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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:11

Survey reveals car hire customers getting a raw deal plus don’t understand car hire insurance

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(0 votes), a leading online provider of car hire excess insurance, is calling for the car hire industry to put its house in order after a YouGov survey it commissioned found the following experiences were commonplace

amongst consumers who have hired a car:



  • Consumers being wrongly charged for damage to a car...
  • Damage not disclosed to them correctly at pick-up…
  • Consumers forced to wait for over an hour before they could collect their hire car …
  • Not getting ordered car …
  • Insufficient staff to check the hire vehicle at drop off…

Furthermore, it revealed that 15% of people who have hired a car had driven it without fully understanding exactly what insurance they had and what they were covered for.  “It is extremely worrying that a sixth of people are in the dark on their insurance cover,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder of  “Many people are totally unaware that if their hire car is stolen or damaged in any way, even if it’s just a small chip to the windscreen, they could end up with a large excess bill.”

Consumers being wrongly charged for damage to a car...


The YouGov survey, of over a 1,000 British adults who have hired a car, revealed that 1 in 20 (5%) people felt they had been wrongly charged for damage to their hire car.  Any damage to a hire car is subject to an excess amount (typically around £625 : see Table 1 below), so if the customers had not bought additional excess insurance they could be liable for at least this amount, then an additional charge if the damage cost exceeded this.

Damage not disclosed to them correctly at Pick-Up…

Unfortunately the above problem is not surprising when one considers that almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) had found damage on the car that had not been disclosed initially during the pick-up process.

Consumers forced to wait for long periods before they could collect their hire car and continue their journey…

Almost a sixth (12%) of people have had to queue for more than an hour to pick up a rental car.

Not getting ordered car…

A quarter of people (25%) have not been given the car they ordered.

Insufficient staff to check the hire vehicle at drop off…

At the end of a holiday or business trip, almost a fifth (18%) of people have arrived to drop off a hire car and found the staff were too busy to check the vehicle, meaning they had to trust that the check would be done fairly in their absence.

“The customer service that people are used to receiving from other industries appears to go out of the car window in the car hire industry,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder of  “Our survey revealed that people are experiencing shocking levels of customer service standards.  Firstly long delays to even get their hire car; then often not receiving accurate descriptions of existing damage to the car; and finally to add insult to injury being charged for damage that they did not cause.” protects customers from these insurance risks at a price significantly lower than  the car rental companies charge and also automatically covers damage to the tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage.  Its policies start from only £2.99 a day (compared to approximately £17* per day) or annual cover for £39.99. This is a saving of around £200** for a two week holiday from buying the excess insurance direct from the hire car company.

“Our advice to people is to buy before you fly,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder of, “Buying excess insurance in advance not only saves customers a significant amount of money, it also protects their wallet in the event of damage to a hire car.”

 ExcessNil Excess InsuranceRental Only CostRental + InsuranceExcess % of Rental
Avis€ 738€ 58.80 (€ 19.66 daily)€ 119.62€ 178.4249%
Budget€ 707€ 65.46 (€ 21.82 daily)€ 112.81€ 178.2758%
Europcar€ 773€ 61.56 (€ 20.52 daily)€ 117.97€ 179.5252%
Hertz€ 784€ 66.52 (€ 22.17 daily)€ 132.97€ 199.4950%
Sixt€ 350€ 59.48 (€ 19.82 daily)€ 134.98€ 194.4644%

* From Table 1 Avis charges €19.6 per day for excess insurance, or £17.57 (currency exchange as of 28/6/2011 - 1 GBP = 1.11570 EUR)

** The cheapest Nil Excess Insurance in Table 1 is Avis, which is €19.6 per day. This multiplied by 14 (for a two week holiday) is €274.40, or £245.92 (currency exchange as of 28/6/2011- 1 GBP = 1.11570 EUR). Buying two weeks excess insurance cover from is £2.99 a day, multiplied by 14 = £41.86. This gives a saving of £204.06. **

For more information please contact:

  • Ben Wooltorton, Sales and Marketing Director, Halo Insurance Services Ltd

Tel:  +44 7739 719 570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Or Frances Knox, Frankly PR,

Tel: +44 7850 470 123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors:

YouGov Survey

The research was undertaken for by YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2007 adults, of which 1103 have hired a car.  Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 - 4 April 2011.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:23
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