I was reading the Irish Independent this morning - 25th May 2017 and came across an article by Sinead Ryan under the "Consumer Guide".
Car hire without the excess worry. That is something we all want and it was only a couple of weeks ago I rented a car in Sicily and turned down the car hire company's rather expensive cover as I already had an annual policy.
Well we are now heading for the summer holidays, bank holidays and half term breaks. So Sinead has been looking at the car hire itself and the 'emergence of the excess insurance.' This is the cover she explains that pays for the first part of every claim the driver normally pays in the event of an accident and which she says in Europe van be "wateringly excessive"
She points out that car hire staff "are paid hefty commission to up sell products and issue dire warnings about not having this.
In her article she got quotes from one of the advertisers at Irishpropertyinsurance.com and insurance4carrental.com - Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance that has the brand CarHireExcess.ie.
Ciaran explained that "car hire insurance covers you for accidents (usually termed Collision Damage Waiver) and theft (Loss Damager waiver), unfortunately, you may have also have to pay a large excess if the hired car is damaged or stolen. Car Hire Excess is a reimbursement policy which is designed to help you avoid these large excess costs"
He went on to say" You can get ripped off at the car rental desk, routinely charged €20 to €25 a day whereas an Irish policy in advance will only be €3 to €5 a day. So it is best to buy before you fly".
The article runs through costings from four other companies and goes on to offer some tips when hiring a car.
One of these is that most rental firms demand a credit card not a debit card. In Sicily my Irish debit card was not acceptable and had to use a sterling credit card which adds to charges as there are currency transactions. As I did not buy the car hire company's product they had the right top debit my card between €1,200 to €1,600 so you do need to make sure you have sufficient credit as quite often car hire companies take that money as soon as you hire and return it when you bring the car back....undamaged. So if you are using that credit card for hotel and other expenses on your holiday, make you have a sufficient credit limit.
One item that was not mentioned in the article was about extra equipment charges, child seats, Sat Navs etc. We took our Sat Nav with us. We did not want to rent one and we know how or "Agnes" works!
When I rented the car I did what the Irish Independent article advises - check the fuel policy. You can normally do this before you book. If you are hiring on a pick up full, return empty that is no good if you are not travelling far and you return it nearly full. It is a way some car hire companies make additional income so do take care.