Most people are already aware that motorsport and track driving carries an inherent risk. RSR is dedicated to be as open and transparent in all aspects of hiring a car to drive the circuit, and what happens in an accident is an important part of this. We also think it’s important to be able to offer methods that you can use to reduce the financial risk to yourself when hiring a car from us!
What happens in an accident?
In short, you pay for the damage you cause to the car. This is a normal throughout any form of motorsport, and is a normal part of the risk, and a part of the thrill of driving on track. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, which are covered below.
For a full, comprehensive run down of the process and what happens in the case of an accident, please click on the below link:
Are deposits required?
A deposit is a sum of money paid before the rental, that is returned to the client upon a safe return of the car. While many companies that hire out cars for the track ask for an up-front deposit, we do not require this for most of our cars under normal circumstances. Exceptions to this rule may apply in certain cases:
The deposits we ask for can range from 1.000€ to 15.000€.
Our top-end Supercars are high value cars, and we take a deposit of approximately 10% of the value of the car. These are required regardless of if the cars are insured by a third party or not.
How can I reduce my risk on track?
There are a few important steps you can take to reduce your risk of an accident on track:
Additional Track Insurance for RSR Rental Cars
In many cases it is possible to organise with an external insurance company to cover some of the excess on a rental car. This external insurance has to be organised and paid for by you, as it requires information that only you can provide. Some of our recommendations are below, as many of our customers have used their services and they are familiar with the needs for hiring a car with us. For more information and a quote, please contact the respective company directly.
Keep in mind that the below companies are only recommendations, and there is no connection or liability between the listed insurers and RSR. You are free to choose other companies. Before hiring insurance, do a thorough analysis and be aware of all terms of the contract, in particular the excess (franchise) conditions and exclusions on the final value to be paid to you.
In the unlikely case of an accident, you still have to pay RSR directly for the damages to the car, even if you are insured by another company – but then there is the possibility to claim some of your money back from the company you were insured with afterwards!
What about insuring my own car?
Many of the above companies also offer insurance options for your own car while driving on the track. Please contact them directly for more options!
RSR Preferred Trackday insurance providers
Other Trackday insurance providers
Please note: Additional insurance is best done ahead of time as it may not be possible to organise on the day of rental.
It should already be well understood about the danger and risks of driving on a track. In a sea of indemnity forms and “legal-ese” style sentences, it can be sometime forgotten that driving a car (in fact at any time, not just on a circuit) carries both financial and personal risk!
What can be a bit confusing from time to time, is: what happens if the worst happens? At RSR we do our best to make sure nothing bad happens. We want our clients safe, happy, and wanting to come back again and again. We always give a safety briefing to each and every one of our clients. This makes sure they understand the rules and regulation of the days, and gives you an idea of what to expect. We also ensure everybody wears a helmet on track. There is no excuse for not wearing a helmet. If the worst happens, we want to make sure everything has been done to keep you safe.
In reality, there is no such thing as a dangerous track, only dangerous drivers. Any corner, no matter how sharp, off camber, or low grip, can be taken at an appropriate speed. Getting to know the appropriate speed takes two things: knowledge; and a bit of patience and humility while learning (i.e. take it easy for a while – driving well below your maximum).
For the most part, normal car road insurance does not cover accidents while on a race track. This means, that any damage you do to the car, you would have to pay to repair. Destroy the whole car? Then you’re minus a car, my friend!
Of course, track day insurance can cover for accidents like this, and these sorts of insurances are still available on our cars. There’s also list of insurers we can recommend at the bottom of this article.
In short: you pay for any damage that you have done to the car, just like you would if it were your own.
However, in the case of a large amount of damage, then we also have a maximum amount that you would be liable for. This maximum amount varies per car, to which we refer to as “the excess” (Also known as a deductible in other countries).
The level of the insurance excess does vary per car, and is usually around half to two-thirds the replacement value of the car – meaning you don’t have to pay for the whole thing! For example, in purchase price alone (see more about this below!) a Honda Civic Type R is around 42.000€, however, our excess on the car is 25.000€.
Something to note is that a real world “actual” replacement value isn’t just the purchase price of the car. So while you may be able to purchase a car for one amount, you would also need to add on top items such as:
(Please note that these amount may be subject to change, as cars are added and removed from our fleet! For the latest update, alway consult your RSR contact person and your rental terms and conditions.)
On the track:
Public Roads (Road Tours):
Normal insurance companies don’t cover for the race track – This also applies to companies, not just individuals, and we need to protect our significant investment (our cars) to ensure that we can continue offering our services to our customers.
Just think – how would you feel about letting someone you didn’t know drive your own pride and joy?
