Accident Damage Excess Guide for Hertz Australia
When renting a hire car from Hertz in Australia, what is your liability as a customer if you damage the car?
This article explains what the Accident Damage Excess is and provides a guide to how much your excess liability will be when renting a car from Hertz.
The information presented is current as at 10 October 2014. Car rental suppliers change their rental car terms and conditions from time to time. This article provides a guide only. To understand your individual car hire liability when renting with Hertz, contact them directly.
What is Accident Damage Excess?
Also referred to as the rental vehicle excess or damage liability fee, the Accident Damage Excess (ADE) is Hertz’s term for the Customer’s financial liability should an accident occur to the hire car or any other vehicle or property that the hire car collides with, while in the Customer’s possession.
In Hertz Australia’s Terms and Conditions, “accident” is defined as “any collision between the Vehicle and any other object, including another vehicle, or any other incident or occurrence that results in the Vehicle being damaged, lost or destroyed, and includes a Single Vehicle Accident.”
The Accident Damage Excess (ADE) value is capped at a cost that is determined based on the type of car rented and the location that the hire car is collected from.
The current customer Accident Damage Excess (ADE) liability values for customers renting with Hertz Australia are shown in the table below.
It is important to note that on top of the ADE value, Customers may be further liable for charges including single vehicle accidents, water damage, drivers under 25 years old and damage occurring from natural disasters. Details about these additional liabilities are explained below.
In addition to the Accident Damage Excess cost, the following charges may apply:
So, what are the additional fees and when would they be charged?
Additional costs that may be applied on top of the Accident Damage Excess include:
1. SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
A single vehicle accident (SVA) is when damage occurs to the hire car that is not the result of a collision with another moving car. More specifically, in their Terms and Conditions, Hertz Australia defines a single vehicle accident as “an accident not involving a collision between the Vehicle or another vehicle, other than a parked vehicle”.
If damage to a Hertz hire car occurs as a result of a single vehicle accident, the Customer may be liable for an additional $2,200 + GST to $4,400 + GST (depending on the vehicle type hired as outlined in the table above) on top of their Accident Excess Reduction liability.
2. LOCATION FEES
Location Fees are additional costs charged by rental car companies to help cover the higher costs of operating depots at select locations. For example, airport pick up locations is often more expensive due to the airport taxes and charges incurred by the rental car supplier to operate at the location on top of their general operating expenses.
Location fees can also be referred to as Premium Location Surcharges and may be applied to both airport and non-airport car depot locations. The cost of fees charged by each rental company for a location varies.
On their website, Hertz Australia define location fees as: “a charge noted on the Rental Agreement where the renter collects the vehicle from / or returns the vehicle to particular location including but not limited to airport and downtown locations. These locations have additional costs of operating at particular locations. The location fee varies from location to location and is levied as a percentage of other charges as shown on the Rental Agreement”.
Hertz charge location fees to both airport and non-airport locations around Australia in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Current fees charged for capital city depots are shown in the table below.
3. WATER DAMAGE
Hertz Australia’s terms and conditions advise that water damage (other than by total or partial immersion) may attract an additional charge of $2,200 (exclusive of GST) on top of the Customer’s Accident Damage Excess (ADE) liability.
4. DRIVER UNDER 25 YEARS OLD
The Hertz Australia terms and conditions state that an additional $2,200 (exclusive of GST) liability may be applied on top of the Accident Damage Excess (ADE) liability if the Authorised Driver of the hire car is under 25 years and is either driving or in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
5. FLOOD, FIRE, STORM, CYCLONE OR OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS
The Hertz Australia terms and conditions state that in addition to the Accident Damage Excess (ADE) liability value, the Customer may be liable for an additional $2,200 (exclusive of GST) charge if hire car damage is the result of flood, fire, storm, cyclone or other natural disasters.
6. CREDIT CARD SURCHARGE
Hertz charge a minimum credit card surcharge of 1.5% or an alternate rate as specified on a Customer’s individual rental form.
7. ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGES
Charges for administrative charges may apply to your car rental booking for administrative tasks completed by Hertz including the payment of, or handling of any claim or any charges and penalties, such as tolls or infringement processing. The amount charged for administrative charges is noted on the Customer’s individual rental form.
How can I lower my financial liability when renting a car with Hertz for travel in Australia?
Hertz offer their own excess reduction products, which are available for purchase at the rental counter when you collect your hire car.
Alternatively, customers who rent a car from Hertz can purchase rental vehicle excess insurance, sold by Hiccup Insurance and underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited.
Hertz sell 2 products to reduce your liability when renting a hire car: Maximum Cover (MAX) and Accident Excess Reduction (AER).
Very little information about the product features (including inclusions, exclusions or purchase cost) is available on the Hertz Australiawebsite. To learn more about what the Hertz products include and exclude, contact Hertz Australia directly.
Alternatively, you can visit the Hiccup Insurance website to generate a quick an easy quote for your trip.
The Rental Vehicle Excess (RVE) product provides cover for:
- Your choice of either $4,000 or $6,000 excess cover;
- No out of pocket expense up to your chosen level of cover ($0 excess);
- Single Vehicle Accidents;
- Damage to the windscreen and auto glass, roof, tires and underbody of the rental car; and
- Luggage and personal effects cover of up to $1,500 ($500 per person) for stolen or accidentally damaged goods.