Ireland Car Rental Confusion

Old May 26th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Ireland Car Rental Confusion

Hello,

I posted here several years ago and got some much needed help on a trip to Italy and figured I would come to you guys again for some advice.

Having a heck of a time navigating the whole rental car issue in Ireland. Between the automatic vs manual, trunk capacity issues, various levels and methods of getting insurance, and what vendor to go with, I am thoroughly confused.

We are 2 couples traveling together in the 2nd half of June (3 weeks from now). Two of our biggest concerns are a trunk that can fit 4 rolling suitcases AND having an automatic trans. What gets me is that I see alot of posts about rates people are getting and I don't feel like I am anywhere near the same levels.

I understand that a bit bigger of a trunk and an automatic will be pricier. And I also understand that insurance is not cheap. I had a long chat with AutoEurope today and I understand there to be 3 basic types of insurance rates: basic (includes no collision coverage), inclusive (includes CDW, but usually at a steep deductible), and super CDW (lowers the deductible down to a more reasonable $100-$300, but is not available through AutoEurope or other broker types and must be purchased at pickup for between 14 - 37 euros per day).

I was also quoted a "Refundable Excess" rate that was not much higher than the Inclusive (regular CDW) rate and the way I understand it, the car would come with a hold on your CC for $1200. This money gets refunded at the end of your rental period and would cover any collision "provided no gross negligence on the part of the driver." This refund does not apply to theft. A bit confused on this, seems like it could be a bit of a headache having to prove no gross negligence and work at getting the excess refunded.

I also have seen people refer to car rental insurance providers (http://www.insurance4carhire.com) but cannot seem to figure out if this is a good option that will save alot and be effective in the event something were to happen.

Just for reference, I got quoted the following for an automatic Nissan Primera (or equivalent) for 11 days through AutoEurope:

1) Inclusive: $724 - just basic CDW

2) Refundable Excess (described above): $749 with an additional $1200 excess hold on my CC that would be refunded if no accident or no "gross negligence" (this phrase still gets me! who decides that?!!)

3) My assumptions get me to a rate of $1024 for super CDW. (I took the $724 inclusive and added 20 euros per day for 11 days, equaling an additional $300 on the inclusive rate).

This car seems to have the right combo of trunk space, is an automatic, and is not too big as to be a problem for narrower roads.

Can anyone help me cut through the BS? I just want to book something and move on but also would like to save some $$ if possible.

Thanks for reading this far if you did!

-Sean
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:07 AM
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Hi Sean-
I empathize with your frustration in trying to navigate the car rental thing in Ireland. I'm going to Ireland in August and it took a lot of shopping around to get a good rate. I dont have much advice about insurance except that you should see if your credit cards offer CDW (most do and that will save you money on insurance). The best rates were from THRIFTY car rental on automatic cars. They were surprisingly two hundred dollars cheaper on rentals (approx $400 for a compact car/ no a/c) than all other companies which were at least $600- 900. Hope that helps. If you discover any other tips along the way- let me know!
Best,
Stacey
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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"I dont have much advice about insurance except that you should see if your credit cards offer CDW (most do and that will save you money on insurance"

A world MasterCard is the only one that will cover CDW in Ireland.

I don't know whether you saw this thread in the course of your research, but if not, you might want to read Bob's posts about AutoEurope before you consider going with them:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-ireland.cfm

Good luck, car rental in Ireland is indeed confusing!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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I just got back from Ireland. I rented from Dan Dooley and used my World MC to turn down the CDW. I did, however, elect for the optional coverage to limit my liability on vehicle damage to no more than 100 Euros. I think it was 14 Euros/day. If I had not done that Dooley requires a hold on your credit card of 3000 euros I think.

No matter who you rent from make sure you do a walkaround and note in writing on your rental agreement any and all damage to the car when you pick it up. Also, I recommend getting an automatic and strongly recommend getting the smallest car that you think you can get away with. The roads are narrow and close calls are common.

Just for comparison, I rented an automatic Nissan Micra for 11 days for about $600.

