Like most transactions, the act of renting a vehicle isn’t as simple as you might think. Car hire agreements come with their fair share of jargon that you may confuse with other similar terms. One-word differences are often the catalyst for damaging misunderstandings. If you come across car hire excess and car excess insurance, it’s crucial to establish the difference between the two. 

What is Car Hire Excess?

When renting a vehicle in the U.K., your package will usually come with a charge for insurance. This insurance protects you against: 

  • Third-party claims, under which a passenger may suffer an injury or damage to their personal property as a result of your driving. With car hire excess, you can streamline the process of traffic accident management.
  • Theft of the vehicle—without car hire excess you may be responsible for covering the cost of damages. 
  • Accidental damages for which you can be held liable. Surprisingly, this insurance doesn’t usually cover any desecrations to the roof, underside, windows, wheels, or tyres. 

For claims under which you may be responsible, you may have to shoulder an additional fee. Between the excess and your standard car hire insurance, the difference may be close to up to GBP1,000. Depending on the type of vehicle you rent, this amount can drop lower or shoot higher than you expect. 

Car hire excess is optional to what is known as a CDW (collision damage waiver). In the instance of an accident, some companies can provide up to GBP10,000 of coverage. Otherwise, the average excess provided is anywhere between GBP500 and GBP3,000. 

Not all renters will have to pay the excess if the problem lies within the support offered. If, for example, damages cost GBP200, the renter will only pay GBP200, even when the excess is listed at GBP1,000. 

A CDW will usually prove useless under circumstances in which you were driving on an untarmacked road, the coverage is not valid, not named as the driver on the rental agreement, or driving recklessly. 

What is Car Excess Insurance?

If your excess is punitive, purchasing car excess insurance can protect you from having to shell out more than you have to. Depending on where in the U.K. you rent a vehicle, this coverage might include a single trip or annual excess protection. 

You can purchase car excess insurance online before your trip, with any excess charges applied by your hire to be reimbursed upon your return. This cover may extend to various costs such as any type of damage and often proves cheaper than purchasing a less comprehensive plan from a rental company. 

If you’re considering taking up a rental on their offer, get to know their hard-sell habits. Rental companies can be incredibly persuasive, charging excess insurance at a daily rate that can fluctuate throughout the period in which you are renting the vehicle. 


There are many reasons why you might consider getting car excess insurance. If you’re driving in unfamiliar territory or simply want to cover all bases, doing so can help prevent the need to consult additional car accident services. 

With Accident Management Company, you can get the best out of our accident management services, especially when you know you’re not the party at fault. Whether you’ve suffered from another driver’s carelessness or need to protect yourself, don’t hesitate to give us a call.