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Is Car Hire a Black Hole in Your Holiday Budget?

Feb 26, 2008
Many people feel that car hire at Malaga airport is a notorious black hole in their holiday expenses. You thought you had a really good price quoted from the website, but when you arrive with your car hire voucher at the counter, there are all kinds of insurance add-ons, fuel payments and unclear charges. In many cases it costs a lot of money and you can't really make out where it's gone afterwards.

On the internet car hire prices for Spain can be quoted in daily rates or in foreign currency, and it's far from straightforward to work out what the final price is, particularly if there's a queue waiting behind or you don't speak the language. Many people don't find out the total cost of the rental until the credit card statement arrives after the holidays are over.

However, the more encouraging news is that car hire in Spain, like everything else to do with travel, has shifted towards the low cost airline model of instant quotes, so that anyone planning a trip can compare prices in advance, examine what is included and what extras are going to be required. With the click of a mouse you can compare what's on offer and see how changing the travel dates, the pickup location or the vehicle type can shift the prices.

Depending on you travel destination the prices can differ a lot. If you went to Spain and picked up a car at Madrid airport, you could end up paying twice as much as for car hire in Malaga, Alicante or Mallorca. The competition in popular tourist destinations is huge and local car hire companies are competing with multinationals for their slice of the market.

If you're comparing car hire prices in Malaga or Alicante the chances are that you end up booking with a local supplier, as their prices are really low and many of them offer several additional services free of charge. But don't underestimate the charges for extra services when travelling to Barcelona or Madrid. At these destinations the range of providers is a lot smaller and reduced to multinational companies. When they quote you a few more euros a day for an additional service it doesn't sound much, but stick on an additional driver, a child seats or optional insurance cover and the car price could almost double.

The arrival of websites that bring together quotes from a range of car hire firms is another advantage to bargain hunters. Most of these site work a bit like insurance brokers. They gather together quotes from a range of providers saving you the hassle of visiting all these car hire websites yourself. Some of these sites compare the prices for you and enable you to book your car hire at Malaga airport the lowest prices. On top of this they are promising to match any other online car hire price this year.

Remember that cheaper does not always mean better. Make sure that you know which car hire company is going to offer the service before you book to avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards.
About the Author
Rudi van der Zalm is the founder of one of Europe's most popular online car rental services to help travellers find Malaga car hire at the lowest prices in Spain. Visit www.hispacar.com for a free online car hire quote.
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