Bits and BobsWith self-drive vacations gaining popularity among travellers, agents can take the wheel in recommending road trip destinations based on car rental prices.

The world's cheapest and costliest cities to rent a car

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One city in Asia ranks the highest for charging an average daily rental rate of US$115.
One city in Asia ranks the highest for charging an average daily rental rate of US$115. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Iam Anupong

Enter the new era of travel where self-drive tours are picking up speed.

Trends have shown that more travellers are thinking about road trips as these personalised vacations offer flexible, private and bespoke experiences that cater directly to each tourist’s unique preferences. However, car rental prices hugely differ from city to city.

Stephen Zeller, general manager of general insurance at Compare the Market acknowledges that travellers are more focused than ever on private or small group experiences that allay concerns over the risk of Covid-19 transmissions.

“One of the best ways to explore a city and its surrounding areas, whilst minimising the risk of infection, is by hiring a car. However, as our research shows, doing so can come at a large cost,” he said.

“Despite car hire often being an easier method of transport when on holiday, such high prices of up to US$115 a day can really eat into your holiday budget, meaning less money is available for you to spend on hotels, attractions, restaurant meals and souvenir shopping.”

Compare the Market conducted a study that analysed the average daily rental cost of a standard five-seater car in some of the world’s most visited destinations to determine which are the cheapest and most expensive to fuel road trips.

The astronomical cost of hiring a car in Singapore will come to no surprise to its residents, considering the country’s record of being the world’s most expensive place to buy and run a car. The daily car rental rate in Singapore is eight times more expensive than that in Madrid. Given the country’s efficient public transport infrastructure and it being a small island, travellers will be able to better explore Singapore without a car.

Most expensive cities to rent a car

  1. Singapore, US$115
  2. Fukuoka, Japan, US$105
  3. Honolulu, U.S., US$98
  4. Vienna, Austria, US$90
  5. Melbourne, Australia, US$90

Cheapest cities to rent a car

  1. Madrid, Spain, US$14
  2. Lima, Peru, US$25
  3. Cancún, Mexico, US$26
  4. Kraków, Poland, US$28
  5. Moscow, Russia, US$28

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