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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 just checked our credit card transactions and the large deposit was evidently only a hold. However, the deposit for a full tank of fuel was charged. Interestingly enough, the charge for 65 euro came out as $86.32. The credit when we returned it full was only $80.74. Not that big of a deal, but interesting nonetheless. It's hard to believe there would be that much change in the euro to dollar rate in two weeks time.
I hope to post over in the trip section soon. We had an absolutely wonderful time!

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Believe me, there HAS been a huge change in the Euro over the past few weeks.  It has lost almost 15% of its value against the US dollar in the past 2 months or so and had a pretty sizable drop in the last couple of weeks.

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travelingirl,

Yes, there is always the exchange rate problem when getting a refund on your credit card. Just be glad they didn't "charge" and refund the 2,000 euro!!

Michele

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Hello everyone and thanks for all the useful info you post.  We will be renting through dandooley.com for a late August trip.  It looks like we have to prepay, and the website gives me a choice of paying in euros or dollars.  Can you help me understand which to choose, and why? Many thanks for your advice! 



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Lisa,

If you live in the US call their toll-free number and do it in dollars. Many credit cards have "foreign transaction fees". By doing it that way you might save money if your cc is one of those.

Michele

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I had written to Shaun Quinn (of Bord Failte) the following email, and got a response from him today. I wrote:
***********************************************
Dear Mr. Quinn:

I am an American who has always been in love with Ireland and the Irish people. Ive visited 3 times and am planning a 4th trip. However, Im afraid it will be my last. Why? Because of the byzantine rules that surround the simple process of renting a car. I am not alone in my sentiments if you investigate such sites as www.IrelandYes.com, www.Fodors.com or www.Flyertalk.com, you will see many threads discussing the problems, difficulties, lack of organization or control over the car rental rules.

Here are some examples:
http://ireland.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBID=65127&p=3&topicID=29313409
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/ireland-rental-cars-cdw-credit-cards-waiver-deductible.cfm

We beg, plead, and entreat you to push for legislation to regulate this aspect of your lovely country. You are losing visitors from this. Many of them. In the current economy, can you really afford to turn a blind eye to the most difficult hurdle put in front of potential visitors?

Something as simple as requiring all prices to be quoted in full (after options are offered/accepted/declined) would help. More help would be regulation on the acceptance of outside insurances for CDW waiver, a common definition of what SuperCDW covers, etc.

Thank you so much for your help in this matter. I would love to travel to Ireland more often, but I usually spend more time planning and researching the rental car than I do ALL my lodging for the entire trip. This is a disproportionate use of my time, and often doesnt preclude problems at the rental counter, or afterwards.

************************************************************

Mr. Quinn's reply is as follows:

Dear Mrs Nicholas,

Thank you for your correspondence regarding car rental in Ireland. It was very encouraging to hear that you had an enjoyable time in Ireland, despite the regrettable car rental difficulties experienced.

Fáilte Ireland, as the national tourism development authority, works with all parts of the tourism industry to ensure that visitors have a positive and memorable experience. In fact, we are currently working with the Irish Car Rental Council on a number of issues. The issues noted, and others, such as the level of rental rates, the scale of pre-authorisation charges, and the less than transparent pricing structure are all matters of concern to us. They do not live up to the standard of service or quality of experience that we aspire to in Irish tourism.

Please be assured that Fáilte Ireland will follow-up on the matters raised in your correspondence with both the Irish Car Rental Council and individual operators.

Yours sincerely,


Shaun Quinn
Chief Executive
*********************************************

So, it may just be a polite form letter, but then again it may be that they are actually looking into the matter. Good news, I hope! I wrote back that I look forward to hearing about changes being made.

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Christy,

Good for you! They won't know about the problem unless someone brings it to their attention. This problem has been ongoing for at least the 37 years I have been visiting Ireland. Makes you wonder why it has not been addressed in over three decades?

I still think that things won't change unless there is big publicity in Ireland. Perhaps writing to the editorial sections of various Irish newspapers would garner publicity. This issue is not something the Car Rental Council or Tourism Ireland is going to publicize. If talks are going on behind closed doors, fine. But I won't hold my breath waiting for a breakthrough.

