Car rental insurance warning for holidaymakers

7 June 2018

Holidaymakers renting cars this summer are being warned to avoid extortionate add-on insurance policies.

According to price comparison siteTravelSupermarket, travellers are often pressured into purchasing excess waiver policies by car rental companies that can add up to 80% of the initial cost of the rental.

Instead, it advises that consumers should look at purchasing separate car excess waiver policies before travelling as these policies are often more comprehensive and vastly more affordable than those offered by rental companies. These policies can cost as little as £23.92 for eight days, a saving of over £100 in some cases against a car rental company’s policy.

Emma Grimster, spokesperson atTravelSupermarket, explains: “Typically, you’ll get far better cover with the specialist providers as they cover extras such as tyres, windscreens and the car’s undercarriage. The more expensive policies offered by car-hire companies, despite being significantly more expensive, generally won’t cover these items.

“Car-hire excess waiver tends to be something most of us won’t think to book in advance and indeed something many choose not to take out at all. But if you value peace of mind or know you will struggle to pay the excess should you have an accident, ensure you shop around for the best deal before you leave home.

See the table below for a comparison of excess waiver costs at various destinations compared to buying a policy from a specialist provider:


CompanyLocationCar rental cost (Online booking)Excess waiver cost though car rental company (in addition to car rental cost)Excess = percentage of car hire priceBest price through specialist providerSaving if using specialist (£)
BudgetFaro (Algarve)£421.24£142.98 (excess still 96 euros, not zero)34%£23.92£119.06
HertzGran Canaria£152.45£123.8481%£23.92£99.92

Source: Travelsupermarket, June 2018

Ms Grimster adds: “For those who hire a car abroad regularly, an annual policy is likely to represent even better value for money, and only needs organising once a year. Cover starts from £39.99 per year for European cover – less than the cost of a day’s cover with some car hire firms. The money you save could go towards the fuel for your trip, or even upgrading to a larger and more spacious hire car.”

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