Throughout Europe, mandated liability coverage for damage and injury to persons and property outside your rental car is always provided by rental car companies. The renter, however, is responsible for the car itself. That coverage for damage and theft is called CDW (collision damage waiver) and theft insurance. For most renters, a credit card with free, zero-deductible CDW and theft insurance is the overwhelming choice in most countries. It’s free and, since CDW insurance sold by car rental companies often excludes coverage for glass, wheels, tires, side mirrors, interior, undercarriage and roof, almost always offers more complete coverage.
The problem for the traveler to the Republic of Ireland is that most U.S. and Canada-issued credit cards do not offer CDW or theft coverage on rental cars. There are a few exceptions. Currently, CDW/theft coverage IS provided to U.S. holders of these specific cards: MasterCard WorldCard, MasterCard Business Card and Diners, as well as some Canadian-issued American Express and Visa cards.
If you have CC coverage in Ireland...
Even if your credit card does offer coverage for Ireland, the rental company will require that written proof of coverage from the credit card company be presented at the rental counter. In addition, an authorization or “hold” of up to €5000 will be placed on the card. Though this is not a charge, it will have the effect of lowering your card’s credit limit by the amount of the “hold.” Some rental companies will also charge a “processing” fee (about €30) if CDW/theft is not purchased.
Finally, third-party CDW and theft coverage sold by trip insurance companies such as Travel Guard and Travel Insured is not accepted by rental car companies in Ireland.
No CC coverage...
If you don’t have credit card insurance we think your best option is to book a rate that includes zero-deductible CDW/theft insurance. You may also choose a rate that includes CDW/theft but with a high deductible, typically in the €1500 to €3000 range. You will then probably want to purchase additional insurance (typically €12 to €30 euros per day) at the rental counter to reduce the deductible.
Important: Always call your credit card company to confirm coverage before relying on any credit card for rental car insurance.
Get a written quote.