Driver SOS (UK)
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Car Rental Insurance
The common misconception when hiring a car is whether or not you need to buy car rental insurance. Most people don’t read the terms and conditions when they rent a car; if they did they would find that although you are covered under Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and theft if the car was stolen or involved in an accident you would have to pay the first portion of the costs also known as excess for the damage. The reason for car hire companies to take your credit card details is because if you are involved in an accident or the car has been stolen and you opted out of the excess agreement, you will still have the money taken off the card that was provided. When you hire a car, the rental company will try to persuade you that you should take their insurance so you are covered but they are very expensive especially when you can buy insurance for car rental for as low as £1.99 a day.
Do I need special insurance cover when I rent a car?
If you really don’t want the hassle of having another insurance policy and you have a good driving history, then you don’t have to take it. If you regularly hire cars for whatever reason annual premiums can be as low as £39 and covers everything from CDW, theft, window repair, tyres and much more. If you do take out rental car insurance coverage then you just claim the money back from the rental car excess insurance. With repair and replacement costs of the vehicle ranging from £100 to £2000 you could be seriously out of pocket if you were involved in an accident or had the car stolen.
Remember that even if you have insurance for an existing car this does not cover any damages or theft to cars that have been hired. You current insurance policy will only apply to your car and no other. In some cases when you take out comprehensive cover for your existing car you may also be covered for third party damages to other cars you drive. Before taking car rental liability insurance call your existing car insurance provider to check if you are covered when driving hire cars.
Reducing car hire disputes
When you hire a vehicle the company will check the car to make a note of any dents, scratches or scuffs. It’s advisable to take some pictures of your own before you start driving as it is well known that hire companies will try to make some money out of you for damages that were already there. If it’s possible be there when they check the car over for any damages as you may find that they will charge it to your credit card without your knowledge. After a week check your credit card statement to make sure that money hasn’t been withdrawn from your account without you knowing.