• UK holidaymakers are most likely to be met by unexpected costs or fines in Italy when renting a car abroad
  • More than one in eight (16%) Brits have been charged or fined when renting a car abroad
  • Majority of fines were down to not knowing the laws of the road in that country
  • Most people (64%) admit to only partly reading, or completely ignoring, the rental T&Cs
  • 3 in 5 (64%) people believe the impact of the recent Brexit vote will raise costs of hiring a car abroad, with half (48%) also concerned it will raise associated car insurance costs abroad
  • Take the test and see how well you know the roads abroad

New research by comparethemarket.com has found that Italy tops the list of countries where UK holiday goers are most likely to be met by unexpected extra car rental costs, followed by the USA and Greece.

The research, which questioned 2,000 holidaymakers that have hired a car abroad in the last five years, found that a significant 16% have had to part with more money than planned due to additional car charges or road fines.

Penalties for not knowing the local laws of the road were the biggest budget buster, catching 22% of those fined out, followed by slight damage to the vehicle hired, including scratches often thought to be already on the vehicle (16%). The third most common reason was the car being clamped or towed which had affected 16% of people who’d been fined.
The likelihood of issues when hiring a car abroad is increased by a lack of attention to detail when it comes to the T’s and C’s documentation. 44% confess to signing the car hire agreement having only ‘briefly’ scanned the detail, with one in five (19%) ignoring them completely.

It seems that the recent Brexit vote has also had a detrimental impact on consumers’ confidence in renting a car abroad, with 3 in 5 Brits (64%) believing the cost of renting a car abroad will go up in the next 6 months, and half (48%) concerned it will also raise associated car insurance costs abroad.

To avoid holiday budgets mounting with unexpected costs, comparethemarket.com has today launched the Great British Getaway hub – an online platform which invites users to test their knowledge on rules of the roads in foreign countries. There’s also helpful tips for driving overseas at top holiday destinations in the form of an interactive map. The hub is designed to offer practical advice to ensure people are as best prepared as they can be, and to keep holidays as stress free and safe as possible.

Simon McCulloch, Director at comparethemarket.com, commented: “Today’s research shows just how easy it can be to slip up and find yourself with an unwelcome cost whilst driving abroad. Resist the temptation to drive off without fully checking the car for carefully first, as this can easily lead to unnecessary charges if damage such as small scratches are already present. Traffic laws differ dramatically across the world, so it’s worth taking our test at comparethemarket.com where there are also tips for driving in the UK’s favourite holiday destinations abroad.


Visit the Great British Getaway Hub here.