Over 60% of business travellers (63%), who have hired a car, said that collecting a hire car is unnecessarily complicated and stressful, not helped by 63% experiencing the hard sell at the rental desk.

The Opinium survey*, commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of independent car hire excess insurance, found that business travellers felt impatient (32%), frustrated (30%), stressed (28%) and pressurised (21%) at the rental desk.

It also found that 62% of business travellers are confused by the jargon rental car companies use to explain their insurance options and almost half (49%) admitted to having driven a hire car without fully understanding exactly what insurance they had or what they were covered for.

Almost a third (31%) of business travellers did not know that if anything happens to the hire car, even if it is not their fault, they would be liable for the excess costs (i.e. the first part of any claim), which could be up to £2,000. Over half (53%) of business travellers had purchased excess waiver policies from the rental desk to protect themselves from this, despite 81% describing them as a ‘rip off’.

Rental companies charge around £22 a day** for excess waiver insurance, according to a European study of car hire costs this autumn. This is over five times more expensive than a week's policy from a specialist insurer like iCarhireinsurance.com which charges from £2.99 a day for a week’s cover (or an annual European policy is from £41.99).

Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com said: To minimise stress at the rental desk and to make a quick get-away, business travellers can save their companies’ money by purchasing an independent excess waiver policy, from an FCA regulated insurance company in the UK, before they travel rather than relying on the rental company’s policies at pick-up. A simple bit of planning ahead could save companies hundreds and even thousands in the long term.

* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Opinium Research. Total sample (business travellers) size was 357 UK adults that have hired a car for business. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd to 4th May 2018. The survey was carried out online..

**iCarhireinsurance.com surveyed the cost of hiring a medium compact car in four destinations, Tenerife, Faro, Larnaca, Bordum and Barcelona from 10 – 17 November 2018 with six rental companies’ costs (i.e. Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Enterprise) and found the average cost of Super Damage Waiver charged was £99, Super Damage Theft Waiver was £22 and Tyre & Windscreen waiver was £35. This makes a daily average total of £22.

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.