Rental car insurance excess

Reduce expensive excess charges when your rental car is stolen or damaged with rental car excess insurance.

Important read: Rental car excess insurance and COVID-19

Rental car excess insurance is still available for anyone who needs to hire a car. You may need to rent a car if:

  • You need to travel for work
  • You're moving house
  • You need to run essential errands
  • You need to provide care

Due to ongoing uncertainty, some insurers are implementing more flexible cancellation policies.

Rental Car Excess Insurance Finder™ helps you easily compare car rental excess insurance

What is car rental excess insurance?

Car rental excess insurance is a type of insurance policy that will cover the excess charged by rental companies if the car is damaged or stolen.

That's helpful because it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses. These excess amounts can sometimes be as much as $8,000. So instead of risking thousands of dollars, get rental car insurance and pay as little as $2.83 per day.

Compare car rental insurance in Australia

Call it car hire excess insurance, rental car excess insurance, rental vehicle insurance excess, rental car insurance excess… it's all the same thing. There are different options to suit all budgets so you can save yourself from unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.
NameInternational or domestic coverEligible driver ageFeaturesStarting price (per day)Apply
Rental cover logo

Rentalcover.com

Both19–99 years
  • Complete vehicle coverage for up to $100,000 in damages
  • Coverage for theft, towing, damage to tyres, windscreens, roof, underbody, and key loss
  • Coverage for accident-related charges e.g. admin/processing fees, "loss of use", relocation fees, and more
  • Cancel anytime up until pickup, and for any reason
  • No further excess payable
$9.48 ($0 excess)Get quote
Picture not described

Car hire excess

Both21–75 years
  • Cover from $4,000 to $8,000
  • Additional cover for damage to windscreens, roof, tyres and underbody
  • Underwritten by Lloyds
  • No further excess payable
$9.30 ($0 excess)Get quote

*Prices are based on a 15-day hire in Australia, as of September 2019. Benefits vary from brand to brand. Always read through the product disclosure statement (PDS) to make sure the product is suitable for you.

How does car rental insurance work?

Rental car insurance

What vehicles are covered by rental car insurance?

Surprisingly, car rental excess insurance can actually cover most vehicles that includes standard cars, luxury cars, 4WDs, campervans and even motorcycles.
Limits to this include the weight of a vehicle (for campervans, the vehicle needs to weigh less than 4.5 tonnes for most brands), the engine displacement of a motorcycle and driving conditions (e.g. icy and off-road). Always check directly with your insurer for exact specifications.
Woman photographing

Cars

Man driving convertible

Luxury cars

Man with map

4x4s

Traveling with RV

Campervans

Woman riding motorcycle

Motorcycles

5 benefits of car hire excess insurance in Australia and overseas

One It's affordable

Getting standalone cover is usually much cheaper than cover purchased through a rental car company. On average, car rental excess insurance is three times cheaper than cover from the rental car companies.

Two Windscreens, tyres, roof and underbody can be included

Brands like Rentalcover.com and Car Hire Excess cover damage to the above even if it's excluded from your rental agreement. This is a special feature of these brands.

Three Get other helpful inclusions

Some brands will also include cover for your luggage and personal effects, and returning your vehicle to the correct location if you get sick or injured and can't return it yourself.

Four Covers all sorts of vehicles

Sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and more – most policies cover an extensive range of vehicles as long as they weigh less than 4.5 tonnes.

Five Domestic and international policies available

Regardless of whether you're travelling within Australia or overseas, there are standalone car rental excess policies available to suit your needs.

Is it worth it? Yes

For some perspective, here are the minimum excesses charged by major rental companies in Australia. These charges are based on standard 2WD vehicles, that means that the excess amount can increase if you're renting a more expensive vehicle. If you decide not to take out any type of rental car excess cover, you risk having to pay these amounts if the rental car is damaged or stolen.

  • Alamo - $3,000
  • Avis - $4,608
  • Budget - $4,608
  • Dollar - $4,000
  • Enterprise - $2,750
  • Europcar - $5,500
  • Hertz - $4,800
  • Jucy - $3,000
  • Redspot - $4,400
  • Thrifty - $4,000

In the diagram below, we've compared the price of a policy from Rentalcover.com (in blue) against the price of purchasing cover through a car hire company (in red). You can see a significant difference in price with Hertz being almost five times more expensive than Rentalcover.com. Save money by buying a standalone policy instead of getting cover from a rental company.

Another consideration is that some of these rental companies may only offer an "excess reduction" which lessens your out-of-pocket expenses but doesn't always make it zero.

Compare car rental excess

*Prices are based on a 15-day hire in Australia as of September 2019.

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Who should get car rental excess insurance?

Who should get rental car excess insurance?

What options do I have?

Excess reduction cover straight from rental company

Teacher

  • Pros. This is the most convenient option if you haven't already got cover.
  • Cons. Usually the most expensive way to get cover for car rental excess.

Standalone car rental excess insurance policy

Car

  • Pros. Affordable and flexible option that can give you additional benefits.
  • Cons. You'll need to take out cover before picking up the rental car.

Travel insurance including car rental excess insurance

Test

  • Pros. Affordable option since it can be automatically included in some policies.
  • Cons. Sometimes not an option if you're hiring a car in your home city.


What's not covered by car rental excess insurance?

