Question on Planning for Ireland

May 2nd, 2013, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 210
Having been to Ireland in August (1st international trip), I would never go without reservations. When I arrived, I had reservations; however, I was told that American Airlines vacation oversold (go figure) the hotel and I actually did not have a room. There were soccer games and a huge concert in town that weekend and I was out of luck. It was my birthday and I had to travel outside of town for a room. I already had reservations to do a pub crawl. SO fun!!! The lady at the Temple Bar Hotel (which is where my reservation was or so I thought) was super!!! She found me a room and contacted the pub crawl people and asked them come pick me up. The people of Ireland are the main reason that I absolutely love that place!!!

Point being you never know what might be going on, so especially in the bigger cities, I would try to make some sort of reservation. The car is a must.

Have fun driving! It takes a minute but you will figure it out. Do NOT get the car until you leave Dublin though. Dublin is a hard city to drive in. Lots of unmarked one way streets (found out the hard way). Get a GOOD map. But I did what you are doing by just going where I wanted (some travel book ideas of things I wanted to see). I was "bound" by the hotel reservations but it worked out wonderfully. The following trip, I rented a house and used that as a base for day trips. Ireland is compact enough the most day trips can be done that way. Just a thought...

Have fun and drink a pint for me...
catherinehaas is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 01:25 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
I note with interest the comments regarding credit card coverage for CDW. I booked my car through as they have a Fully Inclusive Rate that includes the Super CDW & Theft. The rate was very competitive and even less than many other sites I saw. What convinced me to book through them was a blog article on the concern over credit card coverage. I cut and pasted it here. It is written by a person who has over 40 years of Ireland tour planning experience.
Should You Rely On Credit Card Insurance For Your CDW?
Question: I am planning a self-drive vacation in Ireland and have seen many postings on Trip Advisor, Frommers, Fodors, etc. about travelers using a credit card CDW insurance coverage to get a lower car rental rate. Is that true? Are there and problems I should be aware of?

Answer: What a timely question! A definition here: CDW means Collision Damage Waiver). Many of those folks that rely on their Mastercard (Visa, Amex, etc. no longer provide this benefit in Ireland to their card holders), have been doing so for many years. It was very popular years ago. The idea that your 'free' Mastercard would save you $200 a week on CDW insurance premium was a great benefit! As long as you didn't get into an accident! The Credit Card Insurance is underwritten by an insurance company. When you get a damage claim from the car rental company, they charge your credit card. You have to then process a claim through the credit card insurance company to get your money back. That process can take up to 18 months and you usually settle for 50% of the damage cost. In recent years that 'free' benefit was taken away and now only applies to the 'Worldcard' which carries a very high annual credit card fee. So much for the free benefit. The coverage for damage claim is limited to $50,000. Keep in mind that $50,000 will buy you a nice car here in the USA but in Ireland all new cars are subject to a VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) of 67% of the cost of the car. It doesn't take a math wizard to figure out that a €25,000 car in the USA will cost €42,000 in Ireland plus the exchange rate ($1.280) or $54,000. And that's for a mid-size automatic!

Imagine if you wrecked a BMW? You'd be out of pocket at least $20,000 even IF the credit card insurance paid a 100% of the claim.

I am also advised that when you file an auto accident claim with the credit card insurance company that it is reported to the national insurance bureau showing that you had an accident in Ireland. This could affect you own personal auto insurance policy premium at renewal time.
Most folks when they realize this risk scenario usually add the CDW coverage and the Super CDW coverage at the counter so that they don't have a car rental 'hangover.' Taking out those additional insurance at the counter becomes EXPENSIVE!

My recommendation is to reserve the Fully Inclusive Rate through EasyTour Ireland and Hertz. All the features at a discount guaranteed in euros. Compare and you'll see it is a great value and offers 'peace of mind.'

Posted by Conn O'Scannlain, CTC DS at 8:47 AM
MedfordEllen is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 02:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 636
Thanks everyone. Of course there has to be complications with everything.

Keithish, thanks for the info on the golf and rental clubs. We were planning to take our own but now we have a wedding to attend in Italy and I won't want to take the clubs there. This will give me some options as it may be less expensive than shipping clubs home.

Still haven't decided on reservations or not. I'd rather not but I am a little worried about the timing. Keithish thanks for reminding me that there will be something somewhere not far away.

Catherinehaas, the last time we attempted this trip we had rented a house in Kenmare with the intention of doing day trips to Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Ring of Bearra and playing Ballybunion twice. That seemed like an awful lot of driving back and forth to one place. How did you feel about it? How far did you go and did you go somewhere every day?

Italian_Chauffer and MedfordEllen, I had checked on insurance last year and you are both correct. Even the World Cards won't cover Ireland. I like the idea of an all inclusive rate so I will check out EasyTourIreland. What do you think of getting something like this?
sdtravels is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
If you are from US, insurance4carhire will no longer insure you. I was quite sad when this happened.

I got mine for upcoming trip to Ireland from Questor Insurance Services. .
jaja is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 04:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
I do both, SDTRAVELS. I use my World MasterCard (Some still DO cover Ireland) and waive the CDW and SCDW and I buy an Annual, Europe-Only Policy as a contingency against tire, wheel, glass and key loss.

I used to buy Insurance4CarHire, but non-EU residents can no longer get an Annual Policy -- though they DO still offer a Single Rental plan. Two-three weeks' cover runs about the same as an Annual Plan and we try to get 3-4 rentals worth of coverage from each Annual Policy -- so I have used a different company the past two years.
Some choices:

MedfordEllen: CDW adds about US$90 to a 11-14 day rental. SCDW or 'EXCESS' adds about US$300 MORE. Tire, glass, etc., IF available would cost about $100. My MC costs me nothing in Annual Fee, but my Annual Europe Coverage Policy DOES cost me about US$75 Per Year. That still works out to a minimum savings of almost US$400 Per Rental. We've completed 16 rentals in Ireland, covering thousands and thousands of miles -- plus one, in the UK using MC without ever paying out of pocket for any damage -- other than three (3) tires. Total out of pocket -- and neither MC NOR SCDW would have covered them -- was US$450. That's when I started purchasing the Annual Policies. Haven't needed to file a claim SINCE though.
So. my thought process goes something like this: Between my coverages, a worst-case scenario MIGHT invole me facing a few hundred dollars out of pocket if things should go awry on my upcoming, three-week trip in June. That's only slightly more than I will save on THAT rental. All total, over the past 13 years, I've saved more than TEN times that much.
Hmm ... come to think of it ... I've already saved more than enough to pay for another trip!
I may have to think about planning something for this Fall ...;-)
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 03:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 636
Italian_Chauffer, I like your thinking. What World Mastercard do you have? I may need a few more miles for a sign up bonus. thanks for the link!
sdtravels is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
sdtravels -- I have a Bank of America Elite Rewards World Master Card. NO annual fee, BUT they do charge 3 or 4 % ABOVE the Basic 1% that Master Card charge for Foreign Transactions. Because of that, I avoid using that card in Europe, for anything other than Irish car hire.
I also get around THAT fee, by pre-paying my car rental, in the US, in US dollars. Most years, I usually rent with Dan Dooley and I book and pre-pay through their New Jersey office. This year, my rental is booked with Hertz, as they had the better deal, both price-wise and equipment wise.
From 18-28 June, I've paid $643.92 -- which IS a lot for NO insurance, but there are six of us (4 adults and 2 children)so I had to secure a 7 passenger MPV, or People mover vehicle.
At pick up, I will still need to pay for the Initial Fuel, plus $38.63 for two Booster seats.
I'll actually be driving an Automatic, this trip, as the offering is a Peugeot 5800, Diesel Automatic that supposedly gets 50 MPG. That will be a first, for me!
On 28 June, our guests fly home and I'll return the van and pick up a mid-sized Opel Insignia (125 Euro + Fuel + Northern Ireland Fee), for our tentatively planned - 'just the two of us - tour of NI and NW tour -- returning to Dublin on 7 July for our 8 July flight home.
So, I'll actually get TWO rentals worth of coverage, in just this one trip!
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
My Capital One is a World Card (no fees, 1% cash back) and was good for coverage in Ireland. Not sure if they still offer that variant or not.
indy_dad is offline  

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