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Buy standalone car hire excess insurance to save up to 65%

Finding the best car hire deal isn't just about getting hold of the cheapest rental car. The extras you're charged at the rental desk can add substantially to the cost. The most expensive of these extras is car hire excess insurance, which can cost as much a £20 per day, depending on the hire firm and the location.

We've teamed up with iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, to help our customers get a better deal.

What is car hire excess insurance?

If you've ever been in a car accident, you will know you pay the first part of any claim. Hire car excess insurance covers that cost and more...

Many travellers rent cars every year but are often not aware of these charges until they arrive at the rental desk - by which time it's too late to shop around for an alternative. However, a bit of extra work before you travel can save you a surprising amount of money, and get you better levels of cover.

When you hire a car, your rental agreement will usually include cover such as a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW, sometimes referred to as Loss Damage Waiver - LDW) or third party liability insurance*. However, such policies give a false sense of security as, if the vehicle is damaged in an accident or gets stolen, the person renting it is nearly always liable for the first portion of the loss, called the “excess”.

The amount of the excess varies from one rental provider to the other, however it is usually between £500 and £2,000 per vehicle (it can be even more on high-value vehicles). This amount is often far more than the cost of renting the car in the first place.

You can protect yourself against this potential sting by purchasing excess waiver for your rental.

Some companies will try to sell you a waiver when you make your booking, and most will offer it to you again when you collect your car - however these can cost as much as £20 a day from the rental company.

At TravelSupermarket we have had frequent reports of car hire renters being subjected to hard-sell tactics when picking up their car. These are designed to worry the driver into taking out an overpriced and underinsured waiver product. But do not fear! The alternative is to buy a stand-alone excess reimbursement policy before you travel.

You'll be amazed by how much you could save. For example, if you purchase a standalone excess policy via TravelSupermarket it costs from as little as £2.99 per day. A typical one-week policy would cost around £21 for European destinations such as Malaga, or just under £28 for a week's car hire excess insurance for destinations outside of Europe.

For customers taking longer trips, or who rent cars multiple times a year, annual car hire excess policies offer even better value at just £35.99 for European cover or £59.99 for a worldwide policy.

Stand-alone car hire excess policies provide peace of mind for a low daily cost and can cover trips of up to 65 continuous days. What's more, the iCarhireinsurance.com policies also provide protection for the vulnerable parts of the vehicle which are most likely to get damaged such as the wheels, tyres, windscreen, roof and undercarriage - areas that are usually excluded from the rental companies' own policies, even if you buy their extra waivers.

So, opting to buy here in the UK via TravelSupermarket is cheaper and gives you a better product with more peace of mind.

And this cover is available for all destinations in the UK as well as overseas. UK rentals are covered as standard on both European and Worldwide excess policies for UK residents.

*Note: It's mandatory in most locations worldwide for third party liability insurance to be included automatically with car rental. However, be aware that these limits can sometimes be low in locations outside of Europe.

It is also customary for CDW/LDW to be included with car rental throughout Europe, however in some locations this can vary. Always check with your rental company prior to travel to ensure you know what is included with your rental, even if you have used the company before.

Outside of Europe the requirement for rental companies to provide CDW/LDW automatically varies, again check carefully with your rental company to ensure you understand what insurance you have prior to arriving at the desk.

What types of policy are on offer?

Whether you rent cars on a regular basis or are hiring a vehicle as a one off, you'll find a product to suit your requirements...

If you're going on a short break, a daily policy may work out as the best option. Paying £2.99 per day for cover is great value.

However, if you are travelling for two weeks or more, or rent more than one car per year, you could save even more with an annual hire car excess insurance policy.

With prices starting from just £35.99, if you're a frequent user who usually buys the excess waiver at the rental desk, an annual policy will have paid for itself after the first few days of use!

You can choose between taking cover for either European or Worldwide destinations. And remember that UK rentals are included within both.

What are the key benefits?

The benefits of taking out a standalone policy before you travel are considerable. These are the key ways it can help put your mind at rest...

Lower prices - With prices starting at just £2.99 a day for cover in Europe, you can save up to 65% on rental desk rates

Higher savings - If you travel several times a year, you can buy an annual policy - saving you even more on your holiday rentals. Prices start at £35.99 a year for Europe, while annual worldwide car hire excess starts from £59.99

Better cover - You not only reduce your potential excess charges to zero but also have better levels of cover (up to £6,000 per incident with these policies), ensuring that all parts of the car are also protected. This includes windscreens, the car undercarriage, tyres and the roof - parts that are often omitted from even rental companies' more expensive policies. You'll also be protected against excess charges for damage and theft

More choice - You can choose between European, USA/Canada or worldwide car hire coverage

Fewer restrictions - UK rentals are automatically included for UK residents at no extra cost and there are no “distance from home” restrictions

Additional drivers - Up to nine named drivers are included per policy

Breakdown cover - Free towing and breakdown cover is included

How does it work?

Buying and using a car hire excess reimbursement policy couldn't be easier...

Our four-step approach will have you driving safely with low-cost, comprehensive cover in no time at all.

1. Buy your annual or daily car rental excess insurance policy from our partner iCarhireinsurance.com before you travel. If for any reason you forget to do so, you can still buy it on the day you pick your vehicle up - but you can't backdate the policy

2. Print out your car hire insurance policy and keep it with you (or keep a copy on your smartphone or tablet)

3. Say no to the additional insurance or excess waivers you're offered at the rental desk or when you book your car online or by phone. If you're given the hard sell, told your existing policy is worthless or that the police won't recognise it, stand your ground. These are just high-pressure sales ploys

However, remember that if you use a stand-alone insurer, the rental company is likely to ask you to leave a deposit (usually a pre-authorised amount on a credit card, so make sure you have sufficient credit available to cover this)

4. If you do incur damage or your car is stolen and you're charged an excess amount when you drop the car off, claim it back from iCarhireinsurance.com within 60 days of your return to the UK. The online claims service is available for claims submission 24/7, 365 days a year

So, what are you waiting for? Use our handy tool at the top left-hand side of the page to get a quote now.