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UK Consumers Waste £800 Million on Hire Car Excess Insurance

UK consumers may be wasting over £800 million a year by buying hire car excess insurance from rental firms rather than arranging their own cover in advance.

Hire Car Excess Insurance

According to a report in The Guardian on the 12th June 2010, UK holidaymakers and regular car rental users may be over-spending unnecessarily on hire car excess insurance. Industry research by shows that this could be wasting around £800 million a year. Many may find it much cheaper to take out car rental excess insurance in advance rather than buying cover when they pick up their hire cars. Read also: Renting Cars for Business or Pleasure.

What is Hire Car Excess Insurance?

Although a car rental firm may give insurance cover as part of their package this generally comes with excess costs that individuals have to pay for a claim before the policy will take over. Hire car excess insurance is designed to cover these costs and can be purchased in advance or from the rental desk of the car hire firm. According to this report UK consumers currently spend at least £1 billion a year on European excess cover when they rent cars.

Many consumers will take out this kind of policy because car rental excesses are typically a lot higher than those given to regular car insurance policies. According to the Chief Executive of, Ernesto Suarez: "most rental companies have an excess of between £500 and £1,500." Excess insurance may reduce/remove this liability so that consumers do not have to pay for any part of a claim.

Why is is Better to Buy Hire Car Excess Insurance in Advance?

Taking out hire car excess insurance may be made easy by rental firms – many will offer the option of buying cover when a car is picked up. But, the costs of buying a policy at source may be a lot higher than they need to be. Taking out cover in advance from a company that specialises in car hire excess products may work out a lot cheaper and, in some cases, may be more effective.

According to's research the average cost of buying excess hire car insurance from a car rental firm is £9.99 a day. Specialist insurers that sell these policies in advance may work on an annual as well as/instead of a daily charge basis, but there may still be significant savings to be made. Prices quoted start from £2.99 per day. Read also: Car Rental Insurance Coverage.

Consumers May Get More From Buying Their Own Hire Car Excess Insurance

Those that take out their own hire car excess policies may find that they are also given more comprehensive protection generally. Independent suppliers of these products, for example, will often cover a general vehicle insurance loophole that many rental firms avoid.

It is, for example, quite common for car rental firms not to cover damage to the tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage of the vehicles in their general insurance policies. Specialist hire car excess providers, picking up on the need for protection here, often also offer cover for this kind of damage which may be an added incentive for some.

Those interested in these policies may find it useful to learn more about how hire car excess insurance works and what to look out for. This kind of insurance, whilst a relatively small part of the market, is becoming increasingly popular and consumers can now also take out excess reimbursement policies for regular car, home, health and pet insurance.


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