Damaging a hire car can be expensive with the average price of repairs reaching nearly £500* yet almost a third of hire car drivers are oblivious that they are liable for these damage costs.
iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of standalone car hire excess insurance, looked at its claims data from summer 2018 to find out the average price of claims for different parts of a hire car. It then surveyed over 2,000 UK hire car drivers, with Opinium, to find out if they knew how much damage can cost to repair, and how it would make them feel if they were charged this to repair their hire car.
Damage to a hire car’s windows is one of the most common damage claims, and the average price charged by rental companies for this damage is £403. Two thirds (67%) of car hirers say they would feel angry and ripped off if they were charged this. The highest claim iCarhireinsurance.com received for windows’ damage is £1,733.
Damage to a hire car’s undercarriage is one of the most expensive repairs costing on average £688 to fix. Once again, nearly two thirds (65%) of car hirers say they would feel angry and ripped off if they were charged this. The highest claim iCarhireinsurance.com received for damage to a hire car’s undercarriage is £6,027.
Damage to tyres cost on average £224 to repair and again nearly two thirds (64%) said they would feel ripped off if they were charged this. The highest claim for tyres’ damage seen by iCarhireinsurance.com is £1,675.
Worryingly, nearly a third (30%) of hire car drivers were unaware that if their hire car is damaged or stolen, they are liable for the excess cost. The average excess is now around £2,000*, according to iCarhireinsurance.com’s annual 16 country study of car hire costs, and can be up to £6,000 in places.
The research highlights not only the importance of excess waiver insurance, but ensuring excess policies cover damage to windows, tyres and undercarriage, which are areas of the vehicle that are often excluded from rental companies’ standard excess waiver cover.
Rental desks charge on average £136* for a week’s excess cover, and often sell an additional tyre and windscreen policy for on average £31*. Whereas an excess policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from £3.49 a day for a European policy or £47.99 for an annual policy.
Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO, iCarhireinsurance.com said:
I hope by sharing this information about our claims, hire car drivers will understand the kind of money they could be liable for if their hire car is damaged. Don’t be fooled into thinking that damage only happens to bad drivers, most of our claims are for damage that wasn’t the driver’s fault, or even damage which happens to a car whilst parked!
Excess insurance is very important, but make sure you are covered for damage for all of the car, including the tyres and windscreen. You can save on average £139 by buying from a standalone provider like iCarhireinsurance before you travel.
Table 1 shows the average claims and highest claims submitted to iCarhireinsurance.com from summer 2018 for six key areas of a hire car, as well as the percentage of hire car drivers who would feel angry and ripped off if they were charged the average claim for damage.
|Average Damage Claim||Highest Damage Claim||% of car hirers who would feel angry and ripped off if they were charged the average claim for damage|
* Average costs in the iCarhireinsurance.com 16 country annual study using data from six car hire companies (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise) for a week’s car hire from 27 July – 3 August 2019 to hire a medium, compact-sized car e.g., a Ford Focus.