experiences

Options for Rental Car Coverage in Ireland

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Once I decided to rent a car for my trip to Ireland, I started doing a lot of research to figure out who to rent from and what kind of coverage I’d need.

The first thing I came across in my search is that I would definitely need coverage of some kind! Particularly since I was planning to drive in the countryside. I heard and read numerous accounts of scraping stone walls, branches in the road that would fly up and break windshields, etc. I was already nervous about being on the opposite side of the car and road, I didn’t want to also be worried about hundreds of dollars in damage.

So the next step was to figure out how to get it as cheaply as possible and I started with credit cards. Rather than go through the fine print of the benefits on all my credit cards, I found a short cut on the creditcards.com website.

creditcards com country comparison

It turns out that Ireland is on that short list of countries that almost no cards cover. But I zeroed in on the Mastercard column and the “(World and World Elite have no exclusions).” I immediately dug up my US Airways World Mastercard benefits only to discover that Ireland was not included in their coverage. Bummer.

What was a bigger disappointment (in myself) was to learn recently, as in the comments on Jeanne’s post a few days ago, that I should have gone through the fine print on my Chase Ink or dug a little deeper and found The Points Ninja’s post. I had completely forgotten my Chase Ink was a Mastercard, in my mind I lump it with the Chase Sapphire Visa.

Even then it might not be smooth sailing because in some people who did get a letter of coverage from their credit card company reported in forums they had to really convince their rental car company to accept it.

So what did I do?

I sucked it up and when for zero deductible coverage, which cost me about $35 a day. Fortunately we were only there for 3 days so while it expensive, it wasn’t cost prohibitive. And the peace of mind was totally worth it! I was already stressed enough about staying on my side of the road, not worrying about how costly it would be if (in a worse case scenario) if I ran off it was worth a lot!

Driving in Ireland Limerick Traffic

So in a nutshell, here are all the options I’ve found for primary rental car coverage in Ireland:

  • Select World and World Elite Mastercards, including the Chase Ink (but only if renting for business purposes)
  • Diner’s Club (can no longer be applied for in the US, so you must already have the card)
  • Purchase from the rental company for $15-$35 a day

If you have had experience with any or the options above or know of others I missed, please let me know in the comments!

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5 Comments

  1. MichaelP

    February 18, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Uh… the chart say no coverage for Ireland with Mastercard but the outline say yes.

    The chart say Discover covers Ireland but the outline did not list Discover.

    Am I missing something?

    • Keri Anderson

      February 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks for catching the Discover card! Because I don’t have one, it tends to slip my mind. Regarding Mastercard, the chart does note “World and World Elite have no exclusions”. I’ve found some of the World cards exclude Ireland, like the US Airways Mastercard, but others, like the Chase Ink Mastercard, do include it.

  2. Evan

    February 19, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I just added a rental car rider to the travel insurance policy we bought for Ireland. Was about $35 for 8 days of coverage.
    We had a claim paid, no problem.

  3. Dimitri

    February 19, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Yeah, just found out about it, when got to Ireland. $75 for the car, $300 for the insurance! Crazy!!

  4. Karl

    February 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    The chase sapphire card changed their rules in November of last year and now they do offer coverage in Ireland. I will be renting with them in Dublin next month.

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