A recent investigation by the Sunday Mirror has revealed that renting a car during a holiday abroad can now cost more than an entire package deal. Due to the recession, over recent years rental companies have been cutting back fleets and putting up prices. Industry experts predict that prices will sky rocket again this summer because of the car shortages.

In Spain, rental charges have increased by almost 200 per cent compared to the cost two years ago. The current lack of cars has caused limited availability and prices have increased dramatically. The rate of car rental in Alicante in Spain, for example, has risen from £16.50 to £31 a day.

With summer fast approaching, the Sunday Mirror investigation compared rates of car rental for a medium-sized car suitable for families, with package deals online. At Costa Brava in Spain, it costs £300 to rent a car for seven days with Nationalcar, while bed and breakfast accommodation for a week with Bookable Holidays costs £278 per head. Car hire in Faliraki on the island of Rhodes is £360 for seven days, while Cooperative Travel offers a weeklong self-catering accommodation for £284 per person.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of carrentals.co.uk, said that car hire companies have been affected by the recession and are unable to increase their fleet of vehicles due to a lack of funding. He added that costs are expected to soar  during the summer because of the “limited supply of cars”.