"Holiday car hire: an essential guide to save you money - Our consumer advice expert offers a guide to every aspect of hiring a car, from which insurance policy to buy to what to check before you drive away"
Running through a check list that includes:
What does CDW really cover?
Should I use a broker?
Should I buy excess reduction insurance in the UK?
Should I have to pay for an upgrade?
Checklist -- Before you book
At the car hire desk
Under "Should I buy excess reduction insurance in the UK?" Gill's report said "Top-up CDW and theft protection cover is designed to refund any excess charges levied by the car rental company (which can be as high as €1,500 on an economy car). Cover bought at the time of reserving the car is often provided by an insurer in the UK and not by the local car rental company.
This is why the local agent will still need a deposit on a credit card. Some agents pre-authorise an amount, ring-fencing it so it cannot be spent elsewhere; other providers process the payment and refund it after the car is signed back in often at a poor exchange rate.
The cost of any damage is deducted from the deposit held. There is usually a standard charge per scratch or ding. To reclaim this amount you must obtain an estimate of the cost of repair from the hire company (often a frustrating business) and make a claim through your UK insurer on your return.
Be aware that excess reduction products vary widely in cover. Some exclude breakdown, towing charges and damage where no other vehicle is involved. Auto Europe is one of the few brokers to be upfront about the limitations of its excess insurance (it excludes damage to windows, the interior, wheels, tyres, roof, damage in a parking bay or car park and clutch failure). In contrast, insurance4carhire covers all of the above."