Michele

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Michele it was so good to find this site & every ones Grate Info here.Would like to know if anyone has used these www.dailyexcess..www.incurance4carhire.com  Doing 2 weeks in mid Sept, Ive been waiting 20 years for this. The car rental is the badevileye part.Thanks for any help.
The Rookiesmile

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Ulsterman,

Welcome to my forum. I'm glad you found your way here. There are some forum members who used insurance4carhire.com. They did not have to make any claims though. However, I have heard elsewhere that the service does work. It can be a lot cheaper than the insurance from the car companies.

Let us know if we can help in any other way with your trip.

Michele

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I just booked our car rental for an 18 day rental while in Ireland. After doing much reading here and on other sites I found a rate of $314. basic through Autoeurope. Our rental agreement will be with Avis. This is the information I copied from the Avis website

Most companies charge you if you don't take CDW (Collison Damage Waiver). Avis does not charge.

Most companies will charge from 2,000 to 5,000 on your credit card when you are on rent if you decline CDW (Collison Damage Waiver), which is refunded if you return the car undamaged. Avis does not hold any charges on your credit card.


We will be using the Mastercard world, I have to request a copy of the coverage we will have through them within 60 days of our rental which is Sept 8th and I'll show that at the time of pick up.

I am also planning to take out a policy with Insurance4carhire for 49gbp which includes coverage for windows & tires etc which is not covered by any other policy. If needed, that could also become our primary coverage and mastercard our secondary. We usually do want tire coverage when we are driving on the opposite side of the road from the US.

In the past we have rented automatic transmissions but from what I've read here, my husband SHOULD have no problem using a "stick" while sitting on the right side of the car but----the tire coverage will be good if he bounces off too many curbs or manages to find more potholes than road!!!

Thanks for all the help. As soon as I receive Michelle's book that I just ordered I know I'll have many more questions. Deborah 



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Deborah,

Thanks for the update on Avis' rules for declining CDW and using MasterCard for coverage. Actually, MasterCard will be the one providing primary coverage. Insurance4carhire only covers the "excess" if you take the regular CDW. However, it does cover tires, glass, etc.

Michele



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Update. Tourism Ireland does not give a fig about the car rental crisis in Ireland.  disbelief Don't bother them with your complaints. Why waste your time to get a form letter back? Yours is sure to go right in the dumper. The ostrich has buried its head in the sand. Crisis? What crisis? confuse

I wonder what Tourism Minister Mary Hanifin thinks? http://www.maryhanafin.ie/ Email: maryhanafin@dast.gov.ie
 
Michele



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I received the same form letter after voicing my complaints. Yet they seem to want to whine about the shortage of tourists this season.

I think I might send Mary an email, as well.

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Bit,

Tourism Ireland is a partner of the car rental companies in Ireland as well as the tour operator and hotel groups. Since those groups are major stakeholders in Tourism Ireland why would they rock the boat?

Tourism Ireland advertises Ireland. They will send free info to tourists intending to visit Ireland. Period. They will not get involved in or intervene with complaints of individual tourists. Their viewpoint is general not specific. They might forward complaints but it is not their job to resolve them.

Tourism to Ireland is way down so TI will do more advertising. They are not into fixing problems. The buck does not stop with TI, it gets passed along. I sometimes think the buck ends up in the Twilight Zone.

Mary Hanifin is an elected official. Whether she is interested or not, I don't know. I suppose the worst that could happen is another form letter back.

Michele

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Dear Deborah Ann:

Thank you for your post.

I am a Canadian and am traveling to Ireland on Aug 16 to Sept 10, and need a rental for 18-20 days (my husband is the driver).  I am a disabled person and take heavy medications to help me cope which at times the side effects are lack of concentration and memory loss.  As a result, I find all this car rental debate very confusing.

I did inquire with MasterCard and they do cover CDW coverage for rentals abroad.  I was wondering if you could provide me with more details about exactly what I need to request from MasterCard and if I obtain same, do I then email this info to Avis ahead of my departure (Aug 16).  As well, how much will it cost for the tires, undercarriage, etc. coverage? 

I so appreciate any time you take to respond to my email and I apologize in advance if I have not understood your posted email as I am sure it is not a problem for anyone else.

Your time is MUCH appreciated.

