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Car hire prices spike during summer holidays

Car hire prices rise by as much as 176 per cent during the school holidays in August, a consumer report has revealed.

Planning to hire a car during the school holidays? You might want to reconsider. Research by consumer watchdog Which Travel found car prices in Europe and the US increase by as much as 176 per cent between June and August.

The biggest price rise was found at Barcelona airport. The average hire price was £50 for a 50-year-old for a week in June. In August, it increased to £138. Malaga airport saw similar increases, rising from £49 in June to £123 ─ an increase of 152 per cent.

Faro airport in Portugal saw prices rise by 109 per cent for hiring a small car, starting at £64 in June rising to £134 in August. A large car went from £148 to £280, an increase of 89 per cent.

Our US cousins saw a price increase during the summer holidays, as well, but to a lesser extent. A week of car hire in New York, for instance, increased by 14 per cent for a small car and £31 for a large car, working out at £205 and £223, respectively.

Which Travel looked at car hire costs for small and large cars over a 12-month period in Italy, Portugal, Spain and the US. It used Skyscanner.com to obtain the prices.

The research stems from the notion that holidays during peak periods can actually cost more than an off-peak holiday and the fines for taking children out of school. Which Travel looked at 12 holidays leading up to the 2014 summer holidays and found 11 to be cheaper during term time, even after the £60 fine per child for absence. Holiday prices were found to increase by as much as 30 per cent.

If you’re planning a summer holiday this year, Which Travel found Tuesday was the cheapest day to fly. If you plan to hire a car during the school summer holiday, well, prepare to do some haggling.

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