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Interesting Car Rental Pricing

I follow the in's and out's of renting a car in Europe a little closer than most so this is not the typical Car Rental post on this forum.
Making a book for a few weeks from now in Norway and noticed this on Auto Europe. com ; a site often mentioned by users here as a favorite (and a favorite of mine as well). This is a Europcar rental.

Unfortunately cannot cut and paste without messing up the format but.
For a week rental the cost is $177 for their inclusive rate with a deductible
Same car is $227 for their inclusive rate with a refundable deductible handled by Auto Europe.
(if you don't know what that means it means you get funds held for the same deductible as the $177 rate on your credit card by Europcar or whoever you are renting from and then if there is any damage to be taken from the hold, Auto Europe's insurance will kick in so you have zero responsibility and refund you the money. Almost as good as the normal zero deductible from the rental agency other than you need to come up with the Hold money/funds.

Anyway, not the point of this post.
The 3rd option is the basic rental absent any Collusion coverage, that rate is has a larger hold and is $319 !

This makes no sense that a rate without insurance costs more than one with ; but since my credit card policy will only kick in if I decline the optional insurances I have to pick this basic rate to use with my credit car insurance (Chase Visa). Normally the basic rate is less and on a booking I am making a week prior in Germany also with Auto Europe and Europcar that is the case ; the basic rate is the least expensive option as it should always be.
In a country like Italy it is impossible to decline collision insurance so your credit cards coverage will still kick in as long you don't buy anything optional, but in this example they are pricing out a basic option so you cannot say it was not offered.

Be careful, this is clearly aimed to discourage renters from using credit card coverage instead of buying from the rental agency but the first I have come across a pricing structure like this. I fear it may become the new norm.
Even though my credit card completely covers rentals in Norway or anywhere in Europe it is useless in above pricing example.

I am undecided what I will do, I may just go with another provider for the rental ; instead of Auto Europe.

Posted by
1900 posts

In a country like Italy it is impossible to decline collision insurance so your credit cards coverage will still kick in as long you don't buy anything optional

WRONG!!!! Most, almost all, credit cards will not cover your vehicle in Italy. Period. There are some that might allow it if you are able to convince the rental company to drop the mandatory coverage but apparently attempting to do this is like herding cats.

Posted by
1900 posts

I just went to their website and the only thing mentioned under rate details is a credit card hold of 2,500DDK - about $385 - no matter what coverage package you’re choosing. This is common. I’ve had Europcar put holds on my cad in France and Italy. Once the car was returned, the hold was cancelled. There is no reference to the charges you mention on the AutoEurope.com website. However, if you are using the AutoEurope.eu site, the coverages and costs are different and not as simple. The policies are quite different.

Posted by
2562 posts

The response about credit card insurance in Italy is not correct. Those companies that exclude Italy, e.g., Amex, are quite clear about it. I have used my Chase Visa many times in Italy, and the mandatory insurance does not invalidate their provided insurance. I knew this because I called to be sure. I had to make a claim once, and there was no problem about it. Since Chase offers a plethora of cards, it would always be advisable to check with them about your specific one.

Posted by
1695 posts

Chase Visa (for my cards at least) has included Italy for many years
They updated the Chase site at one point to specifically state if you are unable to decline included coverage they will cover you still up to the deductible (which is how Italy works)
It is true American Express and MasterCard exclude Italy but Visa usually does not. This has been true for many years
As always be sure to read the fine print for your specific card and never assume coverage

Recently Chase Visa I believe for a few of their cards just got rid of all country exclusions (don’t quote me on that but I did read it recently) ; they also lessened the car type exclusions. Including more luxury vehicles up to $75000 that previously were not covered

I will add credit card coverage is much more of a hassle should something happen then the expensive zero deductible coverage you can buy at the counter so is not for everyone and really getting off topic

My post is not about what cards cover what at all, it is showing that this most recent rental quote I have the weekly rate is quite unusual

Posted by
1695 posts

Philip,
The numbers I quoted were from .com site and actually how they are listed on my quote
I don’t care what the hold amount is, the issue is me having to pay more for the weekly rental in order to get zero coverage

One figure for coverage with a deductible
One figure for coverage with refundable deductible
One figure for basic (no collision included)

My post was an observation and had no questions
I have rented multiple times in Italy and other countries in Europe including Norway previously

It is very interesting no collision at all costs the most!
Since I prefer to use my Visa for coverage i prefer zero collision included.
Point of the post was to show this to others that may get the same unpleasant results, obviously done to discourage Credit Card back insurances

Posted by
1900 posts

I agree that there are definitely some cards that cover insurance in Italy but generally they do not. I travel with one MasterCard, Amex and two Visa cards (Chase and CapOne) and none of them cover Italy. I should have added that you should read the terms that apply to your card or consult the issuer for your particular card to see if it offers coverage.

