Irish holidaymakers renting cars abroad are being hit with exorbitant excess insurance charges at the collection desk, an online insurance provider has warned.
Excess on car rentals is the value of damage not covered by basic insurance. If the excess level is €1,000, then the renter would be liable for damage up to that amount unless they pay for additional, total cover, usually charged at a daily rate.
Blue Insurance, which operates Carhireexcess. com, says in recent years it has noticed the cost of additional insurance covering excess damage increase significantly, while the actual level of excess has also gone up in order to encourage drivers to take out additional cover. The industry maintains any rising costs in excess are often directly related to a simultaneous decrease in the basic rental cost.
Carhireexcess.com says that through its own research someone renting an Opel Corsa for two weeks in Malaga will pay Hertz €330 in excess fees, €230 to Budget and €244 to Avis.
says that often this additional cover is offered at the point of collection and that many people will feel under pressure to pay it, particularly when the level of excess is on the rise.
The insurance firm says it can offer the same level of cover for under €42.
“You get to the desk and they tell you the excess is not included and so if you damage the car you must pay the excess of whatever it is,” he said.
“So you panic, saying ‘oh my god, if I scrape this car I will have to pay €1,000’ but they say we can cover the excess for €10 or €15 a day. They are really heavy-selling on it.”