Holidaymakers being duped by car rental firms into paying ‘outrageous’ insurance costs

LAST UPDATED: 8 Aug, 2016 @ 10:32

europcar hire introduces electric cars to fleetTOURISTS are being duped into taking out ‘rip-off’ car rental insurance which can double the costs.

Firms are using high pressure tactics – including threatening travellers with bills of up to £2,500 if they are involved in an accident – to charge up to £30 a day for protection.

But experts say this is more than ten times the regular rate for that type of insurance.

Tourists in Spain are routinely told that they can not collect their vehicle unless they take expensive cover or hand over their credit cards.

Car rental firms have wrongly told customers that the cheaper policies they bought before they travelled were worthless.

To collect the car they were told they needed to buy extra cover or put down a deposit for around £1,000 on their credit card, which the company keeps if the car gets damaged.

Experts have labelled firms ‘outrageous’ for charging up to £230 for a week’s insurance on a car that cost £280 to rent.

Bob Atkinson, of website, said: “Sales staff at car fire firms are misleading customers, making them scared and worried when they don’t need to be just to bump up their revenues.”

Some companies included different hidden costs, including breakdown cover and insurance to cover administration costs if the motorist was fined.

When comparing insurance costs for renting a car in Malaga this August, some were more than cost of renting the car.

Europcar’s weekly rental cost was £162, while the insurance was £169.

Hertz weekly rental was £176, and the insurance £161, while Avis’ rental was £169 and the insurance £90.


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  1. So, what’s the alternative when faced with these outrageous demands from dodgy car hire firms? It would have been helpful if your article could give some advice as well as a scare for travellers.

    • Totally agree with you, I read through hoping to find the needed responce when told these insurances are compulsary….. this happened to my nephew in April.

  2. I always take out yearly car hire excess in uk this covers me for Portugal, you can get this easily on the internet, much cheaper but make sure if you have more than 2 person driving you tell them it’s “family cover”

  3. When I book I usually get a full price Inc full to full tank of fuel , just did a quote with my normal one I use and 21 to 28/ 8 as above is 140 e

  4. Yes, they are crooks and many UK and US travelors are trusting sheep. We always Book through American Auto Assoc from the USA only. There must be similar possibilities in UK, Germany, etc.
    All expenses are listed when signing. If there are any ‘extra’ charges not within the contract, don’t pay, contact AAA, and VISA and void the transaction. Also check with your domestic insurance. Some but not all, policies cover.

  5. We booked a ford Astra 1.4 or similar with centauro cars paid the ins,then had to pay again then when we got in the car we where given a skoda octavia which had a airbag fault which they didn’t think was a problem! When we asked for the car to be change we ended up with a 1.0 skoda Fabia with no refund in price difference as they said it was in the same bracket?????

  6. Money saving expert site says buy cdw excess waiver insurance in UK. They may block credit card the large amount. But if you don’t have any issues money is still there if you had accident they keep the large excess but you claim it back on the UK insurance. obviously need to have that amount available. I have done this and had no problems. Coats about 30 quid in summer less at other times.

  7. Buy your yearly insurance for car hire abroad prior to going. Although need to leave credit card details it does cover you. Works out about £50 a year.

  8. If you rent from Brunos car rental you don’t have to pay anything extra. Everything is included, and ythey don’t take any deposit from your credit card! Its the only company that I know of that don’t rip you off!