Last September I rented through AutoEurope and, as usual, had the $0 deductible. Backing out of a restaurant drive, there was a 1 foot high granite post hidden by vegetation. Glad to opt for the extra coverage. I’ve rented often in Italy, as well as Turkey, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal and always relied on credit card insurance in those countries.

I also went to the website and plugged in a 1 week rental in Copenhagen for early April. The basic rate from Europcar was always the least expensive. Who knows what the gods of the interweb are concocting? I rent exclusively through AutoEurope and I have had some issues at times. They’ve always been straightened out by a call to their toll free number. Great support staff! Enjoy your Nordic trek. Are you renting a Fjord?

Posted by
1695 posts

If traveling with the family and budget is greater I would opt for their refundable deductible rate
Only have had good experiences booking with them and find their insurance costs quite reasonable.

This one is just odd (booking terms)
I am doing a solo trip and trying to fund my costs so the budget is being more carefully scrutinized; Norway is not a cheap place so will not be easy

There could likely be bad weather (high wind guaranteed, snow likely) ; won’t be renting a fjord but am worried about driving into one!

Posted by
640 posts

Auto Europe itself does not offer excess insurance, it is provided by the car rental company.

Also try autoeurope.eu. Depending on the locaton, its rates sometimes vary significantly to that of .com.

Posted by
1695 posts

In the case of their “refundable” deductible Auto Europe is in fact the one providing that insurance
Hi rented in Lyon, France this summer and called Auto Europe to clarify what “refundable deductible” meant
Usually it says zero deductible or super cover ; something like that in those cases you are correct the agency is the one providing the coverage
If you look at enough bookings you will see both wordings
Other than a hold during the rental period it functions similarly as far as you the renter are concerned

Have seen .eu be cheaper but been afraid to use it for insurance coverage at least since you may be implying that you are from Europe not the US? I don’t know but that has scared me off from considering it just to save a little

Posted by
2209 posts

The purpose of the rental car insurance coverage offered by credit cards is to simply save you the cost normally associated with paying extra to get the insurance the rental companies offer. I fail to see why anyone would want to pay more for the rental just to use the credit card insurance (which hopefully is not going to be needed).

Most rental car insurance is the walk away and never think of it again type where the credit card coverage is overwhelming with paperwork to be filled out and the bits not covered (like loss of use and administrative charges) still requiring payment.

Posted by
1695 posts

Yeah, you are making my point

I would prefer to have credit card coverage rather than collision with a deductible though; which is the lowest cost option in this example and leaves the renter with a deductible they have to pay out of pocket for scratches, dents, etc...

Costs aside; Better most all the time to have the zero deductible than the credit card coverage I agree with that (it is the bizarre pricing I am pointing out)
And of course I would not pay extra to have credit card over zero deductible from the rental company.

As to some of the other points i agree 100% getting the paperwork in case something happens with a credit card is a total pita ; but some of the rest is not correct with some cards. Chase Visa has really improved the policies on some of their cards now covering loss of use, towing and other things like that which used to be pitfalls

What I fear of and my point for mentioning the pricing is maybe so many people are not using this type of coverage as the policies have gotten more consumer friendly ; that the car rental companies are coming up with a scheme to prevent folks from using credit card coverage

Posted by
2211 posts

Like Mark, I'm not sure why anyone would choose to take the higher rate for no coverage (or "Basic") just to be able to rely on their credit card. After 30 years of relying on my credit card for coverage in France (not always successfully), the last 2 years i took a zero deductible choice. That paid off one of those years when I backed into a stone wall and scraped the rear bumper. The agent noticed it right away (which surprised me because there were already so many dings and scratches), had me sign something, and I never heard or saw a thing afterwards from the company.

Posted by
1695 posts

Not saying to pay the highest rate
Am saying that having collision with deductible is bad for the customer
(Credit card won’t kick in cause you did not pay the higher basic rate so customer is stuck paying the damages up for the deductible)
In your example had you gotten the coverage with deductible you would have paid for that damage

All good if you pay the extra for the premium coverage.