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Zero deductible or zero excess auto insurance? Please share experiences.

Has anyone rented from Auto Europe with its zero deductible/excess insurance rate? Has anyone had an incident and returned the car? What happened? I'm being quoted a price of about $400 for a week's rental of an automatic with the $0 deductible.

I'm going to Ireland in a couple weeks and am putting a last minute trip together. Originally I thought I'd use public transport, as I'm extremely wary of driving on the left. But, now I'm considering renting a car, provided I can obtain a truly inclusive insurance policy with the rental. Most credit cards don't protect rentals in Ireland (another reason I'm freaked out about driving there).

Posted by
3198 posts

No experience with this, but my question for you is, "Is $400 within your budget and have you read the policy itself?"

If $400 is in your budget and you want a zero deductible policy go for it.

I would always read the policy itself prior to use if I had any questions about what would be covered.

Posted by
29 posts

I have not seen the actual policy and can't find it on the website. I am going to try emailing the company for it. In the meantime, I'm wondering if anyone has actually booked a car with this level of insurance.

Anyone????

As far as my budget goes... It's a little steep, but I'll be traveling with my son. So if we use PT, we'll have to buy two tickets everywhere we go. Also, my son is not light traveler.

Posted by
14 posts

I have not been to Ireland. However, I was planning a trip and got a World Mastercard (it is black)...from Bank of America. It has been a few years but this was the only card that allowed me to rent a car in Ireland. At the time i could use this card and waive the insurance. (Mastercard would insure me).

I would suggest you contact them to clarify all pertinent information. Car rentals in Ireland i have read are very tricky and complicated. Some credit card companies hold your money...do not allow waivers...hidden costs etc.

World Mastercard can also send you detailed information regarding what they cover in case you are involved in an accident...ie tires, undercarriage, etc. You can obtain all these information with other credit card companies ...ie Visa....

They suggested that i request an email or letter( must present hard copy) from Mastercard stating that i could waive the additional insurance and present it to the rental agency when i arrived in Ireland. A good site for info is Irelandyes.com They have a forum which can help you.

Irelandyes.com has alot of information concerning car rentals in Ireland. You can also email the representative of this website.

Hope this info helps you.

Posted by
29 posts

Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to receive a new MC.

Thanks though for the website. It looks super helpful!

Posted by
1065 posts

Hi sannstarky. Have you actually checked the details of your credit card coverage? It used to be the case that Ireland was excluded from many cards, but I called my company (Chase) for a recent trip and they confirmed over the phone and in writing that both Ireland and Northern Ireland are now covered. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
2246 posts

sann, my experience is thus: We rented a car from Budget for four days in 2013, picking up at the Drumcondra Rd office in Dublin. I had reserved ahead, and gotten a car with auto trans, with their insurance, at a deductible of $1350.00. On pickup, the Budget rep offered me the opportunity to buy down the deductible to zero. I took that for an added cost of about $80. The next day, we had just parked for lunch in Tralee, and a driver sideswiped me on my driver's side-that driver kept going, never stopped. I tried contacting Budget on my phone, but it wasn't happening, and decided to wait until a few days later to explain when I turned the car in at Cork Airport. There was a pretty decent scrape on the car. I answered a few questions and I was on my way, no extra charge.

I think if you contrast that with the hassle etc etc etc of using and then actually claiming a reimbursement from your credit card issuer, you will see the best way to go here. If I am not mistaken you would have to immediately satisfy any damage charges, deductible etc, and then hopefully get paid back by your card. Ireland has small roads, you drive on the left and sit on the right, it tends to be very hard on cars. Forget the card, buy the insurance from the rental company.

Posted by
29 posts

Dave,
That's just the sort of story I was hoping to hear. I'm glad it worked out for you. And you didn't need a police report or anything?

Your story makes me wonder if I should buy the insurance directly from the car company (Dollar) instead of through the Auto Europe (which is a consolidator). I'm afraid that introducing 3rd parties will introduce (as you allude to) more hassles. I wonder if there's a way to get a quote on that before leaving home.

