Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Ireland - Car rental, major confusion (

xyz99 Apr 19th, 2007 04:13 PM

Ireland - Car rental, major confusion
I know there were a lot of threads here on car rental in Ireland – and still, I am so confused!

We will rent a car in August, and our credit card will not cover us in Ireland. So we need to get insurance from the car rental, that is the CDW, right? Both Kemwell and AutoEurope offer 2 types of insurance: Basic and Inclusive.

Quoting from their web site:
“Basic rates, if available, include unlimited mileage, mandatory public liability insurance, fire insurance, and the value added tax. Inclusive rates include unlimited mileage, mandatory public liability insurance, fire insurance, optional collision damage waiver insurance (CDW), optional theft insurance, and the value added tax”

Considering that we need the CDW, we need the Inclusive rate, right?

Dan Dooley offers, in addition to Basic Insurance, LLI Insurance, CDI Insurance and some “extras” – what are the LLI, CDI and the extras? The Basic includes the “Collision Damage Insurance” – is that the CDW that we need?

O'Scannlain Hertz even offers a Super CDW – what’s that? With CDW, there’s a $1000 deductible anyway;

I could not find any info on the deductible amount for Kemwell, AutoEurope or Dan Dooley.

And sorry if this is a stupid question, what does the CDW cover – if we have an accident (our fault or somebody else’s fault), will everything be covered (minus the deductible)?

Should we get extra insurance from that seems to cover the tires and windshields?

Sorry for all the questions, but I’m really overwhelmed. This is a lot harder than deciding on an itinerary or which B&B to pick.
Thanks a lot

Jack Apr 19th, 2007 06:13 PM

You absolutely need CDW and theft insurance. Otherwise you are on the hook for the entire value of the car. CDW comes with a substatial deductible. Super CDW lowers that to either nothing or a small amount.

Sher Apr 19th, 2007 07:38 PM

If you call these companies to get a quote, they will also tell you the excess or deductible for the cars.

This cost is usually different for different classes of cars.

Even some Super CDW does not cover the total loss of a car if you have an accident. That is that you still could be charged for tires or windshields.

Each company is different.

I believe all of the car companies cover personal liability in their rates. That is they cover the cost to repair someone's car that you may damage. So this coverage is included even in basic rates.

So you really need to call them to find out exactly what you are getting. This is the only way you can compare the apples to apples price quotes.

These are not stupid questions. It is just that the companies may just be different enough from each other to drive you crazy.

As I understand it, insurance4hire will cover the excess and even tires and glass.

crckwc Apr 19th, 2007 07:50 PM

MasterCard Gold or platnium may provide auto rental insurance in Ireland. They did a couple of years ago. If you have a MasterCard, you can call 1-800-MC ASSIST to find out if they offer coverage. Upon request, they will send you a letter stating their coverage. This is a function of MasterCard, not the issuing bank.

We have always declined the CDW in Ireland and relied on our MasterCard. With the card there is no deductible whereas the deductible from the rental agency can be quite high. Although we have never had a claim in Ireland, MasterCard did come through on a minor accident claim in England.

rs899 Apr 20th, 2007 02:50 AM

I believe VISA platinum ( as provided by Capital One) provide full CDW in Ireland. I thoroughly read all the fine print on the policy before our trip to France last month and I am pretty sure Ireland was covered- but check for yourself.

LindainOhio Apr 20th, 2007 03:47 AM

I just called Mastercard this week. The CDW coverage(called CDI on Irish car rental sites) was eliminated by most credit card companies in Sept. 06. My World Mastercard still covers the CDI but Mastercard will not send a letter of confirmation that is required at Dan Dooleys car rental desk.
Mastercard is sending the updated coverage booklet and has given me a number that the rental agent can call in Ireland to confirm coverage 1-800-55-7378. I don't know if that will work.

You must use the card for the rental and decline the CDI.

I have been comparing rentals this week also. Have looked at Dan Dooley and Kemwel(which is a consolidator and the car will come from another agency).

Dan Dooley does not charge for the second driver. Kemwel adds $10 a day(at least rentals from the Shannon Airport) when you arrive to pick up your vehicle.

ira Apr 20th, 2007 03:59 AM

Hi X,

As suggested, call the rental agencies and ask what the liability is for each of the insurance plans.

Also call


wojazz3 Apr 20th, 2007 09:11 AM

VISA has not covered CDW car rental in Ireland for as long as most people can remember, if ever. Gold and Platinum did, but now, only World MC and most business MC cards cover CDW. The time limit is 31 consecutidays on business cards and may be 15 on World Card.

Super CDW (or CDI which is probably just a new way to confuse customers)has been acurately descibed here. As far as deductible, it will vary by company and car style/size. There is another variable though and that is personal liability. The liability that Irish car rental companies are required to carry covers injury to people in other cars and may or may not cover injury to people in your own car. It almost never covers injury to the driver. That is probably covered by your own health insurance or perhaps a travel insurance. Hertz loves to throw that one out at the last minute as a surprise.

