Why is car hire so expensive?

Why Is Car Hire So Expensive?

Whether it’s for holidays, work, or any other reason, car hire is a great solution for short-term transportation needs, but it can also be eye-wateringly expensive!  Let's take a closer look at why car hire has traditionally been so expensive, and how platforms like Karshare are changing the game!

The Cost of Car Hire: Traditional Locations

Traditional car rental companies have long been known for their high prices, due to a number of factors. 

Aside from rental companies dealing with a lot of overhead, such as maintaining a large fleet and paying for prime locations at airports, recent years have seen economic factors drive up the price of renting through traditional companies. 

Due to the pandemic, many rental companies have sold off their fleets or reduced them to cut costs. As travel restrictions ease and demand for rental cars increases, there’s been a huge imbalance in supply and demand in the car rental industry.

The pandemic and its aftermath has also stirred disruptions in the global supply chain, including the shortage of computer chips used in car manufacture. This has led to a delay in the delivery of new cars to rental companies, further exacerbating the shortage.

Furthermore, when you hire a car from a traditional car leasing firm, you’re paying for much more than the base daily rate for the car. With additional costs for things like insurance, fuel, and GPS rental, all the fees wrapped up in a car hire service can quickly add up and make the total cost of getting around much more expensive.

If, for example, you were to rent a Fiat 500 for a week from Avis at Gatwick Airport, this would have a base price of £406.68, but with additional vehicle cover, GPS and internet, an additional driver, a child seat, and roadside assistance, the total price comes in at a whopping £859.06 - more than double the basic cost of the rental!

The Cost of Car Hire: Karshare

With Karshare, on the other hand, people looking for a temporary set of wheels can enjoy a much more affordable and transparent pricing model. 

As a peer-to-peer car sharing platform, our service is designed to connect car owners with renters in a way that’s mutually beneficial for both parties. The owner earns money from renting out their car when they're not using it, while the renter gets access to a car at a significantly lower cost than what they’d pay using traditional rental companies. 

Karshare charges a fee per hour or per day which is set by the car owner themselves. The total price includes insurance and breakdown cover and there are no hidden fees, so renters can be confident that what they see is what they pay. Karshare also offers long rental discounts for 3+ days, 7+ days, and 30+ days for car owners with Smart Pricing turned on.

Not only this, but Karshare offers flexible pick-up and drop-off options, with no need for kiosks. Renters can pick up and return cars at locations that suit them, including on Sundays. In comparison to the £859.06 example above, you can rent a Fiat 500 for a whole week on Karshare for £267 in Bristol, £267 in London or £273 in London with more options available.

How to Avoid Expensive Car Rental in the UK

If you're looking to hire a car in the UK, there are a few things you can do to avoid expensive car rental fees. 

Firstly, consider using a peer-to-peer car sharing platform like Karshare. By renting a car from an individual owner, you can often save money on additional fees and hire car overheads, while also enjoying a more straightforward and personalised rental experience. 

If you do opt for traditional car rental services, booking your rental well in advance is a good way to ensure you don’t wind up over-paying for transport. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to find a vehicle that suits your needs without unnecessary extras, or to take advantage of limited-time offers. Although with Karshare, all cars are available to instantly book so there's no need to request the car in advance and wait for a response.

With any car hire service, it’s also important to research the service thoroughly, and account for hidden fees so they don’t come as a nasty surprise later. Read the terms and conditions carefully before booking, and make sure you understand what you'll be paying for.

Discover Karshare

Traditional car rental companies have long been associated with high costs and hidden fees, but peer-to-peer rental platforms like Karshare are working to democratise car hire and facilitate a smoother rental experience for all.

If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to rent a car, you can browse nearby cars here.

Interested in adding your vehicle to the platform and renting it out to others? Get started here.