Returning to a parked car and finding it scraped, scratched or damaged in any way accounted for 40% of these ‘not my fault’ claims, demonstrating that it doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, a simple visit to the supermarket can result in someone scratching the car with their trolley.

Other ‘not my fault’ excuses included a collision with an animal (a deer, goat and wild boar were all given); vandalism or theft; and the hire car having pre-existing damage in the hirer’s opinion i.e., when damage was not recorded on the rental company's check-out sheet but the hirer insists it was already there when they collected the hire car.

Some unusual claims included: I left the property and had travelled no more than about 100 yards when I sneezed, and as a result hit a concealed rock,; and I drove away from the petrol pump without removing the nozzle damaging the petrol cap.

Almost one in seven (14%) of the claims were for tyre, windscreen or undercarriage damage. These parts of a vehicle are unfortunately often excluded from a car hirer’s excess waiver policy, if they have bought one from their rental company. Whereas a car hire excess insurance policy from covers these vulnerable parts of a vehicle as well as providing much better value for money.

Many car hirers are unaware, until they collect their hire car, that in the event of damage or the car being stolen, even if it’s not their fault, they are liable for excess charges of up to £2000. At this point, unless they purchase excess protection from the rental-desk, they are left exposed. These policies are usually expensive, approximately £23* a day and limited in scope.

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of, said: It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, if your hire car gets damaged you will be held liable by the rental company whether it was your fault or not.  When a small scratch down the side of the car can cost hundreds of pounds to fix, it’s important that hire car drivers protect themselves against a high excess with a specialist car hire excess insurance policy, like iCarhireinsurance’s, whilst also saving money at the rental desk.

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.