Holidaymakers get nasty surprise with the insurance excess on their car hire

Essential Travel, the online company who specialise in travel insurance, recently held a poll and discovered that 35% of those who responded complained after being hit with high charges for Excess Car Hire Insurance in the car hire office.

If you leave the purchase of this until the time you pick up the car you can easily be charged £10-£15 a day, or even more, for your Excess Car Hire Insurance. This has been known to actually double the cost of the car hire. If you buy it in advance, however, from Essential Travel the cost starts at only £1.94 per day.

With another 30% of our survey respondents citing ‘having to pay for damage to a hire car you know you didn’t do but couldn’t prove’  as their biggest complaint, car hire excess insurance really makes sense.

Essential Travel’s insurance expert Nina Montgomery comments It’s important to realise that when you sign the car hire paperwork you’ve agreed to be accountable and liable for the majority of things that could go wrong with your rental vehicle. Your car hire insurance will cover you for this, but what it will not cover you for is the excess if you have to claim, and this can be as much as £1000. “

Car Hire Excess insurance will not only cover you for this excess fee, but also a number of extras which your car hire insurance policy may well not include. These are:

Car windscreen

Any of your car tyres

The under body of your car

Third Party Liability

Nina  Montgomery says: “Your ordinary car rental insurance will often not cover you for these things and being careful isn’t enough. As the saying goes, it is the other drivers you also need to worry about! But not only that: many roads abroad are poorly paved, with rocks that can easily damage the car’s undercarriage, or hit the windscreen. Also, driving on the wrong side of the road and in unknown areas can leave you vulnerable and more at risk of having an accident.“

Having car hire excess insurance will also stop car hire offices taking or reserving this amount on your credit card to cover any possible accidents, freeing up your credit or debit card limit for the things you really need it for.

Essential Travel’s car hire excess insurance covers starts from £13.58 a week, whilst an annual policy is available from £39 – great if you’ll be hiring a car on more than one occasion. An annual policy will cover you for up to 31 continuous days, whilst you can cover yourself for up to 180 days on a Daily Car Hire Excess Insurance policy.

You can find out more and get a quote at