5 Things You Should Know When Renting a Car in Ireland
The thought of driving on the left is usually the biggest concern for travelers renting a car in Ireland, but for some, the car rental policies and prices deliver a big headache… especially since they tend to be different in Ireland from other parts of Europe. Here are a few things you should know to prevent surprises along the way:
- Most online car rental quotes only include the cost of rental and basic insurance coverage (usually a €1,000 deductible). Taxes, fees and extra insurance are usually NOT included.
- Most car rental companies wait until the customer arrives in Ireland before introducing their zero-deductible insurance (often called Super CDW/Super Collision Damage Waiver Insurance – many companies DO include information on their websites, but it is easy to miss).
- Most credit cards DO NOT cover car rental insurance in Ireland. That’s because Ireland is on the short list of countries where Mastercard and Visa do not offer this benefit. Many credit card customer service reps aren’t aware of this detail, so ask for confirmation in writing and be sure to bring the document with you when you travel.
- If your credit card DOES cover car insurance in Ireland, you will be required to sign extra documents to waive the rental company’s insurance. Some agencies require a deposit or a hold on your credit card when insurance is declined. These “temporary” fees can range from €0-15,000 (€2,000 seems be the most common).
- Call rental agencies before you book and ask questions… especially if the cost of fees and extra insurance are not clear to you. One call before your trip can save hours of frustration during and after your trip.
What Are Some of the “Hidden Fees”
To get an idea of taxes, fees and “optional items,” run your car rental query through Hertz.com. Although their quotes ONLY include the rental, taxes and location service charge/airport fee (no insurance), their online quotes outline add-ons for you to consider. When you reach Step 4 “Review & Book” of the process, click the “View Optional Items” tab under the quote. This area outlines the additional fees and prices that can be added when you rent the vehicle. Previous customers have confirmed that these numbers are accurate – sorry, I haven’t used them myself.
Is Super CDW Insurance worth it?
If you’re a betting type of person, the odds are in your favor if you do not purchase the extra insurance (unless of course you’re a lousy driver). However, the peace of mind of having a zero deductible can often outweigh to potential cost savings.
My advice… first-time visitors who are not used to the left should seriously consider the extra insurance – I’ve seen many rental cars returned with damaged passenger side mirrors, missing hubcaps (casualties of the narrow Irish roads) and worse. Renters are charged a premium for those damages. After that first trip, you’ll be in a better position to decide if you’d prefer to skip the Super CDW.
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Note: Each rental company is different, so be sure to review the policies and information provided each… Not all companies participate in the policies listed above.