Retired people heading off for some late sun are warned that buying car hire excess insurance direct from the rental company could cost as much as their week's state pension.

With the average pensioner in the UK receiving a state pension income of £107 a week, travellers arriving to pick up their hire car are being asked to pay on average over £130 for a week's excess insuranceto protect them against the first part of any claim.

If excess waiver insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £1500 if the car gets damaged or even stolen. Even a small scratch on a windscreen can cost hundreds to fix. Older travellers should also be aware that some car hire companies set higher excess levels for the over 70s.

But many rental companies do not make this clear.

Research by excess insurance specialists,, found that the four leading car hire companies surveyed charged an average of £17 a day for excess car hire insurance, with the highest being an eye watering £23 a day with Hertz (see table 1)

Hiring a car and taking out excess insurance from the rental company is a "rip off" say over one in five (22%) consumers who have hired a car in the UK or abroad, according to a 2012 YouGov poll* commissioned by

However, policies can be bought online for £2.99 a day, or £39.99 for an annual policy, from for those up to 85 years. This reduces a traveller's excess amount to zero.

"Handing over a week's pension is a big chunk out of a retired person's income when they could have bought excess insurance in advance for 80% less," said Ernesto Suarez, CEO of

"Travellers are being held to randsom to take out a rental company's excess insurance with the threat of huge penalties if they damahe the hire car when all they want to do is pick up their keys and start their trip."'s excess policies also provide cover to vulnerable areas like windows, tyres, windscreen and undercarriage which the rental companies' policies usually exclude.

Our policies are available for Europe, USA and Canada, or Worldwide. Visit for more detals and to obtain a quote.

Table 1: Excess Insurance cost for Uk resident renting a VW Golf class car from Milan Airport for a week's rental from 27.10.2012 - 03.11.2012 and dropping off at the same location

Excess Excess Insurance Waiver Costs Costs of Excess Waiver per Day Rental Only Cost Combined Cost of Rental and Excess Waiver Excess Waiver Costs as a % of the Rental Cost
Avis £688.50 £109.14 £13.64 £232.43 £341.57 47%
Budget £980.10 £123.49 £15.44 £151.39 £274.88 82%
Hertz £891 £184.48 £23.06 £236.12 £411.86 78%
Sixt £1170 £119.77 £14.97 £292.09 £411.86 41%
AVERAGE COST £932.40 £134.22 £16.78 £228 £362.23 62%
  • Therefore the average daily excess from the rental companies sampled is £16.78
  • This compared with iCarhireinsurance excess insurance of £2.99 a day = 82% Saving!
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.