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Beware: excess insurance policies can cost more than the car hire

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Winter sun seekers hiring a car in Europe could pay more for the excess waiver policy than the cost of rental, according to research.

A survey of car hire costs from six rental companies – Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt – revealed the big costs faced by holidaymakers at the rental desk. found that hiring a car with Budget in Faro between 11-18 November cost £94 for the week, but holidaymakers are then sprung with an additional £248 cost for excess policies. This includes £115 for super damage waiver, £121 for super theft waiver and £12 for a tyre and windscreen excess policy.

In Tenerife, Hertz charges £103 for the week’s hire but a total of £168 for its excess waiver policies, made up of £111 for its super damage waiver policy and £57 for a tyre and windscreen excess policy.

Avis in Paphos charges £137 for a week then an additional £187 for its excess policies.

Car hire excess insurance or waiver policies are the single largest outlay for customers at the rental desk. Without an excess waiver policy, renters are responsible for the first part of any insurance claim, which can be as high as £2,300 with Budget in Faro, even if the damage is not their fault or if the car is stolen.

But you can avoid paying the high costs at the rental desk if you shop around for stand-alone car hire excess insurance policies. They cover theft and damage as well as damage to tyres and windscreens that are often excluded from car rental policies.

Other extras sold at rental desks could also add £169 to a hire car bill, such as a child’s car seat, costing on average £53 across the three locations, a sat nav costing £68 on average, and an extra driver on the policy, costing £48 on average.

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of car hire excess firm, said: “Those heading to sunnier climes need to ensure they’ve done their planning for their hire car in advance and not only booked it but thought about all the extras that they could incur, from buying car hire excess insurance in advance, to taking their own child’s seat and sat nav with them.  Some simple planning could save them hundreds of pounds.”

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