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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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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