Press Release

For immediate release

Majority of Brits aren’t prepared for minimum excess cost on car hire

23 August 2018, LONDON

Only two percent of Brits are prepared to pay the minimum excess cost they could face if they damage their hire car according to research from personal finance comparison website

Analysis of car rental firms in Europe showed that the minimum excess cost available is generally around £1,000, meaning consumers without additional insurance are liable to pay for any damages up to this amount.

The study found that over half (54%) of Brits would only be willing to pay up to £100 for any damage caused, even though there has been numerous reports of rental companies charging more than £400 to repair a minor scratch.

The maximum that UK drivers are willing to pay on average is £217, although men would fork out almost £50 more than women (£241 vs £192). However, with the damage excess being as much as £5,000 in some cases, holidaymakers face a shock bill in the event of an accident.

Many tourists turn up without additional insurance to cover this excess, leaving them at the mercy of car rental kiosks who try to push “top-up” insurance at inflated prices. This is called a super collision damage waiver and the premium in Europe is often around £20 a day, adding £140 to a week’s rental.

Instead, many holidaymakers aren’t aware that they can buy excess reimbursement insurance for around £20 a week from an independent provider before they travel. This means that they cover the damage but can then reclaim all the money afterwards.

For more detailed statistics on Brits’ travel insurance habits, visit:

Giving tips on how to avoid being stung by unnecessary charges this summer, Jon Ostler, UK CEO of said: “It’s always worth taking a few minutes to read the small print of your car rental agreement so you know exactly where you stand before travelling. Unfortunately, it isn’t unheard of for staff at rental kiosks to mislead customers about what insurance they should buy or to discredit valid insurance that has already been purchased through a third party.

“Take pictures of the car when you pick it up and drop it off to ensure you can challenge any unfair claims made against you, and make sure the staff fill in the pre-rental inspection form so any existing damage has been recorded. Renting a car shouldn’t be a stressful experience, so if you are prepared and drive safely then you are much more likely to avoid being tripped up by rogue car rental companies!”.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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