The most and least expensive countries for car rental

Confused.com conducted new research on the cost of renting a car in 58 countries around the world. The study reveals the average cost of hiring a vehicle in each of the countries studied, as well as the average cost of a tank of fuel, to reveal the countries where hiring a car for your next road trip is most and least expensive.

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The most expensive country to rent a car in is Iceland

Iceland is the most expensive country for a road trip, with car rental averaging 1,259 euros per week to rent a car and fill it with gas. Iceland was followed by popular travel destination New Zealand, where renting a car costs just over 1,000 euros per week (1,146.10 euros). Argentina, Jamaica, and Israel round out the top five most expensive locations, with weekly rental and fuel costs ranging from 694.68 euros to 974.24 euros.

car driver
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Along with Iceland, several other European countries made the top ten list of the most expensive places to rent a car, including Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland, where weekly rental costs average more than 590 euros. In fact, European countries dominated the overall top 20 most expensive countries to rent a car in, with ten European destinations ranking in the top ten.

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The United States of America came in 16th place, with a weekly car rental costing 550.66 euros – less than half the cost of renting a car in New Zealand or Iceland. Popular European holiday-maker destinations Malta, Greece, and Italy trail the US, costing between 509.51 euros and 538.56 euros to borrow a vehicle and see the sights from the comfort of your car.


RankCountryCapital cityAverage total cost of renting a car (EUR)
1IcelandReykjavik€1,259.86
2New ZealandWellington€1,146.10
3ArgentinaBuenos Aires€974.24
4JamaicaKingston€766.08
5IsraelJerusalem€694.68
6JapanTokyo€680.15
7SwitzerlandBern€616.01
8MoroccoRabat€611.17
9AustriaVienna€605.12
10IrelandDublin€597.86
11FinlandHelsinki€596.65
12SingaporeSingapore€589.39
13ChileSantiago€567.60
14CroatiaZagreb€565.18
15FijiSuva€556.71
16United States of AmericaWashington€550.66
17MaltaValletta€538.56
18GreeceAthens€531.29
19SlovakiaBratislava€528.87
20ItalyRome€509.51
traffic jam in gthailand
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Thailand is the cheapest country in which to rent a car.

The cost of renting a car in Thailand, the cheapest country, is only 11% of the cost of renting a car in Iceland, the most expensive destination. With a weekly rental and fuel costing only 150.07 euros on average, those looking for an adventure on wheels could travel around the tropical southeast Asian country for more than eight weeks and still spend less than if they drove a vehicle in Iceland for one week.


Azerbaijan is close behind, with an average cost of 190.01 euros, and Lebanon is third, with a cost of 222.68 euros for the week. The UK ranked in the middle of all the countries studied in the research, with car rental in the country costing 409.06 euros overall, just missing out on making the top 25 most affordable countries to rent a car in.

RankCountryCapital cityAverage total cost of renting a car (EUR)
1ThailandBangkok€150.07
2AzerbaijanBaku€190.01
3LebanonBeirut€222.68
4JordanAmman€229.95
5MalaysiaKuala Lumpur€239.63
6BelgiumBrussels€243.26
7BrazilBrasilia€243.26
8MexicoMexico City€260.20
9DenmarkCopenhagen€265.04
10TurkeyAnkara€267.46
11RomaniaBucharest€267.46
12France Paris€269.88
13CyprusNicosia€273.51
14OmanMuscat€274.72
15HungaryBudapest€289.25
16EstoniaTallinn€304.98
17BulgariaSofia€313.45
18GermanyBerlin€314.66
19SpainMadrid€327.97
20Czech RepublicPrague€330.40
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Driving around your holiday destination of choice can be a great way to see a city on your own terms. With the right playlist, a good snack selection and a nice car to drive in, a road trip really can be the best way to travel!  However, if you’re planning to hire a car abroad it’s important to do your research beforehand and be prepared. Drivers from the UK will need a full driving licence, their driving licence code, proof of address (such as a bank statement) and photo ID to rent a car in Europe. If renting a car further afield, then you may need documents such as an International Driving Permit. And of course, you’ll need car insurance wherever you’re looking to rent a vehicle.  When collecting your rental car, you may be offered a range of optional extras, including breakdown cover, music-system cover and more. Some of these can be useful, some less so. To avoid getting pressured into signing on the dotted line at a tourist desk, make sure you know what you’re covered for, what extras are available and which of them you want before travelling.”

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com

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