Undisclosed damage, given the wrong car and queuing for over an hour are some of the experiecnes travellers face when hiring a car according to a new survey released today.

The YouGov survey, conducted on behlaf of iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance revealed that amoungst adults who had hired a car

  • Over one in 10 people (11%) queued for more than an hour to pick up their rental car
  • Over 1 in ten (12%) found damage on the rental car that was not originally disclosed
  • Over a sixth of consumers (17%) did not get the rental car they ordered.

It's no wonder that over one in ten people have found the process of renting a hire car stressful:

"Our survey reveals that people are not receiving the standards they should expect when hiring a car," said Ernesto Suarez, founder and cheif executive of iCarhireinsruance.com. "They should be able to quickly and easily colllect the hire car they ordered and to trust that any existing damage to the car is proprly recorded. This doesn't seem much to ask."


One in seven (14%) car hire respondants said they did not read the small print of the rental agreement with the same number again saying that they couldn't be bothered to read all the bits of paperwork. (This is probably not helped by the fact that 5% couldn't understand the staff at the rental desk.)


Then at the end of the hire period almost a quarter (23%) of these respondents were forced to drop their car off without having it signed off by a representative from the rental company which could be leaving them open to potential additional charged and disputes. Indeed, 2% of these respondents believe they were wrongly charged for damage to their car.

Any damage to the hire car is subject to an excess amount, which could be up to £2,000, and if customers have not bought additional excess insurance to cover this they would be liable for this even if the damage was not their fault, including if the car was stolen.

Research by iCarhireinsurance.com found that the five leading car hire companies surveyed charged an average of £15 a day for excess waiver car hire insurance, with the highest being a eye watering £20.50 a day with Hertz.

However, policies from iCarhireinsurance.com can be bought online for only £2.99 a day or £39.99 for an annual policy. They also include cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies' policies.

Ernesto Suarez said: "Our advice is simple, buy your excess insurance before you fly to save you time, bother and most of all money with a better product which gives you absolute peace of mind.

Table 1: Execss Insurance cost for UK residents renting a VW Golf class car in Barcelona (Barcelona Airport) for a three day rental from 01.06.2012 - 04.06.2012 and dropping off the the same location.

Excess Execss Insurance Waiver Costs Cost of Waiver per Day Rental Only Cost Combined Cost of Rental and Excess Waiver Excess Waiver Costs as % of Rental Cost
Avis £61 £42.48 £14.16 £105 £147.48 40%
Budget £1322 £21.90 £7.30 £63.30 £85.20 34%
Europcar £645 £53.97 £17.99 £127.97 £181.91 42%
Hertz £630 £61.77 £20.59 £142.91 £204.68 43%
Sixt £280 £42.04 £14.01 £84.10 £126.14 49%
AVERAGE COST £706 £44.43 £14.81 £104.65 £1149.08 42%
  • Therefore average daily excess from the rental companies sampled is £15
  • This compared with iCarhireinsurance.com excess insurance of £2.99 a day = 73% 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.