What You Need to Know About Car Insurance and Car Hire

Hiring a car can be convenient, but when it comes to insurance, it can be confusing. Here are the vital facts you need to know.

From car hire to company lease cars, it’s useful to have the lowdown on car insurance before taking the plunge. Without doing your research, you could end up wasting money on unnecessary insurance policies or, worse still, finding yourself lacking insurance when you need it most.

Theft, road traffic accidents, vandalism and fires all can, and do, happen. If you’re hiring a car, you must be aware of your level of cover, and what costs you may be liable to meet if you do damage the vehicle in any way.


Before you hire a car, you’ll want to know if you need personal insurance, whether your existing insurance policy covers your hire car, and whether the hire company will provide insurance. Here is a useful list of what you need to know.

Inclusive insurance can vary

Insurance policies which come ‘as standard’ with a car hire agreement may vary from company to company, so make sure you check up-front. Most insurance companies include the cost of the Collision Damage Waiver and third party liability cover, but you should always confirm this. Key questions to ask include:

  • What happens if the vehicle is damaged in an accident?
  • What if the car is stolen?
  • Are my personal belongings covered by Personal Effects Coverage?
  • Will I or my family receive a payout if I am injured?
  • How much is the excess?

You can shop around for car hire excess insurance

Car hire excess insurance can provide peace of mind, but may also be an expensive additional extra – charged by some companies at as much as £20 per day. You don’t have to settle with a policy via your car hire company – by shopping around using a service such as Money Supermarket, you can find similar levels of cover at a greatly reduced cost.

By purchasing excess insurance, you will be protecting yourself from huge excess fees which tend to come as standard with car hire insurance. Before committing to using an independent policy provider, double check they are regulated in the UK. This will protect you if the insurance company goes bust for any reason.

Annual policies are available

If you hire cars on a regular basis, it may work out more cost effective to take out an annual excess insurance policy instead. Not only will it save money, it will also save time and hassle, too. If you are travelling abroad, check to see if your policy covers European and/or worldwide trips.

Company lease cars are an alternative

For those who hire cars on a frequent basis for work purposes, there are alternatives that can be both cheaper and less time consuming. Company lease cars can be a viable option – depending on your lease agreement, you’ll be paying a set amount each month for the use of your car, in a make and model of your choice. Many agreements will handle all vehicle maintenance on your behalf, but check before your sign.


Attribute to: Duncan Cumming

Duncan has been writing for over five years. His marketing and business development background has helped him write informative articles about the latest technology, including developments for the disability sector that can help make a real difference to the way we live.





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