A car rental report reveals that most UK motorists risk massive charges for holiday crashes and car theft in Europe, including the UK, and around the world. This is because they have not taken out Car Hire Excess Insurance. If they have an accident in a hire car or the car is stolen, they could be required to pay a £1,000 or more.
If you pay only the basic car hire rental charge, then you can be liable to large excesses if something goes wrong, yet about 60% of UK motorists do not take out any excess waiver insurance and 80% failed to get cover for tyres, undercarriage and window damage.
Excess charges can be anything from a few hundred pounds to several thousands.
It is also very difficult to dispute how much you should pay as an excess charge when the hire company has your credit card details and you are probably rushing off to catch a flight!
So what is the answer?
Well, we have reviewed the situation in several European countries and these are the results. You can take out excess waivers locally when you pick up the hire car, but this could add hundreds of pounds to your hire costs. In Spain, Italy and Ireland the excess waiver charges can come to more than the cost of hiring the car. For example, on the Costa del Sol, full waiver can add an extra £150 to a week’s basic car rental package of £120.
To avoid the problems mentioned above with excess charges and expensive waivers, we recommend you buy Car Hire Excess Insurance from CarHireExcess.com. This costs about £2.50 a day in Europe, or about £42 for a year, and includes cover for tyres, undercarriage and windows. Worldwide cover can also be purchased for about £4 a day, or £53 for a year.
This recommendation for CarHireExcess.com is based upon our own experiences with the company and those of friends and family. A close friend had an hire car accident in Tasmania last year and had to pay thousands of pound in excesses. All was repaid speedily by this company. Another example of good service was for a close family member who had a hire car vandalised in Spain. For details see: Car Hire Excess Insurance – A Claim from Spain.
Seniors will be pleased to note that this excess insurance company make no extra charge for anyone up to 84 years old.
Getting yourself fully covered when hiring cars in Europe may cost a bit more, but that is a small price to pay for peace of mind when driving in what might be an unfamiliar country, and it may save you thousands!
See also our Road Travel Tips which cover aspects such as Fuel Prices, Motorway Tolls and Sat Navs in Europe, as well as care hire tips.
UPDATED 29th AUGUST 2023 by STEVE HANSON.