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UK families face paying up to £160 MORE to drive on the continent

Tourists face sky-high car rental costs abroad this summer: UK families face paying up to £160 MORE to drive on the continent as firms struggle to meet sudden demand in wake of pandemic

  • Tourists face paying £160 more to drive on continent as firms can’t meet demand
  • Hire rates abroad more than double pre-Covid as many companies sold off cars
  • Consumer group Which? says £99 pre pandemic week’s rental increased to £223
  • News comes as half-term starts tomorrow with many families travelling abroad

UK families face paying up to £160 more to drive on the continent as firms struggle to meet the sudden demand of holidaymakers in the wake of the Covid pandemic.  

Tourists are expected to pay ‘around 125 per cent more’ this summer to sit behind the wheel after several car hire companies sold off vehicles during the pandemic.

Many firms have been unable to replace fleets due to stock issues, which has led to a huge increase in costs.

UK families face paying up to £160 more to drive on the continent as firms struggle to meet the sudden demand in the wake of the Covid pandemic (file image)

Holiday Extras, an award-winning firm that sells car hire packages to tourists, warned families that companies were already up by 90 per cent in Mallorca in 2021. Pictured: Sandy beach with tourists in Playa de Muro, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

A week’s car rental which previously cost £99 pre-Covid has dramatically increased to £223, according to research collected by consumer group Which? for the Sunday Mirror.

The data showed that the ‘highest weekly rate was £968 for a VW Polo in Iceland compared to £300 before the pandemic’. 

Last August an Opel Vauxhall Corsa had ‘risen by nearly £700 in Zadar, Croatia for 10 days’ – compared to under £250 back in 2019. 

Holiday Extras, an award-winning firm that sells car hire packages to tourists, warned families that hire companies were already up by 90 per cent in Mallorca in 2021. 

Families who have made bookings over the Easter and summer months will pay ’50 per cent more for car hire than they would have done pre-pandemic’ – and will hit those who have booked breaks abroad over the half term which starts tomorrow. 

This news comes as it was revealed last week that Barcelona, Beniform and Madrid securing three out of the top ten most booked locations for this summer so far, according to Booking.com. Pictured: London’s Heathrow Airport earlier this week

Holiday bookings soar by 24 per cent in a week – as hotel only reservations rise by nearly a third

Holiday bookings have increased by 24 per cent in a week, show new figures.

A rise of nearly a third in hotel only reservations, compared to the same time last week, was also reported by lastminute.com.

A spokeswoman for the travel site told MailOnline: ‘Holiday package sales vs this time last week for lastminute.com are up 24 per cent, and “hotel only” bookings vs this time last week are up 30 per cent.’

The holiday provider also revealed that February half-term is currently the most booked departure week in recent months.

Top destinations in terms of bookings are the Canary Islands (Tenerife and Lanzarote), Dublin, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris.

Zest Car Rental said that average costs had increased to £273 per week in the Mediterranean, compared to £163 per week at Easter 2019 – with peak August prices rising by at least £253. 

This news comes as it was revealed last week that Barcelona, Benidorm and Madrid securing three out of the top ten most booked locations for this summer so far, according to Booking.com.  

Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, said from Monday that children aged 12-17 arriving from the UK will only be required to show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the past 72 hours of arrival.

UK adults will continue to need to be fully vaccinated to enter Spain.

The country’s minister for trade, industry and tourism, Reyes Maroto, said: ‘We are committed to making travel to Spain a safe and easy experience for our visitors, especially for families travelling with children.’

Commenting on the move, a spokeswoman for TUI told MailOnline: ‘Today’s news about the relaxing of rules for children entering Spain is another positive step towards the full resumption of travel.

‘Spain has always been one of the most sought after family hotspots, so we hope that these changes, along with the relaxation of testing coming back into the UK, more families will now feel reassured of a holiday in their favourite destination this summer.’

Stansted Airport told Abta it is expecting about 200,000 passengers to depart between Friday and February 18.

Other airports to provide figures for the half-term getaway include Gatwick (186,000 passengers), Manchester (160,000 passengers), Luton (55,000 passengers), Bristol (55,000 passengers) and East Midlands (17,000 passengers).

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