UK Car Rental Insurance

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UK Car Rental Insurance

Car Rental Insurance in the UKIn the United Kingdom, unlimited Third Party Liability Insurance is a legal requirement and is included in the pre-paid price of all car rentals with Auto Europe. Third Party Liability Insurance protects you from any and all liability resulting from property damage, injury, or death caused to anyone or anything outside of your British rental car. In addition to Third Party Liability Insurance, all rental car rates with Auto Europe include Fire Insurance, which covers any damage caused to your rental vehicle as a result of fire-related damage.

UK Car Rental: Insurance Options Comparison

A Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is insurance coverage that reduces the amount of the deductible (the amount the driver would have to pay if there was an accident) to a more manageable amount, theft protection is typically included with a CDW, which protects you in the case that your rental car is stolen by reducing your deductible to a similar amount as your CDW might require.

To supplement your CDW, drivers can opt to purchase additional insurance, either a zero deductible rate, or a refundable deductible. With a zero deductible rate, you won't be held liable for any damages to the vehicle (although you will have to pay a damage administrative fee, typically around £50), and with a refundable deductible you will be held liable when you return the vehicle, but Auto Europe will reimburse you after processing all necessary paperwork you provide, including a filed police report, if applicable.

Optional Insurance Avg. Insurance Cost at Counter* Avg. Insurance Deductible at Counter* Avg. Cost for Zero-Excess Insurance with Auto Europe* Cost of Deductible with Zero-Excess from Auto Europe*
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) + Theft Protection (TP) $20-$58 USD per day $1,100-$2,735 USD $15-$27 USD per day $0 USD

*Auto Europe averages are based on CDW+TP insurance costs for a 3-day rental of an economy, compact, mid-size or full-size car class. The UK car rental insurance rates listed here are estimates and are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date pricing information we encourage you to request a free online quote via our booking engine or invite you to call Auto Europe toll-free at 1-888-223-5555 to speak with a UK car rental specialist.

About Credit Card Coverage For Your Rental in the UK

Most major US credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard) offer collision and theft insurance for your rental car in the United Kingdom as a perk of being a card holder. In order to take advantage of your credit card rental car insurance, you have to pay for the rental with the card you plan on accepting coverage from. If you decline coverage through your rental company or Auto Europe and opt to rent with only credit card coverage, it's imperative you provide written proof from your credit card company outlining your coverage, as the rental company may refuse to rent you the vehicle without proof of coverage (which if you've failed to acquire written evidence of, means purchasing insurance locally or having your credit card blocked for the full value of the vehicle.) Review the charts below outlining coverage major US credit card companies typically offer, but be sure to clarify any and all of these coverage's with your credit card company personally.

A credit card is your greatest asset when renting a car!
 

Visa and MasterCard Car Rental Insurance Coverage

Benefit Visa MasterCard
 Offered On  All Cards Gold, Platinum, World, World Elite
 Rental Period  15 consecutive days
domestically, 31 abroad
31 consecutive days
Max Vehicle Value  Unspecified $50,000
 Includes Theft/Collision damage, loss
of use
<-- Same
 Excludes Injury, property damage,
taxes, damage to other
vehicles, damage to tires
<-- Same
 Drivers Covered All authorized drivers <-- Same
 Excluded Vehicles  Exotic or antique cars, trucks,
RV's, ATV's, motorcycles,
certain vans
<-- Same
 Excluded Countries Ireland, Northern Ireland,
Israel, Jamaica 
New Zealand, Australia, Costa
Rica, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico,
sometimes Italy and Germany
 Excluded vans/SUVs
with more than...
 8 seats 10 seats
 Max Coverage  Unspecified $50,000
 Max Loss of Use  Unspecified $500
 File Claim Within...  45 days 30 days
 Source Visa MasterCard

American Express Car Rental Insurance Coverage

 Benefit AmEx Basic AmEx Platinum AmEx Premium
 Offered on All Cards Platinum Any cardholder
can purchase
 Rental Period 30 days <-- Same 42 days (30 in
WA state)
 Max Vehicle Value $50,000 Under $75,000  Unspecified
 Includes Theft, collision damage Theft, collision
damage, property damage and injury
 <-- Same
 Excludes  Diminished value, taxes, wear and tear <-- Same <-- Same
Drivers Covered All authorized drivers <-- Same <-- Same
 Excluded Vehicles Exotic or antique cars, trucks, RV's, motorycles, luxury vehicles valued at over $50,000  <-- Same + luxury vehicles valued at over $75,000  <-- Same
 Excluded Countries Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, Italy, New Zealand <-- Same <-- Same
Excluded
vans/SUVs with
more than...
7 seats <-- Same Unspecified
Max Car Coverage $50,000 $75,000  $19.99 plan: $75,000
Max Loss of Use Proprietary Info <-- Same <-- Same
 File Claim within...  60 days <-- Same <-- Same
 Source American Express American Express American Express

