Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Rental car insurance
Reduce expensive excess charges when your rental car is stolen or damaged with rental car excess insurance.
Rental car excess insurance is a type of insurance policy that will cover the excess charged by rental companies if the car is damaged or stolen.
That’s helpful because it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses. These excess amounts can sometimes be as much as $3,000 to $4,000. There are different options to suit all budgets so you can save yourself from unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.
Looking for rental car insurance?
What vehicles are covered by rental car insurance?
Surprisingly, car rental excess insurance can actually cover most vehicles that includes standard cars, luxury cars, 4WDs, campervans and even motorcycles.
Limits to this include, the weight of a vehicle (for campervans, the vehicle needs to weigh less than 4.5 tonnes for most brands), the engine displacement of a motorcycle and driving conditions (e.g. icy and off-road). Always check directly with your insurer for exact specifications.
5 benefits of car hire excess insurance in New Zealand and overseas
Getting standalone cover is usually much cheaper than cover purchased through a rental car company. On average, car rental excess insurance is three times cheaper than cover from the rental car companies.
Windscreens, tyres, roof and underbody can be included
Some providers can cover damage to the above, even if it’s excluded from your rental agreement.
Get other helpful inclusions
Some brands will also include cover for your luggage and personal effects, and returning your vehicle to the correct location if you get sick or injured and can’t return it yourself.
Covers all sorts of vehicles
Sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and more – most policies cover an extensive range of vehicles as long as they weigh less than 4.5 tonnes.
Domestic and international policies available
Regardless of whether you’re travelling within New Zealand or overseas, there are standalone car rental excess policies available to suit your needs.
Is it worth it? Yes
For some perspective, here are the minimum excesses charged by major rental companies in New Zealand. These charges are based on standard 2WD vehicles, that means that the excess amount can increase if you’re renting a more expensive vehicle. If you decide not to take out any type of rental car excess cover, you risk having to pay these amounts if the rental car is damaged or stolen.
- Alamo – $2,875
- Avis – $3,450
- Hertz – $3,450
- Jucy – $3,000
- Omega – $2,500
- Thrifty – $3,000
What options do I have?
Excess reduction cover straight from rental company
- Pros. This is the most convenient option if you haven’t already got cover.
- Cons. Usually the most expensive way to get cover for car rental excess.
Standalone car rental excess insurance policy
- Pros. Affordable and flexible option that can give you additional benefits.
- Cons. You’ll need to take out cover before picking up the rental car.
Travel insurance including car rental excess insurance
- Pros. Affordable option since it can be automatically included in some policies.
- Cons. Sometimes not an option if you’re hiring a car in your home city.
What’s not covered by car rental excess insurance?
When choosing a policy, be mindful and make sure you understand your agreement. There can be big differences between policies so it’s relatively safe to say that you get what you pay for.
Car rental excess insurance policies are designed to cover an excess charged by a third party. So if the damage caused to your rental car is not approved as an insurance claim, an excess isn’t charged and you won’t be able to use your car rental excess insurance policy.
There are some situations and events when car rental excess insurance will not provide any cover such as:
- You use the rental vehicle in breach of your rental agreement
- You use your rental vehicle without a valid licence
- Your claim is for administrative fees charged by the rental company (unless this is included in your policy)
- You were driving the rental car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You failed to act sensibly to protect the vehicle or your property
- You did not do everything possible to reduce or minimise your loss
- You travel against medical advice
- Your claim arises due to a pre-existing medical condition
- Your claim is for consequential loss of any kind, for example loss of enjoyment
- Your claim arises due to mental illness, depression, anxiety or stress
- Your claim arises because you participate in any race, speed or time trial
- Your claim arises from a government authority confiscating, detaining or destroying anything
With this in mind, make sure to check the terms and conditions of whichever cover option you choose to work out when you will and will not be covered.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Charge ’em up: 45% of Kiwis would consider an electric car
New Zealand’s interest in electric cars is accelerating, with Finder research revealing nearly half of the population would consider an electric vehicle as their next car.
Pet insurance for older dogs and cats
Discover some funds that cover senior pets, what to look for in a policy and how you can help your furry friend feel comfortable in their twilight years.
Is pet insurance worth it?
Is pet insurance worth it or a waste of money? Find out in this comprehensive guide.
Campervan hire in Sydney | Where to book, what to know
Find your perfect home on wheels with campervan rentals in The Harbour City.
The best places to live in Australia
Choosing where to live when you move to Australia is a crucial decision. We’ve put together this handy guide to living in Australia’s capital cities to help you make the right choice.
Fast and furious: 85% of Kiwis have fallen victim to a road rage incident
Kiwi drivers are seeing red behind the wheel, according to new research by Finder, a financial research and car insurance comparison site in New Zealand.
Finder Car Insurance Awards 2021
More than 1,300 Kiwis had their say on which car insurance brand provides the best service and products in the inaugural Finder Awards.
What is a novated lease?
If you want to reduce your taxable income but get something for it, such as your next car, you can consider salary sacrificing it with a novated lease. Find out exactly how it works and if its right for you.
Uber car rentals
Renting a vehicle to drive with Uber gives you an easy way to get an eligible vehicle as well as have your insurance covered. Find out how it works and how to sign up today.
Used car guide: Things to consider when buying a used car
Learn about the used car buying process, including what you need to check on the car and what financing options are available.