Beware car rental firms’ excess insurance

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IT MAY seem like a good deal at first glance, but excess insurance sold to consumers at the car rental desk can add up to another 75 per cent on top of the price of a hire vehicle.

And drivers with only basic insurance who do not read the small print could be in for a shock at the end of their holiday – when even minor repairs end up costing hundreds of pounds.

If excess waiver insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer, they could be liable for up to £1,500 if the car gets damaged or stolen, even if it is not their fault – according to research by

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.

“Excess car hire insurance is sprung on people when they arrive at the car rental desk to pick up their car,” said Ernesto Suarez, chief executive 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.”