Car hire rip off – Motorists pay up to £160 too much for vehicle insurance

British motorists are being ripped off when it comes to car hire insurance, reveals new research. The new investigation found that motorists buying a hire car excess waiver through their rental company can pay up to significantly more than they would on a standalone policy. Motorists have been found to pay up to £160 more for these waivers. Standard policies come with excesses of between £500 and £2,000, which is a significant cost should you have an accident.

Motorists are encouraged by rental firms to take out an excess waiver which will then reduce this amount to nothing.

The investigation by travel comparison site TravelSupermarket found that policies offered at the rental desk were up to 579 per cent more expensive.

What’s more, policies bought by a third-party provider could increase by up to 90 per cent on to the cost of car hire.

The investigation looked at the 10 most popular overseas locations for hiring a vehicle.

TravelSupermarket found significant differences between the online/at desk prices from rental firms to third-party companies.

Emma Coulthurst, consumer advocate at TravelSupermarket commented: “It is a scandal that car hire companies are charging these excessive amounts for excess waiver policies at the desk.

“It is not an accident that these policies tend not to be able to be purchased on the car hire companies’ websites but have to be bought on arrival.

“The lack of transparency suggests that the companies are wanting you to not compare policies before your trip but be sold the policies at extortionate amounts, once you’ve arrived tired from your journey and are a captive audience.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused said that rentals in the UK are also more expensive.

She said: “Some car hire firms are getting away with ripping off drivers. We see an advertised price and expect to pay it, but when we turn up at the counter we are confused by all of the add-ons which we’re told we must have.

“Whilst the focus here might be on car hire companies abroad, UK companies have the same confusing practices.

“The Government needs to urgently investigate the industry and help bring clarity to consumers who want nothing more than fair deal and safe holiday car rental.”

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