We can’t give advice on car rental company’s rental agreements, so please read and consider them
The rental vehicle excess amount is generally the maximum charge a hirer will be required to pay to a rental provider, for certain types of loss or damage to the rental vehicle, during the hire. (Note that there may be additional charges for loss or damage which is not included in the rental provider’s basic insurance cover conditions or excess cap - see What is my financial liability when I hire a car).
The rental vehicle excess amount depends on the car rental company that you hire from, the car type and pick up location. The excess amount is agreed between a hirer and a car rental company pursuant to the rental agreement. The excess may also be referred to as the damage liability fee, damage recovery fee, or collision damage waiver.
For example, if the car rental company insures the hire car for $20,000, the rental vehicle excess component (capped amount) that the chirer is liable for if they damage the car, may be $4,000.
If the car is damaged by the hirer, the hirer is liable to pay for the first $4,000 of repair and replacement costs, where these costs are included in the rental vehicle excess conditions.
In Australia, the rental vehicle excess value commonly ranges between $4,000 and $6,000 for standard car types and up to $8,000 for prestige, 4WDs, mini buses and motorhomes when renting a vehicle in Australia. For specialty cars, the excess may exceed $8,000.
The "What is my financial liability when renting a hire car in Australia?" article provides further information about the rental vehicle excess.