Daily cover from the equivalent of £2.99 per day^

Protect yourself from unexpected costs when hiring a car

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^ Based on UK resident buying a single trip policy to cover 10 days car rental in Europe

Car Hire Excess Insurance

What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

Car Hire Excess cover provides protection against high excess charges which can be imposed in the event of your hire vehicle becoming damaged or stolen in the UK or abroad. Cover can be purchased for a single trip, or on an annual basis for those who take out a rental more frequently. This could help you avoid expensive excess waivers at the car hire desk when you collect your rental car.

RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance cover is quick and easy to purchase online and also insures against damage to the vehicle's bodywork, tyres and roof, giving you complete peace of mind whilst out on the road. What’s more, you can tailor your policy further by adding cover for replacement vehicle keys, personal accident, and an upgrade to campervan/motorhome cover.


Up to £6,000 Excess cover on vehicle damage and theft

Up to £1,000 misfuelling cover

Comprehensive cover including damage to bodywork & tyres


Got a question or want to learn more? Visit our FAQs for more details about the policy

The benefits of Car Hire Excess Insurance

From scratches to the bodywork, to cover in the case of misfuelling or a breakdown – standalone car hire excess cover provides comprehensive protection for your rental vehicle. Car Hire Excess cover comes with a number of benefits:

 Cover for your hire car in the UK or abroad

 Cover for vulnerable parts such as tyres, windscreen, bodywork and the vehicle's roof

 Regular travellers could save with annual multi trip cover

 Covers vehicles hired for business use

Annual cover from £42.99 (Based on UK residents buying Excess Annual Europe)


What’s covered under my RAC Car Hire Excess policy? 

Compare our full list of cover benefits below. A range of optional extras are also available to enhance your cover.

Car Hire excess provides cover for: Europe Worldwide USA & Canada Worldwide Plus
Excess Insurance (up to £6,000 sum insured)           
Misfuelling, towing & breakdown (up to £1,000 sum insured)           
Loss Damage Waiver/Collision damage (up to £100,000 sum Insured)         
Vehicle lock out charges (up to £500)           
Car Jacking/Road Rage incident (up to £1,000)           
Hotel expenses (up to £150)           
Cancellation/early return of hire car on doctor’s advice (up to £500, max £25/day)           
Drop off charges (up to £300)           
Continuous cover up to 65 days        
In-country/local car rental          

         Multi trip annual only
   Daily & multi trip
        Not available

You can extend your policy to cover any of the following:

Vehicle Key Replacement

(up to £1,000)


Protect against the cost of replacing lost or stolen keys whilst driving a hire vehicle. 

 Replacing a lost or stolen hire vehicle key

 Locksmith charges
 Replacement locks

Personal Accident cover

(up to £10,000)


Provides a financial benefit if the driver of a hire car suffers certain injuries or death while in control of the rental vehicle.

 If you or named drivers on the rental car agreement are injured while driving in the hire vehicle, and the injury is the sole cause of death, loss of limb, or loss of sight
 If the injury is caused by suicide, attempted suicide, or self-injury
 If the injury is caused when under the influence of drink or drugs
 If a seatbelt was not worn

Campervan & Motorhome cover

(up to £2,000)


If you’re hiring a campervan or motorhome, you’ll need to purchase this extension to your car hire insurance policy to cover this type of vehicle.

 Up to £1,000 cover for a single incident

 Up to £2,000 cover for a series of incidents

  Claims where you have not met your Vehicle Rental Agreement

  Where the Rental Vehicle is not being driven by or is not in your control

  If the driver is not stated on your Vehicle Rental Agreement


Learn more about our Car Hire Excess Insurance
Still got questions? Our short video clip explains how buying car hire excess cover before you travel can save you both time and money.


Our guide to Car Hire Excess cover

When you collect a hire car the rental company may give you the option to purchase an optional Excess Waiver as part of your rental agreement. This waiver protects you from having to pay the hefty excess amount charged by the rental company in the event the hire car is damaged. You can insure against paying this excess by purchasing car hire excess cover. This allows you to claim back any excess you may have to pay to the hire company. 

How much are car hire companies excesses?

If a hire car is damaged, you (as the hirer) are typically liable to pay the first portion of the cost for repairs or any replacement. This cost is known as the ‘excess’ and varies in amount by provider, sometimes running into the hundreds or in some cases thousands of pounds per vehicle. This is payable to the car hire company in event of a claim, even if it only relates to a dent to the bonnet.

Do I need to purchase Car Hire Excess Insurance?

Car Hire Excess Insurance is not a legal requirement, however many customers opt to purchase this type of cover to avoid expensive excess waivers charged by the rental companies themselves. In short, by paying a small amount of money upfront you can avoid forking out higher excess charges in the event of damage to your hire car.

