprus (Larnaca)


£157.27 (1)




  1. Malta (Luqa)


£174.42 (3)




  1. Turkey (Marmaris)


£207.04 (6)




  1. Denmark (Copenhagen)


£158.01 (2)




  1. Austria (Salzburg)


£207.29 (7)




  1. Spain (Costa Blanca)


£189.86 (4)




  1. Spain (Costa del Sol)


£210.46 (9)




  1. Italy (Pisa)


£195.12 (5)




  1. Greece (Corfu)


£262.19 (10)




  1. Switzerland (Geneva)


£207.31 (8)




  1. France (Nice)


£287.06 (11)




  1. Ireland (Dublin)


£293.65 (12)




  1. Portugal (Faro)


£330.19 (13)




  1. Croatia (Split)


£335.28 (14)




  1. Spain (Majorca)


£345.99 (15)




  1. Norway (Oslo)


£441.97 (16)




² Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (25-27 April 2014) among 2,106 UK adults aged 18+ found that only 24 per cent paid for insurance cover for tyre, undercarriage and window damage, while only 44 per cent pad for Excess Waiver Insurance

³ Post Office desk research established the average amounts payable in the event of accidental damage in the countries surveyed without excess waiver insurance (based on prices from Avis, Budget and Europcar) as well as the average price of Excess Waiver Insurance and tyre/glass insurance:


Accidental damage excess payable

7 day cost of EWI and tyre/glass insurance

  1. Turkey (Marmaris)



  1. Croatia (Split)



  1. Greece (Corfu)



  1. Denmark (Copenhagen)



  1. Cyprus (Larnaca)



  1. Austria (Salzburg)



  1. France (Nice)



  1. Italy (Pisa)



  1. Norway (Oslo)



  1. Spain (Costas)



  1. Spain (Majorca)



  1. Malta (Luqa)



  1. Portugal (Faro)



  1. Ireland (Dublin)



  1. Switzerland (Geneva)



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