Sincerely
Nancy

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This is in addition to my previous post.

I should advise that we went to Ireland last year, June 18 to July 8.  We rented a vehicle from Kemwel (I believe that's their name) who was recommended by Michele.  We had no problems whatsover, however I believe this was before this issue of deposits on car rentals came about.  Obviously, I was very fortunate and also received a great price.

Thank You.

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Irishlover, I hope I can remember all that I did and will do regarding the Mastercard waiver.  Two weeks or so before a trip I was told to contact Mastercard and they will send me a copy to present to the rental company, if needed,  of  their insurance waiver. I've booked through Autoeurope (which is also kemwel) and because they are a broker my contract could have been with any number of companies they represent, for me it was Avis, this is in and out of Dublin airport.  I plan to contact Mastercard at least three weeks before, just to allow enough time to receive the copy.

I was hoping to prepay all my rental fees in dollars before I arrived in Ireland but autoeurope usa told me their contracts with avis do not allow this. I wanted to avoid the hassles of all those add ons/options that could be presented when we pick up our rental.

I'm using www.insurance4carhire.com which is 49 GBP for the year to insure the tires, glass and stuff not carried by our other policies---My husband Ron tends to bounce off the curbs alot when driving on the left so this is our "peace of mind" insurance, although we have never had to use it---the best kind of insurance!!

Please don't feel you have to apologize for anything, Irishlover, if you don't understand, it's most likely I haven't been clear enough, but with insurance I find it's all  as clear as mud!!!  

I'll be happy to answer any other questions you might have about the insurance or the rental we are using.  Deborah



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Nancy,

Double check with your credit card by calling the main number in Canada (not your issuing bank). I have the toll-free MasterCard number on my Car page but don't know if it works in Canada. You could give it a try and see. I understand that Visa will cover you since you live in Canada. Check it out.

Either MasterCard or Visa should send you the little brochure that you first get when signing up for the card. It will have all the rules for that particular card. Read carefully to be sure you are covered. Bring that with you on your trip. You may be asked for it at the car rental desk. However, I have never been asked for it in 37 years of travel to Ireland.

Some car companies will let you pay extra for insurance for tires, glass, undercarriage, etc. Not all will. Check out the link that Deborah provided as it is probably the cheapest alternative.

The problem with car rentals in Ireland is that the rules are not standardized. Each company makes their own rules. It is a free-for-all with the customers having to do days or weeks of research to make sense of it all. That is a real dis-service to their customers.

Let us know if we can help with clarifying anything.

Michele



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First, thank you Deborah and Michele re previous posts.

Michele, last year when we rented thru Kemwel, we used our Visa card as it provided CDW and we showed them the Visa brochure.  I will double-check with Visa as well as MasterCard to see if they provide CDW.  I am pleased that you told me to check with the credit card company and not the financial institution that provided me with the credit card as I would not have known.

Once again Michele, good advice.....I don't know what all of us would do without you.

I plan on purchasing your book but thought I would wait until for the 2011 updated book.  Do you think it is worth my while to wait, or should I purchase your book now?

As soon as I find out about MasterCard and Visa coverage, I will post a comment with respect to same for fellow Canadians.

God Bless.

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Nancy,

When is your trip? That will depend on which edition of my book you get. It comes out in March each year.

Michele

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Michele, my trip is Aug 16 to Sept 10.  I decided to go ahead and order your book, which I did yesterday.

I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Thanks Michele

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Nancy,

Thanks! Your book was mailed 7-12-10. You should have it soon, although it takes a bit longer to get to Canada.

Michele

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Wow, I've already had a nervous breakdown about all this car rental business...and I'm not joking.

Anyway, this is what I've found out:

I ended up paying an annual fee for a ScotiaGold Passport Visa which was $89.00.  The credit card covers CDW and Theft insurance.  It also provides travel medical insurance, which last year my husband and I paid $90.00 for the two of us, so the card has basically paid for itself.  It also provides Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance (provided you purchased your airfare with the credit card) and Purchase/Lodging, Luggage Insurance (again as long as you prepay your hotel with your credit card) as well as other benefits that I will not go into.

The cheapest rate I received for the car rental was from Thrifty's Car Rental in Dublin at a cost of $391.46 Canadian for 24 days.  I too have to provide written confirmation that the credit card provides for CDW and Theft for the Republic of Ireland.

