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Beware of car hire rip-offs

Italy has topped a list of countries where Brits are most likely to be stung with unexpected car rental costs.

The USA and Greece were the next worst for unpleasant surprises, according to new research by comparethemarket.com.

A further 16% of the 2,000 holidaymakers questioned ,who have hired a car abroad in the last five years, have parted with more money than planned due to additional car charges or road fines.

Penalties for not knowing the local laws of the road were the biggest budget buster, catching 22% of those fined out, followed by slight damage to the vehicle hired, including scratches often thought to be already on the vehicle (16%).

The third most common reason was the car being clamped or towed which had affected 16% of people who’d been fined.

Most people (64%) admit to only partly reading, or completely ignoring, the rental Ts and Cs. More than two in five (44%) confessed to signing the car hire agreement having only ‘briefly’ scanned the detail, with one in five (19%) ignoring them completely.

Three in five (64%) people believe the impact of the recent Brexit vote will raise costs of hiring a car abroad, with half (48%) also concerned it will raise associated car insurance costs abroad.

“Today’s research shows just how easy it can be to slip up and find yourself with an unwelcome cost whilst driving abroad,” said Simon McCulloch of comparethemarket.com.

“Resist the temptation to drive off without fully checking the car carefully first, as this can easily lead to unnecessary charges if damage such as small scratches are already present.”

To avoid holiday budgets mounting with unexpected costs, comparethemarket.com has launched the Great British Getaway hub designed to offer practical advice to ensure people are as best prepared as they can be, and to keep holidays as stress free and safe as possible.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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