The Global Car Hire Index: The Cheapest and Most Expensive Places Revealed

The Global Car Hire Index: The Cheapest and Most Expensive Places Revealed

With Holidaymakers now looking to forget those January blues by booking themselves a cheeky holiday, TravelSupermarket have analysed car hire costs for the exact same categories of car, across the same dates to establish which countries and regions are the most cost-friendly when it comes to renting a car.

By analysing 19 popular holiday hotspots and UK cities, the price comparison site has been able to pinpoint which countries enable travellers to get around on the cheap in 2018.

Their findings include:

  • Greece is the most expensive place to hire a car, while Cyprus is the cheapest.
  • United Kingdom is only the 13th most expensive place of those analysed, at an average cost of £13.60 a day
  • London Bridge is the costliest train station to hire a car from


The cost of hiring the same car on your holidays could vary by up to 245% depending on where you are in the world, according to new data from TravelSupermarket.

Through analysis of enquiry data* for cars in the Compact, Economy and Mini categories (including cars such as the Ford Focus and the Fiat 500) in December, the research pinpoints exactly where countries all over the world fall on the car hire cost ladder.

Most expensive countries for car hire ranked by cost per day:


Position Country Avg. car hire cost per day
1st Greece £32.29
2nd Iceland £30.37
3rd Canada £26.73
4th France £25.03
5th Germany £21.71
6th South Africa £17.83
7th Morocco £16.48
8th Australia £14.82
9th Turkey £14.54
10th Poland £14.34
11th Italy £14.14
12th Portugal £13.71
13th United Kingdom £13.60
14th Croatia £13.06
15th Spain £12.31
16th Ireland £10.90
17th United Arab Emirates £10.13
18th New Zealand £9.51
19th Cyprus £9.37

Costing 237% more per day than the UK, Greece was found to be the most expensive place to hire a car, at an average cost of £32.29 per day. This was closely followed by Iceland at £30.37 and Canada at £27.73 while popular European hotspots France and Germany round out the top five with costs of £25.03 and £21.71 respectively.

Britain was 13th most expensive on the list of countries analysed with an average cost of £13.60 and only six countries were found to have a lower average daily hire price than the UK. Cyprus comes in cheapest at £9.37 and New Zealand just behind as the least expensive non-European option at £9.51.

Spain, a firm holiday favourite for many Brits was found to be in the top five cheapest options, only costing an average of £12.31 per day, less than half the daily cost for car hire in France.

Interestingly, the United States, a summer holiday favourite was not amongst the most popular destinations for Brits looking to hire a car this month.

Most popular car hire searches for period Of December 2017*




   Domestic car hire: 


Position City Avg. car hire cost per day
1st Birmingham  £         9.82
2nd Belfast  £         9.91
3rd Glasgow  £       11.72
4th Cardiff  £       13.29
5th London  £       14.97
6th Londonderry  £       16.12

The study also took a closer look at domestic costs and the price of hiring a car within the UK.


Londonderry is the most expensive place in the UK to hire a car, beating out London by over 7%.


Hiring a car in the Northern Irish city will set Brits back £16.12 compared to £14.97 for the capital. This is clear contrast to England’s second biggest city, Birmingham, where the cost of hiring a car is just shy of a tenner at £9.82.

 Keeping the plans on track:


Position Station Avg car hire cost per day
1st London Bridge  £       29.81
2nd London Fields  £       27.49
3rd London Marylebone  £       25.97
4th London Waterloo  £       23.55
5th Glasgow Queen Street  £       20.22
6th London King’s Cross  £       19.68
7th Glasgow Prestwick Airport Railway  £       18.51
8th Cardiff Bay  £       17.65
9th Cardiff Queen Street  £       17.46
10th London St Pancras  £       17.19
11th London Euston  £       16.52
12th Birmingham Snow Hill  £       16.51
13th London Victoria  £       14.70
14th Birmingham Moor Street  £       14.11
15th Birmingham New Street  £       13.99
16th London Paddington  £       12.90
17th Cardiff Central  £       12.19
18th Birmingham International  £         9.34
19th Glasgow Central  £         9.31
20th Belfast Central  £         7.64

For Brits wanting to organise their car hire at a train station, London Bridge was found to be the most expensive option at just under £30, £10 more expensive than London’s King Cross (£19.86) and £12 more expensive than London St Pancras (£17.19).


The cheapest station analysed in in the capital was found to be London Paddington at £12.90 with only four other stations across the UK coming in a cheaper price (Cardiff Central, Birmingham Central, Glasgow Central and Belfast Central).


TravelSupermarket’s spokesperson, Emma Grimster commented, “Hiring a car either abroad, or in the UK can give you great flexibility to explore a new area, or reach new destinations.


“Wherever you plan to hire a car, it is always worth planning ahead and booking your vehicle in advance of your departure. Not only will you get a better price than on arrival in the vast majority of cases, you will also have peace of mind that your car type of choice is confirmed and available.” 


“The good news is that our data shows there are some great bargains to be had in the likes of Spain, Cyprus and even the UK if you plan it right.”


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