Car rental firms increase excess charges on hire cars

23rd Feb 2011
Car rental firms increase excess charges on hire cars

Research from, home to the UK’s only car hire insurance comparison service, shows that car rental companies are increasing the excess charges renters are liable for.

Exclusive moneymaxim research reveals that while car rental firms jockey to be the most competitive on price comparison sites by reducing prices, they are stealthily increasing the level of excess charges a driver remains liable for.

As a result are urging holidaymakers when booking car hire to check car hire excesses carefully.

In major tourist destinations such as France and Italy these excesses are commonly reaching €1,500, but the moneymaxim study has shown that new highs are being reached in Australia, where a Sydney rental from CarHire3000, part of the Travel Jigsaw group, could, where single vehicle accidents are involved, result in excesses of up to Aus$7,700 (£4,800) being charged.*

Mark Bower, Managing Director at says;


“This year we have seen new heights in the level of excesses that car hirers are being charged by car rental companies. Whereas in the past these may have been a few hundred pounds they are now, in many instances, well over a thousand pounds.

“This also has the added benefit to car rental firms of making the refusal of their ‘excess protection policies’ more difficult when drivers discover the potential charges they can be liable for in the case of an accident or theft.

“The price of their excess protection policies can now often be in the region of €15 a day - not only is this excessive - sometimes eclipsing the charge of the car hire itself - but the policies often exclude a number of potential areas of claim, such as punctures, windscreen or mirror damage too.”

Many of these car rental companies have limited excess cover on their policies, meaning holidaymakers involved in an accident or having their car hire broken into or stolen can still be severely out of pocket even if they have purchased excess protection policies from car rental firms.

Policies are available through moneymaxim, some offering to cover excesses of up to US$80,000 on worldwide policies, at a fraction of the cost a policy from a Car Hire Company or Car Rental Broking company charge.

European cover runs from under £2 a day or less than £39 a year, with a range from Worldwide excess policies under £3 a day or less than £48 a year. Some annual policies cover trip periods of up to 60 days making them exceptional value.

Bower concludes:

“We really recommend car renters look carefully at their rental agreement well before they travel – that way they can check what excesses apply and obtain cheap cover if they wish to. It also removes any pressure to buy additional expensive products whilst standing at a foreign rental desk – a situation many of our customers say they have found themselves in.”

** Moneymaxim research into the Australian car rental market found that for a Sydney rental from CarHire3000, part of the Travel Jigsaw group, an extract from their terms and conditions reading:

‘Your rental includes Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection with an excess of between $3300 + tax and $5500 + tax. For groups IFMR, LFMR the excess is $5500.

If the vehicle is involved in a single vehicle accident, a higher excess of $5,500-$7,700 will apply. Please note that the TravelJigsaw Excess Refund Product does not cover this higher level of excess”



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