Below is Thrifty's policies for rentals:

"Fuel
A petrol bond of up to eur 63.49 is required. Deposit will be refunded when vehicle is returned with a full tank of petrol.

Geographic restrictions
Restrictions on driving locally- vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road. Seatbelts are mandatory by law. . Restrictions on driving out of the country- vehicles may be driven into *northern ireland only* for a charge of eur 30.00 per rental. Vehicles may not be driven into any other countries.

Driver requirements
Additional drivers must qualify in the same manner as the primary driver with age, valid drivers license and credit card in own name. Additional drivers also share equal responsibility for the rental vehicle. See *additional driver fee* below.

Insurance
Third party primary liability insurance is included in the rental rates. Location does not accept insurances purchased on third party websites. . See pai and ldw for additional coverage information.

Waiver
Ldw cost ranges from eur 14.00 to eur 19.00 per day. This reduces renters financial responsibility for the rental vehicle to between eur 1200.00 and eur 2000.00 in the event of collision damage. Only a u.S.-issued world mastercard and a canadian-issued gold/platinum visa/mastercard can be used to waive ldw. These cards will only be accepted for coverage for rental periods of less than 28 days in any calendar year. To decline the ldw, the customer must have either a u.S.-issued world mastercard or a canadian-issued gold/platinum visa/mastercard and provide written proof that the card has relevant coverage for the republic of ireland. If a relevant card and cover letter are not produced at time of commencement of rental, then thrifty*s ldw must be purchased. Ireland does not accept travel guard insurance. Location does not accept any insurances purchased on third party websites. . Super damage waiver insurance *additional coverage* is optional at eur 15.00 to eur 19.00 per day reducing the renters responsibility to eur 100.00 when purchased in conjunction with ldw *except for ldan and ldar, where responsibility is reduced to eur 200.00* location does not accept insurance purchased on third party websites. . Theft protection coverage costs between eur 10.00 and eur 14.00 per day reducing renters responsibility for the vehicle in case of theft to between eur 1200.00 and eur 2000.00. Only a u.S.-issued world mastercard and a canadian-issued gold/platinum visa/mastercard can be used to waive theft coverage. These cards will only be accepted for coverage for rental periods of less than 28 days in any calendar year. To decline thrifty*s theft protection coverage, customer must have either a u.S.-issued world mastercard or a canadian-issued gold/ platinum visa/mastercard and provide written proof that the card has relevant coverage for republic of ireland. If a relevant card and cover letter are not produced at time of commencement of rental, then thrifty*s theft protection must be purchased. Location does not accept insurances purchased on third party websites. . Protection plus coverage is available to renters using a u.S.-issued world mastercard and costs eur 10.00/day. Protection plus is additional coverage provided by thrifty as top-up coverage for items which mastercard does not cover such as blowouts, tire/rim damage not caused by theft or vandalism, or is not a result of a vehicle collision causing tire/rim depreciation, diminishment of value, administrative, or other fees charged by the vehicle rental company."

As I read this, I am assuming that they will not accept additional insurance from "insurance4carhire" to cover any damage to tires, undercarriage etc.

I have the written confirmation letter and Certificate of Insurance to provide to Thrify's upon my arrival.  I have not booked with them yet as I wanted to get your thoughts and Michele's regarding the above to clarify that I understand same.

I appreciate your help with this matter, and my apologies for the L-O-N-G post.

Sincerely
Irishlovernono

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Hey Michele.

This is my second post today regarding car rentals....and its driving me mad!!!

I've come to the conclusion that perhaps my best bet is to go with either Kemwel, Thrifty or Europcar (I think that's the name).  I did check out Dan Dooley but his prices seem way too high.

His quote was for a rental of 18 days (which now we are deciding we might as well book for 24 days, being the duration of our vacation), and the details are as follows:

The rate you requested is US $765.00 for 18 days for a Group C manual shift car.  The rate for the group F2./L automatic is US $1,475.00.
This rate is for ages 24-70 years old.
The rate includes tax, unlimited mileage, 3rd party liability insurance and airport/city location fee.
The rate does not include the fuel or the 2,000 Euro excess liability/deductible insurance, also the rate does not include collision, fire and theft to auto which you have indicated that your VISA card will provide."
So, all this research and I am just more confused and frustrated than ever, which is what I expected would happen.  I am so exhausted from it all.  No matter, I was wondering if you could just provide the names of one or two companies that you have dealt with personally.

