Spanish Car Hire Insurance Excess

Hello new to the forum, I was wondering if you could help,

I saw an article on car hire excess insurance. 
We had a bit of a nightmare on holiday when we got to the car hire desk. 
Whilst waiting I contacted the insurance company through booking.com whom we had arranged the hire and paid for fully comp insurance. As expected we needed to put the excess on a credit card. We had arranged for car seats which would be a 1 off payment. We were then told that had to go in the credit card to. As we had planned in advance the limit on the credit card was £2k, however having been forced to pay for car seats on the credit card we did not have enough to pay for the excess and did not have the time to increase the amount. 
As a result we were forced to pay for full insurance. This was because we had been told (by Drivalia- Malaga, Spain) our insurance was only 3rd party and was a voucher, it would not cover us for any damage. We ended up paying the £200+ for the excess. What was funny is once paid we were told no need to take photos as the excess will cover everything. 
Whilst waiting (before paying for the seats) I had shown the hostess my insurance was full and she said ‘yeah I know!’

I was wondering if this could be claimed back from booking.com as the deal was through them and we paid for had paid for insurance? It was booking.com that had endorsed Drivalia. We went in August 2023.

Thanks in advance.Your assistance and help is much appreciated.

Comments

  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,551
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    edited 29 January at 11:50PM
    I think my understanding of your post is that you'd bought car hire excess insurance from a third party but at the desk you were pushed to purchase their full insurance, and the reason for this was that you could not provide a credit card that had a sufficient limit to cover the excess. Unfortunately that is an issue and most excess insurance policies will tell you to ensure you have a card that will cover the excess in order for the car hire desk to accept their policy. This is because you will need to be able to pay the car hire company upfront for any damages and then claim back from your insurance separately, if you take out separate insurance - whereas if you take the insurance at the desk they can manage it all in-house so won't need you to pay up first. 

    If you look at the terms of your excess insurance I suspect you will find a term that says you need to be able to provide a card at the desk which covers the excess. Unfortunately I think you may be out of luck on this one. 

    For future reference, and not helpful here I know, you can usually bring car seats with you on the plane to go in the hold for no extra cost (we did this in 2023 when travelling to Italy).

    I should add that it is very common for car hire desks to push their own insurance even if you've bought your own, but I think this situation is slightly different as you weren't able to provide evidence that you could fund the excess.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,069
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    I was wondering if this could be claimed back from booking.com as the deal was through them and we paid for had paid for insurance? It was booking.com that had endorsed Drivalia. We went in August 2023.
    Booking.com aren't responsible for setting the credit limits on your cards nor were involved in the decision of which cards you'll take with you. 

    The downside of buying 3rd party XS insurance is the fact you have to be able to pay for the excess up front and then reclaim it back. If you aren't able to do this your only option is to buy the excess reduction from the hire car company. 

    Haven't bought via booking.com recently but every hire car company or intermediary I've booked a car with were all very clear on needing to have funds to cover the excess etc. I am fairly sure Book.com are not an exception and so this is unfortunately your own issue.
  • maxisadog
    maxisadog Posts: 9
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    This is an all too common con trick pulled by car hire companies, getting you to cough up for "Premium" insurance, or you don't get the car. They will try any tactic. I was conned last summer by OKMobility (Just look at the online reviews!) in Alicante. Despite expecting to have to deposit around 1200 Euros as an excess and having bought excess insurance to cover this, I was told that I was not covered sufficiently and needed to pay another 350 Euros or not get the car! I'm still fighting to get his back.

    I'm looking again for this summer, same airport and hoping I can find an honest hire company this time.If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear about them.
  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,551
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    edited 5 February at 1:15AM
    maxisadog said:
    This is an all too common con trick pulled by car hire companies, getting you to cough up for "Premium" insurance, or you don't get the car. They will try any tactic. I was conned last summer by OKMobility (Just look at the online reviews!) in Alicante. Despite expecting to have to deposit around 1200 Euros as an excess and having bought excess insurance to cover this, I was told that I was not covered sufficiently and needed to pay another 350 Euros or not get the car! I'm still fighting to get his back.

    I'm looking again for this summer, same airport and hoping I can find an honest hire company this time.If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear about them.
    I agree that car hire desks will try it on to get people to buy their premium insurance, but in this case I think the situation is a bit different, because when you book car hire they tell you what excess you are required to be able to fund on a credit card, and when you buy third party car excess insurance they also normally make this clear.

    If you are going to buy third party excess insurance you must be able to provide a card that has a sufficient credit limit to cover the maximum excess, because the car hire company will need you to pay that excess to them, and you then claim that from your separate insurer. 

    To be clear, it'd be the same even if you didn't have the excess insurance from a third party. If you hadn't bought any third party insurance and couldn't fund the excess, you wouldn't be permitted to hire a car without taking out the desk excess insurance. 

    MSE is also v clear on this: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-car-hire/#creditcard 

    Edit to add that I also had sharp practice when hiring a car in Italy last year, but I was able to provide the desk with a card that met their (ridiculous) excess, showed them my excess insurance and assured them I understood that I would have to pay them and claim from my insurer separately. Despite taking numerous photos they managed to find a scratch that I don't believe I caused but couldn't prove otherwise (it was only visible at a very particular angle) and as such I paid up the €340 or so that they wanted, claimed on my excess and received very prompt full reimbursement. So I get it and I do sympathise, but I did find it very clear when I was looking at getting my excess insurance that I'd need to ensure I had a card with enough of a credit limit to be accepted. 
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