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Travel Tip: Be Careful when renting a car with a high excess insurance

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In the morning on the way to work my husband told me his friend came back from his recent holiday. Everything was perfect and they had great fun; except one slight problem that cost them £1000. Unfortunately on a tight road he scratched the rental car and this cost him the full excess amount of £1000. Crazy!

I really feel bad because I wish he had asked me beforehand about extra protection from such occurrences. I rent quite often and many times when renting a car the excess of the insurance is not very clear. Car Rental companies usually offer the most basic insurance included like third party and then require a payment for any excess damagesuch as material scratches, accidents etc. Sometimes it can be £200 and others evenquote £1000, as was in this case.

I remember once when I was a student I wanted to rent a car for the weekend and the company wanted £500 for excess insurance. Needless to say I didn’t go with this option. I hate borrowing things as I would like to return them in the same condition and would hate breaking or ruining them.  This applies to anything I borrow including car rentals. So as you can imagine when I rent a car I make sure I am fully covered or I will be stressing out the whole duration.

As car hire companies only offer the basic insurance they then try to up-sell you for “full protection”. Basically another way of trying to get as much money out of your pocket as possible. These are called excess insurance protection and start from £10 a day for the duration of your rental and I have seen some going up to £15 a day. Which sometimes can be more than your daily rental charge.  In our friend’s case this would be a great option had he taken it, since it would have saved him at least £800 of the bill.

Many people get this option with the rental company as they do have piece of mind and also it is good in case you don’t have enough cash if anything happens. Usually the excess insurance with the rental company doesn’t require you to pay for the damage but they rather just take it up with their insurance. 

However there are many companies out in the market who specialise in selling excess car rental insurance and they are a lot cheaper than the rental companies. You can buy excess only for the duration of your rental or if you rent often you can buy a yearly protection for any rentals and this is usually the cheapest option, especially if you rent more than 3 times a year. You can always do the maths and see what works best for you.

I personally bought the yearly worldwide option for only £57 per year which I consider a bargain for having that extra piece of mind. I wish our friend had asked about this before he rented since this would have saved him from paying a very sour £1000 bill for a scratch. Though I hope this article helps someone else before they rent. 🙂 

It is definitely worth paying a little extra money rather than paying substantial amount later on in case something happens. 

You can use the comparison site Moneymaxim for the best quote or go directly to Questor insurance ( this is the one I used) or Direct Car Excess Insurance. The last two are also available for cashback via Topcashback which is how I bought my deal with up to 15% cashback.

Every little helps. 🙂

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