Discover Card Car Rental Insurance Coverage

 Benefit Discover Discover Escape
 Offered on  Motiva, Miles, Open Roads, others Escape
 Rental Period 31 days <-- Same
 Max Vehicle Value $50,000 <-- Same
 Includes  Collision only  Collision, theft, and towing
 Excludes  Theft, any damage not due to collision, loss of use Diminished value, taxes, wear and tear
 Drivers Covered  All authorized drivers <-- Same
 Excluded Vehicles  Exotic or antique cars, trucks, RV's, motorcycles, luxury vehicles valued at more than $50,000 <-- Same
 Excluded Countries  Valid in any country that accepts Discover Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, Italy, New Zealand
 Exclusive vans/SUV's with more than... 7 seats <-- Same
 Max Coverage  $25,000 $50,000
 Max Loss of Use  N/A <-- Same
 File Claim Within...  90 days 30 days
 Source Discover Discover

Note that while most major credit card companies do offer coverage in the United Kingdom, rentals in Northern Ireland may not be included and limitations may apply; such as the total length of the rental, the value of the rental, and the total amount of coverage you can receive.

Do You Need a Credit Card Card to Rent a Car in the United Kingdom?

UK Car Rental InsuranceYou may be wondering why a credit card is an asset when it comes to renting a vehicle, and whether or not it is a requirement to rent a vehicle in the United Kingdom. Although technically no, you might be allowed to rent a vehicle with cash or a debit card, a credit card is a valuable tool that not only offers insurance coverage in some situations, but also allows you to rent a vehicle without leaving a sizable cash deposit as collateral or paying premium for complete coverage with the rental agency locally. If you are renting with a credit card, the rental supplier will typically place an authorization on your card (typically the amount of your deductible) ensuring that in the case of damage or theft, you'll be able to pay for the damages. With a cash or debit card rental, the rental company's only recourse is to receive compensation from you in cash, which is why you are required to leave a large deposit, sometimes covering the full value of the vehicle.

In short, renting with a credit card, whether you're taking coverage through your credit card company or not, allows the rental company to be satisfactorily assured should any damage occur during your rental without requiring you to leave a large cash deposit or purchase insurance locally at a premium.

Optional Insurance Coverage for Driving in the United Kingdom

In addition to the zero deductible and refundable deductible rates mentioned above, renters can also opt for additional insurance for complete peace of mind while driving in the United Kingdom. Most suppliers offer a Super CDW policy, which reduces your deductible to 0 and can be purchased for a daily fee (typically between £10 and £30, depending on the vehicle). All suppliers also offer Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), which provides medical coverage for you and other passengers in the vehicle in case of injury. Typically PAI is redundant if you're covered by either your normal health insurance while traveling abroad, or if you've purchased travel insurance to cover your trip. While you're certainly not required to purchase any additional insurances while renting in the UK, it’s definitely worth consideration as it can save time and money down the road should an accident or collision occur.

More General Information About Car Rental Insurance and Credit Card Coverage

Clarifying the coverage you'll receive from your credit card is an absolute must before picking up your rental car. Should you misunderstand the coverage offered to you, you may not be covered as much as you might like should an incident occur, and even worse, the rental supplier may refuse to rent you a vehicle unless you do purchase additional insurance to cover any gaps or leave a large deposit. Additionally, credit card companies may exclusive certain types of vehicles for car rental coverage, such as exotic or luxury cars, off-road vehicles, RV camper vans, and large vans. They also may have a limit on the amount of time you may be covered (typically between 30-45 days), so for longer term rentals it's very important to purchase the appropriate insurance before heading out on the road, you may find due to the lack of coverage offered to you, a short-term lease may be the most economically feasible option.

Don't be like the gentleman above; take some time to understand what you're financially responsible for and not responsible for in the case of a collision or accident. Whether you're renting with a credit card or purchasing insurance through Auto Europe or the rental car company, you surely don't want to be surprised by unexpected charges for damages should the unthinkable occur.

If you have any further questions about insurance, see our generic car insurance page or consult with our frequently asked questions for the UK section of this travel guide.
 

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