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Monday, 23 September 2013 11:45


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Car hire companies are not giving accurate descriptions of existing damage on hire cars, according to a YouGov survey, commissioned by, a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.

Over one in three business travellers (37%) said that they have found damage on their hire car which was not highlighted on the check-out sheet when they collected the car.  
Any damage incurred to a hire car, even if the car is stolen or scratched in a car park, can lead to the hirer having to pay the first part of an insurance claim, up to the excess amount, which can be as much as £1800 (e.g. if hiring a VW Golf with Budget in Milan in October 2013 – see Table 1).  
“When you pick up a hire car check it over as thoroughly as if you were buying it,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of “Most people expect the wheels, for example, to have minor scrapes from general wear and tear and don’t imagine that this would be picked up as ‘damage’ on a pre-car check, however we see plenty of people getting charged for minor wheel or  bumper damage which they’re pretty sure they didn’t cause but which weren’t identified when they collected the vehicle.”  
SMEs can make significant savings on their travel budget if they buy excess car hire insurance from a specialist provider like  Buying the daily excess waiver from the car hire company adds on up to 77% again to the original rental cost, according to the average price of five rental companies’ excess insurance to hire a VW Golf, or similar, for a week in Milan in October 2013 (see Table 1), according to research.  
A car hire excess insurance waiver bought direct from a rental company is approximately £24 a day (see Table 1) compared with £2.99 per day for a policy from - over 88% cheaper – which also includes cover for the windows, tyres, windscreen and the undercarriage, which the rental companies usually exclude. 
“When a small chip to the windscreen can cost hundreds business travellers need to make sure they buy excess insurance before they fly,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO at  “Send us your rental expenses and we’ll produce a report detailing the amount that could be saved with annual policies.”
Regular business users can buy an annual policy from just £39.99 for business and leisure use.
Table 1 - Cost of hiring a mid-sized car e.g. a VW Golf or simlilar in Milan from 26 Oct to 2 Nov 2013 - Research by
  Car Rental Rate Starting Excess Value Excess Insurance/Waiver Costs to £0 Cost of Excess Waiver per day Excess Cost as a % of Rental Cost
Avis £238.98 £1,628.47 £128.80 £18.40 54%
Budget £216.63 £1,839.20 £121.96 £17.42 56%
Hertz £220.19 £1,040.00 £169.40 £24.20 77%
Sixt £211.20 £840.00 £107.37 £15.34 51%
Europcar £197.36 £1,496.00 £310.52 £44.36 157%
Average Cost £216.87 £1,368.73 £167.61 £23.94 77%


Last modified on Saturday, 27 June 2015 15:32
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