What Is Collision Damage Waiver?

A Collision Damage Waiver, often abbreviated to CDW, is an optional form of damage insurance when you hire a car.

What does a Collision Damage Waiver cover?

Many CDW insurance policies do not cover excess fees. This means, if the rental car is involved in an accident or is stolen, you will still have to pay out the excess stipulated in your agreement.

It is worth remembering that a Collision Damage Waiver insurance policy only covers the bodywork of the rented vehicle. Anything else – such as tyres, windows, the engine, or interior – are not covered by a CDW.

How much will I have to pay if a car is damaged?

If the bodywork of the car you have rented is damaged, you will be expected to pay the excess towards the repairs. Any other issues with the vehicle will now be covered by a CDW.

If your rental car’s excess were £400 this is how the payment would work out for bodywork repairs:

  • If the damage cost £200, you would pay £200
  • If the damage cost £400, you would pay £400
  • If the damage cost £1,100, you would pay £400

In short, you will never pay anything over your excess regardless of repair work costs. However, if you did not take out any additional cover you will have to settle any costs not covered by the Collision Damage Waiver.

How do I pay the excess?

In most cases a car hire company will take a deposit from you and they will take the excess from this amount. If you are planning on renting a vehicle abroad any time soon get yourself a car hire excess insurance quote. Car hire excess is a supplementary form of insurance that means, should you have to pay excess on a vehicle, you can claim it back. This means you are never out of pocket.