I'm currently looking for a 21-days car rental in Ireland, for June. We shall need an automatic Intermediate (like a Toyota Avensis, Ford Mondeo, or similar), with an extra driver (not a spouse). We also need to bring our deductible to zero. When shopping around, I see that the "inclusive" rates only include CDW with a hefty deductible (which varies a bit, depending on who supplies the car). The Super CDW seems to be an add-on, that you sign for only when you pick up the car. It's only when you dig a little further, like with AutoEurope, Avis, etc., that you see that the Super CDW is not included, nor available as an option at the time of booking. However, I keep reading from posters, in various forums, that their recent rental cars included the Super CDW, when they booked it ahead of time. Are they assuming that the "inclusive" rate includes the Super CDW or are they indeed successful in adding it on?? Can someone direct me to where online this Super CDW can be included in their total fare quote? (not from a third party insurance seller) Thanks!
Thank you, Nancy. That is indeed the information that I am finding. It looks like where it was pre-purchased, this premium was paid through a re-seller, with mixed results - often with the rental agency refusing to honor it and the renter being charged for it at the counter anyway. I'm currently favoring Avis, just because they seem to be the most hassle-free rental agency operating out of Dublin Airport... at minimum, the most under-reported source of problems, that is. ;-)
Remember that even the Super CDW does not cover damage to the tires (tyres). With all the tight roads, it's not unusual to have tire damage. Automatics, even when reserved in advance, may not be there when you arrive. Ireland has a much higher premium for renting an automatic than anywhere else in Europe I've rented a car. They also don't seem to have as many in their rental fleets.
It has been my experience that you have to purchase the Super CDW once you get to the rental counter, not before. I have rented from two different companies in Ireland, and that was the process.
Egads, Ken!! What if the Automatic car was a fully pre-paid "Standard" or "Intermediate" size? Must they not honor the booking?? Are any of the rental car suppliers worse at this than others? (Like Budget, who seems to have a very bad rep in Ireland...)
Must they not honor the booking?? Nope. Well, sorta. They will have a car. May not be the one you thought you reserved. If they have no automatics when you arrive - what would you do? They can't magic it up... so do you walk away? Stamp your feet? Take the manual they give you? Just food for thought...
The solution: a. Don't prepay. b. If they don't have what you want, take the reservation to the next counter and see if they other guy will match it - - they usually do. I don't care anything about an automatic, but I don't know how many times I've stood in line behind somebody who wasn't about to get one.
Since pre-paid automatics go for at least $400-500 more on a 21-days rental, how can they get away with this? Especially Avis, that collects this pre-payment right from their Irish website! At least my Visa cc would help recover some of that fee, if I had to accept a manual instead. The unfortunate result would be that I would become the only driver for the entire 3-week period :-( Wouldn't a pre-paid booking have more weight than just an un-guaranteed reservation?
What you need, besides the Super CDW, is called "Car Hire Excess Insurance" (excess = deductible in US talk) which is sold by third-party companies. They cover anything not otherwise covered, like tires and glass. It's secondary coverage and for your needs would cost maybe $80. The financial risk of car rental damage is open-ended. You could end up paying for a new car plus loss of rental income. Don't forget to get medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage as well. Medical costs are open-ended as well. I forego the trip cancellation coverage because it's a known, fixed amount being risked. For the actual rental, check out https://www.thecarrental.co.uk/ I used them last April for a UK rental and was very happy with their service.
The terminology can be confusing. What we call "Super CDW" is often called "excess waiver" in Europe. They're the same thing. In each case, you're buying coverage that will reduce or (sometimes) eliminate the large deductible you'd have if you just bought "regular" CDW. Super CDW or excess waiver bought from the rental company usually excludes damage to tires, glass, the roof and underbody. (Apropos a recent Helpline discussion, it usually excludes damage from use of the wrong fuel as well.) This is because rental companies consider these things to be due to driver negligence. As Gary says, Super CDW or excess waiver sold by third parties sometimes will cover these things. As always, you've got to read the fine print - especially the "exclusions" section. "Education is what you get when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't."
Apropos of the fine print... When researching the third-party excess waiver insurance sold online, I came across the fact that many of these policies do not apply if you are not a EU resident. The websites will let you buy it if you're from the US or Canada, but the policy may not be valid once you need it. If you reside in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, they do present a valid alternative - but be careful, if you do not.