Car hire companies’ excess waiver policies are adding almost 50 per cent again on to the original hire cost, according to a new study by iCarhireinsurance.com, which compared the costs to hire a medium-sized car for a week in five European destinations from five large rental companies.
Travellers often don’t know about excess waiver insurance, or how much it costs, until they arrive to pick up their hire car. Not purchasing this leaves car hirers exposed to the first part of any claim i.e., the excess amount if their hire car is damaged or stolen, which can be up to £1400 even if it’s not their fault.
iCarhireinsurance.com found the average cost for a week’s car rental was £237, while the average excess waiver policy from the rental company was £111 – adding almost 50 per cent (47 per cent) again to the bill. The study researched the costs to hire a car in Barcelona, Larnaca, Milan, Nice and Tenerife from five leading rental companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt in spring 2016.
In Tenerife, drivers will be paying an additional 59 per cent again on top of their week’s car hire for an excess waiver policy from the car hire company. The cost of excess waiver from the rental companies varies considerably, but was often over the £111 average across the destinations. In Milan, Europcar and Hertz charged £194 and £199 respectively for a week’s excess policy, while in Barcelona the same companies charged over £140, and in Larnaca, Budget charged £168.
“Car hirers could save themselves an enormous amount of money with a bit of planning before they travel,” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com. “Anyone buying an excess waiver policy from the rental desk is paying on average £80 more than if they bought a policy from a stand-alone car hire excess provider.”