When choosing a policy, be mindful and make sure you understand your agreement. There can be big differences between policies so it's relatively safe to say that you get what you pay for.
Car rental excess insurance policies are designed to cover an excess charged by a third party. So if the damage caused to your rental car is not approved as an insurance claim, an excess isn't charged and you won't be able to use your car rental excess insurance policy.
There are some situations and events when car rental excess insurance will not provide any cover such as:
  • You use the rental vehicle in breach of your rental agreement
  • You use your rental vehicle without a valid licence
  • Your claim is for administrative fees charged by the rental company (unless this is included in your policy)
  • You were driving the rental car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • You failed to act sensibly to protect the vehicle or your property
  • You did not do everything possible to reduce or minimise your loss
  • It arises because you break the law
  • You travel against medical advice
  • Your claim arises due to a pre-existing medical condition
  • Your claim is for consequential loss of any kind, for example loss of enjoyment
  • Your claim arises due to mental illness, depression, anxiety or stress
  • Your claim arises because you participate in any race, speed or time trial
  • Your claim arises from a government authority confiscating, detaining or destroying anything

With this in mind, make sure to check the terms and conditions of whichever cover option you choose to work out when you will and will not be covered.

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Frequently asked questions

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48 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    STUARTOctober 20, 2019

    I am looking at hiring a rental car for a trip within Australia from one of the major rental companies, All have ‘CDW’ with an excess. Do you know if the CDW insurance on the hire car also covers third party property and vehicle damage caused by an accident when the driver of the hire car was found to be technically at fault.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 21, 2019Staff

      Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for reaching out to us at Finder!

      Inclusions of your Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) will depend on which rental company you hire the car from, they’re not all the same. So just make sure you read the fine print when you’re hiring. Most CDW’s will cover third-party damage but be careful when it comes to damage when you’re at fault.

      If you’re trying to reduce your financial risk when hiring a car, you might also want to consider taking out rental car excess insurance to avoid more out-of-pocket expenses.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

    Default Gravatar
    ShanhOctober 13, 2019

    Hello, this week I hired a hitop campervan for the first time. I hired it on the Saturday intending to leave early morning Sunday. I unthinkingly drive it into an underground carpark which damaged the top. I did all the right things and took it back in the morning. They didn’t have another vehicle I could use and said the manager would contact me on Monday. We hired from another company and went on our trip. We didn’t hear from the manager until Thursday despite calls to them every day, he was always unavailable. I had the top insurance, no excess and covered overhead damage. But no where in their terms can I see anything about refunding us if they can’t supply us with another vehicle. The insurance covers for loss of use. No where did I sign anything that states I wouldn’t be entitled to a refund if amaccident iccurs and I can’t have another vehicle. . Should I be entitled to all or some of the fees paid? Cheers Shan

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 14, 2019Staff

      Hi Shan,

      Thanks for getting in contact with us at Finder!

      Sorry to hear about the rough start to your trip. This page is about car rental excess insurance which typically only covers the excess amount charged by rental companies if damage is caused to the rental vehicle.

      You might be entitled to your expenses if you have any other insurance like travel insurance or maybe even the insurance offered by the rental company. It sounds like you might be able to claim under “Additional expenses”. I would still give them a call directly, explain the situation and ask if there is any benefit under your policy.

      I hope this helps and that you enjoy the rest of your trip.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

    Default Gravatar
    HongOctober 11, 2019

    I am Hong Kong resident, will travel to Australia, would like to rent a car , may I know can I buy this car excess insurance?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Hong,

      Thanks for reaching out to us at Finder!

      As an overseas visitor, you are eligible for car rental insurance in Australia provided you have the right driving permits and stick to the rental agreement of your car hire.

      I hope you found this helpful.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

    Default Gravatar
    EricJanuary 18, 2019

    I have booked a rental car in WA and am looking for independent excess insurance,
    I can find plenty of information that covers the rental vehicle but very little about third party property, as in having and accident that I am at fault. Do any of theses insurances including over the counter ones, cover the other vehicle?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValJanuary 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Eric,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You are correct – the page that you are checking is correct when you are ready to compare options for car rental excess insurance. You may refer to our page that compares property damage liability coverage policies and learn more about your options. On the page, you may read more about it and also compare companies that offer such coverage.

      Please make sure to check eligibility requirements and T&C prior to applying.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Val

    Default Gravatar
    RowenaDecember 11, 2018

    Looking at rental car excess. We need a rental for an indeterminate amount of time (probably 4-6 weeks) . Can we buy them top up? Can we get a refund if we buy for 10 weeks and rent the car for 6 weeks?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Rowena,

      Thanks for your question.

      Not really sure what you meant by buying the car rental excess top up. Do you mean you’d like to get car rental excess insurance that will cover only the period you’ll use the car? If so, the cost really varies depending on the provider you’re with and amount of time of car hire, standard excess payable and some other factors. So best to check with the insurance company directly the overall cost.

      In the meantime, from the table above, you can contact one of the insurance companies listed to check your options. Alternatively, you can also check the level of cover through the rental agency and it’s cost and see if you can also reduce the excess. As for refunds, the insurer can best advise this if they issue a refund for unused periods, so if you could also confirm this with the insurer, that would be great.

      I hope this has somehow helped.

      Cheers,
      May

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