If you’re thinking about driving in Europe, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad.
A number of European countries are also restricting entry to foreign drivers. So make sure to check the latest travel advice on GOV.UK before you travel.
When collecting your hire car, you'll usually be offered different types of products which all come at an extra cost on top of the price of the actual car hire (like breakdown cover, personal injury cover etc).
It can all be a bit confusing and costly, and what a lot of people don't realise, is that often if the hire car is damaged in any way, you are typically liable to pay the excess. This is often between £500 and £2000, sometimes even higher, depending on the vehicle type and who you're hiring the car from.
Car hire excess cover is a policy which shares similarities with travel insurance, in that you either buy it as a single or annual policy (you may wish to consider an annual policy if you hire cars regularly or are hiring for more than 14 consecutive days).
The policy is designed to cover excesses of up to £10,000*.
- While car hire agreements typically offer some level of insurance for your rental, excess cover could give you better peace of mind.
- Car hire excess insurance will also cover you for some of the 'extras' charged by the rental company such as damage to tyres, underbody damage and damage to any auto-glass.
- We can help you find a great price on car hire excess insurance, so you know you're covered should the unthinkable happen.
Strictly speaking, you don’t need additional insurance when you rent a car. Any car you rent should come with third-party car insurance as standard. This might appear on the rental agreement as third-party liability cover.
Your rental agreement should also come with a damage waiver, effectively covering any damage to the car you’re using at the time.
The damage waiver does come with an excess, though. So if you’re in an accident, you’d have to pay an initial amount and the rental company would deal with the other costs.
The short answer is no, you don’t need to have it. The default scenario is that if you have an accident in a hire car, you pay the excess, which can be between £500-£2000. If, however, you’d rather not do that, then car hire excess insurance is worth considering.
With this kind of cover you can make sure a small amount of money upfront covers you in the case of damage to your hired car which could be considerably more.
If you have an accident in a hire car, the rental company should take care of the repairs. This isn’t insurance as you’d get for your car – rather, the company just doesn’t ask you to pay for the repairs yourself. This is called a damage waiver.
However, you’re usually asked to pay towards the cost of the repairs – an excess.
Car hire excess insurance covers this initial cost for you, potentially saving you up to £2000.