Savvy Saver Magazine
Savvy Saver Magazine

Guide to car hire excess insurance

Guide to car hire excess insurance
By Chris Perrett September 10, 2013
With millions of holidaymakers taking the opportunity each year to hire a car to explore more of the country being visited, there’s never been more choice in the market. This had led to an increase in the vehicle types available, as well as a reduction in the cost of rentals as competition has increased fiercely. However, optional extras can soon add up and one of these is car hire excess insurance, which is an option you should never go without. We’ve put together a simple guide to make sure you get the best deal so that you can keep the total cost of the rental as low as possible.

What exactly is car hire excess insurance?

When you rent a vehicle either in the UK or abroad, you’ll often automatically have 3rd party liability insurance and Collision Damage Waiver included within the quote. This covers you against hitting either another car, property or a person and is mandatory. However, it doesn’t cover the vehicle you’ve covered and if an accident happens, you may be liability to pay an excess of anything up to £2,000 (or the equivalent in the local currency). This can be a huge expense and in many cases is greater than the cost of your holiday. 
To reduce the risk of having to pay this huge amount, you can take out car hire excess insurance that reduces the excess amount you have to pay if you damage your rental car in a collision. It’s a sensible option and certainly one we’d recommend taking, but there are some ways to reduce the amount of this type of cover.

How to reduce the cost of car hire excess insurance

Car rental companies make their money from optional extras, in a similar way to electronics retailers making their money from extended guarantees and warranties or tech protection policies. It’s in their interests for you to take it out and this option is often left out when you get a quote online or book prior to your arrival. The reason for this is because you are then met with this option when you reach the rental desk, at which point there aren’t other options to take out a policy from another provider – essentially you’re stuck.
By planning ahead, you can save huge amounts on car hire excess insurance and won’t be met with a nasty surprise when you pick up the car. The charge can often be around £20 per day so can add around 50% on top of the rental cost. There are now third party providers who will cover your excess, but without such a hefty price tag per day.

Companies that offer car hire excess insurance worldwide 

There’s a huge amount of companies that now provide the service, both on a daily and an annual basis. If you’re planning to hire a car for more than a couple of weeks in a year, the annual policy will more than often work out to be cheaper. We’ve listed some of the larger providers below, based on one driver on the policy.
Daily excess cover from £3.99
Annual worldwide excess cover from £49.99
Worldwide Insure
Daily excess cover from £2.90
Annual worldwide excess cover from £55
Daily excess cover from £3.99
Annual worldwide excess cover from £59.99

Quick checklist before taking out an excess insurance policy

You’ll notice from the prices above that they do differ between the different providers and often there are very good reasons for this, based on what’s included. Below are some vital aspects you should compare before selecting the car hire excess insurance provider you use:
  • Total rental days covered under an annual policy (it won’t be 365)
  • Amount of reimbursement covered, as this can range from £3,000 to £50,000
  • Number of named drivers covered, especially if you’re travelling as part of a large group
  • Whether loss of keys is included within the policy
  • Any applicable towing charges covered if your rental car can’t be moved after an accident

About the author - Chris Perrett

Chris is the Editor of the Savvy Saver Magazine here at With a keen eye for bargains, Chris helps to hunt down the biggest savings at stores across the UK and to bring you tips and advice on how to save money in your day-to-day life.


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