Soaring cost of UK car rental

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I realise that UK car prices have increased over the years and that there’s a vehicle supply shortage but nevertheless I was surprised to see just how car rental prices had increased.

    A reader told me that he had hired a car from Sixt at LHR a few days ago for a shortish rental and the agent had said that it was almost impossible to hire a car for a week now.

    For business or leisure those arriving at LHR and hiring a car for a few days will probably be paying more than the cost of their flight (depending of course on the route).

    I checked rates with Avis and chose dates away from the coming holiday weekend.

    Dates/times were: June 13 at 0900 returning at 1700 on June 15.

    For a VW Golf the online price was £593.58 for pre-pay or £652.93 pay on collection.

    For a VW Polo the rates were £469.91 and £516.89.

    And some extra were not included. For example, the standard excess for damage/theft would be £1,500.

    I agree that car rental prices have also risen elsewhere in Europe.


    MrDarwin
    Participant

    I looked to hire a car from this Friday for 7 days at Dublin airport, and the cheapest I could find was £1600 for any type of car. That’s more than three times the cost of driving and taking the ferry, and doesn’t include the flight cost. We’d already booked the flight so we’re having to rely on the generosity of family and friends.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    That’s a shocking price.

    By the way I also checked the Avis rates at Frankfurt airport. They were also higher than usual but somewhat below London prices.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    There was a piece on the Irish RTE website on this exact topic today.

    The researcher priced a week in Mid June 2022 at Dublin airport.

    Cheapest available was €1,485.

    LHR was €722
    Paris €500
    Madrid €271

    One American Tourist reported to RTE that he was quoted €10,000 for a 3 week hire in Ireland this Summer.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Thank you for the feedback SwissExPat.

    This is really something that we had neglected to report.

    Car prices in the UK have increased hugely recently.

    It’s partly down to supply shortages (so the manufacturers benefit from supply and demand) but also because modern autos have become over-specified.

    VW’s UK starting price for a Polo is almost £20,000. No wonder most people in the UK prefer to lease than buy outright.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    A reader told me that he had hired a car from Sixt at LHR a few days ago for a shortish rental and the agent had said that it was almost impossible to hire a car for a week now.

    Alex, I have been using Sixt a lot in the last few years as their service is generally good and their prices a bit lower than the others. The excesses charged (for insurance) don’t really bother me as I have annual “Insurance4carhire” cover for this (and I drive carefully!).

    We were booked to go to Florida in February and the hotel prices were outrageous – but I bit my lip and booked them anyway. However, I checked all the regular car hire companies for a middle range car and the cheapest quote was for £100 a day (not dollars) for 14 days.

    I cancelled everything and re-booked for Tenerife. I went to hire a car for one day (from Sixt) and was quoted £250 for any small car. I didn’t bother.

    I have just returned from TLV. One week with Sixt, again the cheapest, for a Mazda 2 was $545 for the week. The same car last November was $426, so not a big hike and not a lot more than pre-Covid.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Bullfrog
    Participant

    I am heading to Bergen on June 4 .. 4 days stay .. £ 650 for car rental !


    Johnnyg
    Participant

    We are off to Walchsee for our annual meet up with friends in a few weeks time, we normally hire from Salzburg centre not the airport. The most we have paid was £560, this year my cheapest quote is £1900. When I spoke to them they stated there were 2 reasons, firstly they were hit with less tourists so didn’t bother renewing the vehicles but more importantly the price of 2 hand car prices were through the roof so many companies just sold their vehicles. Now many cannot get new ones due to chip shortages.

    I have now managed to get one but it still has doubled from last time we met up. Not even Brexit related.


    Mark
    Participant

    Had booked online for pay on arrival at rental location recently.Had planned to go to K2 in Crawley.
    Was a little miffed by the pushy pre-pay before you arrive tactics of the company.
    Emails and calls requesting I pay before arrival to make everything easier and “were here for your convenience mantra”.

    I had chosen the (pay on arrival option)🤔.

    Needless to say they didnt get my money and I saved over £500 by having a lovely weekend pottering in the garden instead.


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    My daughter, in Singapore, who will be with us this Christmas was quoted GBP1,100 for a 13 day hire. Cheaper to buy an old banger. Will people pay these sky high prices??


    FormerBA
    Participant

    This issue has been going now for about 8 months. I hire at GLA regularly and noted last October that prices had soared. The issue is a lack of cars, not because they have been sold, but because car hire companies, like most people now,lease the cars. They have a particularly low mileage requirement and you often see a sticker stating must not exceed 8000 miles or something similar. Also like us, they cannot get new cars and so are short.

    I now take a taxi and Uber around Glasgow and use the trains, which, despite what the media would have you believe, are cheaper and more reliable than anything here in leafy Berkshire.

    The risk to car hire firms is that people like me will not go back. I had not appreciated how costly and time consuming parking is in Glasgow. For example parking at the GLA Hilton is £16 / night. So over 2 or 3 days that mounts up. Letting Uber and trains take the strain has made me think carefully about renting ever again

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    This issue as pointed out by a few posters isn’t just a UK problem. Rates in the US have pretty much doubled in most locations from pre-pandemic, caused partly by a sell off of vehicles to keep companies solvent (in the US at least).

    In UK rates have increased (interestingly our corporate rate hasn’t much at all) and looking across Europe. Personally for Lisbon for 9 days this August rates were so staggering cheaper just to get taxis for what I need and a train 2 hours to the North for that part of the trip.

    So yes whereas weekly rental for a Standard car might have been £250-300 before – now easily £500+ in many places.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    This issue as pointed out by a few posters isn’t just a UK problem. Rates in the US have pretty much doubled in most locations from pre-pandemic, caused partly by a sell off of vehicles to keep companies solvent (in the US at least).

    In UK rates have increased (interestingly our corporate rate hasn’t much at all) and looking across Europe. Personally for Lisbon for 9 days this August rates were so staggering cheaper just to get taxis for what I need and a train 2 hours to the North for that part of the trip.

    So yes whereas weekly rental for a Standard car might have been £250-300 before – now easily £500+ in many places.

    Agree Tim,

    This has altered my purchasing.

    I would often travel to DUB and then hire a car to visit the West of Ireland. 3-4 day trip and I paid €130-150 for the car Plus maybe €50 in fuel. (Annual excess damage insurance would be £65 which I no longer need to buy)

    Now, I arrive in Dublin, get a bus to Heuston Station and travel on comfortable frequent trains (to Galway/Limerick) for €18-€20 each way.

    Minor loss in flexibility but with a car being now over €500, I am discovering Irish train travel which is great value (and the Government is reducing the faresto address cost of living crisis). I’ll probably never hire a car there again even if the pricing reverts to BC prices (Before Covid!!)


    TonyR
    Participant

    I’m in Barbados and just hired a mid-sized Toyota for a week for just over £200 so it’s not everywhere in the world if you’re looking for a great vacation destination.


    MikeSmith
    Participant

    That’s cheap actually.

    Looking to rent a car in Calgary for 1 week and 1) not available at the airport for the next month. Finally found one place after checking and they wanted C$4200 for the week. Ended up using Uber.

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