I am concerned with getting proper car rental insurance in the UK. I have what appears to be comprehensive coverage through the credit card (MC)that I used to book the car in Scotland but in reading what Rick writes on the subject of CDW I am worried that it won't be enough or the right sort. Anyone with experience please enlighten me! Thanks
Have you read what Rick has to say about the product offered through www.travelguard.com? Post back if you have not and want a link.You mentioned Scotland: Rick says in his Great Britain book that you don't need an int'l driving permit for "Britain", but I notice that the Michelin Scotland book says you do--does anyone out there know who is right?
Kent, I say if in doubt get the permit. Its only $15 in our AAA so it can't be much more at the CAA.
Helen, double check w/ your c.c. company on coverage for Scotland. They may cover up to some extent, but will advise you what else to get. Mind you, if you decline the rental's insurance, they may put a hold on your c.c. for a large amount. It may be worth it to add the smallest coverage to cover whatever the c.c. doesn't.
Thats right Kent. In Mexico, I was going to decline and they said they were going to run a $3500 hold + the cost of my rental. They were not just going to do an imprint but run it... and I would have to call AMEX to get my account un-held.
So the rental company (Europa) said I could get the smallest coverage to avoid it, but its not 100% coverage. I did that, knowing my AMEX could cover anything the rental insurance did not.
IMHO, Rental companies are the biggest scam artists.
And, as in my experience, if you rely on the credit card insurance and decline the CDW, the credit card can still refuse to pay if something happens, leaving you stuck with the bill.
So, from reading everyones experience, perhaps it is best to go with what the car rental agency offers. Is it usually quite costly? I know that if I purchase insurance from the rental company it nulifies any that I might have through the credit card. It is all so confusing! Thank you everyone for your help.
While credit cards may cover the cost of the Collision Damage Waiver, many retnal companies also make you responsible for a certain part of the vehicle's value beyond that....like a super-deductable....that the CDW does NOT cover. It's known in many places as the "Insurance Excess value." You can be asked to put a sizeable amount on your credit card, preventing you from using that amount on your card, until you turn the car back in without damage. Companies will offer you a further insurance, like a "super-CDW", to bring this amount down to zero. You can either risk it by putting the "Insurance Excess Value" on your credit card as a deposit until you return the vehicle, or opt for the additional "super-CDW" to bring your liability down to zero.
It is best for you check-call- your credit card company. I have had no problem with the hold or subsequent car damage using American Express Delta Platinum card in Prague. I do question the honesty of the Budget rental people at the Prague airport though. But that was several years ago.
We rented a car through airmiles points one year for a two month Europe trip. The bumpers were scratched when we picked it up. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK EVERY INCH OF THE CAR BEFORE SIGNING THE RELEASE. Look at the car under a good light. The rental underground parking light is often dark and difficult to see the scratches. Streets are very narrow and bumpers are easily scratched. You don't want to pay for someone else's mistake. We took extra insurance and had no problem.
A general point to be made based on the above posts, for less experienced travelers thinking about renting a car in Europe: There are advantages and disadvantages to renting a car in Europe. One of the disadvantages of car rental is that you assume more financial exposure to hassles over scratches and scrapes to the car, than if you travel by train. This website is full of reports from travelers who have had unfortunate experiences with the car rental CDW: either having to pay high daily amounts or not having done so and having had a hassle or financial loss when the unexpected (damage even slight) occurs. Due to narrow streets and other driving hazards in many European countries, damage to the car is somewhat more likely than your driving experience in the US or Canada would suggest to you.
We just go back from our trip to England and we had a car for 6 days. We did end up paying the insurance for peace of mind, especially when our Am exp. covered the CDW, but our own insurance wouldn't cover the liability if we were out of the US. I'm glad we did, b/c the first day was hectic driving on the opposite side of the road and some minor scratches to the passenger side of our car, while we got used to the driving, we were covered. Driving got better after that. Have fun.
Jackie: Your "first day was hectic driving on the opposite side of the road and some minor scratches to the passenger side of our car" got my attention. Ah yes, driving in the UK. Sounds like a story there about the "minor scratches", c'mon you can tell us more, sounds like a story there.
I assume you guys take out Travel Insurance when going overseas??? My Travel Insurance Policy covers this contigency with car rental.