Travel costs

As if the perpetual rain isn’t enough, Post Office research published last month has given UK holidaymakers another reason to consider travelling abroad last minute this summer. Alongside the growing strength of sterling against the euro, the report found that the cost of car rental, holiday resorts and fuel on the continent is making a trip overseas just that bit more tempting.

Post Office examined car hire costs in 20 countries with the USA showing some of the highest prices – especially for unleaded vehicles. By comparison, Portugal has seen a 21 percent year-on-year drop and now boasts the best value for hire cars, with Greece and Sweden close behind.

This means that at around £101, Portugal’s overall average unleaded motoring cost is just 38 percent of the amount in France – which averages £264.10. The cheapest place for unleaded petrol is Switzerland at just 91p per litre. Yet, Austria and Spain are better value overall due to the cheap price of diesel in each. In Austria the average price of diesel is just 83p per litre – and Spain isn’t far behind.

By comparison, the UK proved to be the only country where diesel costs more than petrol, even though fuel has dropped by 19 percent over the last year.

If this is seen as a positive point for ‘staycationers’, Sarah Munro, holiday and travel insurance specialist at Post Office reminds holidaymakers of other abroad bonuses. “This year’s report shows more evidence of price cutting activity to boost tourism in popular European summer holiday resorts. The huge drop in car hire costs in both Portugal and Greece is great news for UK tourists and is another factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing a holiday this year.”

However, Munro also offered some advice for holidaymakers considering driving abroad, she said: “While motoring tourists can make great savings by choosing destinations with lower fuel or car hire prices, they should remember to buy currency in advance of their trip. By no means all petrol stations accept credit card payment and so it is wise to carry foreign currency purchased in the UK where the exchange rates are likely to be lower than at an ATM overseas.”

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