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Do I have to have Excess Cover?

If you are unsure whether or not you need car hire excess cover, and what will happen if you don't, continue reading!

Excess insurance, Supercover or similarly named policies are voluntary insurance policies.

In normal circumstances you have three choices. You can:

  1. Turn down Excess cover. You will be liable for any excesses charged if damage to the vehicle occurs (sometimes whether or not it is your fault) or if it is stolen. You will also be liable for any exclusions to your CDW such as damage to the wheels.

  2. Buy the Excess cover (Super CDW / Super Theft) offered by the car rental company, which is sold at the car hire rental desk when you pick up the car. It generally costs between £6 and £25 a day and covers the excess on theft and damage to the vehicle. It sometimes still leaves a reduced excess to be paid and normally does not include any cover for damage to the undercarriage, wheel, window and tyre damage.

  3. Purchase a policy such as those available from the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance service. They cover you for damage excess to the vehicle, theft excess, damage to windows, tyres, the undercarriage and the roof. They may also cover other risks, which are detailed on the comparison service. Policies cost from around £2 per day or £37 per annum.

Because it is a voluntary insurance, car hire companies CANNOT insist on you taking their insurance, unless you are a young driver (or if you hire from companies such as RecordGo a driver over 70) or if you do not have a credit card when sometimes the car hire companies write the need to take their in-house product into the car hire contract.

The car hire firms may take a pre-authorisation up to an equivalent figure of the potential excess on your credit card. This is removed if no funds are taken.

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This content was last reviewed on 11/10/2023

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