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Car Rental Insurance: Our Guide to Car Hire Excess and Beyond

Learn about car hire excess and more in our guide to stress-free rentals

Renting a car can be an exciting and convenient way to explore new destinations, whether you're on holiday or travelling for business.

Before you go, however, it's essential to understand the world of rental insurance to ensure a worry-free journey, and to make sure everything’s running as smoothly as possible whilst you’re away.

Understanding the basics of rental insurance

Rental car companies typically offer various insurance options to protect you and the vehicle. Here are the primary types of rental insurance you may find while you’re searching for car hire insurance.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

CDW covers the cost of repairs to the rental car if it's damaged in an accident. It often comes with an excess (also known as a deductible), which means you'll be responsible for a certain amount of the repair costs.

Liability insurance

This type of insurance provides coverage if you injure someone or damage someone else's property while driving the rental car. It's essential, as it protects you from potentially significant financial liabilities.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

PAI covers medical expenses for you and your passengers if you're injured in an accident while driving the rental car.

Personal effects coverage

This insurance option protects your belongings if they're stolen from the rental car. Personal effects coverage is especially useful if you’ve lost important items, such as your passport, during a theft event.

What is car hire excess insurance?

Car hire excess insurance is designed to cover the excess amount you'd have to pay in the event of damage or theft of the rental car.

When you rent a car, the rental company typically requires you to pay an excess amount if the car is damaged or stolen during your rental period. This excess can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, depending on the rental company and the type of car you rent.

You can purchase car hire excess insurance as a separate policy, either from the rental company or a third-party provider. It effectively reduces or eliminates your financial responsibility for the excess, providing peace of mind and saving you from unexpected expenses.

Benefits of car hire excess insurance

Let's explore why car hire excess insurance is a valuable (if not essential) addition to your rental car experience.

Cost savings

By opting for car hire excess insurance, you can avoid the high excess fees that rental companies charge. This can save you a significant amount of money in case of an accident or theft.

No claims on personal insurance

Using car hire excess insurance means you won't need to file a claim with your personal car insurance, protecting your premium and claims history.


Car hire excess insurance is easy to purchase and usually provides coverage for the entire rental period. You don't need to worry about coordinating coverage with your existing insurance policies.

Additional rental insurance considerations

In addition to car hire excess insurance, there are other insurance considerations to keep in mind too.

Travel insurance

If you already have travel insurance, check if it includes rental car coverage. Some comprehensive travel insurance policies offer protection for rental cars.

Domestic vs. international rentals

Insurance requirements and options may vary depending on whether you're renting a car domestically or internationally. Be sure to understand the specific regulations of the country you're visiting.

Compare car hire insurance with MoneyMaxim

If you’re looking to maximise your savings and enjoy peace of mind on your next vehicle hire experience — look no further than MoneyMaxim.

Our trusted database offers competitive rates and comprehensive coverage options for your next car hire. We’ll compare thousands of the best deals on car hire insurance providers, whatever your priorities are.

Don't leave your rental experience to chance, browse our deals to get a quote, or get in touch with us today to secure the protection you need for worry-free travels.

Ford car parked in desert

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