Please sign in to post.

Insurance for rental cars

I am having a real problem figuring out insurance coverage for rental cars in Scotland - (and then I need to figure out Ireland as we will rent a car there as well). In Canada we have 3 coverages - 1. Collision will cover damage to your car. 2. Comprehensive covers hit & run and things like if a tree branch falls and damages your car and 3. the big one as far as we are concerned Liability which covers the cost to repair someone else's vehicle if we are at fault and if they sue us.

Our insurance in Canada only extends coverage if we rent in Canada and the US.

So many people say that their credit card covers insurance of a rental car in Scotland and that is true in that they cover the Collision portion and usually up to a certain maximum like $65K on Infinite Visa. It DOES NOT cover Liability.

So my next thought is, maybe Scotland has 'no fault insurance' whereby if you hit someone, they pay for their damage and you pay for your own thereby they cannot sue you.

I am wondering this because no one seems to be as concerned about it as we are so I feel like I'm missing something. By the way we did look into buying the insurance that can be purchased with the rental car company and it was $300 for the car and $600 for insurance and I think that was with a $2000 deductible. We could do this but I think there must be a better alternative and we certainly don't want to over-insure but we don't want to find out that we are under-insured if an accident happened.

I'm really hoping Rick that you will weigh in on this with a definitive answer and then we can make an informed decision.
Thank you to anyone who has any answers to this question.

Posted by
2888 posts

I don't think I've ever rented a car anywhere that didn't come with liability Insurance included. It's typical that CC car insurance only covers collision, but this also comes with restrictions. If you're unsure if liability is covered by the rental company then perhaps email for clarification.

ETA it's highly unlikely that Rick would respond. This is a discussion forum for travellers to Europe . Occasionally a RS staffer will chime in, but mostly it's just us forum members.

Posted by
1837 posts

Third-party insurance – the insurance that covers any damage you cause to other people is included with the car rental price. It is compulsory and a legal requirement in the UK; you won’t be able to hire a car without it.

For insurance that covers you and the car you hire. You have two choices – either buy the insurance offered by the car hire company or decline it and arrange your own insurance (possibly through your credit card). Be aware that if you decline their insurance the car hire company will likely put a hold on your credit card.

Posted by
2916 posts

I don't think I've ever rented a car anywhere that didn't come with liability Insurance included.

Same here, and it's probably required by law in every European country.

Posted by
3 posts

Yeah, that is the best news to hear that the rental comes with liability insurance. I will double check where we rent and I really appreciate your help on this. I didn't consider that it may come with the contract.

Posted by
3 posts

I have found out from Avis that their rental cars in Ireland come with Liability insurance but NOT in Scotland or Iceland. I have an email out to the Europcar company and we'll see what they say.

Posted by
970 posts

The best way to find out who covers what is to call and ask. The rental shop -- call the specific franchise you're renting from -- can tell you what they require before you drive the car off their lot. Your own auto insurer can tell you what, if anything, your own policy will cover. Your credit card company will tell you how their coverage works in Scotland.

Almost all credit card rental insurance is secondary coverage. I relied on it once when renting from Thrifty at Inverness but I had to show up with written proof of the coverage from the card issuer.

Posted by
1825 posts


I noticed the same thing about high insurance costs when I started searching. Someone on this Forum referred me to Celtic Legend.

I've been corresponding with them and asked some very similar questions this weekend. I'll update my post when I hear back. This company has been very good at responding with descriptive answers.

Posted by
1825 posts

Here's an email I got back from Celtic Legend.

Our insurance is very similar.
The policy is Comprehensive CDW cover with unlimited 3rd party liability.
The liability insurance covers all passengers in the car and anyone else injured in an accident, however it does not cover the driver. The driver should have a travel insurance policy that covers them for personal injury.
There is an excess on the car of GBP1000. In the unlikely event that the car is damaged or stolen, the ‘Excess’ (sometimes called the “deductible”) is the maximum amount of money you have to pay the rental company, upon returning the vehicle. The excess is set at the first GBP1000 of any damage caused in an accident. You can pay an optional waiver that will reduce the excess to zero.