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Holidaymakers ripped off by car rental insurance policies

Holidaymakers are being ripped off on car rental insurance, watchdogs warned last night.

Policies can be up to 14 times more expensive than better cover available online, according to Which?

It found that a week’s cover in Malaga cost £203 with Europcar, the most expensive provider. However the cheapest, online provider Chew Insurance, charged just £14 – a saving of £189.

It found that a week¿s cover in Malaga cost £203 with Europcar, the most expensive provider (file photo)

It found that a week’s cover in Malaga cost £203 with Europcar, the most expensive provider (file photo)

The six biggest car hire firms charge an average of £147 for a week’s insurance in the Spanish resort area. By comparison, the six top-rated independent policies sold online cost just £23 on average.

The lowest price from a car hire company was £115 with Enterprise, according to Which? Avis, Alamo, Europcar, Goldcar and Hertz policies were all more expensive.

Rory Boland of Which? said: ‘Car hire is an industry plagued with unscrupulous practices, with wildly excessive charges for sub-standard insurance policies just one of the pitfalls customers should be wary of when choosing a rental company. The good news is that, no matter how a car hire salesperson may try to persuade you at the desk, you don’t have to fork out for one of these eye-wateringly expensive policies. Much more thorough cover is available online for a fraction of the cost.’

The lowest price from a car hire company was £115 with Enterprise, according to Which?

The lowest price from a car hire company was £115 with Enterprise, according to Which?

The expensive policies also provided inferior cover according to insurance experts consulted by Which?

The six independent providers received scores ranging between 75 per cent and 82 per cent. But the highest score for a car rental firm was 61 per cent. They also made significant exclusions, such as not covering for chipped window screens.

A spokesman for car rental trade body BVRLA said last night: ‘You can drive a rental away at the low daily price, but you should always know what your risk factor is and this is the excess.

‘The lower the daily rental, the higher the excess tends to be. It is up to the customer whether they then take out a waiver or a third-party insurance product to reduce or eliminate that excess.’

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