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When you rent a car you often find that your car rental agreement is subject to an 'excess'. In some parts of the world the term 'waiver' is used instead.
The 'Excess' is the sum you would be liable for in the case of an accident before the car hire company's cover will pay up.
So if your car rental agreement has an excess of £1200 and you have an accident where damage of £2500 is caused to your rental car you would pay £1200, and the car fire firm would pay the remaining £1300.
If the accident caused £600 of damage you would foot the whole bill.
It is worth mentioning though that, as well as the excess, car hirers also remain responsible for any damage to the tyres, wheels, glass, underbody and roof of the car - which are excluded altogether from any cover in the vast majority of car rental agreements.
Underbody damage can cost a considerable amount so, in the worst case scenario, you could be liable for a bigger bill if for example you go around a corner and find a large rock in the road which you cannot avoid.
You can protect the excess (although not normally the additional areas above) through your rental firm - typically this cover costs between £8 and £20 a day.
Alternatively you could buy independent car hire excess insurance which costs from less than £2 a day, and will also cover the tyres, wheels, glass, underbody and roof.
If you have any queries do call a member of the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance team.
This content was last reviewed on 29/05/2019