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The hidden cost that could add 75% to your car hire rental bill

12th March 2012 Print

Travellers arriving to pick up their hire cars may be surprised to find that excess insurance sold to them at the rental desk may add up to 75% again to their original car hire bill.

If excess waiver insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £1500 if the car gets damaged or stolen, even if it's not their fault. Even a small scratch on a windscreen can cost hundreds to fix.

Research undertaken by specialist excess insurance provider, has revealed that:

Buying excess insurance at the car rental desk can cost an extra 38% to 75% again on top of a customer's
original hire car cost

The five leading car hire companies surveyed charged an average of £17 a day for excess waiver car hire insurance, with the highest being an eye watering £23 a day with Europcar. An 82% saving can be made buying a £2.99 a day excess insurance policy covering Europe from a specialist company like

"Excess car hire insurance is sprung on people when they arrive at the car rental desk to pick up their car," said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of "Tired after their journey they are then held to ransom to take out excess insurance with the fear otherwise of being liable for huge penalties, when all they want to do is pick up the keys and start their holiday or business trip. Asking people to make a snap decision on a complex product is not a fair transaction."

Many rental companies do not make it clear, when people are booking their hire car, that they are not completely covered unless they purchase additional excess waiver insurance. This lack of transparency in the booking process is creating a situation where people are arriving at the rental desk wrongly believing that they have bought all the insurance they need.

An excess insurance policy starts from £2.99 a day or from £39.99 for an annual policy. It also includes cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies' policies.

"Our advice is simple, buy your excess insurance before you fly to save you time, bother and most of all money with a better product which gives you absolute peace of mind," said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of

Research: Excess Insurance cost for UK resident renting a VW Golf class car in Barcelona (Barcelona Airport) for a three day rental from 06.04.2012 - 09.04.2012. Costs compared for Avis,Budget,Europcar,Hertz. Average daily excess from the rental companies sampled was €21.20 or £17.58. This compares with excess insurance at £2.99 a day, which gives an 82% saving.