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Post Info TOPIC: Warning: Car Rental Rip-offs!! Some Require €2,000 - €15,000 Deposit to Decline CDW


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RE: Warning: Car Rental Rip-offs!! Some Require €2,000 - €15,000 Deposit to Decline CDW


I was actually checking out groceries (self-checkout line) at the time Miss Lyndon returned my call, so I'm a little fuzzy on the details.

Basically it came down to $40 for one policy and $35 for the other, just not sure which is the major and which reduces the deductible down to $100.  I'll finalize it when I call back on Monday.

We fly out Thursday (arriving 7 a.m. Friday) with only one unconfirmed reservation, which I'll take care of once we arrive.  It's for our 7th night (at Kilkenny), so if our primary choice is booked, we have other options.

I'll definitely keep you posted on my whirlwind tour.

Dennis

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Hi - I used Kemwel and was set up with Eurocar. I carefully went through the bill and felt I was overcharged $350. I went through my credit card company, and the charges were reversed and the money was returned to me. I followed up with Eurocar numerous times confirming I was set and they never responded... I need to check my credit report...

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Maggie Cosgrove


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Maggie,

Thanks for your feedback. Most of the car rental companies in Ireland have gone crazy with extra charges. The industry really needs looking at.

Michele

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I now only use Dooley when I go to Ireland.  It is a good company that has no hidden expenses.  The rest of it can get confusing with some of the companies, but I cast a nod for Dooley.  Only great experiences with them in my travels to the Emerald Isle.

Sidz

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Sidz,

Thanks for the feedback. I am going to try Dooley next time. I will report back on my experiences.

Michele

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As a slightly related topic, I've noticed that some trip insurances carry CDW now. I went to www.insuremytrip.com, and several of the options had either $25,000 or $50,000 coverage for CDW. I would assume that would be sufficient to decline it at the rental agency. Has anyone used outside, non-credit card insurance like this successfully in the past? Inquiring minds want to know!



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Christy,

Since I have a card that still covers Ireland I have not used trip insurance for car coverage. I suppose you should read the fine print. I expect that because you would decline CDW that the "deposits" we are discussing here would be the norm.

Michele

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I can handle the deposits - but that might be an option for others. Since I am getting trip insurance anyhow (as it covers trip interruption, cancellation, bag delays, trip delays, medical evacuation, etc.), why not get one with car insurance? I don't see that it increases the price much - it's about $500 for me and my two girlfriends, going next June. That's the same price it was without the car insurance for us in 2006.

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Christy,

The trip insurance certainly sounds like it is a good option to consider for the car too.

Michele

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I have just returned from a trip that included a few days in Ireland.   I rented a car from Thrifty Car Rental Shannon for 1 day and it was dropped off in Dublin same day October 5th to be exact.  

I had received a quote from them for the 1 day that included a 25 euro charge for dropping off the car in Dublin.  When the car was picked up at Shannon Airport I present a letter from Master Card covering me for insurance purposes. They refused the letter from MasterCard ( Platinum).  We had a Gold Visa which they accepted.  At that point I was informed that they would be charging my card 2000 euro that would be fully refunded if the car was returned no damage.  I was surprised by the policy since it was not stated in my quote.  I went over the conditions with the CS Agent at the counter ( have his name) and was again  informed that a full refund would be given back when the car was returned that day.   We questioned the deposit charge - it was for any excess damages to the car and we would be responsible for collecting from the insurance company.
At that point we were stuck needing to arrive in Dublin to reach our next destination.  

When the receipt was given to me the 2000 Euro was converted to Canadian Dollars for a total of  $3278.88 ( conversion rate of 1.63944).  This did not cover the rental rate plus full tank of gas & drop off  which was an additional 115.07 Euro converted at the same rate which was $188.65 CDN ( total $3467.53 CDN)    I was told that if car was returned full tank of gas that would be refunded.

At the end of the day in Dublin the car was returned and a refund of 2,000 euro (plus 61 euro  for gas/additional driver was credited)  I did notice that they had not converted it to Canadian the same way they had charged it earlier in the day. Which I questioned and told that it would even out. If I back out the "gas refund etc  I was credited  $2995.67 on my credit card   According to my CCard Company this was because of the way Thrifty processed the credit.  Meaning the 2,000 euro was not converted to Canadian dollars immediately  and processed the same way that they charged it to my Card the same day.  I did not receive a full refund of the 2000 Euro and in fact suffered a loss of $283.21 CDN. ( note this is on top of the rental)

I contacted Thrifty in Dublin today  - Dublin's initial response was that they are not responsible for "conversion rate differences".  I have pointed out that this was an error created by their accounting/processing practices and if they had processed the credit the same way I would have received the full credit for the 2,000 Euro.  I had told them that the CCard company pointed out that it was the way they processed the credit.

