Car Hire Excess Insurance Explained

Excess Hire Products

Car rental excess insurance

Last updated 11 Nov 2022 by Eamonn Turley

When you rent a car, you will have cover called collision damage waiver(CDW). However, rental companies impose an excess. This is the amount that you are still liable for if a claim is made.  Unlike car hire,  car rental excess is on a daily basis. We have partnered with Insure my Van Hire, who offer car rental excess cover from £10.99 per day with zero excess. 

van rental excess cover

Did you know? Insurance provided by the rental company does not cover the glass, wheels or van underside. Taking out a car hire insurance policy provides cover for the excess, plus cover for damage to underside, wheels and glass.

What is car hire insurance?

If you cause damage to a hire van, you will be held responsible for the car hire excess amount. The excess amount can be sizable, especially in the UK. The excess is the amount that you will be held responsible for. So if rental comes with an excess of £3,000 and repaid costs is £4,000 you will be responsible for the £3,000. The rental company is liable for the £1,000. All UK self drive hire companies will have self drive hire insurance, but they will still impose a high excess, as a way of making extra money. 

What does standalone car rental excess insurance Include

Car hire excess is also referred to as a standalone excess policy, as it is separate to the policy that provides the actual insurance coverage provided by the rental company. However, most, but not all insurance polices come with an excess and these standalone excess polices provide cover on the excess amount. 

  • Loss or damage to the glass elements, roof, tyres and underbody
  • The excess on damage and theft up to a maximum of £6,500 cover in total
  • Misfuelling and car key cover – each up to £500 per claim
  • Cover for up to seven additional drivers (so long as they’re named in your rental agreement)

What does excess insurance NOT Include

  • Policies purchased after the collection of your rental vehicle
  • Trucks, commercial vehicles and vans with an unloaded weight of more than 3.5 Tonnes
  • Damage to the interior or contents of the car
  • Cover for cars hired outside the UK or the Isle of Man

Who providers car hire excess insurance in the UK

Most likely if you are reading this you will be familiar with names like Reducemyexcess, Questor, icarhireinsurance, Bigbluecover, Eversure and a few others. These will all provide car hire cover, but only a few will provide cover for the excess on a rental van. The few that will are reviewed below in our comparison table.   

When looking at the table below, you may ask yourself, what is excess on excess? Incredible as it may seem 2 providers who deserve a mention Questor and Icarhierinsurance do not fully cover the excess! The cheapest Questor is the biggest offender, making you responsible for the first £200. So if you want the cheapest option, be prepared to fork out £200 if you have an accident. 

ProviderExcess Cover LimitExcess on ExcessDrivers AgeFrom per Day
Insuremyvanhire£6,500 Full Cover21-85 inclusive£10.99
ReducemyExcess£7,000Full Cover£12
icarhireinsurance£2000 £100 - £200£13.99
Questor£2,500£20021-84 inclusive£6.33

The other 2 Insure my Van and Reduce my excess, in our view are the real contenders for your money. With Insuremyvan working out slightly cheaper. They also offer cover up to 7 additional drivers. insuremyvanhire is part of the Swinton Group Limited. 


Questor do offer van rental excess cover. A policy from Questor will not cover the first £200 of any claim, but it is cheap, starting at £6.33 per day.


Insuremyvan is the only provider of  cover that comes with a zero excess, it is a little more expensive than Questor, but you will not have to pay out the first  £200 of any claim made.

Insuremyvanhire is the marketing name used by to market their insurance excess cover for can and minibus hire. Read full review here in our insuremyvanhire  guide and review.

How much is the typical excess on a car rental?

Typical amounts are over £1,000 and higher the more expensive the car. This will be recovered against you even if the damage caused is not your fault, example a dent in the car park.

The two key events that can occur is an accident or theft of the rental car. As  either can happen, you should consider taking out car hire cover. This can reduce your excess to a smaller amount or waive the excess to zero, leaving you with zero liability.

How does car rental excess insurance work?

It is important to note this insurance will not waive you of having to leaving a security deposit with the local rental company. As such, please make sure that your card will be able to cover the reserve amount set by the van rental company. The reserve amount is a reserve only and will be cancelled on safe return of the rental van, minibus or camper van.

What is collision damage waiver?

Collision damage waiver (CDW) is the optional insurance that you will be offered by the car rental company to reduce that amount that you will be held liable for (the excess). It is offered as an additional daily amount added to the base rental cost, Some rental companies offer varying degrees of waiver, which will reduce your excess by a fixed amount, the more you pay, the more is waived, normally to zero amount. However, you are still liable for damage to underside and wheels. Read what is CDW guide to find out more on CDW and how it impacts car and van rental UK and abroad.

The van hire company will offer you additional insurance to also reduce or waive the excess. However, it is cheaper to take out a separate standalone van hire excess insurance policy. 

What is LDW Loss damage waiver?

The insurance provided by our partner Quester insurance includes Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). LDW covers damage to the glass, tyres, underside and sunroof of the car. The glass element includes all glass such as windscreen, side windows and headlights. LDW also provides cover for damage to the hired vehicle wheels and wheel trim.

These items covered by LDW are your responsibility under the car hire contract. Any damage and you will be responsible and liable. This is why Questor excess insurance includes these as standard in their car hire excess insurance policies.

Car Hire Excess FAQ's

What should I do if offered local excess insurance by the car rental company?

The actual rental company will always try and sell their excess insurance policy, priced at a daily rate. If you have been wise to take out a separate van rental excess insurance then simply smile and politely refuse. 

If the rental company does not return the full excess amount how do I claim?

If the rental company makes a charge for damages, you can claim these back direct from the van rental excess policy that you purchased. Follow the rental company guidelines if involved in an accident and keep all documentation. At rental end forward all details to the excess insurance company for processing. 

Can I insure the excess on a hired minibus?

Yes, the excess policy can provide cover for a rental van, car or a rental minibus

Does car rental include hire and reward insurance?

All the main car rental companies do not offer van rental with hire and reward insurance. Why? Because using a van for hire and reward brings additional risk than just using it for your business or personal use. Van couriers tend to be on the road most of the day, working to fixed deadlines. This extra stress and time on the road increases the risk of an accident. As such the driver needs additional cover often referred to as hire and reward insurance

Who provides car hire excess insurance in the UK?

As more and more people are becoming savvy of the excessive charges for buying excess protection direct from the rental provider, more options exist for buying annual excess cover. Whilst not a crowded market the key players as of 2021 include Questor, Insurance4Carhire, Icarhierinusrance and Reducemyexcess Whilst the AA offer car rental insurance that covers van hire they do not provide an actual AA van hire excess insurance product.

Is hourly van rental excess available?

At the moment the minimum period is 1 day

Any age limits on who can apply for car hire excess?

Age limits do apply. We have partnered with who provide van and minibus rental excess policies for anyone in age range 21-85. 

Do I need a Credit Card?

With few exceptions, rental companies will require the lead driver to have a credit card to block the local excess. They will NOT accept debit card or cash, it must be a credit card. At the moment, we do not know of any exceptions.

Can I insure the excess on a hired minibus?

Yes, the excess policy can provide cover for a rental van, car or a rental minibus

Van hire excess insurance comparison

A van rental excess insurance policy gives you protection when you need to rent a van in the UK. Rentals cars and vans come with CDW, but you will be responsible for a sizeable amount if you need to make claim. In addition, the cover you get does protect the underside mirror or damage to wheels. 

Scroll to Top