Your guide to buying car hire excess insurance

When you hire a car, you usually get insurance as part of the rental price, but many car hire insurance policies impose an insurance excess of several hundred pounds.

The excess is the part of any insurance claim you must pay yourself, so if you cause any damage to your hire car or have an accident, you could potentially face some eye-watering bills.

However, it is possible to buy car hire excess insurance for a small additional premium to cover this cost. Here’s your guide to how car hire excess insurance works.

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 several hundred pounds but it can be as much as £1,000 or more.
  • It doesn’t generally cover damage to the whole car; the roof, tyres, window and undercarriage of the car are usually excluded.

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. Some people 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 usually be considerably 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.

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 hire car in the UK and Europe is £1.99, while an annual policy for the UK and Europe is £37.99. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Trustpilot: 9.2 out of 10

Links with an * by them are affiliate links which help Rest Less stay free to use as they can result in a payment or benefit to us. You can read more on how we make money here.

Leave a Reply

Get the latest ideas, advice and inspiration​

No spam. Just useful and interesting stuff, straight to your inbox. Covering finance, learning, jobs, volunteering, lifestyle and more.

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.

Join Rest Less for free

Rest Less is the UK’s fastest growing site for the over 50s, focusing on finance, learning, careers, volunteering, lifestyle and more. 

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get the latest volunteering, careers, learning, financial planning and lifestyle resources sent straight to your inbox.

By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get the latest jobs, learning, volunteering, financial planning and lifestyle resources sent straight to your inbox.

By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.