Car hire excess insurance

Cover from the equivalent of £3.49 a day*

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*Based on UK resident buying a single trip policy to cover 10 days car rental in Europe
This service is provided by Cover-More Insurance Services Ltd. and the product is provided by Newline Insurance company Ltd. Full details are provided at the bottom of this page.

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

Car hire excess insurance

What is car hire excess insurance?

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 car 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.

Benefits of car hire excess insurance

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

Covers misfuelling, breakdown and towing

Comprehensive cover including damage to bodywork & tyres

How does car hire excess insurance work?

What happens if I damage my 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. This applies to both single and annual car hire excess insurance.

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.

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.

Can you use your own insurance for a rental car?

Your normal car insurance may not cover you in a hire car, unless you’re hiring it because your own car is being repaired and is undriveable. If you hire a car abroad or in the UK, it will usually come with insurance included in the price. But this is usually very basic insurance and will have a high excess (which means if the car is damaged or stolen, you’ll still have to pay a lot of money towards repair or replacement). It may be worth getting car hire excess insurance so you can claim back that money.


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 £45.99 (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 waiver (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

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 

Car hire excess insurance FAQS:

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.
Does car hire excess insurance cover scratches?
RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance covers scratches and other damage to the tyres, roof, body, windscreen and undercarriage of the car. But not all car hire excess insurance policies do. Excess waivers you might be sold at the car rental desk may not cover you for damage to your roof, tyres or windscreens.
Can I get annual car hire excess insurance?
You can! With annual RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance, you can get an annual policy that covers you for the whole year, or get daily cover for as many days as you’re hiring your car.
Can I get multi-trip car hire excess insurance?
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.
Does travel insurance cover car rental excess?
Travel insurance usually doesn’t include car rental excess as standard, so if your hire car is damaged or stolen you may have to pay a lot of money towards repairing or replacing it. But it’s easy to get cover for rental excess with RAC Car Hire Excess Insurance.
What is excess waiver insurance for car hire?

Excess waiver insurance is the same as car hire excess insurance.

When you hire a car, it will usually come with insurance (including a ‘loss or damage waiver’), but this insurance often has a high ‘excess’. In other words, if your hire car is damaged or stolen, you’ll have to pay some money towards the cost of repairing or replacing it. When you have excess waiver insurance or car hire excess insurance, you’re covered for the excess you have to pay if your hire car is damaged or stolen.

What is supplementary liability insurance?
Supplemental liability insurance (sometimes called ‘supplementary liability insurance’) tops up your hire car insurance. It means that if you’re in an accident and it’s your fault, you’re covered for the claims the other person in the accident might make. In Europe, car hire insurance usually includes third party liability, so you shouldn’t need supplemental liability insurance – but you might need it in the US and Canada. It’s different from car hire excess insurance, which covers the money you have to pay towards any insurance claims you make if your car is damaged or stolen (the ‘excess’).
Is car hire excess insurance the same as CDW?

No, car hire excess insurance is different to a collision damage waiver (CDW). A CDW means you don’t have to pay the full cost of damage to your hire car if you’re in an accident. Car hire excess insurance covers the excess you pay on your insurance claims (an amount of a claim you have to pay yourself).

You’ll usually have to pay an excess on a CDW. But if you’ve got USA & Canada or Worldwide Plus car hire excess insurance, then you’re covered for the excess on your CDW.

Do you have to pay excess when hiring a car?

If your hire car is damaged or stolen, or you have to claim on your hire car insurance for some reason, then there will usually be an excess you have to pay. But if you have car hire excess insurance, your insurer will pay the excess for you.

What does zero excess mean when renting a car?

Zero excess means you won’t have to pay any money towards your insurance claim. Most insurance policies have an ‘excess’ – i.e. an amount of money you have to pay yourself when you claim. E.g. if you have £500 excess and damage from a collision costs £1,500, you’ll pay £500 of the damage and the insurance will cover the rest. But if the excess is zero, you don’t have to pay anything towards the claim.

Policy FAQs:

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.
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.
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 10 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:

If the policy hasn’t started, we offer a full refund with no cancellation fee. In the case of an annual policy, if it’s within the 14-day cooling off period, there is also no cancellation fee, provided a vehicle hasn’t been collected.

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 is higher than £6000?

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


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