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Is independent car hire insurance suitable for fly-drive holidays?

We explain the ins and outs of fly drive companies and car hire insurance.

The Fly Drive holidays and free car packages when you book flights and accommodation in the US you see in many major tour operators brochures are often difficult to instantly compare as the car hire insurance packaged in to the deal can vary considerably

Details from the following sites show the issue!

British Airways Fly Drive Deals to Florida

May be included within your rental (in partnership with Avis and Budget)

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Third Party Liability, Unlimited mileage, Customer facility fee, State Surcharge, Tyre and Battery Fee, Vehicle Licence fees, 24 hour customer support, standard roadside assistance.

Additional Optional Non Mandatory charges

Premium cover to reduce the excess on CDW and theft. Also offers an extension on the standard roadside assistance.

Virgin Holidays Fly Drive to Orlando

Included within your rental

Third Party liability (state minimum), Unlimited mileage, Standard Roadside Assistance

Additional fees (can be paid locally or through an additional package) for Virgin Fully Inclusive package

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Extended Third Party Protection, Pre payable state/local surcharges, Pre payable state/local taxes, Airport user fee, Uninsured Motorist Protection, One additional driver.

There is also a Virgin Gold Plus package which adds in more additional drivers, child seats and a tank of fuel amongst other benefits.

Broadly speaking BA include the insurance you would not want to be without, and local taxes and fees, whilst Virgin don't..

Thomson and Jetsave offer very little within their standard package if you are booking a car inclusive trip to Florida. They include only the state minimum third party insurance, which in Florida is a now $0.

You are then left with the option of buying a top up package through your holiday company, paying for the additional cover at the desk (normally the most expensive way), or finding a third party policy to cover your insurance needed.

Please be aware that Extended Liability packages may not cover you if you do not have any primary liability cover so, if unsure, check what cover you have. We are on hand to offer assistance if you need it.

Independent Car hire insurance packages are available through the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance comparison service and these can provide either CDW cover (suitable for the Virgin package above) or CDW and SLI (for the Thomson and Jetsave packages).

Do check the deal you have signed up to though as deals are always changing..

If you are thinking about using independent insurance our suggestion is to email the rental company you are taking the car from and ask for their confirmation that they are happy to accept your own Collision Damage Waiver and Supplementary Liability insurance policy. Most will do so.

Also note that whilst these should cover your car hire insurance requirements you will still be liable for fees such as state taxes, airport fees and the like.

This content was last reviewed on 16/10/2023

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