Orbit's Travel Blog - 19.03.2021.

Excess in car rental: What does it mean ?

If something happens to your rental car while it is under your responsibility, the car rental company will need to repair it or have it fixed and will charge you an excess(Also called a deductible).

What is excess?

If a rental car is damaged or even stolen while it is on rent, there will be a limit to how much the renter has to pay for it to be repaired or fixed. Excess (also known as deductible) is a name for the amount that has to be paid. This excess is different between countries and car rental companies in each country. This can include fire, vandalism, theft, loss of use while the car is being repaired depending on the car rental company.

How much is the excess in car rental?

Most car rental companies have included in their rental prices Collision Damage Waiver or Theft Protection. These insurances have an excess that can be different between suppliers. It can be anywhere from 500 EUR to 3000 EUR.

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Do I always need to pay full excess in case of damage to my rental car? 

No, you do not need to pay for the whole excess if you have damage to your rental car. You will only be charged for the amount that the car rental company will need to pay for the vehicle to be fixed. If fixing the damage costs 200 EUR, you will pay 200 EUR regardless of how high the amount of the excess is.

It is good to keep in mind that some costs or damages are not covered by damage or theft waiver. Each car rental will have its own policy but you will also find a general rule around this.

Collision Damage Waiver only covers the bodywork of the car. If there happens to be damage to things that are not part of the bodywork, for example, tires or rims, interior, windows, undercarriage, engine the excess will not apply. When damages that are not apart of the bodywork appear on the rental car the renter will need to pay for the full cost of the repairs, even if that means that the cost is higher than the excess.

If the renter does break the rules of the rental agreement, the excess will not apply. This rental agreement is signed at the beginning of the rental, and the renter will be provided with the terms and conditions from the car rental company when it is signed. 

To explain this further, if the renter forgets the keys in the ignition of the vehicle and the car is stolen. Then no insurance will apply and the same goes for the excess. Collision Damage Waiver will not apply if the renter for example:

  • Driving in another country that is not allowed
  • Damage resulting from the driver being under the influence of alcohol, stimulants, or sedatives, or in any other way incapable of driving the vehicle safely.
  • Intentional damage or damage due to gross negligence on the part of the driver
  • Is not the named driver on the rental agreement

If any of this mentioned here above, or other as stated in the rental agreement, the car rental company would charge the full cost of fixing or replacing the car.

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Is my car rental excess covered by Travel Insurance?  

If you have travel insurance or any third-party insurance you will be covered for the excess of your rental car. However, you would still need to pay for the excess to the car rental company, but you will get the money refunded if your claim is accepted by your travel insurance. All extra insurance you may purchase will also have its own terms and conditions, so we at Orbit Car Hire recommend that everybody reads the paperwork before the rental begins.

Can I avoid paying an excess?  

If you would like to avoid paying for excess, you can purchase additional insurances. By having additional insurances you will lower or avoid having an excess with your car rental. This can be purchased from:

  1. Orbit Car Hire when you book your car
  2. Through a third-party insurance company. This can be through your credit card, travel insurance, etc.
  3. Buy additional insurances directly from the rental company when you pick up the car.

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