It is now appearing that I may have a problem based on my converstation with them today.   I am waiting for a response from Thrifty .  I am at a loss at to what my next step is.  I am prepared to take this to the next level - this practice of charging a $2,000 euro damage deposit and not returning it in full does seem right and I can not believe that a company of their size would be using such methods with international customers .   If they have accounting issues when crediting it back the very least they could have done was block it off the credit card and then unblocked it.   I know from my conversation today that I am not the first person to bring this to their attention

We rented a car from National/Euro/Alamo group - in the UK on the same trip for 9 days used the same Mastercard coverage that was refused by Thrifty.  They had a policy of 250 GBP hold on the card and it was returned with out issue. 

Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do next -  Thank You Wendy ( Canada)

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Wendy, 

Welcome to my forum. No problem with your two postings. 

Renting a car in Ireland is fast becoming a real problem. Most have layers of rules that are not favorable to their "clients". Those who are uninformed before their trip are usually taken advantage of. It is especially dismaying when these rules come as a shock and impact the pocketbook. 

The first problem I see with what you have outlined is that you were a victim of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Instead of charging the 2,000 euro in euros they converted it directly into Canadian dollars at their rate. You can read more about DCC on my Tips & Tricks page under the heading of Credit Cards. You should have been given a choice of being charged in euros or Canadian dollars. It is always best to choose the charge in local currency (euros in Ireland). 

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This is what Thrifty says:

Please be advised that for security reasons, 2000 Euro will be CHARGED to your card in case of damage. If there is any damage, this amount can be claimed back through your credit card company. No damage on return will result in a full refund to your card. We will not be held resposible for any exchange rate charges as a result.

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Since it was a one day rental I question why the exchange rates changed so drastically. I would contact Visa and explain the problem with DCC and the exchange rate and have them straighten out the matter. Hopefully they can.

Let us know how it goes.

Michele


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Hi, everyone: 

Reading this forum, I see that everyone is obsessed with whether or not to get CDW insurance from the auto rental company. I can say that sometimes, it really doesn't matter.

This past Nov., I rented a car from Hertz. They suggested I get the "super" or "jumbo" CDW but it was about $30 a day or something near there -- I definitely couldn't afford it. So I chose the CDW -- which came with a deductible of $2,000 for any damage the car might incur.

Well, of course, on my way to the airport I parked to go to the restroom, and a car clipped the piece of plastic off the back of my driver's side mirror. No damage to the glass part of the mirror, or the base of the mirro, or anything -- just the piece of plastic ripped off the back.

I called Hertz immediately to report it, as my contract warned that if I didn't, my insurance might not cover the damage.

It didn't matter. A month or so later, there was a charge on my credit card for $1,945.62 -- for a piece of plastic!!! Isn't it funny how the cost of replacing the plastic came just under the deductible, so I am responsible for the full cost and Hertz has to pay nothing?

The irony is that I paid for CDW, but it didn't matter. Because the deductible is so high. I've since been told this is a big scam: The rental companies have local repair shops they work with, and obviously they charge the highest fee they think they can get away with.

Also, I did not receive a single email, phone call, letter or correspondence on this matter. Just the $1,945.62 on my bill. No receipts to itemize the costs, no documentation to show which repair shop did the work -- just an arbitrary, outrageous fee on my credit card.

The moral of the story is that even if you get CDW, if you have an accident, it probably won't matter, as the deductibles the rental companies put in place are so sky high.

And if you choose the jumbo CDW, make sure to ask what the deductible is. If' it's $1,000, then what is the point of paying $30 a day for insurance? If you get even a noticeable scratch, you will have to pay for the repair out of pocket -- and they'll probably charge you $999. I would only get jumbo CDW if the deductible was reasonable ($0-$100).

I will never use Hertz again. I would be more than willing to pay a reasonable fee, but the fact that they charged me this ridiculous amount without thinking they had to provide any notice to me or documentation to justify the charge shows they could care less about their customers and are in the business of scamming their clientele.

Google "Hertz car rental complaints" or something of that nature, and you'll see what I mean.

I'm going to try Dan Dooley or possibly not even rent a car -- if I ever go again, that is. I'm so fed up with the country and its sky-high prices for accommodation and food, not to mention the weak dollar, I'm thinking about skipping it. This from someone who has gone back every year since 1998, if not twice a year.

It's too bad.


