Car Hire Excess Insurance

Cover from the equivalent of £3.99 a day^

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

Existing customer? Find out how to get in touch or amend your policy.

Car Hire Excess Insurance

Get cover for unexpected bills when you hire a car, motorhome, or campervan in the UK or abroad

Car hire excess insurance covers you for the excess fee that car hire companies can charge you if the hire car is damaged or stolen. This charge can run to thousands of pounds. Car hire excess insurance – also known as rental insurance or excess waiver insurance – reimburses you for these costs.

RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance cover is quick and easy to buy online. You can buy it for a single trip, or on an annual basis. It covers you for damage to the bodywork, tyres, and roof. You can also add cover for replacement keys and personal accident costs. And you can upgrade to campervan or motorhome excess cover.

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

Covers misfuelling, breakdown and towing

Comprehensive cover including damage to bodywork & tyres


Why buy car hire excess insurance before you travel?

a car inside a heart

Peace of mind

Imagine you’re on holiday. You pick a car up from the rental desk and drive away. A stone flicks up from the road, scratching the bodywork and cracking a window. What’s the rental company going to charge you for the repair? How expensive will the parts and labour be? That’s what car hire excess insurance is for. We cover you for up to £6,000 for damage or theft. So, if the worst happens, you know you won’t be out of pocket.
a hand with a pound coin being placed into it

Cheaper and more convenient than buying at the car rental desk

Buying car hire excess (waiver) insurance at the car rental desk could cost you more. You may feel pressured into buying an expensive policy on the spot. Arranging a separate policy in advance could save you time and money.
a tick inside a circle

Covers the parts that are more likely to be damaged

Our policies not only cover the bodywork, but also areas that are more likely to be damaged. These include tyres, wheels, windscreen, and the roof. Damage to these areas could catch you out. You're covered for it all with the RAC.
a hand with a stack of coins being placed in it

You could save money with an annual car hire excess insurance policy

If you plan on hiring a car more than once in the next 12 months, you could save money with our annual policy. It'll cover you in the UK and abroad, for business and personal travel, for up to 65 continuous days.  

Annual cover from £49.99 (based on UK residents buying Excess Annual Europe)


What’s covered with car hire excess insurance?

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)           
Carjacking/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

Car hire excess insurance optional extras

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

(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

(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

Get a quote 

Frequently Asked Questions

Car hire excess insurance will cover you for the excess charges you may be liable to pay your rental company if your hire car is stolen or damaged. When you hire a car, cover often called a ‘damage waiver’ is usually included. However, even though this is in place, you’re still liable to pay the first part of the claim – the ‘excess’. It can run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds. This is where you can use your car hire excess insurance policy to claim back any costs you’ve incurred, up to £6,000.
What are hire company excesses?
If a hire car is damaged, you (as the hirer) are typically liable to pay the first portion of the cost for repairs to the car hire company. This cost is known as the ‘excess’ and varies in amount by provider. 
Do I need car hire excess insurance?
Car hire excess insurance is not a legal requirement. Many customers opt to purchase this type of cover to avoid expensive excess waivers charged by rental companies. 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/rental car?
If you have an accident or damage the roof, tyres or windscreen of your hire car, the rental company should organise any repairs. This is covered under your ‘damage waiver’. You will however be asked to pay towards the cost of these repairs – this is your ‘excess’. This excess amount would be reimbursed to you through your car hire excess insurance.
Is it worth buying car hire excess insurance?
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. So, planning and buying your policy upfront can be less stressful than at the rental desk. You can also opt for a policy offering better coverage and value.
Do I still need to pay excess charges to the rental company?
Yes, you will. But with RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance you can immediately start a claim online, from anywhere in the world. You’ll then be reimbursed for the excess charges you’ve paid.
I am an existing customer, how do I contact you or make a claim?
To enquire about a policy, make a claim or cancel an existing policy, you can find our contact details on our existing customer page.
Cancellation or curtailment due to medical advice
If you are cancelling or returning your hire car early under the advice of a medical professional, your insurance policy will cover you for up to £500, to a maximum of £25 per day. You may be required to provide evidence when you contact us to cancel.
Is multi-trip cover available?
Yes – similar to Travel Insurance, we offer policies for a number of days, or for a year if you plan on hiring a car more regularly. On an annual (multi-trip) policy, your car rental agreement must not exceed 65 consecutive days.
Do you provide cover in the USA and Canada?
Yes – When you get a quote make sure you select ‘USA & Canada only’. If you plan on renting a car outside of USA & Canada as well, you will need our Worldwide Plus cover, which covers you around the world.
Are there any significant exclusions on this policy?
Please consider the following exclusions before purchasing RAC Car Hire Excess 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.

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:

Single Trip policy:

  • If your policy hasn’t started – full refund minus £10 admin fee, paid within 30 days of the date of cancellation.
  • If you’ve already made a claim on the policy – No refund will be given.

Annual Multi-Trip policy:

  • If your policy hasn’t started – full refund given.
  • If your policy has started but the car hire rental has not yet started – full refund given if cancelled within 14 days of purchase.

If you’ve already made a claim on your insurance policy, we will not be able to offer you a refund.

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

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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 Cover-More Insurance Services Limited (Cover-More), a company registered in England and Wales, Company No. 03088762 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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