What we may start to seen soon (it's happening in the UK) is a supplemental charge the the rental companies will add if you use a credit card for insurance. This is said to cover their revenue loss.

Renting a car in Ireland is easily the most painful part of planning a trip there.


kmg21 Apr 20th, 2007 02:56 PM

Dooley's "extras" include all those things other companies sometimes charge for: airport surcharges, road taxes, one-way drop-off fees, "administration fees," surcharges for crossing into Northern Ireland, surcharges for taking your car onto a ferry, roadside assistance, etc.

Dooley's Basic coverage is pretty much all inclusive except for the Super CDW. It includes the CDI which is the same as CDW; the LLI is probably the third-party limited liability insurance. Plus it includes theft coverage, VAT, unlimited mileage, etc.

They too offer a Super CDW but they call it "Excess." It will lower your deductible to €100.

xyz99 Apr 20th, 2007 03:57 PM

Thanks a lot. I’m still confused, but now I have a better understanding of all these terms. I think I need a spreadsheet and try to compare apples to apples.

We’ve rented in Europe before and of course, we are hoping for an accident-free vacation, but you never know. I’m willing to spend some $ for piece of mind. Now, if the ‘some’ is not too high, that would be great :) We’re renting an automatic, and that drives the price up, anyway.

Ira, thanks for the gemut link, I’ll ask them for a quote.

kmg21 Apr 20th, 2007 04:15 PM

I actually did create a spreadsheet comparing most of the rental companies. (Darn, Ira, I didn't know about Gemut!) Once I started reading the fine print, I realized I needed to break down all the individual charges. For example, AutoEurope and Irish Car Rentals both charge a daily road tax/licensing fee. No one else seems to. Argus charges an administration fee but won't tell you what it is until you get there. Everybody's Super CDW charge is different (for an economy automatic, Nova appears to have the lowest at £3.99 + VAT per day, Avis is the highest at €14.00 + VAT per day).

Don't be afraid to email each and every company you're considering with your questions. When I emailed Dooley, they commented how most people just click the "Terms and Conditions" box but they were surprised I actually read them!

KristenPilk Jun 7th, 2007 05:40 AM

I have been to Ireland several times it always meets all my expectations. Every single time that we have returned we have gone with different car rental companies due to competitive deals. We have used Irish Car Rentals, Budget, Europecar, and Dollar (out of all of them Irish Car Rentals is highly recommended). However, this past trip we decided to use Dan Dooley Car Rentals. What a mistake! Upon arriving at the desk to sign in, we were surprised by an additional 1500EU charge that needed to be held on our credit card for possible damages. Since most car rentals already have a daily fee put into their rates, we immediately started doubting our choice. Ireland is a place where the roads are like sidewalks and its easy to have some damages. The only other option was paying an 18EU charge daily, which worked out close to 200EU for our stay. Obviously most people rather pay the 200EU than 1500EU, if there was a problem. Had we known this originally the rate would have been just as or less comparable to other car rentals.

Now the story of our car... We had signed up for a compact, small car. Most other rentals would give you new Opals, VW Polo's, and etc. We were beyond surprised when the car valet pulled up our 2003 Renault Laguna. Not saying that the make was a bad car but the car was BEAT UP. A jalopy of all jalopies. We had paid for the newer advertised models! The fog light missing, the bumper cracked and scratched, and the car was dented all over. It also had 57,000 miles on it! This is a rental? The interior looked is if someone sprinkled coffee stains throughout. We wanted to run to the desk and demand a refund but we told ourselves that maybe we were spoiled from our previous rental experiences.

However, this was not the case! We drove down to the Beara Pennisula and immediately I felt the car shifting harder than usual. I was wary but continued the drive. After stopping for gas and restarted the car, I realized the maintenance light was flashing. This remained on for the remainder of the trip. The next day on our way to the Healy Pass we drove an incline and the car made a hard jerk forward and the "auto transmission" indicator lit up on the dash. The car's transmission had slipped! I couldn't believe it, they rent this type of car out!?

I immediately called Dan Dooley and spoke with a customer service rep who told me they were very busy and that someone could not come and exchange the car for us. We were already 4 hours down on the coast and to drive up for THEM was extremely poor customer service. I chalked it up and told myself that maybe it was a one time occurrence. However, it wasn't. The transmission slipped at least 3-4 more times. Even the town locals remarked how they had never seen such an old car rental still on the road and agreed that we were taken advantage of. It got to the point where we just stopped using the car and walked most places. We were upset and called Dan Dooley back and spoke with Pat Dooley. Pat Dooley assured us that something would be done for us and we would be taken care of upon arrival at the airport car return. He had also remarked that the reason we were given such an older car was because they had not received their 2007 shipment and that they were incredibly busy at the time.

