People hiring vans over the May Day bank holiday could be paying as much for their excess insurance as their van hire.

Hiring a van with Budget in Cardiff, from 29 April to 3 May 2016, costs £140 but if a customer buys Budget's excess insurance costing £134, they would find themselves £273 out of pocket.

If excess insurance is not bought the renter is responsible for the first part of any claim, which can be up to £1000 in this case, even if the van is stolen or the damage is not the renter's fault.

A study by compared the costs to hire a van from five UK destinations, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, London Euston and Manchester, with three companies, Budget, Enterprise and Sixt, from 29 April to 3 May 2016.

It found the average cost to hire a van was £146 and the average excess insurance cost from the van hire companies was £107 - this is £90 for the basic excess insurance and £17 for an additional excess policy covering tyre and windscreen damage.

An excess insurance policy from an independent provider, like, is only £69.97 for the five day period and includes damage to the bodywork, windscreens, tyres, roof and undercarriage; and covers up to nine named drivers in the rental agreement.

Even the best drivers can get caught out if they haven’t driven a van for a while and when a tiny chip can cost hundreds to repair people should ensure they're protected from unwanted excess costs, said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of Buying an excess policy from an independent specialist, like, saves consumers money and can often mean they are better protected.

Table 1: The average costs from three rental companies, Budget, Enterprise and Sixt, for a UK resident to hire a Transit Van from the five UK locations below, 29 April to 3 May 2016. Pick up and drop off at the same location

Location Van Rental Excess Insurance Starting Excess Value Tyre and Windscreen Excess Sat Nav
Belfast £136.22 £87.88 £1,175.00 £19.96 £39.96
Cardiff £151.78 £82.01 £1,050.00 £17.48 £46.48
Glasgow £141.06 £95.33 £1,050.00 £17.48 £46.48
London £166.31 £95.33 £1,050.00 £17.48 £46.48
Manchester £134.42 £88.66 £1,050.00 £11.11 £46.48
Average £145.96 £89.94 £1,075.00 £16.70 £45.18

Notes to Editors

Halo Insurance Services Ltd is a ground-breaking online insurance broker which was founded in 2009 by Ernesto Suarez, a leading insurance expert specialising in non-standard motor insurance. Its products include car hire insurance, van hire insurance and car club excess insurance all of which have been designed to offer more cover for a better price than the excess waivers offered at the rental desk.

Halo operates the retail brands in the UK, in Germany, in Spain and in the Netherlands. It also provides insurance solutions to a number of commercial partners involved who provide software and booking services to car hire operators.

Awards won:

FINALIST – 2014 British Insurance Awards – Personal Lines Broker of the Year Award
WINNER - 2013 British Insurance Awards – Insurance Start-Up Award
FINALIST - 2012 British Insurance Awards – The E-Business Award
WINNER - 2011 Insurance Times Awards – Broker Innovation of the Year
Halo Insurance Services Limited is registered in England number 6929208. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 504629 for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

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.