Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > U.K. and Ireland
Reload this Page >

Car Rental Insurance in Ireland -- Very Confused

Car Rental Insurance in Ireland -- Very Confused

Reply

Old Mar 4, 15, 9:59 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Posts: 1,286
I'm renting through EasyTour as well in a couple weeks. It will be my first time driving an RHD car so I wanted to make sure I was completely covered if when I crash the thing into oncoming traffic.

I understand the only thing they don't cover is tires and wheels - anyone know if Hertz offers that coverage and if so, about how much it costs? Ideally I want to be fully covered so I don't end up having any unexpected costs out of pocket.
t325 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 10:51 am
  #92  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Programs: BAEC/IB
Posts: 37,044
Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
To reduce the hassle by reducing the process to a "one-stop shop," I figured it was easier to take a rental through a company that offered the car and all insurances in a transparent, all-inclusive price even if I paid somewhat more than I might normally like.
If you're happy with the price then I agree it's best to have everything under the one booking. This will only be the second time we've used a separate third party no excess insurance. It's a tremendous saving and having it does put our minds at rest but I've no idea how easy or hard claiming on it would be if the need arises.

As to the wheel cover. We used to rent with Enterpise when they offered a competitive all in no excess add on we twice had tyre damage caused by the wife driving too close to the edge on narrow roads. Thank goodness we were covered as I once saw a guy at MAN airport having to pay a couple of hundred pounds when returning his car due to a wheel problem.
HIDDY is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 11:03 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
Posts: 3,023
Not covering the tyres and wheels seems to be quite common in Ireland. When I looked a few years back some companies were excluding underside, outside mirrors, and even the roof. I guess it is a menu of things that tourists are likely to damage! If you rely on a cc for coverage then it seems that you need to get in writing that this coverage is provided for your card (letter quoting last four digits for example).
MADPhil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 4:57 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,248
Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
Not covering the tyres and wheels seems to be quite common in Ireland. When I looked a few years back some companies were excluding underside, outside mirrors, and even the roof. I guess it is a menu of things that tourists are likely to damage! If you rely on a cc for coverage then it seems that you need to get in writing that this coverage is provided for your card (letter quoting last four digits for example).
This was indeed my concern about using credit card coverage. And one of the things that was echoed through the threads I uncovered on other fora about experiences with Easy Tour was that there were no issues at pickup, no extra charges upon return. That's worth a little extra out of pocket to me.

I asked about Easy Tour because after being ready to settle on Dan Dooley for the lowest-class car with an all-inclusive rate, except a 100 euro residual responsibility for damage even with super cover, I found Easy Tour at a cheaper price for a one-class higher vehicle with super cover with no residual. 240 euro total or about $270 for eight days after spending $100 at Hertz on a one-day rental two years ago when I went with some friends to Dublin who decided after seeing all the city sights that they wanted to venture outside the city to do the Tullamore D.E.W. distillery tour seemed like a good deal to me.

But a grad economics history professor always repeated in class, "there's no such thing as a free lunch," and this felt a bit like the free lunch to me. I've now booked with Easy Tour and will report on my experience after I return from Ireland at the end of April.
lwildernorva is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 5:00 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Posts: 1,286
I called Citi because my Doublr Cash MC doesn't exclude Ireland for rental coverage, so I wanted to see if tires and wheels would be covered (with the ETI rate picking up super cover). I was told wheels and tires aren't covered because they're an accessory.

To me an accessory is something that is not required for the car to be operated. Good luck driving a car without wheels.
t325 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 7:49 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,248
Originally Posted by t325 View Post
I called Citi because my Doublr Cash MC doesn't exclude Ireland for rental coverage, so I wanted to see if tires and wheels would be covered (with the ETI rate picking up super cover). I was told wheels and tires aren't covered because they're an accessory.

To me an accessory is something that is not required for the car to be operated. Good luck driving a car without wheels.
Welcome to renting a car in Ireland, where it's safer to assume nothing about your car is covered by whatever insurance you have. And that a mud flap will cost $3000 to be replaced. . .
lwildernorva is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 9:24 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
Posts: 3,023
Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
I asked about Easy Tour because after being ready to settle on Dan Dooley for the lowest-class car with an all-inclusive rate, except a 100 euro residual responsibility for damage even with super cover, I found Easy Tour at a cheaper price for a one-class higher vehicle with super cover with no residual. 240 euro total or about $270 for eight days after spending $100 at Hertz on a one-day rental two years ago when I went with some friends to Dublin who decided after seeing all the city sights that they wanted to venture outside the city to do the Tullamore D.E.W. distillery tour seemed like a good deal to me.
I see from the Hertz web site that even super cover does not cover wheels and tyres!
MADPhil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 15, 10:23 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,165
Man, talk about a racket...
Superorb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 15, 10:37 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,248
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
Man, talk about a racket...
I think it's more knowing the rules of the game. Ireland's situation runs counter to all of the advice I've ever read about renting a car in the US, especially in regards to taking (essentially, declining) the CDW. But that makes sense since many times either credit cards or personal insurance already in place for a US citizen make life easy. And because insurance coverage is written for hundreds of millions of customers, the insurance pool is large, and rates for insuring rental cars are (relatively) reasonable.

