Question: I travel overseas on a regular basis and as I don't like public transport I use car rental companies a lot. In recent months I've become bothered by the increase in costs associated with hiring cars – particularly the excess insurance costs. I know car insurance excess can be expensive, but have you any suggestions to reduce the cost of car hire insurance? TA, by email.
Answer: You can greatly reduce the costs associated with hiring a car by independently obtaining cover for the excess for any damage to the vehicle. Buying a Collision Damage Waiver from the hire car company can still leave you with a bill of a thousand pounds or so if the car is damaged while in your care, because of the insurance excess (the amount you must contribute if your car is damaged while you hire it).
You can insure against paying this excess, but the cost can be high when taking out a policy through the car rental agency (typically over £10 a day). Insurance policies are available elsewhere that provide either annual or monthly policies to meet the excess costs. Insurance4carhire.com provides an annual policy for excess insurance in Europe for £49 a year, covering the policyholder and another six named drivers, providing they are aged between 21 and 74. Policies are also available for hiring cars in North America and worldwide.
The Questions of Cash column is always an interesting read and Paul through his column sorterd out a problem for my younger son a couple of years ago when his Barclaycard was stolen in South America. He is a journalist, broadcaster, author, researcher, media consultant, copywriter and public speaker.Paul has written for most of the leading UK and Irish quality newspapers – The Financial Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Irish News, the BelfastTelegraph, the Mail on Sunday and the Express.As well as his weekly column in The Independent, Paul also writes a weekly column for the Belfast Telegraph, called MoneyTalks.