So when it comes to an accident, and under our basic excess structure, it’s always better to be liable for only part of the value of the car, and not the whole thing!
Keep in mind that while €50,000+ can seem like a high price, this is your worst case scenario – i.e. this is what you’re responsible for if the car is a complete write off.
A fully written off car is very, very unusual, and you only pay for the damage you actually cause.
So in most cases, the above excess level do not apply. We’re not going to charge you €20,000 when you only do €1000 of damage!
However, at the end of the day, you are responsible for how you drive the car. When you are in control, you need to be responsible with your speed and cornering, keeping your wits about you, and seeing what is going on. If you don’t know where you’re going, then drive a bit slower, just like you would on a public road!
For the majority of accident cases, there is no third party involved. Usually, it’s the driver getting ahead of themselves, and “running out of talent”. The other people on track, no matter how idiotic, for most of the time can be avoided by driving defensively, taking no risks, being predictable, and just letting them go on past.
If there is someone else involved, then we have different policies that cover the different situations: Public Road, Touristenfahrten and Trackdays. There is a similar excess-style setup to cover the damage to the other persons’ car.
When it comes to Public Roads, sometimes it’s not apparent whose fault it is in a crash. Police reports can take weeks to come back. When there is a third party involved, and the fault is unsure, then we take the above amounts as a deposit. Anything unused is returned to you once fault is established or repairs are made.
Trackdays are a different story. The rules regarding third parties can vary, depending on the organiser of the event. Generally, there are no public road rules in effect. This means that if any damage is done to another car, they have to pay for their own car. Vice versa, this means that if someone crashes into you, then you are responsible for paying the amount of damage to the car you were driving – even if it’s not your fault. This is why you especially need to have your wits about you around other cars on trackdays. However, some organisers have special rules about overtaking, such as it only being allowed on straight sections of the track, or overtaking by invitation only. If there is a mix up and an accident occurs between two cars, then it’s possibly that fault (or a percentage thereof) may be assigned to one party.
First and foremost let us be very clear: We do not make money out of repairing our cars. And in fact, each of our crash estimates are created through an industry standard program, using industry standard prices. This is presented to you and we take the time to go through each and every item, to ensure that everything is understood.
A quick note on our estimates: they are just that – an “estimate”. Because generally we will not know the final cost of the repair until after it’s been completed, and we need to provide some sort of idea of cost at the time of the crash, our mechanics create a crash estimate. Sometimes these prices can be higher that the final cost, to account for parts that are unable to be determined as damaged until the car is part way through the repair process.
Once the final repair is completed, then we can provide a final cost breakdown, and any difference (either way) can be sorted out.
Our cars are used primarily on track and therefore under demanding conditions. Any parts we use to replace on our cars will only be from the original manufacturer or a suitably track-worthy item from a trusted source. Replacing parts with cheap items is not only irresponsible, just think how you would feel if you knew the car you rented had a “cheap” repair job done to it before you rented the car?
So in short:
We think this is fair service to the trust of all of our customers. We hope you agree!
A healthy amount of nerves is good – but of course we still want you to go out there, and enjoy some of the best tracks in the world, with us!
Firstly – You can always drive carefully, within your limits, and drive defensively around other cars on the circuit. Watch what is going on around you at all times – but also concentrate on what you’re doing!
Secondly – Hire one of our experienced driving instructors to help you around the track. It’s great to have a second pair of eyes out there, and they can help you with part of the circuit you’re not familiar with and also keep your driving levels in check!
Thirdly – Hire a car that is within your means. A fast, super expensive car is a nice thing to hire on one of our road tours. But on the track, it means everything approaches quicker than you expect, and if something goes wrong, then you’re normally going faster. When you are very experienced on the circuit, then a faster car can be more rewarding to drive. But when you’re just starting out, it’s always better to work your way up through the levels of car. The morale of the story – don’t drive outside your means!
Fourthly – If the standard excess level is too high, then either consider dropping down a class of car (You’ll generally have just as much fun, with less worry in the back of your mind. Alternatively, you can organise extra track insurance. This is where, for an additional premium another company will cover you for your liability.
At the end of the day, we want all clients to be happy and satisfied with their rental experience. The info above is designed to demystify some of the processes on the side people don’t usually like to talk about – e.g. what happens if it all goes wrong.
You’re doing something inherently risky, that also carries a financial burden – make no mistake about it!
However, the biggest determining factor of risk is your own attitude. Having a responsible attitude is key to having fun, and keeping safe while out on the circuit!
If you have any questions regarding anything, then feel free to contact a friendly member of RSR Staff – we can answer any specific questions you may have.
Please note – Prices and amounts were correct at time of writing. Please ask us for the latest details on the particular car you are interested in renting.