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Canadian driver renting a car

I'm renting a car in Europe for the first time and I'm unsure about coverage. I have no coverage through my insurer (ICBC) outside
Canada or the US. I have an RBC Avion Visa so I know there's some coverage there. Do I buy insurance with the rental company, Sixt, or am I okay with the coverage on my Visa?

Posted by
5019 posts

It depends on the credit card, where you're going, and other variables, so nobody here can tell you for sure. Call your Visa card, ask to speak with the folks who handle their insurance. Tell them where you will be going (what countries), ask them about coverage. Be sure you understand what is (and is not) covered. It may or may not be OK. Ask them to email the details to you so you can go over it. Read it carefully, call them back and get clarification if you have any questions.

You can always buy extra insurance from the rental agency - but be sure you understand what that means for any other coverage you think you may have.

Posted by
46 posts

We also have the RBC Avion card. We have used the card to purchase the rental and declined insurance (CDW) at the rental counter. Our research indicates that you need to decline coverage by the rental company. In Poland, though, we HAD to accept or they wouldn't rent us the car. We fortunately have never had a claim. It is good advice to research and call Visa for the particular area you are going.

Posted by
4806 posts

In addition to asking about coverage, ask about what process to use to file a claim. What documents do you need? Do you need to file a Police report? Do you charge the "damage" on the card, or do you hold off any payment? How long does take to resolve claims?
One word of warning though, when you call the credit card, the chances are you will get a lower level customer service person that reads off a script, and can often get bad information. (Oh yes sir, it says you have coverage, so you are good in Italy and Ireland (your likely not)) Ask to speak to someone that specifically handles insurance, or since they likely turn that over to another company, ask to get the number of that company.

Posted by
410 posts

If you're renting outside of this area some car rental Co. forbid you to drive into Croatia or anywhere in this Eastern part of Europe. When we rented a car in Munich this is what they told us. When I rent I ask my Credit Card Co. to email me a document proving I am covered for CDW the Countries I'm touring.


Posted by
114 posts

As this is your first time renting in Europe, I recommend you take the coverage Sixt offers. Including reducing your deductible to as close to zero as you are comfortable. Pre-paying at time of booking is usually cheaper than on the spot. Sixt has a good reputation and we have rented from them in Croatia before. Remember to take photos of any rental car at pick up time with your phone. The smallest hubcap scratches can be a reason to argue. Look on forums for current Sixt stories in Croatia. We rented from Pula. If you arrive in Zagreb, you may want to avoid driving in that city itself. The new airport is outside of town and you can start from there.

Posted by
1919 posts

For many cities in SE Europe (Balkans), you couldn't pay me to drive in them. Zagreb is the easiest. It has 1 way streets. The streets are narrow. But they are mostly on a rectangular plot.

The main issue is finding your way. It's a relatively large city, although walkable. As per most European cities, it has good mass transit. If you are going to Zagreb, park and walk. Parking is itself a challenge in a lot of cities in Europe.

We have rented a car on 3-4 occasions. In 1983, our car was broken into in Rennes, France. I think we made the mistake of leaving a package in the back seat (never leave anything visible in the car). When you leave, you don't want the hassle of dealing with the rental company and repairs. Peace of mind may be worth a little extra. I would also take photos of all sides of the car during your walkaround with the agent. Make sure all visible scratches and dents are marked on the rental form.

Posted by
1068 posts

Definitely do lots of research before declining coverage. We have RBC Avion, and once declined coverage. I had called in advance, and was assured we had coverage no matter what, but then we had an incident. They then told me we were covered for certain things only -- and we'd have to submit a claim and wait and see if it would be covered.