Now, go someplace else in the world. Your personal insurance probably doesn't extend overseas so the main advice given to US renters renting in the US goes right out the window. Credit card coverage may still be in place--my first trip to Ireland in 2000, my Amex Plat offered primary insurance for rentals that saved me when my car was broken into my last night in Dublin--but there are exclusions, and Ireland has been one of them for the past decade.

Apparently one of the consequences of this exclusion is that rental car companies in Ireland serve as self-insurers. Unlike the large insurance pools in the US, the pools have to be much smaller for Irish rental car companies, meaning they have to have some method of insuring that damage caused to cars gets repaired and paid for. And that method is either requiring CDW and super cover through the company (at a high rate) or a credit card company that guarantees coverage (with a backdrop that so many CCs specifically exclude Ireland from coverage) or essentially placing a hold on the credit card almost equal to the value of the vehicle rented. The pain is amplified because consumers have become used to renting cars on the Internet, and the initial prices offered at most websites run about 15-25% of the all-inclusive cost of the car, location charges, CDW, and super cover. And many folks find about this increased price after coming off a TATL, somewhat tired, somewhat stressed, and somewhat able to remember that some travel advisor once recommended that they decline CDW. And what the hell is this super cover?

Now, throw in the mainly poor condition of many Irish backroads where the chipped surfaces are likely to shoot stones into the undercarriage or onto the windshields as well as the winding, narrow construction of so many of them (I read someone who advised drivers in Ireland to keep chanting to themselves, "fence, sheep, cows, ditch, stone wall" to remind themselves of everything they were likely to hit while driving) that make the speed limits almost laughable. For the most part, I'm unlikely to hit the full speed limit on many Irish backroads for more than a mile or so at a time because it's so necessary to keep slowing down to keep from hitting a wall or a fence or an animal. And heaven help you if you're on one of those curvy roads when a lorrie suddenly comes around the corner at full speed, leaving you little room to get out of the way without hitting something. Let's also toss in driving on the other side of the road and shifting a manual with the hand opposite to the one you've used all your life. The chance of damage to a car rented to an American, especially on the first trip, is extremely high.

Now add the typical salesmanship at a rental car counter at the Dublin airport that you could just as easily find in the US and that's the cherry on the sundae. I just know I wouldn't want to be the owner of a rental car company in Ireland. Not saying it's impossible to make money, but I bet they watch costs like a hawk.
lwildernorva is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 15, 10:54 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Posts: 1,286
The countries that always seem to be excluded are: Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Jamaica and Italy. Regardless of bank or credit card issuer, those 5 countries almost always appear on the exclusion list. What is it about those countries that causes them to be excluded from rental coverage? It it something with those laws in that country?

Seems odd to me that my card will fully cover me if I rent a BMW in Germany and drive it on the autobahn, but I'm not covered if I rent a cheap, tiny hatchback with a 0-60 time well into the double digits in any of those 5 countries.

I'm not sure how much the "driving on the other side of the road and shifting a manual with the other hand" argument holds. Yeah, it's a factor, and I'm definitely nervous about doing it for the first time in a couple weeks. But Australia*, England and Japan are RHD countries and aren't excluded.

*Edit: I take that back, apparently Australia is excluded from some cards.
t325 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 15, 1:27 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,248
Originally Posted by t325 View Post
The countries that always seem to be excluded are: Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Jamaica and Italy. Regardless of bank or credit card issuer, those 5 countries almost always appear on the exclusion list. What is it about those countries that causes them to be excluded from rental coverage? It it something with those laws in that country?

Seems odd to me that my card will fully cover me if I rent a BMW in Germany and drive it on the autobahn, but I'm not covered if I rent a cheap, tiny hatchback with a 0-60 time well into the double digits in any of those 5 countries.

I'm not sure how much the "driving on the other side of the road and shifting a manual with the other hand" argument holds. Yeah, it's a factor, and I'm definitely nervous about doing it for the first time in a couple weeks. But Australia*, England and Japan are RHD countries and aren't excluded.

*Edit: I take that back, apparently Australia is excluded from some cards.
Probably high insurance rates for locals to begin with, added to mediocre road systems once leaving the major metro areas. Driving on the motorways in Ireland is very much like driving on the interstates in America, and I've suggested that folks who are going there who haven't done opposite side driving and who are thinking about a trip to Belfast as part of the itinerary do that M50 trip first because it gets you into the swing of things fairly easily.

