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How to insure a luxury car rental

Learn about multiple coverage options for your next BMW, Mercedes or Cadillac rental.

Renting your dream car is a short-term, affordable commitment for those looking to take their road trip up a notch. Make sure you ask the right coverage questions before you take the keys to your temporary ride.

How do I get insurance for a luxury rental car?

You can access coverage for your luxury rental through your personal car insurance policy, your credit card or the rental company.

If your credit card or personal insurance exclude coverage for exotics, you can typically purchase insurance directly through the rental company. It may be pricier, but you can avoid making a claim through your own insurance.

Does my car insurance cover a luxury car rental?

Many people have coverage for car rentals written into their existing auto insurance policies. You’ll typically be covered for a rental car at the same limits as your personal car. So if you have a $10,000 liability plan, you’re covered up to $10,000 on your rental.

Call your insurance to make sure luxury cars are covered or rental car maximums are enough to cover a high-price car.

Does my credit card cover a luxury car rental?

Some credit cards offer coverage if you use the card to rent a car. This typically covers collision damage or theft. However, this coverage may not extend to exotic rentals or driving outside of Canada. Typical exclusions extend to cars over $65,000 MSRP. Call your credit card provider to make sure you’re covered.

If your credit card coverage excludes exotic rentals, you might be able to pay to add additional coverage to your existing policy. For example, American Express offers premium insurance coverage that includes SUVs and luxury vehicle rentals for an additional fee per rental.

Must read: What’s primary and secondary insurance?

Your car rental contract might mention primary insurance and secondary insurance. The primary is the first place you’ll go when making a claim, and the secondary will cover anything extra on top of your primary.

Most credit cards offer secondary coverage, so you’d make a claim through your own personal policy or the rental insurance policy before accessing your credit card benefits. If your credit card offers primary insurance, that’s probably your best bet to avoid making a claim through your car insurance and potentially raising your rates.

What are my options for renting and insuring a luxury car?

While traditional rental companies were once the only option for exotic rentals, there are now rental subscriptions and apps that will let you borrow the keys to a luxury vehicle for a reasonable price.

Luxury cars from rental companies

Check your credit card and personal policy to see what’s covered. If your personal policy or credit cards coverage excludes exotic rentals, you can purchase insurance through the rental company. Most offer collision damage waivers, liability coverage and personal effects coverage.

Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Alamo and Thrifty all have exotic or premium car collections that include vehicles like the Porsche Boxster, Mustang GT, Camaro SS, Mercedes SLK, Porsche 911, BMW-5 and Jaguar F-Pace. It’s recommended to reserve in advance so you can pick the type of car you want and face no surprises at the checkout counter.

Luxury cars from rental subscriptions

Rental subscriptions like Revolve and manufacturer-led programs like Access by BMW (currently only avaibale in Nashville, TN) are becoming increasingly popular for those interested in test-driving multiple luxury vehicles for sometimes one to three months.

How much does it cost to rent a luxury car with a subscription?

Most membership fees start at $2,000 a month, and include roadside assistance, vehicle maintenance and insurance coverage.

Revolve, Access by BMW and Mercedes-Benz Collection all offer $1 million in liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $2,000 in medical payments.

Luxury car rental apps

For the ultimate in convenience, car rental apps like Turo allow you to request, rent and insure a luxury vehicle right from your phone.

Turo rentals come without automatic insurance, but insurance is offered as an add-on as Basic or Premium Coverage. Both options provide $2 million in liability insurance. Some Turo hosts offer commercial rental insurance directly to their guests.

How much does it cost to rent a luxury car from car rental apps?

Costs vary based on your city, drive dates and vehicle. For example, if you use the Turo app to filter by upscale cars, 2018 models and newer, in the Toronto area, you’ll find BMWs and Mercedes-Benz models in the range of $100 a day and Jaguars and Alfa Romeos starting around $200 a day.

Luxury car test drives

If you’d like to try out a luxury car before a potential purchase, some brands offer 24-hour test drives to let you explore the car’s mechanics and performance before signing the paperwork.

You’ll be expected to provide your own insurance so contact your insurance provider to make sure the make and model you’ve selected for your test drive is covered.

Bottom line

While renting a luxury car, make sure you’re covered by your personal car insurance policy or your credit card’s policy if you opt out of the additional coverage from the rental company itself.

If your car insurance leaves out coverage for luxury rentals, compare car insurance alternatives so you can enjoy your luxury ride.

Frequently asked questions about luxury car rentals

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