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Some good news. Dan Dooley's website states this:


CDI Insurance Southern Ireland: A rate inclusive of CDI insurance will have an insurance deductible (excess) of EUR 1000 and EUR 1500, depending on vehicle size. This can be reduced to EUR100 for a fee of EUR 12 and EUR 18 per day, respectively.

So, had I rented with Dooley instead of Hertz, and paid Dooley the extra 12-18 euro per day for CDW -- which is how much I paid for CDW with Hertz -- I would have only been charged 100 EUR for the repair of the plastic part of the mirror.

Ironically, I paid about 12-18 euro for CDW with my Hertz rental, but they had a $2,000 deductible. Compare that to Dan Dooley's 100 Euro deductible.

Who do you think it makes sense to rent from now? :)


-- Edited by panther9 on Saturday 21st of November 2009 09:49:48 PM

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Panther,

I tried Dooley on my last trip a few months ago. It was a good experience. Thanks for your input too. Are you planning on another trip to Ireland some time?

Michele

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Hi,

This is an update to my last post regarding Thrifty Rental ( Shannon & Dublin).  You may recall that I was charged on my Visa card a refundable $2,000 Euro for a 1 day rental in CDN funds and the deposit for returned to me in Euro.  This created an additional cost over and above the l day rental. 

Thrifty car rental declined to assist in sorting this out and in fact saw no error.   Head office in Omaha has not responded to my case.   Visa in Canada is looking into this complicated accounting practice. I have not heard back yet.

I would like to also note that I had a letter of Insurance from my Mastercard company stating that we could decline the addtional coverage in Ireland and it was declined by Thrify at the desk in Shannon.   Fortunately we had coverage on Visa as well that was accepted.  
 
We were at the mercy of the rental company - and if we had realized at the time of booking that this would have occurred it would have affected our decisions. 

That is where we are at as of today,,,   thanks Wendy

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Thanks so much for the heads up Michele. It's a pity that companies do this... I wonder if they listen to this conversations. They could learn a lot...

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Wendy,

Thanks for the update. Keep the pressure on. The car rental companies in Ireland can accept or deny the insurance coverage on your credit card. That is why it is important to know in advance.

Alex,

I don't believe that most car companies in Ireland are interested in their customers or their needs. Otherwise they would change their policies.

Michele

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Michele,

I have visited Ireland several times and have never had a problem with a rental car or rental car company.

Last week, I booked airfare for a trip in March. But after reading all the recent car rental horror stories, Im thinking about canceling.

Surely, there must be at least one reputable car rental company left in Ireland.

Regards,
Pete



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Hello

You may recall the issues I had with Thrifty in Ireland -  2,000 Euro charged against my CC and trying to get the full deposit back.  

We did have coverage on our Master Card ( would not accept) and our Visa however the $2,000 Euro was charged against our card ( regardless of having written coverage with an explaination that it would be full refunded at the end of the day when it was returned in Dublin.   Given that we had to be in Dublin at the end of the day our choices were limited.

The issue was that they charged our card in CDN funds ( 2000 Euro plus exchange = Canadian).   When they credited it back it was Euro - this created a night mare for us that took from October to early January this year to clear up.   Thrift was not helpful ( N American HO or Ireland) and only by going through our credit card company were we able to get it adjusted.   We did end up paying a little more then the contracted rate however we very glad to be rid of the issue.  It was a stressful exercise.

We had been to Ireland previously with out issues -  I would go back to Ireland again.  I would be very very careful that if I agreed again to the deposit to insist on a hold on my credit card.  I would advise to have all details ironed out prior to picking up a car.   If they had put the hold on and dealt in the same currency through out the transaction ( Euro to Euro) I believe we would not have had the issues. 

Never the less - it was my CCard company that gave us the assistance and money back.  The North American HO never did get back to me after commiting to reviewing the situation.  The office in Ireland was not helpful in my opinion.   This could have been avoided and we have learned a lesson. 

thanks W

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Have used Dooley four times, with none of the antics I see listed by many travelers on this site.  The company has everything up front, nothing extra, never a hold on my credit card.

Is there one good company left to rent a car from?  Yes, but perhaps only one.

Go with Dooley.

Best travels,


Monty

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Before leaving home, we had arranged with Dooley to pick up our rental  at DUB and drop off in Dublin Centre. What they didn't tell us was that they had closed their City branch eight months prior. Luckily we caught it on our own before flying there, and were able to cancel and switch to Eurocar, who were great. Only read your contract at pick up. We almost got charged 20E extra.