Have a great time. Rob
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I have decide to sign up for a World Mastercard through Bank of America. The option to use this card is just too juicy. I got the card issuer to agree to expedite my card arrival and will be getting it FedEx'ed to me in 48 hours (and yes, I confirmed that it will begin with 5466 and it has the same benefit terms that people have referenced, i.e. "May cover cars in Ireland" and "must check with agency"). Once I have the card in hand, I have a few questions:

1) I first need to find an agency that does indeed accept World MC coverage, since it seems that some agencies do not -- anyone know of any agency that does (or absolutely does not) accept World MC coverage?

2) When booking, I need to decline all coverage (both CDW and super CDW)?

3) If AutoEurope is indeed accepting, would this mean I book one of their "Basic" rates (usually several hundred cheaper than their "Inclusive" rates)?

4) Upon arrival, can I still sign up for the cheaper daily coverage for windscreen and tyres (I have seen this anywhere from 5 - 11 euros daily)?

Thanks again for all of your patience.

-Sean

3)
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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As Rob noted, Dan Dooley does accept World MC. I noticed he said he did sign up for the extra insurance. I was under the impression that too had to be declined. But don't know for sure.

I've arranged to rent from Dan Dooley on June 1st. (We also rented from them three years ago.) I'm using a BOA World MC and am declining the CDW. I'm not planning to add the extra insurance.

Again, I urge you to read Bob's posts on the above-linked thread before you decide to go with AutoEurope.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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Thank you CAPH52.

I have now had chats with Dan Dooley and Conn Scannlain (Hertz affiliate). Both were very pleasant and informative. I still get the sense that using a World MC would not be as pain free as I might have originally thought, since I would ultimately be in a dispute with the MC company over a charge if I decline CDW and Super CDW. I guess it ultimately comes down to personal risk preference.

Dooley quoted me $1075 USD for an 11 day Renault Automatic and I could get excess super CDW for $14 USD per day additional (total of $1200). Their excess INCLUDES windshield and tyres and reduces excess to 100 euros.

Conn quoted me $722 USD for same time period in a similar class of car. Add in 12 EUR per day for excess CDW and an extra driver at 10 EUR per day and it's up to a bit over $1000 USD. Although this super CDW reduces coverage to 0, but does not cover tyres but does cover windscreens.

I've come to the conclusion that my mathematical mind is not going to get an apples to apples analysis and I have to just book something and be done with it. At they very least, both of these companies (Conn and Dooley) lay everything out and try not to bait and switch.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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FWIW, I forgot to mention that, since we're declining the CDW, Dan Dooley will put a $3000 hold on our card. But, since I'm not planning to use that card for much else (will be using our Capital One, which doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee), I'm okay with that.

Believe me, Sean, I understand your concerns. When we rented from Dooley three years ago we did pay the super CDW. I was not willing to have a hold put on our card at that time. And I was very concerned about settling claims with MC should any damage occur.

And I'm still concerned about settling a claim. But the fact that we had no damage on the car the last time makes me a little more confident. And, over the intervening time, I've read so many posts here from people who've used the World MC to waive CDW without any problems. So, despite being nervous, I've decided to give it a shot this time. It really comes down to the fact that we're having to rent a bigger car (for 5 people) for a longer time (8 days) and I really hate to have to add close to 20 bucks a day to the cost if I can avoid it.

I'm hoping I'm not being penny wise and pound foolish. If so, I will have learned an expensive lesson.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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I am the referenced, "BOB".

Firstly, please allow me to interject my well-wishes to CAPH52 on her Rapidly Impending trip. May your daughter's wedding day be gloriously sunny and bright. And may the Worst day of their future together be be better than the Best day in their past.

screedon and Stacylk --

Please call MasterCard, at 1 800 MCASSIST to verify coverage. Ask THEM if opting to purchase the Super CDW impacts your MasterRental coverage. I believe that it does, but MasterCard, not me and CERTAINLY not Bank of America , is the FINAL word on what MasterCard does and does not cover.

For the record -- in ADDITION to a US-issued WORLD MasterCard, CERTAIN, Canadian-Issued VISA cards AND Diner's Club offer car rental coverage in the REPUBLIC of Ireland.

