Two Minute Travel Tip: Free Car Hire Excess Insurance

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Sometimes it takes a bit or misfortune to discover the extent to which, on occasion, American Express really has got your back. On this occasion,  it rather wonderfully pops up with car hire excess insurance.

My wife recently rented a car through Sixt and left it parked outside a house while she took our eldest son to a party. On her return, it transpired that someone had crashed into it, leaving a massive dent in its side, but driven off without providing their details.

We try to avoid expletives on InsideFlyer, so I shall say no more in relation to that person.

Suddenly, it appears I already have car hire excess insurance

Fortunately, the rental was paid for on my American Express Platinum card, the UK (GBP) version of which covers you for vehicle rental theft or damage, up to a maximum of £50,000 (including any applicable excess).

car hire excess insurance

That said, I actually booked using my ICC Platinum Euro card, where the cover is up to €75,000, including the excess.

Although the rental booking is in my wife’s name, she is still covered by the insurance, as a supplementary cardholder.

It’s certainly not cheap, but this really is a good example of why holding an American Express Platinum card (and paying with it, of course) really can get you the VIP treatment. Note that the car rental cover (including the free car hire excess insurance) is not available on the Amex Gold.

But the rental car company does not take Amex!

It doesn’t seem to matter – it appears from the terms and conditions that the excess cover applies whether you pay with Amex or not (and thanks to Andrew for pointing that out).

But I don’t have Amex!

I do appreciate that not everyone has the Amex Platinum and, on that basis, I recommend looking at a separate excess cover, particularly if you’re using one of the “edgier” car rental companies (which, for the record, I do not regard Sixt as).

On another rental, I got a very good deal with Questor insurance, where you can currently get 10% off, plus 13% cashback, via TopCashback. There’s plenty of other options out there too, but this is my personal preference.

Car hire excess direct from the car rental company is very convenient, but monumentally expensive.

(Cover photo courtesy of Sixt)


  1. Andrew M says

    Unless the rules have changed recently, it’s not necessary to pay for the car hire with a Platinum card to benefit from the insurance.

    • Tom Sumner says

      Thanks Andrew, I have checked the terms in detail and I think you are right – have edited.

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