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Y'all might want to check out this link (should lead to "Terms And Conditions") ---

http://www.rentacarireland.com/terms.asp

Although they charge 25 Euro for the 'problem'   confuse confuse confuse of accepting MC MasterRental coverage and they seperate (and HIDE) evileye  the Airport Surcharge, they Do apply a 'Hold' of 2000 Euro, rather than a 'Charge', and there is NO charge for crossing into The North -- 

Maybe THEY ( as in the Collective 'THEY') are starting to get the message ?????

One might only HOPE!  hmm hmm

Bob



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Tuesday 2nd of February 2010 10:20:56 PM

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Bob,

Thanks for the up to date info. If you don't rent from Dooley (who lists an all-inclusive price) you must add up all the "add-ons" for a final total. That is the only way to compare apples to apples. In order to do that everyone must read the fine print. Many people don't like to wade through that. But spending time on a car rental will pay off in the long run.

Michele

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Hi
I want to thank everyone for this helpful thread! I plan to go to Ireland at the beginning of May and made arrangements with Avis for a car. After reading the postings here, I called them and asked if there was a deposit or charge to my card if I decline the insurance and the operator told me that there would not be. Has anyone rented from Avis and what was your actual experience???
I checked the Dooley site and was surprised at the additional cost of the add-ons (including the one mentioned that brings the "deductible" down to about $100. I have reserved a car for two weeks through Avis for $370. The quote I got for the same care at Dooley was over $1000.
I'm tempted to just try using the bus system, but plan to be in rural areas where getting around would be a huge hassle. I have my fingers crossed that Avis will be a way to go.

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travelingirl,

Welcome to my forum. Glad you are finding it useful.

I have not rented from Avis recently. I suggest you have them send you the rules in an email or snail mail. There is nothing like having a printed copy that says there is no deposit or charge if you decline the insurance. However, all car rentals that I know of in Ireland do at least put a "hold" when declining insurance and using your credit card for coverage. I would be suspicious of what you were told by the reservations center. The advice is only as good as the clerk you are speaking with. If you call again you may get a different answer.

That is why you always need it in writing!

As for comparing to Dooley or any others, it would be impossible to do so without knowing dates, number of days for rental, car type, insurances, manual or automatic, etc. That is info only you know. But Dooley usually shows you ALL charges up front with no hidden charges. If you are using your credit card for insurance coverage there would be no need for Dooley to be charging extra for SCDW. Perhaps you need to input different info into the booking form.

Michele

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WORLD MASTER CARD CDW NEWS!
It has been about 7 months since our NW Ireland trip last August. We had declined the CDW due to having a World Master Card. I did end up having a little fender bender, and have been worried for a long time about how it would turn out. The damage was rather minor, I thought: a cracked tail light lense, and a scratch about 18 inches long on the drivers side rear bumper. I figured possibly $300-500 damage.

We gave notice of the accident at the desk of IrishCarRentals/Europecar/National and they noted it on my final papers. We had filed a police report in Ennis, and were not able to stay to get paper copies due to it being close to the end of our trip, but they insured us that with the case number, we could access those documents later, if needed.

We finally got paper work from the Rental Car Company in late Sept. There were several documents from them, and the charges....a whopping $1849.00.  I made copies, and sent the originals on to Master Card.   We also soon received a letter from MasterCard. They asked for several documents from me, and several from the rental car company. I complied immediately, and sent them all the documents they asked for that I had in my possesion.  They indicated that they were going to contact the rental car company to get the remainder. 

Also MasterCard had a form to fill how on how I wanted the reimbursement handled. I was given a choice of having MasterCard Insurance pay the rental car company directly, or for me to be reimbursed. I chose the later, and soon wished that I hadn't.

It wasn't long, my World Master Card was billed for the entire $1849.00 damage amount. Then I got a letter from Mastercard saying they needed more documentation to process the claim, most of it was needed from the Rental Car Company. They wanted photos (I failed to take pictures of the damage). They wanted a police report. They needed the final paper work. (I had disputed 4 charges, but  the 90 Euro PMA charge and the 45 Euro Northern Ireland Cross Border Fee were denied) so my $600/2week rental car ended up costing close to $900.  I had never received final paper work that showed the 2 items that were resolved and the 2 that had not been.

I started to panic, because now the rental car company had their money and no incentive to get the required documents being asked for by MasterCard.  Master Card sent me monthly letters, saying that they still had not received any documents that had been requested from the rental car company.

