Any damage caused to a hire car, even in the event the car is stolen or scratched in a car park can lead to the hirer having to pay up to the excess amount to the rental company which can be as much as £1500.
Excess waiver insurance can be purchased to protect you from this, but the rental company policies cost up to £27 a day, over 9 times more expensive than a policy from iCarhireinsurance.
The good news is that two thirds of hirers (67%) say they do check their hire cars for damage before they take possession of the vehicle. However only 4 in 10 people check the wheels and tyres, the areas most likely to sustain damage, together with the roof, windows and undercarriage. What’s more, these vulnerable areas are often excluded from the standard rental desk excess waivers.
However it isn’t just on pick-up that drivers need to be vigilant. The research found that 33% of us have returned a rental car without it being inspected due to a rental desk staff member being unavailable.
With more than 1 out of every 20 car hirers believing they have been wrongly accused for returning a damaged hire car, not getting your vehicle signed off upon return is a risky move that could result in you having to cough up a fortune to the rental company.
“When you pick up a hire car it’s essential to check it over thoroughly and note every mark, no matter how insignificant on the checkout sheet, including any damage and scuffs to the wheels. We see plenty of people getting charged for minor wheel damage or scratches on the bumper which they know were on the car when they picked it up but unfortunately were not noted on the paperwork when they collected the vehicle. Sadly in the modern world of vehicle rental this is tantamount to writing a blank check to the rental desk” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com.
He continued: “The best way to protect yourself is to buy a stand-alone excess insurance policy in advance. These policies are usually much better value than those offered by the rental companies and in addition to the bodywork they also cover tyres, wheels, roofs and windscreens where pre-existing damage is often missed. Holiday makers should be concentrating on having a good time, not worrying about additional costs being levied on them at the end of their holiday, particularly if they are charged for damage they didn’t even cause. ”