What is a Collision Damage Waiver?

You may come across a variety of obscure terms when hiring a car. CDW, for example, appears within almost every car rental contract, but not many people understand what it is or what it means. This article will teach you everything you need to know about Collision Damage Waivers (CDW).

What does CDW stand for?

A Collision Damage Waiver, commonly shortened to CDW, refers to the financial cover provided in the event of a collision or damage. Essentially, agreeing to a CDW allows the car rental company to waive the right to charge you for damage to the rental car. This means your excess will be reduced to £0 in the event of a collision.

Almost every rental company in the UK will offer basic CDW cover.

Why is it a Collision Damage Waiver and not insurance?

For the person renting the car, the Collision Damage Waiver is essentially the same thing as collision/damage insurance. However, car rental companies see it as a waiver of their right to make the renter pay for damages to the car, which is why it is named as such. 

What is covered in a Collision Damage Waiver?

Cover may vary depending on the rental company. Typically, damage to the car’s bodywork is covered by a Collision Damage Waiver. Parts which are not included:

  • Windows and mirrors
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Undercarriage
  • Engine
  • The car’s interior
  • Flat battery
  • Personal belongings
  • Lost keys
  • Extras, such as GPS, child seats or ski racks
  • Towing charges

Additional cover will usually be offered when you pick up your rental vehicle.  Without CDW cover, you may end up paying deductibles into the thousands of pounds.

Gatwick Car & Van Rental offer Collision Damage Waivers with every rental. Choose from our fleet of over 300 vehicles to begin exploring London at your leisure. We offer luxury cars, vans and even tipper trucks for hire — and all on flexible contracts. Prices start from just £15.56 per day. If you’re interested in a rental vehicle, call us today.