Hiring A Car Could End Up Costing You £1000s
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A Post Office investigation into overseas car hire has revealed some worrying trends.

The excess on insurance policies from car rental firms tend to be anywhere from £400 to £1000. If the hire car is then involved in a serious accident, or should it get stolen, the hirer has to pay the full amount of this excess.

The sensible thing to do is to take out some additional insurance, known as an excess waiver policy. This extra policy will cover the hirer for the excess charged in the event of a claim.

The recent investigation, carried out by Post Office Travel Money, found that only around a third of British drivers take out excess waiver insurance, and only around one fifth invest in window, tyre and undercarriage cover.

Damage to tyres, windows and the car's undercarriage is not usually covered by a car rental firm's standard insurance policy.

Most Car rental companies do offer their customers the opportunity to take out excess waiver insurance, but they tend to charge a small fortune for it. Typically, one week's cover can be around £150 extra. That may exceed the price of hiring the car.

However, if you shop around, you will soon fine excess waiver insurance priced in the region of £30 - £35 per week. You can also buy annual cover for as little as £40 to £50. Such policies tend to offer up to around £2000 of cover, which is more than enough to cover the excess on most policies. They also tend to cover damage to the car's tyres, windows and undercarriage.

Some, not all, but some, car hire firms are known to be pretty aggressive when trying to sell add-ons such as excess waver insurance. They may even tell you that the policy you have taken out isn't valid. Don't listen – it is.

The best way to find more affordable excess cover is, of course, online. Using broker sites will save you the job of getting quotes from each company in turn. Simply enter your details and opt for the best deal. Do make sure that the site is comparing like with like though.

The prices of excess waiver insurance will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. To take two extremes, car rental in Wolverhampton, England is likely to be quite a bit cheaper than in Cape Town, South Africa.

Incredibly, some insurance companies even offer a full refund on their excess waiver insurance if no claim is made.

Older drivers may find that they are charged more for excess insurance, however there are insurers around who don't increase the cost for drivers until they reach 84 years of age.

The thought of incurring charges of £400 to £1000 for an accident, or theft, that could be no fault of your own is a worrying one. However, for just £30 to £40 you can protect yourself against the huge excesses offered by car rental companies and gain peace of mind. After all holidays are for relaxing, not for fretting about car hire walsall.

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