Image to represent car hire insurance

Am I insured to drive a hire car?

This is a question we get asked all the time at PSD – and it’s easy to understand why. Car hire insurance can be tricky to get your head around!

A few years ago, your own comprehensive car insurance would typically cover you for driving somebody else’s car (including rented vehicles). But due to rising claim costs, most insurers have now cut back in this area – and this is no longer usually the case. You’ll only be covered for the car listed on your policy and hire cars are almost always excluded, both in the UK and abroad.

So, if you’re hoping to rent a vehicle, where does that leave you?

Damage waivers

Fortunately, most rental companies will include a ‘damage waiver’ in the cost of the rental. This isn’t technically insurance, but it does offer you the protection that you need. The waiver is, essentially, an agreement in which the company ‘waives’ its right to charge you for the full cost of any repairs. If the vehicle is damaged, you will only be expected to pay the agreed ‘excess’ charge.

For example, here at PSD Vehicle Rental, we include a complimentary damage waiver – with an excess of just £1000 – in the cost of all our rentals. This means that, in the event of any damage to the vehicle, you would only need to pay the first £1000 for any repairs required. We’ll take care of the remaining bill ourselves.

For a small extra charge, we also offer our clients the option to reduce this waiver – from £1000 to £650 – and you can add a second driver to the cover for just £12 a day (or £30 per week).

It’s important to note, this complimentary ‘rental car insurance’ doesn’t cover all parts of the car. Damage to the windscreen and tyres are excluded. It also doesn’t cover any damage caused whilst breaching the terms and conditions of the rental or the law (e.g. whilst speeding). But it does offer a significant level of security and should be enough to put your mind at ease.

Additional ‘car hire excess insurance’

If you’d prefer to be extra-cautious, it is possible to buy car hire excess insurance from an independent insurance company. This is very similar to travel insurance. You can either buy a single or annual policy. And typically, it will cover the excess charge, as well as some of the ‘extras’ – such as damage to the windscreen or tyres.

Such insurance can be useful if you would be unable to afford the excess (and don’t wish to take the risk!).If the worst happened, there would be no need to worry. The insurance company would pay the bill for you. But it’s certainly not essential. Most people tend to stick with the standard damage waiver. This provides an adequate level of protection and is the only car hire insurance that you really need.

Signing damage waiver when hiring a car

Got a question about car hire insurance?

You’re welcome to get in touch at any time. We’re always happy to help, and will gladly answer any queries you may have about rental car insurance and the options available with our hire vehicles. Simply give us a call on 0345 222 1022 to chat with a member of the team. Or if you prefer, send an email to and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Whether you choose a small economy car or a 7.5 ton van, rest assured – when you choose PSD to rent a vehicle – you will be appropriately insured to drive away, with total peace of mind.