Thanks,
Sally

Posted by
2246 posts

Nope, I did not involve the police, and Budget did not have a problem with that. In relative terms it was not a huge amount of damage, and no injury of course.

Not sure, but this may be one of those "at the counter" things that you can't include from Auto Europe. You might wish to go direct for that reason, but others may have something to share on that angle. I have heard good things about some of the Ireland based rental outfits too, like Dan Dooley.

Rest assured that the expense and learning curve will be worth it-you'll likely have a vastly different experience with a car than you would have depending on public transport options.

Slainte!

Posted by
168 posts

Definitely recommend Dan Dooley...they have a US 800 number and very helpful staff. I went ahead and purchased the excess (100 euro deductible) insurance as well as tire and glass coverage...worth it for peace of mind. I jst don't want to fool around with that credit card coverage.

On returning the car a ding in the sidewall of one tire was discovered...not sure if that was my fault or not but it didn't matter since I had the tire and glass coverage.

By the way, you will save money if you can drive a manual transmission.

Posted by
29 posts

Thanks, Terri. I'll give them a call. I can drive a stick (one of my cars is a standard) but I don't want to have to fool with that while trying to drive on the left. So, yes this is turning out to be a crazy expensive rental with the automatic surcharge, the $$$ insurance, and GPS. I'm currently weighing the cost over public transport.

FYI, I did contact Auto Europe and they verified that the zero deductible included with my rental (for a Dollar Car rental) would be considered 3rd party and that I'd have to pay for any damage upfront and then work it out with Auto Europe for a later reimbursement. I also read that Dollar may charge several thousand dollars on my credit card as a deposit if I refuse their insurance even if I'm already covered by Auto Europe. Hence, I've crossed them off my list.

Posted by
16832 posts

It's not the credit card companies refusing to insure you in Ireland, but rather the Irish car rental companies refusing to allow insurance substitutions, so that's an expense, but hopefully not a reason to "freak out" about the actual driving experience.

You may also like general CDW tips at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/car-rental-cdw and driving article at https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/driving-in-great-britain-and-ireland.

Posted by
2827 posts

There are two possibilities, you need to check which is being offered:

1) a co-promotion with the rental agency whereby "Super Cover" or their equivalent is being offered with the quote. This means you have zero deductible* straight from the car rental operator (Auto Europe is a consolidator and works with Hertz, Sixt, Europcar etc). In that case, they don't even bother checking for benders.

2) a "deductible reimbursment" whereby AutoEurope pays you back the deductible should you be called on it by the rental agency. In that case, you might still need to pay the deductible (say, US$ 1100 for car theft) before you are reimbursed.

Auto Europe has good track record on reimbursing the deductible.

There are other secondary insurers that will offer, for a rather affordable fee (much cheaper than standard Hertz, Avis etc. rates), extra insurance to cover deductibles. They are mostly based in UK or Ireland and offer EU-wide coverage. Think of something like £ 50/week.

*all this options will probably exclude gross negligence operation such as accidents while DUI, or fueling diesel on a gasoline car and vice-versa; or misuse of the vehicle like using it for sub-hiring, taking it to private race tracks etc.

Posted by
29 posts

OP here. Just wanted to follow-up. I ended up renting from Don Dooley. Their prices were the cheapest inclusive of a 100E deductible (which I thought very reasonable) with automatic transmission and GPS. I rented in Dublin and returned to Galway. They don't have a return facility in Galway, so they give you the phone number of a local contact. At a time of your choosing, you simply call the contact and they come to collect the car at a drop-off location of your choice (in my case, my hotel). They don't charge extra for that service, and I found it very convenient. Also, the car was in excellent shape, so I have no qualms about recommending them.

Posted by
2246 posts

Hey sann, glad to hear it worked out, and thanks for posting your experience! Nice to know Dan Dooley is a good option, and the car return service is a definite plus.