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Car Rental and Super CDW

Just curious again. I know most people recommend getting the zero deductible insurance when renting cars in Ireland, but is it possible/recommended for England as well. I know nothing about renting cars.

Posted by
4010 posts

I know nothing about renting cars.

I hope the following is helpful:

Talk to your auto insurance company to see what if anything in your policy covers car rentals in Ireland.

Next, whichever credit card you choose to pay for this car rental, find out from them in advance what if anything the credit card covers for a car rental in Ireland.

Then decide for yourself what you kind of extra coverage you want to buy from the car rental agency. Compare the costs regarding all levels of deductibles including no deductibles and then see what you want to do.

Posted by
6788 posts

Is it possible? Sure.
Is it recommended? Depends who you ask.

This is a personal preference - it's like asking do you think it's worth it to pay for Premium Economy or just get the cheapest ticket. Different people have different tolerance for risk and willingness to pay extra for peace of mind. Nobody can tell you what's right for you.

Personally, I pretty much always have full coverage (but I get it through my credit card, which is a whole other conversation).

Posted by
7804 posts

I declined the expensive car rental insurance and used my AmEx insurance. It was a lot cheaper.

Posted by
7489 posts

Your question is incredibly complex, and has many subtle answers. For example, do you want to photograph (all four sides of) your car upon pickup and before return? Are you likely to be forced to do an unattended-return because of airline schedules? Are you experienced with Standard Transmissions? Are you likely to get the vehicle you ordered, or could it be much bigger? Do you own a car? Does your home state have a healthy car insurance market, or would ANY claim be expensive for you? Does your credit card have a high credit limit? Do you only have a debit card?

(You asked only about England, but the answers can be different in different countries.)

Edit: In Italy (personal experience), "Super CDW" can leave you exposed for anything over 5,000 Euros. "Super CDW" is not a regulated or defined term. It doesn't mean anything specific. That's part of the point of my post. Don't take it so personally.

Posted by
434 posts

I was pricing out car rentals for Ireland using AutoEurope. They had an option for super CDW. When I priced out for England, there was no option. All I was asking was if super CDW is available or not.

Posted by
4145 posts

Sometimes , the super CDW is only defined as " Products available at the counter " . If you look at Sixt auto rental , they will show the option for super CDW when you choose the vehicle , dates of hire , etc . I am likely to be renting from them this coming Autumn for a stay in the UK . In spite of the seeming higher cost of full protection via the rental company , that is my preferred approach ( including super CDW . ) I won't repeat any of Tim's comments , as they are all spot on .

Posted by
7642 posts

One big difference is that in Ireland, you are pretty much stuck with Insurance offered by the rental company, since they have some mandatory insurance requirements, and many "credit card" insurances do not cover Ireland.

In the UK, you have many more options including default Credit Card coverage (free coverage from your credit card as a benefit); Premium Credit Card Coverage, usually at a nominal fee, or the rental companies coverage.

Personally, I generally use my Premium coverage from American Express, if only renting for a day or two, I might consider the zero deductible package from the rental agency.

Posted by
5348 posts

There are many companies that provide car hire insurance that removes the requirement for Super CDW and all the other little add ons that the rental firms like to try and tack on. I use a firm that covers me for worldwide vehicle hire for a year for £79 or just Europe for £41. This is significantly less than the rental company charges particularly when used for multiple rentals.

I have no knowledge of any American companies that offer this but I'm sure they exist. The UK and Europe ones are only available for UK and EU residents.

Posted by
32241 posts


I've opted for the highest level CDW on the last few car rentals as I wanted the best coverage and no hassles. Keep in mind that in both those countries, you're going to be driving on the "correct side of the road", which can be difficult for some people.

On one occasion I returned a car at the Bristol airport and the agent noticed a scrape on the back. I didn't remember that scrape when I rented the car but hadn't taken pictures so couldn't prove that. As I had opted for the best CDW, there were no issues.

As I recall, the CDW doesn't include tires and a few other things, but that may vary with each rental firm.

For driving in both those countries, I'd recommend a GPS or at least a good map.

Posted by
1095 posts

Ditto a PP who notes that most credit cards will NOT insure drivers in Ireland (or Jamaica, or Israel).

Having driven in Ireland myself, and having scraped the side of one of many of the rock walls that line the incredibly narrow roads and lost a hubcap while trying to squeeze past one of the ubiquitous large trucks that barrel down the highway, I'd say take all the CDW you can get. Or better yet, don't drive in Ireland. I found it hair-raising and mentally exhausting and I live in a big city with crazy drivers.

Posted by
5355 posts

Cars in the UK hired to residents generally include the basic level of CDW simply because very few people carry insurance that is valid for hire cars, whether from their own policy or credit card. The excess varies but is generally in the hundreds rather than thousands. This can be separately covered or though the hirer, or at risk.

To non-residents though this may be factored out down to the lowest level required by law.