Nearly two thirds (60%) of hire car drivers find collecting a hire car unnecessarily complicated and stressful according to new research of over 2,000 UK drivers carried out by Opinium, on behalf of, a leading provider of standalone car hire excess insurance.

Nearly a quarter (23%) waited over half an hour to collect a car, and once at the rental desk felt stressed (26%), impatient (26%) and frustrated (25%). Maybe not surprising, when almost one in ten (9%) were told there was no hire car for them, despite pre-booking and paying.

Two-thirds (66%) were shocked at the price of the extras sold by the rental companies (e.g., the excess waiver policies, sat nav, child car seat etc.), with over half (54%) saying they got the hard sell from rental company agents; and over a third (37%) saying they have been scared into buying extra insurance.

Almost half (49%) felt the rental company had misled them about how much the hire car would cost overall, with one in ten (12%) experiencing unexpected charges at pick-up and 10% when returning the car.

Over half (57%) of people who had left a security deposit on their credit card against potential damages were left nervous about how much would be taken and what this was for. Rental companies often ask for the excess deposit to be left on a credit card in case the rental car is damaged or stolen, some also ask for an extra amount to be left as a deposit in case there are any fines or tolls to be paid.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO, at, said: It’s concerning that people are having such a stressful time hiring a car. Choosing a rental company with a good reputation is a good place to start, but there’s also a lot you can do to ensure that you’re in the driving seat rather than the rental companies.

He continues: Make sure you know the price of any extras you’re going to need, so you’re not surprised at the rental desk. Bringing child car seats and a sat nav with you, and buy car hire excess insurance in advance from a standalone provider, like, to save yourself a small fortune. Also, ensure you have a spare credit card to put the excess deposit on, otherwise you could put a severe dent in your holiday money. Finally, when you collect and return your car, take photos of any damage and make sure it’s marked on the check-out sheet.

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.