What insurance does my car rental usually include?

If you are hiring a car in the UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia your rental will most likely include cover for: damage to the vehicle - known as CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) or LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), third party liability insurance and theft. If you are hiring a car in the USA & Canada it is highly likely that those insurances will not be included in your car hire. Unlimited mileage is likely to be included wherever you hire your car. It is always best to check with the car rental company what exactly you are covered for and what not.

What is CDW/LDW?

CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), also known as LDW (Loss Damage Waiver) is car hire insurance which covers damage to the rental vehicle. There is generally an excess payable if you have an accident or damage the car, even if you have CDW

What is SLI/ALI?

SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), also known as ALI (Additional Liability Insurance) is a form of insurance that protects you (the driver) and your passengers against large third party claims. Should you have an accident and this results in third party claims for damages or injuries, then the car rental policy will protect you (the driver).

What is PAI?

PAI means Personal Accident Insurance and cover provides monetary benefits in the event of injury as a result of an accident This cover is usually not included in your car hire and it is an optional extra you can purchase over the counter when collecting your rented car.

Do I need a credit card when renting a car?

The answer is yes. Even if you have pre-paid your car hire in full in the UK you will need a credit card when collecting your vehicle. This is for deposit purposes and should have sufficient credit on it to cover the excess. If you don’t have a credit card you should check with your car rental company what to do as they could refuse to give you the car at the car rental desk.

What is theft insurance?

The theft insurance provided by the car rental company covers theft of the rental vehicle only. It does not cover your personal effects, which would normally be covered by either your travel insurance or your household insurance. There is generally an excess on the theft portion of the rental.

What documents do I need when picking up the car?

You will need to bring your driving license (it needs to be the original document) in good condition. If you hold the new style UK licence you will also need your paper counterpart for ID. Failure to do so may result in your car hire company refusing to give you the car. You will also need a credit card for deposit purposes.

How old do I need to be in order to rent a car?

Some companies do not rent to drivers under 25 years old. Many companies accept drivers aged 21-24 for an extra charge. You should contact the car rental company direct to find out their policy.

Does the car rental come up with full tank of fuel?

The answer is sometimes. If your car has a full tank of fuel when you pick it up you are most likely to need to return it full, unless you have purchased an optional extra at the counter to cover the charges. If your fuel tank is empty when you pick your car up, you are most likely to need to return it empty. You should always check refuelling policies and the car rental company’s definition of “full tank of fuel” as they will vary depending on the company. Hidden fuel charges can end up being an unwelcome charge added to your bill at the end of your rental.