Irish Car Rental Companies Are Making Customers Buy Their Car Hire Insurance Unfairly

If you are renting a car in Ireland apart from paying for the car rental in advance on line, you will more than likely have to pay the car rental company a lot of money as “a deposit” if you have purchased your car hire excess insurance separately and not from the car hire company.

When you rent a car the renter is normally liable for the “excess”. The excess is a set amount that the hirer must pay towards the cost of any insurance claim. It can be set very high, ranging from around €600 to €1,700. This is normally not covered in the price of car rental, so the renter will have to purchase “car hire excess insurance” in case there is a claim and it solves this problem.

As car hire companies have traditionally charged a lot of money a day, around €15.08 in Ireland for example, independent insurance companies have been selling the same product for a lot less. There are currently over twenty five companies offering such products and many can be found at web sites like

When you buy one of these daily policies from the independent company for use in Ireland, it will cost approximately €3.53 per day whereas an Irish car rental company will charge the renter around €15.08 per day. There are independents who charge more and others who charge less and it is advisable to see exactly what is covered for your money. Are the windows, tyres, wheels, underbody covered? Are car key losses covered? It always pays to read the terms and conditions.

When people rent a car at least twice a year, it normally makes economic sense to take out an annual excess policy. Most of car hire excess insurance companies offer these for European cover (approx €50 a year) or Worldwide cover (approx €70 a year) and what is more, even older renters (75 to 85 age range for €85 to €97 a year) can obtain cover.

From research that I have carried out it appears that in some countries if you do not buy the car hire company’s preferred insurance and use your own they will swipe your credit card and you agree to have around €400 debited in the event of an accident. Car insurance in Ireland is very expensive for the average motorist and so this is very much reflected in the car hire market. renault locksmith

In late January 2011 a friend was visiting Dublin, Ireland. He had not pre-booked car rental and so when he arrived at Dublin Airport he went up to various car rental agencies looking for a four day hire. As the end of January is a quiet time of the year and it was late in the afternoon companies were anxious to rent out their vehicles. My friend was able to arrange a rental for €100. This also included the “airport car collection fee” that Irish car rental companies try to add on (even if you collect the car in a location in a city or town nearby it can cost an additional €28), but the surprise came with the excess insurance.

He had his own annual excess policy that had cost under €50, however if he wanted to use this cover he would have to have had €1,300 debited to his credit card. This amount would have been taken out of his account immediately. As he had other transactions on the card and not a very high credit limit this was going to rather tricky, so in the end had to purchase the car hire company’s over inflated priced insurance which for the 4 days worked out at €60 (that is €10 more than he had paid for 365 days cover via the independent insurance company).


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