Dubai: Global flight, car hire and hotel price comparison site, Skyscanner has today released new research on car hire travel trends from the GCC region. The study reveals that 79% of UAE travellers are likely to hire a car during their next holiday.* The freedom to travel on your own terms combined with an increasing desire to explore off the beaten path destinations as 98% of UAE travellers are open to travelling to alternative or lesser-known destinations, where public transportation might be limited, has put road trips firmly back in the spotlight for 2023/2024 travel.**With 84% of road trippers citing sustainability as an important factor when hiring a car, the interest in hybrid and electric cars is high. Almost half (41%) of UAE travellers surveyed have hired an electric or hybrid car during a recent holiday, whilst another 50% would consider it.Ayoub El Mamoun, Skyscanner Travel Expert said: “Our latest research shows that despite price being a key consideration for UAE travellers when hiring a car, only a third compare prices from different providers where significant savings can be made. Skyscanner is here to help, searching billions of prices every day from over 1200 providers in one place so that travellers can easily find and compare the best flight, car hire and hotel options to suit their travel needs and budget.“As well as saving on fuel, choosing an electric vehicle (EV) means you’ll also be exempt from low-emission zone charges in some cities, and enjoy free parking, provided they’re plugged in to a charging point. So whether you’re looking to reduce your traveller footprint or just looking for ways to save on your car hire, it’s easy to find cheap EV rentals with Skyscanner. Simply select, and tick Electric & Hybrid options under the ‘Low- Emissions Vehicle’ filter on the Skyscanner car hire search homepage.Skyscanner’s research also revealed the top destinations for road trips with the Middle East (42%), Europe (21%) and Asia (12%) topping the list for preferred road trip holidays amongst UAE travellers. Skyscanner shares three top destinations for road trips:Historical JordanTake a journey through the stunning landscapes of Jordan. Start your road trip in Amman, Jordan’s capital and discover the ancient citadel, an archaeological site dating back to the Neolithic Age. Explore Amman’s historic Roman Theatre and other highlights including Rainbow Street, before leaving the city on the Desert Highway towards Petra. Enjoy time exploring and hiking in Petra before setting off to Wadi Rum for a few days of camping. Next, experience the Dead Sea’s stunning spa resorts for rest and relaxation before heading back to Amman.A week’s rental for a hybrid vehicle in Jordan costs from AED 919 between 1-8 September 2023.La Dolce Vita – the Italian LakesEnjoy La Dolce Vita during a week-long road trip to Milan and Lake Como. Although just a short distance from Milan, Lake Como is designed to be explored at leisure with its twisting lakeside lanes and charming towns set against a backdrop of soaring mountains. Depart Milan and go towards Tremezzina, stopping to admire the beautiful architecture and to enjoy an espresso and a sweet snack or two at a pasticceria enroute. Set off towards Varenna or Lenna, home to the beautiful Villa del Balbianello, where scenes from Casino Royale were filmed, before heading towards Como’s Bellagio for a few days of indulgence.A week’s electric car rental from Milan Airport costs from AED 574 between 1-8 September 2023.Switzerland’s lakeside landscapesEmbark on a captivating road trip from Zurich to Lugano, via Lucerne taking in the majestic beauty of Switzerland’s sweeping landscapes. Starting in Zurich, the journey takes in serene countryside, rolling hills and pristine lakes enroute to Lucerne, which offers a fairytale-like charm, with the Swiss Alps looming in the distance. Spend the evening in stunning Vitznau and rise early for a gentle hike along the lake, or board the historic Vitznau-Rigi railway, a cogwheel train that offers breathtaking views of the mountains below. Rise recharged, ready for a scenic drive from Lucerne to Lugano which traverses the breathtaking Gotthard Pass, where passengers will be treated to awe-inspiring panoramas. Upon arrival in Lugano, stretch your legs and head to the lake and the surrounding parks to enjoy seasonal concerts and festivals.A week’s electric vehicle costs from AED 1,290 from Zurich Airport from 1 – 8 September 2023.Inspired to book? Skyscanner’s Ayoub shares more top hacks finding affordable car hire deals:Look at multiple locations to find the most affordable car hire“Most car hire companies have multiple locations in a destination, and prices can vary wildly between them. You’re more likely to find cheap car hire if you use a broader search – for example, if you choose ‘Muscat from the dropdown instead of ‘Muscat International Airport’. Picking up your car in the city could work out cheaper as you don’t have to worry about airport fees. However, you might find cheaper deals at airports as there are usually more rental companies based there so prices need to be competitive. At the airport, it’s usually cheaper to choose a car rental company based off-site, with a free shuttle to and from the pick-up/drop-off point. When you search for car hire with Skyscanner, look for the ‘pick-up’ filter (when available). This is where you can find options like ‘meet and greet’ or ‘free shuttle’. Just bear in mind that some destinations don’t have this option.”Reserve your car early“Unlike hotels, there are no last-minute deals when it comes to car hire. In fact, waiting until the last minute can often cost more. If you book 24-48 hours before pick-up, it can cost you up to 30% extra.Waiting also gives you less choice. You’ll be stuck with whatever cars they’re left with. So, if all the cheaper cars have already been snapped up, you might have to shell out for an expensive luxury car when all you wanted was a cheap and cheerful three-door Mini. So, for affordable car hire, it pays to book as far in advance as possible to get the best prices and selection”.Ask for an upgradeAsk for an upgrade to a more luxurious vehicle, for no extra cost. A warm smile, friendly demeanour and positive attitude goes a long way to helping secure a higher-grade car.If you’re offered an upgrade for a price, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Look into how much the higher graded vehicle would have cost if you’d booked it directly before you start to negotiate. That way you know if you’re being offered a good deal on car hire, or just being upsold.Some car hire companies reward regular customers and many global rental companies are part of a loyalty network. Check if your preferred airline or banking or credit card provider offers special rates with car hire companies.Discover more ways to save on your next road trip here.??????