Saturday, 16 December 2017

Time to buy your Travel & Car Hire Excess insurance for Christmas / New Year holidays

Santa and the team will be out delivering the week after next and many people will be returning to Ireland for Christmas. The car hire business will be exceptionally busy as normal, so do remember that if you are hiring a car you will need to take out Car Rental Excess Waiver Insurance.

This can be a costly little number if you buy it from one of those car hire companies you are renting the car from, so as you have planned that Christmas trip, also plan ahead and buy some excess insurance from an independent like Carhireexcess from Blue Insurances

Naturally, if you are planning an after Christmas break and are off to find some "winter sun", or go skiing for example and renting a car, then again make your car rental excess insurance arrangements in advance and save money as car hire providers do normally charge a lot for this type of insurance product.

Don't forget your travel insurance either. You need to arrange this well before you set off on your holiday. Blue Insurances have a variety of products -  - - - and these are available for residents in ROI and Northern Ireland Go to for more information

Have a great Christmas and New Year 2018

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Fantastic Window displays at Estate Agents in Dublin 9

To look at the website in my opinion the image on the left that is on their home page does not do them justice for their fantastic window displays.
They are situated on the N1 Drumcondra Road, Drumcondra in Dublin 9 and cannot be missed by anyone going down that road.
It is better if you are walking of course and I have been walking past with the dog ever since they opened and cannot remember who occupied the building before.  
They had a fantastic display of tea cups and tea pots in 2016 and according to The Irish Times "scooped a gong for Best Shopfront in Dublin City Council’s 2016 annual awards. It’s the first time an estate agency has won the prize which isn’t surprising given the rather mundane nature of the most agency’s displays. MoveHome won the award for its “drop in for a cuppa” themed window. The display consisted of 250 tea cups, recycled from houses the company sold throughout this year, with 20 novelty teapots in the shape of houses and cottages"
Unfortunately I never took out my phone to take a picture but you can see this at The Irish Times website here.

I did however capture this Halloween window from 2016.

Then there was Easter 2017 (left)

Finally below is this very clever display from June / July 17 with pots of paint with pictures of property for sale on them inviting purchasers to "put their own touch on of the houses".

As someone involved with Letting and Estate Agency for many years, I do find this way of creating a window display very good.

It is such a shame that they don't show some of these "works of art" on their website.  I look forward to seeing more as I walk by.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Car hire and excess insurance in the Irish Times June 17th News

Car hire costs and the benefits of taking out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent provider are very much in the news in the last week.

The Irish Times travel section of June 17th, featured a report by Joan Scales "Travel advice on....Pitfalls of car rental"

She reported that Car rental can be one of the most frustrating elements of any holiday. She had recently booked a car in Spain and the price for 10 days hire with a Nissan Juke was only €33.92. She added on the items in the Goldcar list it suddenly cost €313.92!

She wrote that Goldcar would block a deposit of €1,400 if she provided her own excess insurance, their price was €59.50 which of course costs the same as an annual policy from an independent insurance company.

So the main advice is when hiring a car take out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent insurance provider.
On the site There is a great choice - Questor,, insurance4carhire, Worldwide insure, Protect Your Bubble, iCarhireinsurance, insurecarhire plus companies offering Van hire excess, motorhome excess and minibus hire excess insurance and car club insurance.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Car hire without the excess worry was the headline

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 and - Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance that has the brand

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.