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Price of Easter car rentals has doubled since pandemic

Easter  FILE - In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 file photo, a woman sit on the sand as other people enjoy the sea at
The cost of renting a car in Cyprus this Easter is up by 112%. Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP (Petros Karadjias, Associated Press)

The cost of renting a car in some holiday hotspots this Easter is 112% more expensive on average compared with pre-pandemic, with Cyprus taking the lead in price increases.

In the popular Mediterranean island, the average daily rental rate more than doubled this year when compared with 2019, according to Which?.

A seven-day rental would now set holidaymakers back £248, up 112% on pre-pandemic rates. Portugal and Greece were not far behind, with increases of 99% and 97% respectively.

The USA was the most expensive country, with holidaymakers shelling out £537 per week on average, adding £239 onto the cost of a holiday compared with 2019.

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Read more: Inflation is ‘guaranteed’ to fall, insists Bank of England

Which? examined data supplied by car hire broker Zest Car Rental for over 5,000 rentals in nine popular holiday destinations and found that seven out of nine destinations the consumer champion examined have seen weekly increases of over £100.

“High demand combined with a shortage of rental vehicles means prices across Europe and the US are still incredibly high compared with before the pandemic,” Jo Rhodes, Deputy Editor of Which? Travel, said.

“Shop around and book in advance to lock in the most competitive rates, especially during peak periods. Use recommended companies, or small local firms endorsed by a trusted broker, and always be wary of ‘too good to be true’ prices,” she added.

France was another one of the pricier regions to rent a car, with a week’s rental costing £364 on average. This is even as the country experiencing the smallest price increases overall, at 25%.

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Demand remains extremely high this year, contributing to increased costs. Zest Car Rental reports that advance bookings are up 132% compared to the same point last year.

“Paying in advance, if you can, often works out cheaper overall and helps secure your booking. We also recommend taking out third-party insurance before you travel; in the past, we’ve found hire companies selling inferior policies at the desk at marked up prices,” Rhodes said.

Watch: What to Know When Renting A Car

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