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What do zero excess car hire insurance policies offer?

Zero excess car hire insurance policies - what are they?

Most collision damage waivers (CDW) come with an excess that you are liable for - meaning you have to pay the first £xxxx of any damage done to the hire car. So a zero excess must mean you won't have to pay for anything mustn't it?

The answer is yes and no. If something is covered by the CDW then yes, you won't have to pay anything if the hire car gets damaged. But there are frequently quite a few things not covered by most collision damage waivers. Typical exclusions include damage to tyres, windows, mirrors, underside and roof of the vehicle where these are the only areas damaged. So damage to these areas would still be your responsibility. You could also face charges for losing the car keys or putting the wrong fuel in the vehicle.

Another area where you may be charged is for towing and recovery charges following either an accident or as a consequence of something else not covered by the CDW. For example, if you get a puncture on the motorway and need to be towed off the motorway to allow the tyre to be changed, the car hire company would argue that as the tyre is your responsibility so is the cost of recovery.

Some CDW policies do have some stranger exceptions. For instance, one will not cover you if your car gets scratched or dented while unattended in a public car park.

So even with a zero excess car hire, you may still be liable for charges. Thankfully the specialist car hire excess insurers on the MoneyMaxim comparison service realise that they'd sell more policies and have happier customers if they cover some or all of these areas. Run a quote on the MoneyMaxim car hire excess comparison service and you can quickly see how one of these policies could cover you from those CDW exclusions.

At MoneyMaxim we can only stress the importance of reading the policy terms and conditions, as these will often answer some of your queries and mean you will find no nasty surprises!

Should you have any questions please do contact the MoneyMaxim team via web chat or phone during our office hours and we'll be happy to help you.

This content was last reviewed on 09/10/2023

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