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Car Rental Insurance Needs in Scotland

Hello. I have primary collision damage waiver coverage when I rent a car, even in the UK, if I rent the car using my United MileagePlus Explorer Card. I have personal injury insurance through my employer group medical insurance, and I also purchased travel (trip) insurance that covers my personal injury.

Do I need to purchase any other rental car insurance? Driving through Scotland in July 2016.

Posted by
5669 posts

The only suggestion I have is to consider what your deductible is for the insurance. I find that when I drive in the UK I inevitably hit the curb with tires and brush the side of the car on the narrow roads. So, it's highly likely when I return the car that they will find new dings that were not there when I picked up the car. So, I do purchase the full coverage. It's not what I worry about in the US, but in the US they don't inspect the cars to the level that they are inspected upon return in the UK. It's all about your comfort level with the risk.

Someone else may have more specific comments.

Pam

Posted by
5549 posts

Any car hire in the UK comes with basic insurance that you have to take including damage to the car and anything else that you may hit or theft. Your choice on the excess. I have an annual policy for Europe that covers the policy excess.

Posted by
3458 posts

Keep in mind , that when you rely on credit card insurance as primary coverage , you are likely to have to settle any damages directly with the rental company and then be reimbursed by the insurance company that underwrites the policy . Be sure that you are able to obtain ALL the documentation that will be required . I am in complete agreement with Pam about driving in the UK , It's pretty easy to scrape the side of car on a hedgerow ( the undergrowth is bad enough , but it usually obscures an underlying stone wall - expensive body damage ) . Also , the term " excess " is what we call " deductible " on the other side of the pond

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your prompt, informative responses.

So . . . it sounds like third party motor coverage (if I, my travel partner, and others in the other car are injured), which is part of the car rental agreement, that will take care of personal injury. Or is there an insurance coverage on top of that--not through the car hire agency--that might be worth my while purchasing?

As for physical damage to the rental car, I will use my primary collision damage waiver through my United Mileage Explorer Card (VISA). But would any of you suggest I purchase additional coverage to help with that? If so, where do you suggest I purchase?

I see the terms "Fully Comprehensive Cover(age)" and "Third Party Coverage" used in rental agreements. What's the difference between the two?

Posted by
1345 posts

'Third party' is the minimum insurance you must have to drive a car on UK roads. It covers you hitting someone else. However this does not cover any damage to your car if you are at fault.

'Third party, fire and theft' is the next stage up for us, increasing, only protects you if the car bursts into flame or gets purloined by a suspicious person for nefarious purposes.

'Fully comprehensive' or 'fully comp' is the one most people go for if they can afford it. It covers you if you are at fault, and covers you if something has happened to your car but you cannot trace the miscreant for a damn good thrashing, err fiscally punitive legal enforceable penalty, ie getting the [expletive deleted] to pay for the damage they have caused.

I've been fully comp since before I could afford to be fully comp without sacrificing something else.

Depending on the excess required, and cost differential, fully comp equivalent is what you are after, if unavailable, fire and theft.

Posted by
1345 posts

To add , from my understanding Third Party must be included in the hire car charge, otherwise the car is NOT road legal.

Fully comp is peace of mind. As I have found when I have had to claim, having fully comp means my insurance company, also my grocer, I like Nectar points, went after said miscreant like a bloodhound.

Posted by
3458 posts

As MC says ( not to mention , in a manner that left me with a broad grin ) ! Full Comp could also be called something like " Super CDW " although the third party coverage might still be separate . You would have to check exactly what the arrangement is , depending on the rental ( hire ) agency .

Posted by
1345 posts

I am in complete agreement with Pam about driving in the UK , It's pretty easy to scrape the side of car on a hedgerow ( the undergrowth is bad enough , but it usually obscures an underlying stone wall - expensive body damage )

Done that, and I live here! I treat them as battle scars, but it does knock the trade in value when you want to buy a new car.

Posted by
37 posts

I have been using the United card's insurance for years when renting in Scotland and only purchasing PIA from the rental agency upon arrival. The nice thing about this card is that it covers tires, theft and windshield which many cards don't and most rental agencies charge even more to cover these. United goes into great detail about what is covered so while I have been lucky enough not to have used it (maybe a good post to start - has anyone needed to use it?!), I have spent a lot of time researching and comparing it with what can be purchased at the rental agencies and it's very comprehensive. With that being said, if you have reservations, a compact rental will be approx $350 in CWD zero deductible at Autoeurope. Oh and don't go through Mileageplus to rent as they claim big discounts with Hertz and others but it's actually more expensive than other sites.

If you opt to use your card (and I think you have to purchase this separately if you pick the rental agencies insurance), the one thing that isn't discussed on any major sites is Personal Accident Insurance (PIA-what coves the driver in the event of a car accident). I was surprised to find that this isn't offered at all companies (Celtic Legend doesn't offer it). I called Autoeurope and recieved specific details from them. I nearly rented from Avis but discovered they only cover up to $2200 of medical expenses if you get injured while driving for approx $7 US a day (which is poor medical coverage) while Keddy covers $1M for approx $12 a day-a far better insurance.

A final note - go small with your car! The largest I rent is a Jetta - the roads are wicked narrow if you plan to go to the Highlands - more so than you would ever imagine!