When you hire a rental car in Australia, you have a financial liability to pay up to the specified excess amount if the car is damaged or stolen while in your possession. The liability is called the 'excess' (also referred to as the rental vehicle excess, damage recovery fee, damage liability fee, accident excess reduction etc).

As owners of the rental car, the car rental company fully insures the rental vehicle. The car rental companies then impose an excess (financial liability) onto the customer that they are liable to pay up to for vehicle repair or replacement costs.

The specific liability value and it's Terms & Conditions are outlined in the Rental Agreement that you sign and agree to when collecting your rental car. It is a defined, capped value. Commonly the excess for standard car types hired in Australia ranges between $4,000 and $8,500 however the amount may be higher for speciality or prestige vehicles.

The excess amount is determined by 3 factors:

1. What type of car you are hiring (eg. Toyota Corolla, Holden Cruze etc)
2. Which car hire company are you hiring the car from? (eg. Hertz, Avis etc)
3. Where are you collecting your hire car from (eg. Sydney Airport, Brisbane CBD)

Read more about in our article about your financial liability in Australia

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