There are four different packages you can book on Auto Europe's website that help you protect your car hire excess: Refundable Excess, Refundable Excess with Super Cover, Zero Excess, and Zero Excess with Super Cover. To explain the differences between these packages and the advantages of booking them, we have put together a short outline of the different products as well as some frequently asked questions. Take a moment to read through the description of each product, so that you can decide which one suits you best! Please note that not all products are offered in all destinations, with all suppliers, or for all car categories.
What is an "excess"?
The basic coverage included in your car rental limits your liability for damages to the car or theft of the car to a specified sum, which is called an excess or deductible. For example, if the excess is £300 and the damage to the car is worth £500, the driver is responsible for £300 and the coverage package covers the remainder. The amount of the excess depends on the car rental company and the car category. You should be able to find the amount of the excess in the Terms, Conditions & Local Fees on our booking engine.
The different products explained
The Refundable Excess product is a service offered by Auto Europe. When the car rental company charges a customer the excess that is due because of damage to or theft of the car, the customer can claim a refund of the excess paid from Auto Europe after the rental. The customer must therefore first pay the excess directly to the local car rental company, and can then apply for a refund of that amount from Auto Europe. The customer must provide all required documents for Auto Europe to be able to process the refund claim. These are listed in the Terms, Conditions & Local Fees on our booking engine.
The Refundable Excess product covers the excess, that is payable according to the basic coverage policy, and therefore, includes all the same exceptions as the policy itself. What the policy does and does not cover can vary depending on the category of the car and the car rental company, but the most common exceptions are the underside, roof, wheels, tyres, and glass. The whole list of exclusions is available in the Terms, Conditions & Local Fees found on our booking engine, as well as in the terms and conditions listed on your booking voucher.
Below you can see a rate that includes Refundable Excess.
As seen below, you can upgrade a basic package with either Refundable Excess or Refundable Excess with Super Cover.
As mentioned above, Refundable Excess does not cover the parts of the car that are not covered by the basic coverage package. However, if you book Super Cover from Auto Europe, the wheels, glass, roof and undercarriage of the vehicle, among other items, are covered. These items are also covered on the same basis as the excess - you will, in the first instance, have to pay the local car rental company for damage to these parts, but you can make a claim for a refund from Auto Europe afterwards, as long as you provide us with all the required documents.
Some rates also already include Refundable Excess with Super Cover.
Zero Excess is offered by the local car rental company, but can be booked with your car hire on Auto Europe's website. Zero Excess eliminates your excess. In other words, you do not have an excess. Therefore, if damage is covered by the coverage package, you will not have to pay. However, if the damage is not covered by the coverage package (common exclusions are glass, wheels, tyres, undercarriage and roof), then you will have to pay for the damage.
There are rates that include Zero Excess.
Auto Europe offers Super Cover also to "top up" your cover when you book a Zero Excess rate. This means, that glass, wheels, tyres, undercarriage and the roof of the vehicle, which are not covered by Zero Excess by itself, are covered by Super Cover from Auto Europe. Again, as with Refundable Excess with Super Cover, the additionally covered parts of the vehicle are covered on a refundable basis - the customer must pay for any damage first to the local car rental company, but can claim a refund of this amount from Auto Europe after the rental, when the required documents are provided.
In the image below, you can see how Zero Excess rates can also be upgraded with the Zero Excess with Super Cover product.
We also offer rates that already include Zero Excess with Super Cover.
Why is it preferable to purchase excess protection with Auto Europe, instead of paying for additional insurance with the local car rental company?
There are two reasons. Firstly, you can already book and pay for our products online ahead of time, so you no longer need to worry whether the local car rental company offers additional insurance, or make additional payments when picking up the car. Second, even if the local company offers additional insurance, the products offered by Auto Europe are in most cases considerably cheaper than locally offered insurance.
If I have purchased one of the products with Auto Europe, do I still need to leave a deposit for the rental car?
Yes. The Refundable Excess product does not remove the excess required by the local car rental company, and you will still have to leave a security deposit. As with all other rentals, the deposit must be blocked on an international credit card; it is therefore imperative that the main driver (under whose name the booking is made) has a credit card with an adequate credit limit in their name, and that this card is presented to the car rental company when picking up the car. Most car rental companies also require a deposit when you have booked a Zero Excess rate. Please check the Terms, Conditions & Local Fees on the booking engine for this information before finalising your booking.
The representative of the local car rental company is telling me that I will still have to purchase their additional insurance, although I have already purchased an excess protection product from Auto Europe. Do I have to purchase their insurance?
It is important to understand, that the staff of the local car rental company are engaged in sales, and will naturally try to sell the company's products to the customer. Whether additional insurance is purchased depends on the customer, and apart from a few exceptions, all locally offered additional insurance is optional. If the locally offered insurance purports to remove the excess, it is probably not needed in addition to the product purchased from Auto Europe.
The car rental company may also offer insurance that covers the parts of the car that are not covered by the basic coverage included in our rates, such as the tyres, glass, and the underside of the car. In this case it is up to the client to decide, whether he or she would like to purchase this additional insurance. You should, however, remember, that if you have purchased a rate with Super Cover, these items are already covered on a refundable basis.
What do I need to do to make a claim to have the excess refunded by Auto Europe?
You can find a detailed explanation of what you need to do in the Terms, Conditions & Local Fees on our booking engine. Please note, it is very important to contact the police, and obtain a report regarding the incident, even if the incident did not involve other parties.
I want to add one of these products to my booking, but I cannot see this option on your website. What should I do?
The products are not available for all cars or at all pick-up locations. When they are available, you have the possibility of adding them to your booking before payment.