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$1000 excess on rental cars

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Portland, Maine
posts: 33
reviews: 2
$1000 excess on rental cars

Hi there,

This $1000 excess - is it a Kiwi thing? I haven't run into it before. Do I have to have it if I have good personal auto insurance that covers me for mishaps in rental vehicles? What is it actually? I am unclear even after reading about it on the rental car websites.

And there seem to be different terms about it with the different companies... anything to look out for?



posts: 650
reviews: 3
1. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

If you look in the small print you can usually pay a daily fee to reduce the excess (around $22). We intend to do this with our rental in March

Northland, New...
posts: 701
reviews: 1
2. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

The excess is definitely different with with different rental companies.

If your personal insurance covers you for rental vehicles, then you may be covered for this excess anyway, but as the last post said, you can always pay a collision damage waiver (CDW). I think this is normally an extra $5-$10 per day, that will reduce this excess down to either nothing, or a lower amount.

Bainbridge Island...
posts: 240
reviews: 29
3. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

In US terms, the excess is similar to what we know as the deductible. It's unusual because while we have dedictibles on our personal auto insurance in the states, we don't have a deductible on rental cars.

Do you have a Visa card and can you use that for your car rental? As others have noted, you can eliminate the need for ANY insurance while in NZ if you pay with your Visa. We just did this for 3 rentals last month, and it probably saved us $350NZ. Just call Visa first to ask about your specific card. In our case, they would have paid for the "excess" too if there had been an accident.

It's nothing to look out for -- all of the rental car companies operate with the same system in NZ. Bond is another term that is used. There's been much written on this over time on this forum....search for "excess" or "bond" and you'll find some discussions.

posts: 1
reviews: 3
4. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

Not sure if this is available to non-UK residents but have a look at http://www.insurance4carhire.com....much cheaper than paying CDW

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
posts: 9,466
reviews: 120
5. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

Another avenue for you to check is your travel insurance. Our travel insurance from here has recently had an increase in cover for rental cars to $2000 to reflect increases in excesses overseas particularly in Australia. Its another licence to print money from a rental car's insurance perspective.

Perth, Australia
posts: 90
reviews: 48
6. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

We got asked this same question when in Kiwi Land but our travel agent (god bless her!) had told us our travel insurance covered this so we waived it.. glad to say we had no claims but have heard horror stories about one rental which went wrong.. company claimed over $1,000 for scratches caused by ski ties (all a bit odd cause person involved was in NZ in high summer so no snow.. ) ??

Upon further arguments company backed down ... lucky ...

Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
posts: 1,847
reviews: 29
7. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

Not sure about other parts of the world, but In Australia the excess is $2500, and if you are renting a car in the top end or Northern Teritory (Cairns, Alice Springs, Darwin) its over $4000. The higher price reflects the cost of recovering the car after some drongo gets it bogged in sand 1000km back of Bourke.

If you can arrange your own excess cover before you leave home, this is definitely the cheapest option, and as a previous post says, by paying with some credit cards you get automatic cover. Just be sure you read the fine print. Some cards have a clause that you must accept all cover offered by the rental firm, so if you are ofered cover to reduce your excess to say $200 you must take that, and the card issuer will pay the $200. Sneaky!!

posts: 48
reviews: 4
8. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

Avis have an excess of NZD $2750.00 for an Intermediate size car (Camray or similar). If you accept their optional excess reduction at NZD $27.00 per day this reduces the excess to NZD $225.00.

I find that most good travel insurance policies covering Australia / NZ include rental car damage excess cover of between $1000 and $4000. If your are renting a vehicle it pays to ask the car rental company what its damage excess is for the car you are renting. Then look for a travel insurance policy that has adequate rental car damage excess cover as the premium for say a 10 or 14 day travel insurance policy with adequate rental car damage excess cover is often less than the cost of taking the rental car company's daily excess reduction fee which still leaves you with needing to arrrange separate travel insurance.


9. Re: $1000 excess on rental cars

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