My personal difficulties relative to Car Hire that were referenced in the link posted by CAPH52 WEREN'T with AutoEurope.

AutoEurope is a Consolidator. They act as Agents for a NUMBER of Car Hire firms. My 'difficulties' were with the company that AutoEurope booked me with -- EuropCar. Had I chosen a differnet car class, or picked up from a different location (City Center, rather than Dublin Airport, in MY case), AutoEurope may have booked me with anyone of several companies that they agent for.

If you still have questions, type 'Irish Car Rental' into the SEARCH box. You will find several HUNDREDS of threads on the subject.

Bob
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Aww, Bob! How sweet! Thank you so much for those wonderful wishes!

I can't believe that we're only days away from leaving. We've known the date of the wedding for so long now. And it seemed so far away... Now it's just over a week and I'm wondering where the time went!

I'm so glad you popped in here! My apologies on the AutoEurope thing. I did get that they work with several different firms but didn't really fully understand how easily you could have wound up with someone other than EuropCar. However, I think it's still good for Sean to know of the experience you had.

I hope you and your wife have a wonderful trip! As I've said before, let's hope that, weather-wise, this June in Ireland turns out to be much better than the last two!

Okay, Sean, I now return your thread to you!

PS, I have to confess that I referred to you as Bob rather than by your screen name because I can never remember how to spell Chauffer!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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CAPH52 ---

And OBVIOUSLY --- Neither can I.

Bob
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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, Bob!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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First, CAPH52 - enjoy your trip and the wedding (and especially your rental car!)

Bob - Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I cannot get past 1 aspect of what I have learned so far.

In another thread, I saw you write:
"Tires (and, presumably, hubcaps), windshields, undercarraige damage and mirrors are usually NOT covered by CDW, SUPER CDW, NOR, by MasterRental"
...this seems logical to me.

But to me, these are the very things for which I would want coverage and I have read in different places that you can get these covered for nominal daily costs (5-10 euros). In other words, these are statistically going to happen more often than a theft. So if by signing up for this type of additional insurance at the pick up site I void my MasterRental agreement, then I don't see the point of the MasterRental (other than covering the rarer, more "catastrophic" type of events).

I realize I have yet to call the MC 800 #, but until I have my card in hand (shipping by Fri), I don't think they will be able to speak to my specific benefits.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Thanks, Sean! Wishing you a good trip as well!
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Old May 28th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Sean --

This is anecdotal -- I've rented cars in Ireland ten times over the past 9 years, from 8-16 days per, and have 'Racked Up' as many as 1800 kilometers per trip. I've have traveled MOST of the major highways and byways and even driven into and around Dublin City Center on two different trips.

We also used to visit a relative who lived well and truly somewhere WELL past 'The Back of Beyond' - in a mountain valley accessed by a winding, mountain bohreen that would likely terrorize the average US tourist.

I have driven large, 9 passenger 'People Movers' (Passenger Vans like the Mercedes Vito, VW Carravelle and Renault Grand Scenic)around Cork City, the Ring of Kerry, Slea Head Drive and Galway City. I have even park said VW and the Mercedes on the upper levels of the Parking Garage at the foot of Quay Street in Galway.

With all that, I have 'LOST' only one tire, NO hubcaps, NO window glass, NO Mirrors and only had one incident where I THOUGHT I might have damaged the undercarraige -- I pulled too far off the road, onto what I THOUGHT was grass and the driver's wheel dropped into a drain culvert hidden by overgrown grasses -- but didn't.

Typically, scratches and minor scrapes are the most common damage sustained whilst traversing the narrow, stone walled roads.

Insurance4carhire is supposed to be pretty decent for supplimental coverage, but I have ever used them myself, so can only go on heresay.

DO check with MasterCard. I agree that $75-100 for JUST the Super coverage WOULD generate affordable peace of mind, but dunno about the 'Legality'.

