Keep a watch out for expensive travel tricks : Excess car hire insurance scam by Simon Read, Independent Personal Finance Editor
If you hire a car on your holiday, you'll be pressed to buy excess insurance at your destination, even though you may have already stumped up for car cover. If you don't, you risk being liable for up to £2,000 if the car is damaged or stolen, even if it's not your fault. Even a small chip on a windscreen can cost hundreds to fix, and the car hire company will demand the cash from you - or take it straight off your credit card - if you don't have cover.
But the excess insurance sold at holiday destinations is hugely expensive and can add up to 40 per cent extra to the cost of hiring the vehicle. A survey of car hire companies last month at Barcelona airport by online broker iCarhireinsurance.com found that Hertz was charging £20.59 extra a day for the excess cover.
However, you can buy excess insurance before you fly from as little as £3 a day. or £40 for an annual policy.
"Car hire companies make good commission selling excess insurance to tired, disgruntled travellers who just want to be on their way," said Ernesto Suarez, of iCarhireinsurance.com.
"But travellers can buy an excess policy from a third-party provider which not only costs a lot less, but is often more comprehensive than those offered by the car rental companies."