• What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

We explain everything you need to know about rental car excess insurance

If you’re renting a car, you’ll want to understand more when it comes to important factors such as excess insurance and how it works. 

In this article all about car hire excess insurance, here at Rent Direct, we explain if you have to pay insurance excess when renting a car, why you need car hire excess insurance, and the benefits to you as the hiring party. Read on to find out more… 

Car hire excess insurance explained

Designed to protect drivers of rental vehicles from unexpected costs, car hire excess insurance is a recommended extra. What’s important for you to know, is that excess insurance differs from the basic level of protection on a hire car.

The basic level of car insurance which comes as standard when renting a car, means that you as the driver won’t have to:

  • Pay the full cost of repairs if the vehicle was damaged in your care
  • Cover the entire cost of replacing the vehicle if it was stolen in your care

Regardless of whether it was your fault or not, if a vehicle is damaged or stolen during the hire period, you are liable. This is where excess insurance plays a part. Also referred to as ‘damage waiver’, you won’t be asked to cover the repairs should something happen to the car in your care - unlike the basic level of car hire insurance.    

Why do you need excess insurance when renting a car? 

As we’ve explained above, should anything happen to a vehicle whilst it is in your care, you will be expected to pay a contribution to any costs incurred. Whether it’s accidental or not, we’d never recommend you take a risk when hiring a car.

Car hire excess insurance does just that, it covers the bulk of the ‘excess’ costs should the worst happen. Think of car hire excess insurance in the same manner as you would with travel insurance. Although car hire excess insurance isn’t always a mandatory factor when renting a vehicle in the UK, our advice is always to err on the side of caution - just incase!   

How does car hire excess insurance work?

If you’ve ever owned a car, then you will have committed to paying an excess amount of money as part of your required car insurance cover. The more excess you agree to pay upfront, the less you pay out if you were to have an accident.

Car hire excess insurance works to cover just this. For example, if you had a collision in your rental car without having car hire excess insurance, you will pay the standard insurance excess - which is normally £1,000 for cars, or £1,200 for MPVs and vans. But, if you don’t want to risk paying out for unexpected costs on a hire vehicle, then car hire excess insurance will cover you. If you were to have an accident which caused damage to the vehicle, you pay a much lower amount, typically £100 on cars and £200 on MPVs and vans.      

Car hire excess insurance is as flexible as it needs to be. For example, if you wish to hire a vehicle for just one day, or for a prolonged period of time, excess insurance can be tailored to your needs. If you are planning on hiring a car for longer periods during the year, then an annual policy may be more financially beneficial to you. Speak to us about your options.  

What does car hire excess insurance cover?

Car hire excess insurance will cover you for most mechanical issues, whether or not any damage is incurred through any fault of your own. From car park scratches and dents, to more major accident damage, scuffed alloys, or a scraped undercarriage, these are all potential issues that can happen to a vehicle at any time - and you certainly don’t want the stress of being liable for them in full.  

Car hire excess insurance normally covers you for mechanical and aesthetic damage to a rental vehicle, even if it isn’t your fault.   

Vehicle hire for every occasion

As the number one choice for hiring a vehicle in East Anglia, we provide everything you need for stress-free car rental. To reduce the risk for our customers, all of the rental vehicles at Rent Direct are subject to an insurance excess on top of the basic vehicle rental insurance policy. 

Unlike a broker leasing cars from a third-party, we’re an independent company that owns all of our vehicles, which is why we want to make sure our fleet is well looked after. Car hire excess insurance is at the cost to you, the hirer, which is stated when you book a vehicle online from us. 

For more information about our vehicle hiring criteria, visit the Hiring Criteria page on our website so you can understand what’s expected of you when entering into a car rental agreement with us. We pride ourselves on offering competitively priced car hire, van hire, and MPV hire, from our six locations across the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Lincolnshire. 

Find a Rent Direct branch in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Spalding, and Huntingdon, where our experienced and friendly team will be able to assist with your vehicle hire needs. Alternatively, you can book your rental car or van online using the simple booking form found over on our Homepage.