Who did you talk to at Dooley? They quoted me a $1000 HOLD.
I also pre-paid, through their Monmouth, New Jersey office -- in US Dollars, thereby avoiding the 'Foreign Transaction Fee'.

If you quote Pat Preston's website -- http://www.irelandexpert.com the NJ office offers a 10% Discount.

The ONLY other Irish car hire Super-CDW that I KNOW of the covers tires and glass is the one offered by Atlas Car Hire, which is affiliated with Thrifty.

Hope this helps --

Bob
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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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This will be my first time to drive in Ireland so I'm a novice. I went through American Airlines to rent a car and the lowest rate I got is with Thrifty, automatic economy car no a/c for one week 99 Euros plus other fees. I planned to purchase excess insurance through insurance4carhire but AA told me to call Thrifty. Thrifty said they would not accept this insurance so be sure to check with your car rental place prior to purchasing additional insurance. I will have a hold put on my World MC. I took advice given by many individuals who have responded here and hopefully am now set for trip.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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My understanding is that the excess insurance through insurance4hire reimburses YOU (not the rental car company) if you incur charges on to the 1000 "excess" (what I would call a deductible) amount....before your CDW (whether on your MC or CDW coverage through the rental car co.) kicks in.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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skibumette, that's good to know and since this is the case, I'll go ahead and purchase the insurance4hire as it sounds good. Hopefully, I won't need it.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 12:49 PM
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We just came back from Ireland this week. We rented a small standard, not automatic, car from Hertz because it was just the two of us. First of all, the longer you wait to rent the higher the price. We rented the car in February I think and we only paid $100 for 9 days. If whoever is driving the car is not good with a standard, forget it, get an automatic, would be my advice. For some people it is hard enough to handle the driving on the left side, nevermind changing gears. Most roads are also very windy and you will deal with uphill roads and downhill roads, the works.

Also, if you can go with a smaller car, do so because the mileage was amazing on our renault clio. Used about a tank and a half for over 1,000 km.

Something else to consider when you choose the car -- many roads are really narrow. So bigger is not better in this case. When you rent, if you are wondering whether to have two drivers or just one, you should probably know the distances between places are not huge. However, my husband did get quite tired of driving at some point and would have surely loved some relief.

As for the insurance. If you have a credit card that covers it, you MUST deny any kind of insurance the rental car offers you in order for the credit card to actually provide you with coverage in case, God forbid, you have any kind of an accident. So now extra CW etc.

We have a master card through Citibank. I called their customer service before the trip and they directed me to the person in charge of such benefits. I was told that while the benefit existed in the agreement with citibank, some countries, including Ireland, may or may not accept it as they want some sort of proof that you are indeed covered by your credit card. The bank emailed me the agreement that very day. So what you might want to do is what we did, take with you the credit card agreement which shows the benefits and if the rental car company gives you any grief at all show it to them. Hertz was great about it though, they just had us sign the waiver and we were done.

One word of advice -- you might want to pay the extra money for the GPS system. We did and we were grateful we did because in some areas there were no signs. If you are close to towns, cities,or big tourist attractions, you will see signs, but to get to smaller villages or towns it will be hard. Also, on our way to the first B&B the main road was blocked by construction so it was useful to have the GPS system recalculate the route. That being said, you could manage with a road map and the advice of many many helpful Irish people. But their directions are not always clear so...

If you get a GPS and haven't used one before, make sure they help you with it. At Hertz they gave it to us and said it's as easy as pie but it wasn't. We finally called one of their guys to help -- he was rather annoyed that we want help with such an easy thing. However, after he presumably fixed it, we left and it turned out it still didn't work. We figured it out, but at the money they want for the GPS and considering we were on vacation, we think they should have done it for us.

On another note, you will love love love Ireland. If you need more tips about driving there, let me know. There will be more tourist buses than when we went in June so watch out for that, particularly if you are doing the Kerry Ring.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Been following the thread. Have a trip planned in July. Andrea..you are MOST helpful! I have a Citiband MC too..nice to hear from someone that just returned. Glad you had a good trip...I'm excited! Won't be my first trip there (3rd) but first time to drive it.
Thanks for your advice!
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