We arrived the following morning and nobody knew what I was talking about when I said that we had spoken to Pat and that something would be done for us. They called Pat Dooley himself and he wasn't available. I was furious! Again I felt I was being taken advantage of. I thought Irish trickery like this only involved little men dressed in all green! I was told to follow up after the bank holiday when I got home. I did so and of course Dan Dooley had claimed they couldn't find the problem that I had spoken of. Also, the maintenance light was due to a simple oil change and that he was sorry I had such a negative experience with his company. I swore to him I would never use them again and of course he promised "he would personally take care of me and make sure this never happened again". I told him that I felt I was not "taken care of" my entire visit by his company and I would decline his offer.

So, please, if you have made it this far in my post, DO NOT USE Dan Dooley Car Rental. There are so many other reputable car rentals and for the extra 100EU its worth getting a newer car with no damages, that is in good condition. I think Dan Dooley should change their name to Dan DooLITTLE.

Lawchick Jun 7th, 2007 06:13 AM

I always rent with Hertz in Ireland and never have problems. I take out the extra insurance - so there is no deductible and there are no hidden extras.

jefe Jun 7th, 2007 08:36 PM

Sorry you had a crummy rental experience with Dan Dooley, KristenPilk, but a lot of it was your own fault.

While perhaps they did do something unacceptable in giving you a car you didn't think was safe/acceptable, it was really on you to "run to the desk and demand a refund", or perhaps a different vehicle. The second the transmission slipped should have had you turned around and headed back to the depot if they refused to come get you.

I have used them twice now, and have had a positive experince both times. In 2004 we rented a brand new Fiat Punto that performed flawlessly. Last month we had a newer Ford Fiesta - and while I didn't like the Fiesta as much, that was all on Ford (I found it a tad underpowered at times, and didn't like the feel of the manual gearbox)

It's a sad thing, but often in the world today, it's on the customer to make sure that they get good service by demanding it, and speaking up when they *aren't* getting it.

bluesmusic Jun 8th, 2007 06:41 AM

We rented from Avis in Dublin City Centre in April 07 and had a good experience even though we paid more than most. It was easy to exit the city, even though we had to navigate the Red Cow (locals call it Mad Cow) round-a-bout - it was under construction, but had clear directions where to go. One tip is to reserve through the Avis Irish website, not American. The quote on the Irish website included CDW and was $200 less!

bluesmusic Jun 8th, 2007 06:47 AM

Forgot to mention that we purchased the Super CDW from Avis and drop-off was a breeze. We hit the side view mirror on a light post a few times due to the narrow streets that caused us to drive on the curb. On check-out they told us they didn't even have to look at the car since we purchased the Super CDW.

mpkp Jun 9th, 2007 02:24 PM

We rented from Dan Dooley last month and had a positive experience. The vehicle was prepaid for 16 days and we picked it up at Shannon and were supposed to return to Dublin. Most car rental companies do put a hold on your account-- even if you rent here in the states -- and they were no different. In addition we were charged 65 euro for a tank of gas and told it would be refunded if we returned it full -- I was skeptical of that!

As it turned out, we had a death in the family and returned the car back to Shannon after 6 days with a full tank. We were refunded our 65 euros for the gas and we received a credit for 10 days of car rental on our credit card when we returned home. They could not issue the refund there as it had been paid for over here. We had a fairly new car as well -- we had requested air conditioning but it did not have it -- the vehicle was due in about 2 hours later that day. This was never guaranteed by them.

We had used Pat Preston's name and received a discount as well -- it was $432.00 for the car for 16 days including two drivers, taking it into Northern Ireland and the basic CDW. I really thought that was a fair price after checking with lots of companies.

In addition I purchased the insurance through insure4carhire -- for $100 I had piece of mind over the deductible. Since I did not need to use it, I do not know how their service is. I did receive an email from them just before the trip reminding me not to take the excess and the procedure if anything happened. i also received an email upon my return to ensure everything was ok. So my experience with them was good and I think I would use them again.

joanr Jun 12th, 2007 02:33 PM

As we are going to Ireland in July I just phoned VISA (we have an aerogold card) and they assured me that they covered Ireland for all collision damage. The rental company will hold 2000 Euros and we will have to get Visa to cover collision but there is no deductible which there is for the car rental coverage.
Am I silly to rely on a credit card?

KristenPilk Jun 12th, 2007 02:42 PM

You are not a fool to rely on a credit card to hold the deductible. However, if you have not driven in Ireland before, you may want to reconsider. Many roads through mountains and etc. are not easy to drive. There are many chances to accidentally ding the car or even have someone else damage the car. I recently was in a similar situation and its distressing to have a 2000EU fee hanging over your head if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, it seems like you may not have another option.

Is there a reason why you can't rent a car and purchase their collision damage for an extra fee per day?

nanabee Jun 12th, 2007 02:52 PM

hi zyz99
i've not read thru all these posts - but another poster really blasted Dan Dooley. have you read Kristen Pilk's post title: DO NOT USE DAN DOOLEY RENT A CAR - date 6/7/07. you might get some additional infor on car rentals from there.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:05 AM.