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Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Shropshire UK
Level Contributor
657 posts
101 reviews
Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver


I am planning on hiring a car from LAX on 29th Sept returning it same place 4th October. There will be 2 adults and two suitcases. Not bothered about anything flash but need it to fit the following criteria. We are staying Hyatt West Hollywood and only need the car to get to Universal/Warner bros etc so not going to many far away places.

Could you give me reccommendations and more importantly explain the maze of amount of insurance needed. I want to be covered for the main bits theft/damage etc.I have used the search thread but couldn't find anything to cover the above.



Chico, CA
Destination Expert
for Chico
Level Contributor
556 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

There are 2 types of insurance. Liability and damage waver. You must have liability, either your own insurance or purchased. This covers damaging someone else's car, person, or property.

Damage waver covers damage to the rental car. Some credit cards have this coverage built into them if used for the rental.

The total for the insurance can cost more than the car rental.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
33,619 posts
64 reviews
2. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Check with the company that insures your own personal vehicle to see if the coverage extends overseas. (This would be, most probably, only liability insurance).

Then check with your credit card issuer to see if you are covered for collission/personal property if you use the card for the rental.

I have never had to pay for additional insurance coverage (even when hiring cars in Europe) and I do not have any kind of special coverage with my personal vehicle.

Lately, some of the car hire companies have added a new "optional coverage" to their contract which takes into consideration the number of days that the car you will be driving might become inoperable should you be in an accident. Say, for example, you crash the car and it takes 1 week to repair. Some car hire companies are now asking to be reimbursed for the lost revenue for those 7 days, i.e. $25 x 7 = $175 or so. They offer you coverage to cover that which runs about $15 or so for the typical customer. So, you pay them $15 and they waive the $175 you owe them SHOULD YOU GET INTO AN ACCIDENT. That's a pretty bad deal if you think about it unless you are a very, very poor driver since that assumes a 1 in 12 chance that you are going to have an accident ($15 is about 1/12th of $175).

Bottom line: You probably don't need to pay for any additonal coverage. Check with the aforementioned and keep in mind that the car hire companies make a fortune by selling you coverage that you don't need and will most probably never use so don't let them intimidate you and read the contract carefully being careful to say "I want to decline all additonal insurance coverage (and that silly "lossed revenue" coverage as well".

Good luck!

London, United...
Level Contributor
300 posts
3. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

There are a number of UK based web sites that offer all inclusive deals (full insurance etc) at rates similar to the US sites :-




Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
134 reviews
4. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Tony (Fat Bald) is now a Local Expert for the Grand Canyon on the Arizona forum. Putting a post on the Arizona forum is a sure way to be certain he sees the post.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

if you book at www.avis.com, there is a field to select that you are a U.K resident. When you do this, the rates that come up in British pounds will INCLUDE the loss insurance and liability insurance that are required.

Use AWD discount number k817625 when you book

If you are only going to Universal and WB, you can do this fairly easily from the Hyatt via Citybus and Metro. You would need Supershuttle service from LAX to Hyatt upon your arrival and departure however, probably $30 per person each way? This would add up to $120 U.S. ..........the car plus insurances is probably $200US, probably worth it for the freedom of having a car , but you would also have hefty Hyatt daily parking fee.

Portstewart Ireland
Level Contributor
402 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Check out airline network pick their premium or gold option whichever their highest one is and all your insurance will be included.We used this company last month.You do know that all hotels will charge you for parking as much as $25 per day.

Shropshire UK
Level Contributor
657 posts
101 reviews
7. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Thanks Guys for all your suggestions,

From one of my original questions 'Do I really need a car in LA'

I think without doubt we are going to get one which will be most useful and more cost effective for what we want to do. Airline network has worked out the best quote.

67" Yes I know about the hotel charges for parking but thats the only downside at Hyatt West Hollywood work out about £9.00 per day so not bad compared with most places here in the uk.

got to post another topic re Universal now so c if you can help.



Colchester UK
Level Contributor
1,627 posts
8. Re: Car Hire + Insurance explanation to a UK driver

Hi Lardy

I get about.

Yes you will need a car in Los Angeles. Nobody walks in LA! In the words of the song, 'LA is a great big freeway". Steer clear of I-10, it's a nightmare, and we think the M25 is bad!

Try www.usrentacar.co.uk. I've used them a couple of times. They're always very competitively priced, and the various insurance options are well explained.

Enjoy LA.