14 days ago

What Type of Insurance Do I Need When Using A Hire Car?


Whenever you hire a car, the rental company by law will include a basic insurance policy as part of the price. 

However, depending on the country you are hiring the car in, this cover can vary dramatically.

In The UK and Europe this will typically include a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) which covers you for loss or damage to the vehicle. The policy should also offer Theft Protection. 

Some policies will also include medical costs incurred as a result of an accident that caused damage or injury to a third-party. 

However, insurance policies offered by car by rental companies always carry an ‘excess’ clause. This can in some cases be well over £1,000.

“If something happens to the rental car while you have it, the rental company will repair or replace it and charge you an ‘excess’." ~ Rentalcars

What is Car Hire Excess?

The excess clause in basic car hire insurance policies helps to keep their insurance premiums down. 

In most cases, it is the customer that foots the bill for damages. The ‘Excess’ is the amount you are legally responsible for in the event of:

  • Damage caused to the hire car
  • Damage or injury to a third-party or someone else’s property
  • Medical fees to you or a third-party

The amount of excess on basic car hire insurance policies ranges from between £500 and £3000.

To give you an example, let’s say you are involved in an accident that causes damage to the hire car and a third-party. 

The cost to repair the higher car is £200 and the cost to repair damages to the third-party car costs £700. 

If your excess is £600 you will pay £600 and the insurance company of the rental company will pay the remaining £200.

If the excess is £1000, you would be responsible for paying repairs on both cars - neither of which you own.

What About Car Hire Excess Insurance? 

In the scenario above, car hire excess insurance with Bettersafe would mean you do not have to pay anything. 

Our car hire excess insurance covers you up to £7,500. 

Car Hire Excess insurance may be offered by a rental company but, according to research conducted by Which? it is cheaper to purchase a policy from an independent insurer. 

Bettersafe also covers you for:

  • Lost keys
  • Misfuelling
  • Drop off charges up to £300
  • Lock-out 
  • Road Rage or Car Jacking 

Supplemental Liability Insurance - Car Hire Abroad

If you’re planning to hire a car the next time you go overseas, you may want to consider taking out supplemental liability insurance cover. 

As is the case in the UK, car rental companies all over the world only provide drivers with the minimum third-party liability insurance required by law. 

The cover is always inadequate to cover costs of legal fees in the event of an accident where a third-party is injured. You will face huge legal bills.  

Supplemental liability insurance covers any costs you are legally obliged to pay in a foreign company. The amount of cover depends on the insurance company. 

Bettersafe’s supplemental liability insurance covers you for third party injuries and damage to material property up to $1,000,000. 

For more information about how the insurance policies we offer when using a hire car, contact us today at