Car hire companies failing holidaymakers

Car hire companies failing holidaymakers

Car hire companies are failing customers when it comes to providing affordable car hire insurance, new research from reveals.

Research from, the website behind the UK’s only car hire insurance comparison service, shows that car hire insurance purchased from car hire companies direct is in terms of ‘real-benefit’ one of the most expensive forms of insurance there is.

The typical daily cost of hire car insurance from a rental company desk is around £10 a day, which translates to £3,650 per annum, although the total excess covered is normally only around £1,500, and often is even less.

In some cases however the situation is even more extreme. Mark Bower, Managing Director at explained.

“One example we found was a case from European car rental giant Sixt. The cost of extending collision damage and theft waivers to reduce the excess payable to €500 in the case of an incident was an incredible £123.28 for a week’s hire. That is equivalent to an annual premium of £6,410 for a policy with a maximum benefit of €1,500!”


Using the moneymaxim car hire insurance comparison service it is possible to find a policy that provides better cover - reducing the excess to nil, and covering the vehicle’s wheels, tyres, glass and underbody — for as little at £13.30 for 7 days cover, or less than £40 for an annual policy.

Research from Which? published in January highlighted insurance charges and undisclosed cover details on car rentals as potential problems of hiring a car abroad and the Moneymaxim research, highlights the need for customers to shop around and buy their car hire insurance before they go abroad.

Continuing Mark Bower at says:

“Not only is it cheaper but car rental companies offer a poor product that typically fails to protects customers from extortionate excess charges for things like a broken wing mirror, chipped windscreens or tyres that have clipped a curb.

“Thanks to the markets we can expect less Euros and Dollars for our pounds when we head abroad this summer, so making savings wherever possible through things like car hire insurance is always advisable ensuring you have more money to spend on the more enjoyable things we all like to do on holiday.”

Cars hired in Europe come with insurance that typically excludes the first £1,000 of a theft or damage claim. This can leave holidaymakers seriously out of pocket even for a relatively minor incident. In the US and Canada the position is slightly different, with cars coming either inclusive or exclusive of insurance and customers having the option to buy their insurance at the car hire station or independently.