The Cheapest and Most Expensive Countries to Rent a Car

25th November, 2021, in Global Hire Advice

Direct Car Hire Excess has conducted a study to find the cheapest and most expensive countries to rent a car. Our study looked at 15 countries to find the cheapest car hire cost with a pick-up and drop at a major international airport, collision damage waiver, and a full-to-full fuel policy. We found that the average cost to rent a 5-passenger car for a week in December was £145.11.

The Cheapest Countries to Rent a Car

The cheapest country to hire a car this winter was Croatia, which cost just £62.12 to rent a 5-seater car for a week. This works out at just £8.87 per day to hire a car, including collision damage waiver. Croatia was the standout cheapest country to rent a car, with Italy coming in second at nearly £10 more expensive at £70.61 for the week. Turkey was the third-cheapest, at £72.40 to hire a car for a week.

The rest of the top 8 cheapest countries was completed by European countries – which is no surprise, with fewer people taking holidays to Europe in the colder winter months and more people finding winter sun in warmer climates. Spain (4th) cost £73.19 to hire for the week, Greece (5th) cost £89.11, the UK (6th) cost £125.04, Ireland (7th) cost £146.15 and France (8th) cost £143.00.

The Most Expensive Countries to Rent a Car

The most expensive country to hire a car was the USA, with hiring a car for a week with a pick up at Orlando airport costing a huge £440.00. This works out at £62.85 per day, about the same cost for a full week’s hire in Croatia. The USA was followed by Australia as the second most expensive country, where hiring a car from Sydney airport would cost £294.58.

Two European countries renowned for their winter sports came in next as most expensive, with The Netherlands (13th) costing £282.67 and Switzerland (12th) costing £258.06. It could be that hire cars in these locations are more in demand at this time of year with people travelling to take part in skiing and other winter sports. The same could apply to Canada, which came in 10th overall, making it the 6th most expensive country to rent a car at £217.85.

Two countries in the Southern hemisphere make up the rest of the most expensive seven countries, with New Zealand (11th) costing £218.79 and South Africa (9th) costing £164.97.

Off-Airport Pick-Up vs On-Airport Pick-Up

We found that the location of your drop-off and pick-up could have a huge effect on the cost. In Greece, you can pick up a hire car at an off-airport location and spend just £33.73 for the week – that’s just £4.81 per day and nearly half the price of the cheapest on-airport location pick up in Croatia. In fact, the cheapest on-airport location pick-up in Greece was £89.11 for the week, nearly triple the cost of off-airport pick-up at the same location.

We also saw a difference at the other end of the scale. Whilst hiring a car with an on-airport pick up at Orlando airport, USA, cost £440.00 for the week, the same spec of car cost just £276.39 to hire and pick up off-airport in the same area – a difference of £163.61.

Full Ranking of the Cheapest and Most Expensive Countries to Hire a Car

Below is our ranking of the cheapest and most expensive places to hire a car for a week in December, with 1 being the cheapest and 15 being the most expensive. These prices include pick up on-airport, collision damage waiver, and a full-to-full fuel policy.

  1. Croatia (Dubrovnik airport) £62.12
  2. Italy (Rome airport) £70.61
  3. Turkey (Istanbul airport) £72.40
  4. Spain (Madrid airport) £73.19
  5. Greece (Athens airport) £89.11
  6. UK (Heathrow airport) £125.04
  7. Ireland (Dublin airport) £146.15
  8. France (Paris airport) £143.00
  9. South Africa (Johannesburg airport) £164.97
  10. Canada (Vancouver airport) £217.85
  11. New Zealand (Queenstown airport) £218.79
  12. Switzerland (Geneva airport) £258.06
  13. The Netherlands (Amsterdam airport) £282.67
  14. Australia (Sydney airport) £294.58
  15. USA (Orlando airport) £440.00


If you’re hiring a car abroad, protect yourself from costly excess fees with excess insurance. Direct Car Hire Excess provides both European car hire excess insurance cover and worldwide insurance car hire excess, policies whether you need cover for a single trip or for multiple. Get a quote for your trip or contact us to speak to our expert team

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