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Rental car fleet insurance
If you own a fleet of rental cars insurance is more than a legal requirement, it can also help to protect your vehicles (and your business) from a range of different risks.
What type of rental car fleet insurance do I need?
If you hire out cars you’ll need self-drive hire insurance, which covers the car while it’s being used by a customer. It’s a very specific type of policy that meets the unique risks you face when you run a vehicle rental firm.
You can buy self-drive hire insurance annually or on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis. Pay-as-you-go plans are aimed at seasonal businesses so the price you pay can vary depending on how busy you are.
Can I add other vehicles to my UK car rental insurance?
Yes, most insurance providers will let you cover a range of vehicles on one fleet policy. So, if your business hires out cars, motorbikes, vans or even campervans, you should be able to find a policy to suit your needs.
Why should I buy fleet self-drive car hire insurance?
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a small fleet or dozens of hire cars, a fleet insurance policy can save you hours of valuable time. It means you’ll only have one insurer to deal with and one renewal date to worry about.
Fleet insurance policies can also save you money, since many providers will offer a bulk discount for each additional vehicle you insure.
What levels of cover are available?
Like other types of fleet insurance, there are three levels of cover you can choose from:
- Third party only (TPO) – pays for damage or injury to other people and their property. This doesn’t cover the cost of repairs to any vehicles you own. TPO insurance is the minimum you must have by law.
- Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) – gives you TPO protection and will also cover costs if your vehicles are stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive – includes TPFT and will also pay to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in a road accident or because of another insured event (for instance, if the branch of a tree fell and dented the bonnet).
What other features can I add to my self-drive hire insurance?
You can also choose to add other features to your policy so that your business has all-round protection. Popular additions include:
- Breakdown cover – you can buy cover for both the UK and Europe, which can offer real peace of mind if customers take cars to the continent.
- European cover – insures cars and drivers while travelling in Europe.
- Off-hire cover – this insures your cars when they aren’t being hired out to your customers. Some insurers automatically include this as part of their self-drive hire insurance (usually with annual policies), but it’s important to double check this. If it isn’t included as standard you should be able to add this to your policy.
- Employers’ liability – covers costs if a member of staff becomes ill or is injured because of work. You’ll need this by law if you employ anyone – even casual or part time workers.
- Public liability – covers legal fees and compensation if a member of the public sues your business for an accident or for damage to their property.
Are there restrictions when it comes to car hire business insurance?
Insurance for rental cars often comes with driver age restrictions. In most cases, you’ll only be able to hire cars to drivers between the ages of 21 and 70.
While there may be a few insurance providers that are willing to insure your car hire business to rent cars to drivers that are older or younger than this, in most cases those policies would be likely to carry a higher premium.
Beyond age, there’s usually a restriction on how long your car hire customers must have held their full driving licence. With most insurance providers this restriction is a minimum of one year, but it’s worth bearing in mind that a few insurers may specify that drivers need to have held a full UK licence for at least two years.
How can I lower the cost of self-drive hire insurance?
It’s important to make sure your insurance covers you for the real risks your business faces, but that doesn’t mean you should pay more than you need to. Here are some practical ways to lower the cost of cover:
- Pay for your self-drive hire insurance on an annual basis rather than monthly
- Ensure your fleet of rental cars are locked and secure when they aren’t hired out to a customer
- Ensure your rental car customers meet the age restrictions and have good driving records