What happens if I damage my hire car?

If you have an accident or damage the roof, tyres or windscreen of your hire car, the rental company should take care of any repairs. This is covered under your ‘damage waiver’. You will however be asked to contribute towards the cost of these repairs which is your ‘excess’. This excess amount would be reimbursed to you by the company you purchase your Car Hire Excess policy through.

Can I purchase excess waiver when I pick up my rental car?

You may be offered the option of purchasing an excess waiver when you collect your rental car and feel pressurised to make an on the spot decision about whether the product is right for you. 

Its worth noting that a lot of excess waivers sold at the rental desk exclude damage to vulnerable parts of the vehicles such as tyres, windscreens and the vehicle roof. Independent Car Hire Excess policies often include this as standard, meaning planning ahead and buying your policy upfront can lead to less stress at the rental desk plus a policy offering better coverage and value. 

3 steps to protecting yourself from unexpected rental costs

  1. Get a quote online for annual or daily car hire excess insurance
  2. Tailor your quote to suit your trip with our range of optional extras
  3. Purchase cover and present proof at the car rental desk

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. In the event that your hire car is damaged or stolen it is likely you will need to pay the excess to your rental company on returning the vehicle. However with RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance, its simple to start a claim online and we’ll reimburse any excess charge that you may have paid.
Are there any significant exclusions on this policy?
Please consider the following exclusions before purchasing RAC Excess Car Hire insurance.
  Vehicles hired without comprehensive insurance
  Any claim or payment where you haven’t met the terms of your Rental Vehicle Agreement
  Unacceptable vehicles, such as cars over 20 years old, or vehicles that are valued over £100,000
  Interior damage, other than in the event of a collision
  Specific countries and areas where the Government is advising against travel
  Fines and penalties
  Campervans and motorhomes (unless our optional additional cover is taken out)

Cover is available for UK residents aged 25-80.

Is multi-trip cover available?

Yes – we offer both single trip and annual multi-trip cover for those drivers hiring a car on a more regular basis. On an annual multi-trip policy,  your rental agreement must not exceed 65 consecutive days.

Do you provide cover in the USA and Canada?
Yes – please make sure you select ‘USA & Canada only’ from the territory drop down during the quote journey.
Are there any hidden fees?

We want complete transparency about our fees so have listed these below:

Amendment fee:   £10

Request duplicate documents:   £10

Cancellation fee:    For Daily single-trip policies that have not started, a full refund will be given minus an administration fee of up to £10. If you made a claim before you asked to cancel your policy, no refund will be given. Any refund will be paid within 30 days of the date of your cancellation notice.

For Annual multi-trip policies a full refund will be given if your policy has not yet started. If your policy has started but your car hire rental has not yet started, a full refund will be given if cancelled within 14 days of the date of purchase, providing no claim has been made. If you wish to cancel more than 14 days after purchasing the annual policy, no premium refund will be made. If you made a claim before you asked to cancel your policy, no refund will be given for cancellations.

Are additional drivers covered on the policy?

If more than one person plans to drive your rental vehicle, they must be named as additional drivers on the rental agreement. Provided that any additional drivers are named on the rental agreement then they will also be protected against any excess charges associated with loss or damage when they were in charge of a vehicle that you have hired. Our policies provide cover automatically for up to 9 named drivers, provided that they are all named on the rental agreement. For the policy to be effective, the policy holder must be the main hirer of the rental vehicle. The policy will not be effective if the policy holder is a named driver on someone else’s rental agreement.

What happens if the excess contribution on the car rental agreement is higher than the single incident limit of £6,000?

If your car rental vehicle carries a very high excess which exceeds our single incident limit of £6,000, we will only cover you up to the amount specified on your policy schedule and you may have to pay the difference in the event of a claim.

All the information you need to discuss your policy or make a claim

Related Articles and Press Releases

RAC survey sheds light on expensive rental insurance costs


Who needs one and how do you get one?


8 in 10 UK airports increased pick-up and drop-off fees in 2019


RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance offers good value and peace of mind


Majority of drivers unaware of UK alternatives to expensive foreign car hire excess insurance

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RAC Insurance is a trading name of RAC Financial Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 5171817. Registered office: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall, WS5 4AW. Car Hire Excess Insurance is arranged and administered by Halo Insurance Services Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, Company No. 6929208 and underwritten by Zurich Insurance plc (A public limited company incorporated in Ireland. Registration No. 13460. Registered Office: Zurich House, Ballsbridge Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. UK Branch registered in England and Wales Registration No. BR7985. UK Branch Head Office: The Zurich Centre, 3000 Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire PO15 7JZ). Zurich Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and with deemed variation of permission. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website. Our FCA Firm Reference Number is 203093.

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