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Significant Drop (-22%) in Rental Car Prices Across Europe

After securing accommodation, many holidaymakers delay planning their transportation to and around their holiday destination. Earlier, we discussed ferry prices for the upcoming summer; now, it's time to examine the costs of renting cars at sought-after holiday spots. We've also dug up the difference in the cost of a beer across European countries.

In recent years, it has been prudent to check rental car rates before finalizing holiday plans, given the steep price hikes.

Fortunately, there's been a turnaround, as evidenced by the annual survey of rental car rates in popular European port cities. Compared to two years ago, rental car prices in Europe have dropped by an average of 22%.

This year's study also uncovered:

  • Throughout Europe, prices have decreased significantly by 22% compared to 2022, resulting in an average daily savings of €24. Nevertheless, a notable 49% increase remains compared to 2019, equating to €33 per day.
  • In 2022, the average cost of hiring a small car in the surveyed cities was €111, which has since dropped to €87 per day in 2024. In contrast, the figure was a mere €58 per day in 2019.
  • Despite previously witnessing steep price hikes, Ireland now boasts the fastest decline in rental costs. Small car rental prices in Ireland plummeted by an average of 60% compared to two years ago and a staggering 64% in Dublin precisely, translating to savings exceeding €100 per day. However, there remains an 18% increase compared to five years ago.
  • Spain experienced an average drop of nearly €40 per day, marking a 39% reduction from 2022. Similarly, France and the United Kingdom decreased 17% and 18% respectively.
  • Leaving your vehicle at home may be financially beneficial for those considering ferry travel. Bringing your car onboard can substantially inflate costs, mainly if your car usage is limited to a few days.
  • This summer, Norway emerged as the country with the highest small car rental rates, averaging €138 per day, representing a 22% increase. Conversely, although prices in Germany have risen compared to two years ago, they are now cheaper than they were five years ago.
  • There is a significant price discrepancy between Norway and Sweden, with Norway commanding €137 per day and Sweden €77 per day.
  • In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, prices declined 33.5% and 26.8%, respectively, resulting in daily rental rates of around €80.
  • In most other countries and locations surveyed, average daily prices for small car rentals range between €60 and €100 during peak season. Notably, Norway is the outlier; bringing your camper or car onboard the ferry might be the most economical option.
  • Opting for a multi-day rental can help mitigate overall costs.

Every year, we research the costs of rental cars in popular port cities and islands. For this study, we collaborate with EasyTerra[1]EasyTerra is a rental car compare platform to obtain current price data.

Below are tables and price data for a couple of popular vacation destinations. Towards the bottom, you'll find around 35 European destinations that have been mapped out.

Here's what you'll spend on a rental car in England, Scotland & Wales

Prices in England, Wales, and Scotland have also dropped significantly, around 18% over the past 2 years. In the summer of 2024, you're looking at around €94 per day in the UK. Below, you'll find the breakdown per city.

These are the prices in Belfast & Dublin

Two years ago, Belfast and Dublin ranked among the most costly cities for renting a small car. However, with an average decrease of 60%, hiring a car in Ireland and Northern Ireland has become much more affordable.

Price of a small rental car in peak season in Spain:

There has been a notable decline in Spain over the past 2 years. Two years ago, the average daily cost of renting a car was around €100. Now it stands at approximately €60 in cities such as Barcelona, Santander, Valencia, and Bilbao, marking an average decrease of about 39%.

Price of a small rental car in peak season in France:

In France, prices have decreased less drastically, but still, a rental car is almost €28 per day cheaper than in 2022. However, compared to 2019, there is still a noticeable increase of 49%.

Cost of a small rental car is highest in Norway:

Norway stands out in the study as an anomaly. It's the only location where prices continue to rise steadily. Nevertheless, the prices in Stavanger and Bergen, at €165 and €155 respectively, are particularly steep. It's likely advisable to bring your car to Norway rather than renting one on the spot.

The difference is quite striking, especially when comparing Norwegian prices to, for example, rental car prices in Sweden. In Stockholm, for instance, it costs around €85; in Gothenburg, it costs about €70, significantly less than in the neighbouring country.

Cost of a small rental car in the Netherlands

In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, prices also saw significant declines compared to two years ago. In both cities, we observed an average decrease of 30%.

The tables below show the prices of rental cars for the upcoming summer and the past five years. You can search by destination or country code.

All price data and information can also be found in this file.

1EasyTerra is a rental car compare platform

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JW van Tilburg
JW van Tilburg

Jan Willem, one of the co-founders at, harbors a profound passion for exploring the world through its rich tapestry of cultures and gastronomy.In his role at FerryGoGo, Jan Willem diligently immerses himself in the intricacies of topographical and geographical data for various cities and countries, unearthing fascinating tidbits along the way. This endeavor not only aligns seamlessly with his interests but also kindles his enthusiasm for contributing to the ongoing success of FerryGoGo.

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