Car Hire Insurance in Spain: Get Excess CDW Cover

In this article on car hire insurance for Spain we explain clearly what is included in your car hire cost and what is NOT included.

We also give you the options to make sure you are completely covered when renting a car in Spain.

Most quotes for car hire in Spain do include insurance as standard but clearly you must read the terms and conditions in your contract to make absolutely sure.

Be aware that in the event of an accident while hiring a car in Spain you usually have to pay an excess which often is very high – in the region of €500 usually, sometimes as much as €1000.

So in practical terms – if another driver hits you from behind, your Spanish car hire insurance will cover you for the damage to your hire car but you will still have to pay the excess you agreed to at the time of picking up your car rental.

The good news is that you can pay a small premium to protect against having to pay this excess – this insurance is known as the Collision Damage Waiver or CDW for short.

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Renting a Car in Spain – What Insurance is Included?

Car Hire SpainIf you are renting or hiring a car in Spain then it is only natural to concern yourself about what to do if you have a car accident in Spain?

It is an unfortunate fact that driving in a foreign country – and especially Spain – can be dangerous. Many drivers do not obey the usual road rules in Spain. Cars will often drive right behind you on your bumper and overtake on sharp bends.

The Spanish are not used to roundabouts and so often they veer off without indicating or they drive all the way round in the wrong lane.

Read our driving in Spain guide to familiarise yourself with how to drive safely in Spain.

Why Take Out Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) in Spain?

This is an insurance which will limit your liability to the excess should there be any damage to your hire car while you are driving in Spain.

Do note however that with most car rental companies in Spain they do exclude certain parts of the car such as the tyres, windscreen, windows and the loss of the keys. So you must pay for any damage or loss to these items yourself.

What is Theft Waiver (TW)?

This is an insurance which will limiting your liability to the excess in the event of the hire car being stolen whilst in your possession.

There is a possible exception which is if you were clearly not taking enough security precautions, for example if you left the windows down or doors unlocked with the key in the ignition.

In these extreme circumstances you could find yourself liable for the replacement cost of the vehicle!

What is Third Party Liability Insurance (TP)?

This insurance will limit your liability for any damage caused to other people and/or other people’s property while you are hiring your vehicle. As usual there is an excess.

Can You Insure Against Losing The Car Hire Excess?

If you are concerned about the possible risks of driving in Spain and you are worried about the excess you may have to pay you can opt to take out an additional collision damage waiver insurance which would not be included in the quotation you have received for car hire in Spain.

This extra protection known as CDW usually costs from around €2 per day for the duration of your car hire and should you have an accident you will not have to pay any excess whatsoever.

You can even take out an annual policy from €40 with unlimited rentals with up to 62 days for any one rental period.

This cover is offered by Car Hire Excess.

In addition these policies also usually cover all the exclusions that the car rental companies in Spain impose, so typically these will be included in your cover:

  1. Excess up to £2,000.00

  2. Windows

  3. Tyres

  4. Undercarriage

  5. Roof

  6. Rental car key cover up to £500.00

  7. Personal Possessions up to £300.

Spanish Car Hire Excess Insurance Summary

In conclusion we can say that the good news is that most car rental companies quoting for car hire in Spain will include at least some basic cover in your quoted price.

There is however usually an excess to pay if you have an accident and there are quite a few exclusions for which you are totally liable i.e. tyres.

So if this is a major concern you should look to pay an additional premium (CDW insurance), either to the company you have arranged car hire with, or by buying a separate policy yourself with a company such as Car Hire Excess.

Related Insurance Pages

Main Spain Insurance Index


  1. Anthony Duggan says

    Brilliant this access insurance is for UK residents only… Spain made not so simple

  2. Tim Burley says

    Maybe you should note that the law in spain on roundabouts is different from the UK, the inside lane is for overtaking not for people proceeding past the 12 Oclock position as is in the UK.
    Being spanish resident with spanish driving licence would I have all the cover listed above? Also one of the major claims on a rental is for small scratches etc that are easily missed in pre hire inspections, If the rental company withdraw fund from your credit card for these (there are some notable companies here that do this regularly) would I be reimbursed on your policy

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