We examine the resolution dependence of errors in extreme sub-daily precipitation in available high-resolution climate models. We find that simulated extreme precipitation increases as horizontal resolution increases but that appropriately constructed model skill metrics do not significantly change. We find little evidence that simulated extreme winter or summer storm processes significantly improve with the resolution because the model performance changes identified are consistent with expectations from scale-dependence arguments alone. We also discuss the implications of these scale-dependent limitations on the interpretation of simulated extreme precipitation. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Intensification of short-duration rainfall extremes and implications for flash flood risks.'