CAR hire firms have been accused of ripping-off customers by charging up to £190 more for car insurance policies that cost just £30.
Research found that insurance policies sold by airport branches of Hertz, Budget and Avis almost double the cost of the car hire.
Alamy Car rental firms have been accused of charging up to 579 per cent times for insurance compared to a stand alone policy
Price comparison site TravelSupermarket found that some hire firms charge up to 579 per cent of a stand alone specialist policy that covers drivers for eight days against damage and theft, with zero excess, for £27.96.
As a result, millions of families jetting off for the half-term school holidays are being urged to “refuse” excessive policies offered by firms at airport rental desks and find a better deal elsewhere.
Hertz at Barcelona El Prat airport was found to be the worst for hiking prices, where it cost £189.93 to insure a Seat Leon even though the rental costs was only £253.47.
Avis at Alicante airport charged £175.88 to insure the same car – that’s £147.92 more than a stand-alone specialist policy, and almost double the £183 it cost to hire the vehicle in the first place.
A branch of Hertz charged £189.93 to insure a Seat Leon even though the cost to rent the car was only £253.47
A branch of Budget in Italy’s Pisa airport charged an extra £11.80 for the £27.97 policy at £139.76.
Some of the firms even required drivers to take out up to three different policies to cover separate risks, such as cover for tyres and windscreens, or car damaged and theft.
Others demanded that motorists pay for excess cover at the airport desk on arrival before picking up the car, without giving them a chance to find a better deal elsewhere.
Drivers typically pay an excess towards the cost of any damage which is why motorists are advised to take our excess waiver insurance to reduce the amount they pay before help from the insurance company kicks in.
Emma Coulthurst, consumer advocate at TravelSupermarket branded the rip-off rates a “scandal”.
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She told The Sun: “People talk about being pressured by the car rental desks into buying the car rental company’s excess wavier policy EVEN if they’ve already bought their own policy.
“Consumers should stand firm and refuse. They don’t need to pay these over-inflated prices.”
A spokesperson for parent company Avis Budget UK said: “We provide standard cover with all rentals, as well as the optional choice of additional cover that reduces excess and gives our customers peace of mind during the rental experience.
“Customers are always welcome to use their own providers if they so wish. In addition, for complete transparency, we encourage all customers to review items and charges highlighted in the contract before signing, and to ask our highly trained rental agents if they have any questions.”
The Sun has contacted Hertz for comment.
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Car hire comparison have come under scrutiny in recent years after the watchdog forced them to show hidden charges up front.
Dodgy car hire firm Goldcar has once again been accused of “scamming Brits” by “inventing” hundreds of pounds worth of charges.
Complaints escalated so much that a new boss was brought in from parent company Europcar earlier this year ago to rescue its reputation.
How to find the cheapest car hire insurance?BASIC cover is usually included in the cost when you book a rental car, so you don’t have to pay the full cost of replacing a stolen or damaged vehicle.But unless you want to be liable to pay a contribution of up to £2,000 towards repair and theft costs, regardless of who is at fault, you should reduce this liability by buying excess insurance.
Instead of opting for car rental firms’ own excess insurance when you pick up the car, prepare in advance and sign up to a specialist excess insurer before you travel.
Before you sign up, compare the policies on offer and costs online.
Also make sure you opt for an insurance that suits the level of car you’ve hired.
A lower cost often means a lower policy limit, meaning you might not be able to claim back as much as the rental company charged you for the scratch or accident.
An average car normally needs a policy limit of £6,000-£7,000, according to Boland.
But if you’re hiring an expensive car, this needs to be higher or “you risk being left out of pocket”.
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