Van hire excess insurance

We look into whether you need an extra insurance policy for your hired van.

Whether you’re using the van to move some furniture or you’ve rented it for work, the last thing you want is for the van to get damaged or stolen. Not only will it mean making a stressful phone call to your rental company, but you could also have to pay a fairly high excess charge. Often this is included as part of any insurance package you get when hiring a van.

However, there is an additional level of insurance policy called “van hire excess insurance” which promises to save you from these bills.

But is it worth it? We look at what van hire excess insurance actually is and weigh up whether it’s value for money.

What is van hire excess insurance?

When you hire a van your rental company will typically include insurance as part of the deal. So if anything happens, you won’t have to pay for all the repairs out of your own pocket.

However, it will also come with an excess, which is the amount you have to pay before the insurance money kicks in. Say the van needs repairs that are worth £3,000 and the excess is £1,000; you would have to pay a grand and the insurer would pay £2,000. In fact, while the figures used in this example might sound high, the excess that comes with rental vans can be steep. We’re talking hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.

So van hire excess insurance is an additional level of cover you can get which saves you from having to foot a large part of the repair bill.

What is included?

At bare minimum a van hire excess insurance policy will reimburse you for excess costs the van rental company demands you pay after an accident.

However, van hire excess insurance policies sometimes come with added extras, such as the following:

  • Rental keys. This covers the cost of replacing locks and keys of the hire van if you lose the original keys or are unintentionally locked out.
  • Wrong fuel. It will cover any costs incurred from you accidentally putting the wrong fuel into your hired van.
  • Towing fees. This will cover you for towing fees the hire company might charge you following damage.

Van hire excess insurance exclusions

Having van hire excess insurance could tempt you into thinking that whatever happens, you won’t have to pay a single penny. However, there are several reasons why you might still have to stump up some (if not all) of the excess.

  • If the excess you pay to the rental company is more than the limit you agreed with your excess insurer; £850 for example
  • If the claimable incident happened before your deal with the excess insurer started
  • Any claim for third party death or injury, or damage to their vehicle or property
  • Excesses that can be claimed on a third party’s insurance policy; that is, if someone else is at fault
  • Claims where you have broken your van rental agreement – such as driving drunk or leaving the van unlocked

Who is eligible for van hire excess insurance?

Not all insurance companies have the same eligibility requirements, so always check the policy documents before you sign up. However, here’s a general guide to who can get van hire excess insurance.

  • Anyone insured on the policy must be between the ages of 21 and 85
  • Anyone insured on the policy must be a resident of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands
  • Anyone insured on the policy must have a full and valid UK driving licence
  • The vehicle must be a van (not a camper van)
  • The van must have an unladen weight of 3.5 tonnes or less

Pros and cons of van hire excess insurance


  • Could potentially save you thousands of pounds
  • Policies come with added extras like lock replacement


  • Conditions and exclusions apply
  • It can be expensive

Frequently asked questions

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