Rental car coverage in Italy

Hello, everyone! I have gotten some conflicting information from AAA and from my credit card company. I have a fairly robust coverage for rental cars on my credit cards (even internationally) but Hertz (via AAA) says that Italy requires we purchase the coverage. Purchasing the coverage nullifies my credit card coverage. The CC wants me to decline all coverage. Does anyone know what the legal requirements are and do they, in fact, ignore any coverage provided through Visa or MasterCard? Neither AAA (on the phone with Hertz) nor either of my CC options seemed to know and both were at odds with their recommendations. NOTE: we are actually renting the car in Germany for the drive down and back so we aren't picking it up in Italy but the rental car company requires the coverage since we are driving into Italy. Let me know if you have any experience in this area.

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

Thanks for the feedback. I DID talk with the credit card company directly and they confirmed that they would cover the vehicle in Italy. I am not renting or returning in Italy so I am not worried about dealing with an Italian rental agency. Also, AAA was on the phone with Hertz International as we were sitting there. The information was coming from Hertz and passing through the AAA agent. I haven't been able to find a comparable rate to the one that we got. With all coverage it was $350 for 7 days for a midsize (the next size up from an A3 so not truly midsize). I will check the other recommended agencies to see if their prices have come down from when I looked before. Now, if I could cancel the coverage, it would be even cheaper. I'll call the CC company again to confirm a second time the coverage and check with other agencies. Thanks again for the help.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

If you don't rent in Italy (ie you travel to it from another country), then no problem. The problem exist if you rent from an office within Italy. Make sure you return the car in the same country where you rented. Across the border drop off charges are very stiff.

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

You are correct, Roberto! That is exactly why we opted to drive both ways. The rental was so much cheaper in Germany than in Italy. Even though we have it for a day longer than we need it, it's still much cheaper to rent it there. Also, we couldn't find any combination of flights and trains that were cheaper than the rental for the week so we went that way. It was just all the concern about the coverage in Italy that Hertz was saying was legally required. Thanks again!!!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

You can't decline coverage in Italy. It's mandatory. Also I know of no credit card that covers rental cars in Italy. They cover nearly all other EU States, but not Italy. Check with your card and you will find out. I actually recommend to purchase a no deductible coverage. Autoeurope.com (a consolidator) offers that option. I always do that because I don't trust my fellow countrymen in Italy, especially when they work for a rental company. They always try to slap me with charges for dents that I didn't make. The deductible can be a stiff 1,000 euro and neither your US insurance nor your US credit card will cover you. So purchase a zero deductible plan. It will be good for your piece of mind. Also get documentation and acknowledgement by the rental company that you filled the gas tank. They try to slap me with a fuel charge nearly every year (which will appear on the invoice after you return home) even though I always return it with a full tank. It's a very well known tactic employed by my countrymen at rental agencies, since most foreigners will not fight for 30-40 euro extra charge for fuel once they are back home. Still trying to dispute my latest last month. It's a pain each time. I'm thinking of filling it with half water next year, so I'll get my money back.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

You're listening to middlemen which is always a mistake. Talk to the credit card company since they're the ones that will provide the insurance. I'll bet they tell you that if you rent elsewhere (and return elsewhere) you can drive all you want in Italy with buying the extra cdw. You will, of course, have to decline the rental agency cdw or the credit card insurance will not be effective (they don't want any three-way fights). Disregard anything AAA says, they just guess. Don't limit yourself to Hertz, they're generally the most expensive.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Karen, We have picked up/droped off a rental car at Munich airport a number of times for trips that included the Dolomites in Italy. We rented through Andy Bestor at www.gemut.com. We pay for the car (and related costs) with our AmEx card and use AmEx's "Premium Car Rental Protection Plan". Coverage is $24.99 for the entire rental period, up to 42 consecutive days. This is not per day. Never needed to do anything more than this. We are doing this again later this year. Paul