Your guide to buying car hire excess insurance

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When you hire a car, you get insurance as part of the rental price. But many car hire insurance policies impose an insurance excess of several hundred pounds. You can buy car hire excess insurance to cover this cost. Here’s your guide to car hire excess insurance.

What your car hire insurance covers

The insurance you get when you hire a car will normally cover you in a similar way to a comprehensive car insurance policy would do in the UK. However, there are some differences:

  • It normally has a large excess; typically of several hundred pounds but it can be as much as £1,000 or more.
  • It doesn’t generally cover damage to the roof, tyres, window and undercarriage of the car.

Don’t even think about hiring a car without taking care of the excess on the insurance policy unless you’re happy to pay a hefty bill should the worst happen. I’ve spoken to people who have been charged several hundred pounds because they hadn’t taken out excess liability insurance and their car’s had a minor scratch. Be warned!

Buying car hire excess insurance

Shop around for car hire excess insurance in advance so you don’t have to sign up to the policy you’re offered by the car rental company. You don’t have to buy it from the company you’re hiring the car from. In fact, it will be cheaper if you buy it from a specialist car hire excess insurance company.

You can generally buy car hire excess insurance as an annual policy or to cover a single trip. If you want it for a single trip, it’s priced on a ‘per day’ basis.

SAVVY TIP: You will generally pay more if you want to drive in certain countries, although the price difference varies from provider to provider.

We have looked at seven companies that sell standalone car hire excess insurance. All sellers of this insurance have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. We have looked at companies that are highly rated on the review site Trustpilot. We’re ranking them in alphabetical order:

Bettersafe.com sells both daily and annual car hire excess insurance policies. Its daily rate for driving a hired car in the UK and Europe is £1.99, while an annual policy for the UK and Europe is £37.99.

SAVVY TIP: you can insure up to seven additional drivers as long as they are between 21 and 85 years of age and are listed as drivers on your car hire rental agreement.

Trustpilot: 7.4 out of 10

Carhireexcess.co.uk sells both daily and annual car hire excess insurance. Its daily rate for Europe starts at £2.39, while an annual policy for Europe starts at £39.99.

SAVVY TIP: you can insure up to five additional drivers as long as they are between 21 and 84 years old and are listed on the rental agreement.

Trustpilot: 9.2 out of 10

Coverforyou.com sells both daily and annual excess liability insurance policies. Its daily rate for Europe starts at £2, while an annual policy for Europe starts from £39.99.

SAVVY TIP: the policy covers drivers aged between 21 and 74. You can insure up to two cars if you have an annual policy.

Trustpilot: 9.1 out of 10

Direct-carexcess.co.uk sells both daily and annual car hire excess insurance. Its daily rate for Europe is £2.90, while an annual policy for Europe starts at £39.98.

SAVVY TIP: the policy covers drivers aged between 21 and 85. All named drivers on the car rental agreement will be covered.

Trustpilot: 9.3 out of 10

Icarhireinsurance.com sells both single trip and annual car hire excess insurance. Its daily rate for Europe starts at £2.99, while an annual policy for Europe starts at £39.99.

SAVVY TIP: the policy covers drivers aged between 21 and 85 years old and up to nine additional named drivers on the car rental agreement. If you’re a member of a car club like Zipcar or Enterprise, you can also buy their Car Club Excess for £49.99 a year.

Trustpilot: 9 out of 10

Insurance4carhire.com sells annual car hire excess insurance policies. Its UK and Europe policy starts at £42.99.

SAVVY TIP: its UK and Europe annual policy covers drivers aged between 21 and 85 years old and up to seven additional drivers named on the car rental agreement.

Trustpilot: 7.4 out of 10

Questor-insurance.co.uk sells both single trip and annual car hire excess insurance policies. Its daily excess liability rate for Europe starts at £3.49, while annual policies for Europe start at £40.

SAVVY TIP: the policy covers drivers between 21 and 84 and all other named drivers on the car rental agreement.

Trustpilot: 9.2 out of 10

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