I then began a 2 month long e-mail and paper chase, to try to get all the documents.  This wasn't working, so resorted to long distance phone calls to Ireland.  I ended up calling the Ennis Police Department, requesting a police report be faxed or emailed directly to Master Card Insurance, followed by an email to the department, detailing all the instructions, claim number etc. I also ended up calling the rental car company at the Shannon desk, and requested photos, final contract, and a few other missing documents, to be faxed or emailed directly to Master Card Insurance. Of course all documents had to have the claim number on them, and all the i's dotted and t's crossed!  By this time the 180 day time limit was drawing near, when the case would be closed.  On day 179 I got a letter that they were still missing the police report.  On day 182 I got a letter stating that the case was closed.  However, they said if any more requested documents came in, they would reopen the case. 

I feel very fortunate that the rental car company was finally cooperative, and scanned and sent all the documents including photos, to Master Card insurance.  However, I was getting ready to call the Sargent at the Ennis Police department this week.   The police report must have finally come in, because today I got a check in the mail for $1879. They said they denied the $118 for "loss of use" because it wasn't documented. However, they did waive the VAT tax, and that was more than $118, so came out a little ahead. Whew! what a relief! I had visions of this rental car costing me a total of $2700 when it was all said and done.

Moral of the story....World Master Card CDW works, but it is a lot of hassle, and am not sure if I would do it again.  I would probably just bite the bullet and pay the CDW and SuperCDW up front for peace of mind, which would allow me to enjoy the trip more, instead of being worried about a fender bender.  It is ironic, the CDW and Super CDW would have cost me about what the extra charges turned out to be anyway.  Does anyone out there know about "Murphy's Law"smile    Dan

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Dan, thanks for posting your story. I'm glad it all worked out in the end, but what a trial! I have been considering just getting travel insurance that covers the car. Has anyone tried this option?
I did contact Avis in Shannon (via email) and was assured that there would be no hold or deposit or charge on my card if I decline the CDW. I"ll take a copy of that with me and will hope for the best on that.

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I think the travel insurance that just covers the car would be similar to World Master Card CDW.  The car rental company would bill you for the damage, and then it would be up to you to get the travel insurance to reimburse you.  Rental Car Gurus, correct me if I am wrong!  Some travel insurance companies  may be  willing to reimburse the car rental company direct.  Be sure to ask lots of questions, read all the fine print and hopefully you will make a good decision.  I do recall that when we bought our trip insurance, there were a few companies out of the 20 or so insurance companies that would package up car insurance as part of the deal.  Some however, if my memory serves me correctly, excluded Ireland.  Our trip insurance company treated us fairly on my wife's accident and broken arm/shoulder.  There again, we had to pay for everything out of our pocket except Airfare, and then were reimbursed many weeks later, after much paper documentation.  If you decide to do travel insurance on the car, save ALL the documents, and have all documents in duplicate.     Again read all the fine print.
Good luck!  Dan

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Dan, 

Wow! Many thanks for the detalied update on your car saga. Fortunately I have never had an accident in Ireland. So for me the gamble with the Master Rental insurance through MasterCard has paid off big time. But for those who will only go once - or every few years -perhaps it is not worth the hasssle. We really appreciate all the info. 

Murphy's Law indeed!! furious

Michele

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OK. I have been doing some extensive research on this whole issue. I found a couple of companies the include car insurance with their trip insurance. When I called them for further info, I was told that coverage was not available in Ireland. One company told me it was because Ireland requires liability insurance and they couldn't provide that (I noted that most of the companies say they include liability insurance in the rental but that seemed to make no difference). One company not only wouldn't insure in Ireland, but it wouldn't cover me because I reside in Oregon (go figure!). In one related article I read, it said the reason for excluding Ireland was the left side driving and the narrow roads with rock walls "that seem to move". Then why isn't England a problem I wonder????
I read a news article that Geiko car insurance covers rental in other contries. I checked that (which took three separate calls) only to finally learn that Geiko now only extends to Canada and that's it. I was all ready to swith to Geiko if they would be the answer to this mess---but no.
I contacted Capital One to see if any of their personal cards provided coverage in Ireland. One rep I talked to assured me that the prestige card did and I could find more info about it online. When I went to the site, the brochure I downloaded said that it did not apply in Ireland.
I may try other sources for a world mastercard, but am almost at the "I give up" stage.
Here are recent quotes I got for a Nissan Micra automatic for two weeks:
Kemwel $392.52 basic with liability insurance only, $932.06 with CDW ( $2000 deductible)
Dooley $671.73 basic (inc. liability & theft), $903.41 with CDW ($2000 deductible), and $1141.18 with super CDW ($150 deductible).
So....a car that basically would cost be around $400 to rent would cost over $1100 with reasonable insurance coverage! It is just unbelievable!! I guess the bottom line is to bite the bullet and hope for the best. Does anyone have a better alternative???

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