Planning Your Irish Vacation
Even a savvy traveler to Ireland can make a mistake. I did so on my last trip- even though I questioned my travel agent (quite thoroughly, I might add). The problem? Car rental insurance.
The Collision Damage Waiver
I wrote an entire post about the collision damage waiver (CDW) in Ireland – what it is, why you need it and the two types offered. I know about the basic CDW (limited liability with a high deductible) and the CDW with Excess (100% coverage, zero deductible with a daily cost).
When my travel agent offered to check car rental rates for me, I stressed the importance of the CDW with excess. I thought I was quite clear. She found a very nice rate, confirmed the inclusion of CDW- I again asked if it were with excess, she confirmed- and I had her book the car.
I thought I had everything covered. And then we landed in Dublin…
Parting with Your Cash Before Your Irish Vacation Begins
The CDW that was included with my rental was a basic CDW- limited liability with a $2000 deductible. The way this works is the car rental agency will “hold” the deductible amount on your credit card. Definitely not an option if you are traveling on a tight budget!
The other option- and the one I recommend- is to purchase the CDW with Excess. This was an additional €16 per day (nearly $210 for our trip). While definitely worth the money (we drove some very narrow roads and stone fenced entries), it was an unwelcome out of pocket expense- especially when I was assured by my travel agent that the CDW with Excess was included in my initial purchase.
It wasn't until I contacted my travel agent later that day (it was near midnight at home when we arrived in Dublin) that she actually inquired with the rental agency she used about the CDW. Despite my thorough questioning, she didn't realize there was a difference in a basic CDW and a CDW with Excess. Her response to me, “Well, now you have the coverage you wanted. Have a good vacation.” is still sitting rather poorly with me. So poorly, in fact, that we may not use her services again.
Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland
- Definitely compare prices. But also compare the rates for the additional CDW with Excess. Rates can vary by as much at €10 per day.
- If your travel agent says the CDW is included- question with boldness. Have them ask the rental company about the daily rate for CDW with Excess, specifically.
- Have the amount for CDW with Excess, the location service charge (about €30) and the refueling fee (plan for €75; it's easier than filling the car before returning it- and you can bring it back empty) figured into your budget.
- Know that the M50- a main Dublin road- is an automatic toll road. A toll of €3.75 will be charged to you when you use that road.
I want to stress- you really, really should get the CDW with Excess. Narrow roads, surprising turns, jutting hedgerows and other cars are sure to add at least one scratch to your rental vehicle. It's just a more economical option than the basic CDW, in the long run. Just be prepared for it- no matter what your travel agent tells you.