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Excess Car Hire Insurance

What Is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

When you rent a car you will be advised that the car will come with insurance, which is called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Cover.

It can all get quite confusing, but essentially what it means is much like if you have your own insurance you will be due to pay an excess if there is any damage to a car you’ve hired when you come to return it. This excess usually ranges from £500.00 – £2000.00 depending on the supplier you book with. In the event that the car is damaged, stolen, or involved in an accident you will have to pay the excess amount. This is known as car hire excess.

It’s very important that you are aware of this when hiring, if there are any damages to the vehicle at all when you pick it up, make it known to the rental company and ensure it is recorded as there are often cases where people are charged for damage they didn’t do, just oversaw when checking the vehicle over.

This scare factor is often enough for car rental companies to sell you their “Zero Excess” policy, which essentially for an extra daily amount means in the event of damage to the vehicle you won’t owe anything, but make sure you check out your alternative options.

Information About Excess Car Hire Insurance

Excess Car Hire Insurance Policy

Car Hire Excess Reimbursement Insurance is an insurance policy provided by a third party, not by the rental company. This differs from the extra insurance a rental company will try and sell you, rather than reducing your liability for a daily fee they offer peace of mind. If you were to be in a situation where the rental company charged your excess amount then you can make a claim with your ‘Reimbursement Insurance Provider’.

Do I Need Additional Insurance When Hiring A Rental Car?

Keeping all the above in mind, you still don’t need to take additional rental insurance and can hire a car with no additional cost to yourself, but you’re opening yourself up to large excesses. If you’re okay with that then there is no legal requirement to force you into taking zero excess, but just ensure that you check over the car as thoroughly as possible before signing the rental forms

What Are Your Car Hire Excess Options

1: Do Nothing: You can drive your hire car away with absolutely no additional costs, you just need to be aware of your excess amount should you be involved in an accident or the vehicle is damaged in any way.
2: Reduce Your Excess: As above, you can reduce your excess with the supplier, meaning if the worst was to happen your liability will be much lower, sometimes even Zero!
3: Excess Reimbursement: Purchase an excess reimbursement policy with a one-off cost and be safe in the knowledge that you have cover in place for your excess. This is a very popular option for ex-pats who visit the UK or the rest of Europe on a regular basis.

Beat The Car Rental Companies Excess Prices – Get Your Own Policy

Paying for a zero excess policy directly from the car rental companies can really add up. It depends on the size of the car, but we’ve pulled together what the daily price ranges of popular rental companies charge with an example from Manchester Airport:

  • Arnold Clark Car & Van £15 per day
  • Avis – £24.50 per day
  • Budget – £26.49 to £32.50 per day
  • Easirent – £18 per day
  • Europcar – £22.08 to £31.37 per day
  • Firefly – £18.99 per day
  • Green Motion – £31.20 to £48 per day
  • Hertz – £26.40 per day
  • Keddy By Europcar – £20 to £30 a day

Using the information above, the cheapest supplier Zero Excess solution is from Arnold Clark at £15 per day, with our Annual Cover is priced from £51.50 per year, meaning if you were to hire a car for more than 4 days in a year you could save money.

What Does This Excess Car Hire Insurance Policy Cover?

If you take the policy that we are recommending here is what it will cover:

  • Your excess insurance for car & van rentals
  • Covers drivers between 21 and 85 years old
  • Covers rentals for up to 60 consecutive days
  • Options of annual Worldwide cover, joint annual Worldwide cover, annual Europe cover, daily cover & more
  • Will cover drivers who reside in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Isle of Man & the Channel Islands

Where Does The Excess Insurance Car Hire Policy Cover Me?

It depends on the excess policy that you take, the one we’ve recommended and quoted at £46.99 covers you for all of Europe, however there are other options, here are the starting prices.

Annual European Policy – From £51.50
Single Trip Worldwide Policy – From £9.45
Annual Worldwide Policy – From £62.50
*The above prices are based on the hirer being a UK resident. Prices may vary depending on your residential status.

How Does Excess Insurance Reimbursement Work

Excess Reimbursement Insurance is an optional insurance, which is useful if there is an excess applicable to your car hire. The cover applies to the individual, so you are covered, even if you change the car hire company or the type of car that you have hired.

It is designed to repay the excess or repair costs you have to pay under the terms of the rental agreement following damage to the rental vehicle. The reimbursement of the excess is subject to the exclusions detailed in the provider’s policy wording.

You can choose to buy either an Annual policy, which will provide cover for multiple hires throughout the period of cover, or a Daily policy which will provide cover specifically for the days that you request it.


What To Be Aware Of With An Excess Insurance Policy

When you take a car hire excess policy through our partners then you need to be check to ensure that you are eligible. You may fall outside of the eligibility criteria if you rent for the longer term (60+ days) or if you are below the age of 21 or above the age of 85.

One of the major differences between taking the policy with the rental company & taking the policy we’ve recommended that should an accident occur you could have to pay the full excess amount initially, you will then have to claim against the policy company to get the money back afterwards.

if you need any further information, give us a call on +44 (0)113 880 0748 or email us on


Frequently Asked Questions

I Am Over 75, Can I Still Get Cover?

Yes, there is still help out there. Some providers will cover people until the age of 85. You can get cover for 12 months for less than a rental supplier could charge you for 2 days.

Can I Get Worldwide Excess Cover?

Yes, there are policies out there that cover you for any country, worldwide. Which, although can be more expensive. Still offers great value.

How much does an excess insurance policy cost a year?
It depends on the policy that you go for, but taking Europe as an example the cover annually is £51.50.

Do you need excess car hire insurance?
No, there is no legal requirement to have excess car hire insurance, but it is advised due to the high excesses rental companies charge.

Will getting a standalone policy be cheaper than using the car rental companies solution?
It depends on how many days you hire a year, typically if you are hiring more than 3-4 days in a year then the answer will likely be yes.

Is there only an annual policy?
No, we also have option for single trips.

Will my car insurance cover my car hire
No, car hire zero excess insurance is completely different to insurance on your own car and you will not be covered.

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Indigo Car Hire
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by Michelle
Indigo car hire

Very very helpful, sorted out everything, and explained exactly what was covered, everything went according to plan. Great service. Make sure your get a uk additional insurance to cover the large deposits that car companys want, incase something does happen your covered for the 1500 charges

 by Ray Bilcliff
Always the best.

Indigo has been and always will be the best option for me. The service is always first class, always prompt and always covers everything I need including insurance, which is always in with the quoted price. No hidden extras to worry about. Great service you can trust.