It's inside the cities and then in the rural areas that the opposite side driving can throw a driver off. Keep in mind most streets in older foreign cities were built well before the automobile was invented. As a result, you drive narrow, winding streets that developed over centuries, leading to the habit of a street you don't turn off of changing names ten times in several miles plus street signs and building numbers either absent or placed on buildings in bewildering locations--meaning you'll find your attention diverted at times trying to figure our where you are and where you're going, even with a GPS..

Toss in a roundabout and the slightly different road signs, and you can suddenly find yourself driving on the wrong side of the road--which is exactly what happened to me on my first trip to Scotland in 1998, my first experience with opposite side driving. Not three minutes off the airport, I ran into my first roundabout. Fortunately, there was no traffic when I made my RIGHT turn into the roundabout as years of American driving guided me into what could have been a bad mistake.

In addition, it's easy for longstanding instincts to take over when you're at a regular intersection. A guidebook I read advised readers to add a "LOOK RIGHT" to the "DRIVE LEFT" sticker many rental cars have in Ireland and the UK because the truly fatal error is to look left as a lifetime of driving in the US ingrains that habit.

It's not impossible to drive in these places, but I'll guarantee you if you attempt to multitask while driving as I see so many folks do on our roads in the US, you'll likely have an accident.
lwildernorva is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 15, 5:12 pm
  #102  
Moderator: Luxury Hotels and FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Palo Alto, California,USA
Posts: 16,712
Originally Posted by t325 View Post
The countries that always seem to be excluded are: Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Jamaica and Italy. Regardless of bank or credit card issuer, those 5 countries almost always appear on the exclusion list. What is it about those countries that causes them to be excluded from rental coverage? It it something with those laws in that country?

Seems odd to me that my card will fully cover me if I rent a BMW in Germany and drive it on the autobahn, but I'm not covered if I rent a cheap, tiny hatchback with a 0-60 time well into the double digits in any of those 5 countries.

I'm not sure how much the "driving on the other side of the road and shifting a manual with the other hand" argument holds. Yeah, it's a factor, and I'm definitely nervous about doing it for the first time in a couple weeks. But Australia*, England and Japan are RHD countries and aren't excluded.

*Edit: I take that back, apparently Australia is excluded from some cards.
It's a scam undertaken with collusion from the local government, plain and simple. Tourists don't vote -- same reason that there are such high extra fees imposed by local governments when you rent at an airport.
RichardInSF is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 15, 1:56 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,248
Ran across this video in my wanderings around the internet today and thought about this thread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJhO8W3rgm8#t=138. I drove the A82 last summer and can vouch for how narrow and winding this portion of the road is.

Now, in Ireland, once beyond of the major motorways radiating from Dublin and some isolated improvements made around the rest of the country, you can easily run into N-designated roads, the Irish equivalent of A-designated in the UK, that are MUCH narrower and more winding than this. Toss in a hiker or a bicyclist on your side of the road and a lorrie coming your way, and you can understand how even a careful but inexperienced American driver could damage a rental car.

By the way, I found that video at this site, http://orcutt.net/weblog/2013/03/15/...for-americans/, which includes plenty of great resources for Americans driving in the UK (and by extension, Ireland, since the rules basically remain the same although speed limits are expressed in kilometers per hour rather than miles per hour--sometimes if you miss a border sign, your cue that you've crossed from one to the other in Ireland is a change in the units used on the speed limit signs). There's a PDF with an explanation of the meaning of road signs that I wish I'd seen before my first visit to the UK in 1998.
lwildernorva is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 10, 15, 3:32 am
  #104  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London, England
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton, Marriott/SPG Platinum, National Exec, AA EXP Emeritus
Posts: 9,085
My UK-issued American Express Platinum card's car hire cover doesn't appear to have an Ireland exclusion. Does anyone have experience with using this card and cover when hiring in Ireland? Will I need to print the entirety of the coverage details and present them to the car hire company upon pickup?
Microwave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 10, 15, 3:46 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC GGL, HHonors Diamond, IHG Uninspired, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Accor Plat, UK AMEX Plat
Posts: 1,669
For the UK Plat insurance, the hire car company doesn't get involved. Typically, they offer you lots of extra insurance for a fee, you say "no thank you, my credit card insurance covers that", they say "you do realise that we'll bill you and then you'd have to claim it back from your insurance" and you say "yup, that's fine"

Then, if you damage the car in some way, the hire car company bills anything not covered by the basic insurance to your Amex Plat card, you then go to the online claims system and fill out all the forms, potentially pay off the damage in the mean time (depending on statement dates), then all being well get the money back.
Gagravarr is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: