renting a car in Germany


Mar 3rd, 2014, 05:26 AM
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renting a car in Germany

My husband and I have a driving tour of Germany booked in April where we are renting a car from Hertz. We have booked an automatic sedan- either a BMW or Mercedes. Does anyone know if insurance is mandatory- collision/liability? We are looking at other companies to provide the insurance as- just like in the states- the rates Hertz quotes for any collision or liability are high...
califcajin is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 05:37 AM
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It is presumed that you come with your own insurance (like in the U.S.). And yes, insurance is mandatory.

See if your insurance company will cover you for rentals in Germany or if your credit card will.

Why are you renting from Hetz? Sixt is usually cheaper, and, depending on the location, you can get a M3.

And why an automatic? That ruins the fun of the autobahn.
sparkchaser is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 05:43 AM
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Unlimited Third Party Liability insurance is mandatory for any vehicle registered in Germany and cannot be waived.
This covers any damage at the other vehicles and other people in case you have an accident - from repairs to hospital stays.
It does not cover you and also not the vehicle you are driving.

The rest (CDW/LDW/PAI and so on) is free for you to take or waive or get from any other insurer or via your credit card, if applicable.
Or check the offers from websites like which usually get good reviews here.

You should take special care of the amount of a possible deductible, as rental car companies here have limited tolerance in accepting only "a little dent".
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 01:16 PM
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Adding to Cowboy1968's comment about "little dents", be sure to check the car out for all scratches, dents, etc. when you pick up the car. Be sure everything is noted on the rental agreement. Be insistent on this. You may even want to take several pictures after the inspection. Then be sure the car is reinspected when you turn it in. Get a copy of the reinspection results. And take some more pictures.

I have had good and bad experiences in this matter- it seems like the rental agencies are getting pickier!! Just like the airlines are now charging for checked luggage. Some credit cards will provide the extra CDW/LDW/PAI at no cost IF you use the card to pay for the entire rental. Most won't cover exotic cars , check with your card to be sure your BMR is covered before you go. Of course some cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee which allows them to recoup some of this insurance costs. I have heard that AMEX has a very good program to provide this extra insurance (for under $10 per day?), but I have always used a MasterCard with no foreign transaction fee.

Finally, don't drink and drive. Penalties are very harsh...And, contrary to popular belief, many autobahns do have a speed limit. Study the international signs before you go...

Have a good safe trip!!!

Travelforbeer is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:40 PM
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Pay careful attention to credit card insurance... it may Max out at 50k... a BMW or Benz may cost quite a bit more.

Also, its highly unlikely your own car insurance company would cover you in Europe.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 07:46 PM
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I just rented a car from an agency called 'Gemut' for our trip to Germany and Italy. They were very helpful and saved us quite a bit of money on our rental. They specialize in car rentals in Germany. I would give Andy Bestor a call. 800-521-6722; or go to their website for a quote or to read 'What you should know about renting a car in Europe'. A 16 page free download with lots of good advice and tips found on their home page. Look into using the CWD insurance from one of your major credit cards, it is often a lot better than the insurance you will be buying at the car rental counter.
Best of luck, and hope you have a safe trip! KP
blondearcher is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2014, 01:56 AM
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>>>It is presumed that you come with your own insurance (like in the U.S.). And yes, insurance is mandatory.

It is not presumed you come with your own insurance - it is irrelevant to a European rental. Third party liability (TPL) insurance is mandatory but the responsibility to have it rests with the vehicle owner, just like in the US. The rental company maintains the TPL, just like in the US. First party collision/comprehensive coverage is not mandatory in Germany, nor is the requirement that you purchase the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). CDW is NOT insurance but acts to waive a clause in the rental agreement that makes you responsible for any loss or damage to the vehicle.
Aramis is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2014, 02:01 AM
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Six of one, half dozen of the other. If it's required and you don't buy it then it's presumed you came with it.

Anyhoo, I'm just passing on what a Sixt rep told me when I asked about insurance. I'm covered insurance-wise with my CC so it's a non-issue for me.
sparkchaser is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2014, 05:40 AM
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And, might I say, obey the speed limits, especially at major highway intersectionsI speak from experience that the posted speed limits are enforced. It is very surprising to see the red light flash as you pass through the intersection believing you are at the speed limit. The speed limit drops dramatically, so be aware!

Yes, I paid the fine before you ask.
Huggy is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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I would think your CC would cover the basic insurance - but some cards do not cover insurance for "luxury" cars - I believe the limit is often 30K euros depending on the card (and cars are usually way more expensive in europe than in the US).
nytraveler is offline  
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Mar 10th, 2014, 10:29 AM
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Check with your credit card and type to see what your coverage will be as it varies from MC, AM etc, but also which card type you have (Gold, Platinum and so on). I can vouch for Am Ex. In Portugal, our rental was damage in a very tight parking lot. I immediately took photos with my phone and sent with report to Am Ex. They took car of everything. The photos helped them settle the claim reasonably as the rental was trying to recover for more damage than what was done. Most of all have fun cruising through a beautiful country!
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