Car rental: what insurance to buy?

Verified 23 September 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you rent a car for a short period of time (for example, for a weekend or for a move), you must justify, in case of check, that the vehicle is insured.

The rental business usually rents you a car insured at least with the civil liability guarantee. The renter must provide you with supporting documents for the insurance.

The price of the guarantee is generally included in the rental package.

Some risks are not covered by this insurance, and it may be useful to add optional supplementary insurance for the time of the rental.

The conditions of subscription and the cost of optional insurance are included in the lease. You should read this contract carefully, as the terms and cost of these optional insurance policies vary from one renter to another.

The renter must provide the following information:

  • Conditions of application of the guarantees (elements covered and cases of exclusion)
  • Amount of deductibles and situations in which they apply
  • Rates and conditions for optional insurance

Please note

if you have to drive the car outside of France, even for a short trip, you need to check if the insurance will cover you. If not, you will need to take out a special optional insurance.

Depending on the duration of your rental, the renter may or may not require you to take out optional insurance.

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You rent a car for less than 6 months

You can choose to limit yourself to the insurance offered by the renter, or decide to take out an optional insurance.

You are satisfied with the basic insurance included

If you have not taken out additional optional insurance, you may be obliged to pay for certain repairs in the event of an accident.

If you are the victim of an accident for which you are not responsible, the insurance of the person responsible will take care of all repairs.

However, if you cause damage to others, civil liability insurance will cover the damage except those suffered by the car or by yourself. You may then, depending on the contracts, have to compensate the renter for the damage suffered by the car.

If the car is stolen and the rental formula does not include flight insurance, the renter will ask you to refund the new value of the vehicle. If the rental formula includes flight insurance, the renter will ask you to refund the amount of the frankness.

The proposed guarantees, their scope and the exemptions applied must therefore be carefully studied.

You take out optional insurance

Hirers often offer supplementary insurance that covers, in the event of an accident, the damage of the vehicle and its driver. Theft insurance may also be included.

Check the guarantees offered and their scope, but also the franchises applied.

Please note

some bank cards refund the deductible amount if you used them to pay the price of your rental. Check if you have this option.

You rent a car for more than 6 months

The renter may require you to subscribe to a particular insurance (against theft for example).