Half of hire car drivers (47%) have felt misled about how much a hire car would cost, with many drivers only finding out the real cost when they pick up the car at the rental desk.

  • Often extra charges not revealed until rental desk
  • 42% were not told until the rental desk that they would have to leave the excess amount on their credit card
  • Two fifths (43%) experienced hard sell from agents at the rental desk

iCarhireinsurance, a leading provider of standalone car hire excess insurance, researched over 2,000 hire car drivers, to find out at what stage of the booking journey drivers are told key information about how much the hire car would really cost.

The research, carried out by Opinium, found that only a third who hired a car in Europe (34%) said they were told about the fuel policy when they booked i.e. whether they needed to return the car with a full tank, or pay for a tank up front, with a half (50%) not finding this out until they reached the rental desk.

Less than a third (30%) who hired in Europe were told they were liable for the excess, if the car is damaged or stolen, when booking, and two fifths (41%) only learnt this when they picked up the car. Three in ten (29%) were told the price of excess insurance when booking, and over half (53%) did not discover this until the rental desk.

One in five (19%) were told that without excess waiver protection the excess would be held on their credit card when booking, but 42% were not aware of this until they reached the rental desk. A third (34%) did not find out until this stage that damage to windows and tyres is not included in the insurance.

It is not surprising that over 45% that hired a car in Europe believe that the information provided about excess liability, insurance and deposits is confusing. It is concerning that with all these extra costs, that two fifths of all hirers (43%) stated that they have experienced a hard sell from agents at the rental desk when they arrived to pick up their car.

Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said, The start of a holiday is supposed to be something to dream about, but with so many surprises at the rental desk, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. It’s important that hire car drivers do their best to find out as much as they can before they pick up their hire car, so they don’t get any nasty surprises. If the information needed isn’t available when booking, find out why, and research how savings can be made.

Excess wavier insurance is available from iCarhireinsurance.com for only £2.99 a day, or £39.99 for an annual policy, this is on average 75% cheaper than the cover sold at the rental desk, and sometimes a saving of 90%*.

* To buy Budget’s full excess waiver cover costs £244 a week, broken down into the super excess waiver policy costing £113, a super theft waiver costing £119 and a tyre and windscreen waiver costing £12. An iCarhireinsurance.com policy covers these elements and the vulnerable parts of the vehicle, i.e., the undercarriage, tyres and windscreen but is only £23.92 a week (£2.99 a day), a saving of £220 (90%).

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.