Obviously, time is of the essence here as we leave for Ireland on Aug 16 and to be honest with you, I just want this issue settled and put to rest so I can move on to other matters that still need to be dealt with.

By the way, I received your book in a timely fashion (within 7 days) and my husband and I are both reading it.

Thank You Michele

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Irishlover, deciding on a car rental company in Ireland certainly is stressful.

Thanks for including all the information that you received from Thrifty. Michele may be able to clarify this better but I think using insurance4carhire is still allowed because it doesn't serve the same purpose as the primary coverage ,the major portion of your insurance obligation (this will be provided by either the coverage by your mastercard or the one offered by the rental company). If there is damage to tires or mirrors, you might be responsible and the rental company should not have any interest in how you pay, just that you do pay----there is nothing stopping you from submitting a claim to insurance4carhire and get reimbursed directly from that company for any expenses from damage to tires, mirrors etc.

If you rent from Kemwel which is a car rental broker, you may not know what company will be given your contract until you receive a copy of your policy. You could very well end up with Thrifty getting your contract but at a hopefully better price!!! Quite confusing, isn't it?? Deborah

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Nancy, 

Be careful with Murray's Europcar/Sixt. Bit here on the forum was double charged, had items slipped into her contract that she did not want and generally ended up paying double when all was said and done. Even though she followed all channels for getting it straightened out nothing ever came of her fraud claim. 

With Thrifty www.thrifty.ie I see these extras: 

30 (or 34.05 depending on the page you read) euro charge to go into Northern Ireland 
17.03 euro if you decline CDW 
7.20 euro processing fee 

So add those extras to your "estimate" for the car. 

15% cancellation fee.
 
If you decline CDW 2,000 euro will be charged to your credit card as a deposit. If you return the car with no damage the charge will be refunded to your credit card. 

None of the car companies "accept" insurance from insurance4carhire. If you purchase a policy from insurance4carhire that policy is between you and them. The rental car company is out of the loop. If you have a claim you contact insurance4carhire to get reimbursed. The car company has nothing whatsoever do do with the process. 

As for Dan Dooley I think their website booking engine is messed up. The other day I got a quote for over $2,000 for 28 days. The next day it was $600. Best to call them to find out what's up. Maybe ask if they will meet other companies prices?
 
One plus with Kemwel is you can cancel at any time without penalty. Also, in reading Kemwel's fine print I see that if you decline CDW 2,000 is blocked on your credit card. That is far different from being charged. Read the fine print because there are extras with Kemwel too.

Only you can figure out which company is best for your purposes.

Michele

-- Edited by Michele Erdvig on Friday 6th of August 2010 10:53:27 PM

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Michele, here's a different scenario that my fiance wanted me to put forward:  As my son and daughter-in-law live in Ireland and have their own car insurance, would it be advantageous for them to rent the vehicle in their name and list a Canadian as a secondary driver?  My thougths are as soon as they see the secondary driver is a Canadian, ...well need I say anything further?

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Michele, this is what I do not understand.  As Kemwel is a broker and as I only have a Voucher at this point for a reservation and NOT a confirmed booking (I have not paid via credit card), I have no idea who the rental company is and therefore how can I know what their policies are with respect to fees, surcharges and deposits?

After reading your email regarding Kemwel "Holding" a deposit for declining CDW, is that "confirmed"?

I appreciate all your assistance with the issue of car rental ripoffs, Michele, and we are enjoying your book and getting loads of tips.

Sincerely
Nancy



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Michele, I just got an email from Kemwel in response to my email sent to them to confirm the rental company I will be renting from and to confirm their policy with respect to a "hold" vs "charge" for declining their CDW:


Please be advised that at this time your reservation would be with Murray's,
a very reliable and reputable Irish company that we do the majority of our
business with in Ireland. To answer your question, I can confirm for you
that the security hold for the insurance and fuel will only be a
hold, or authorization, not an actual charge of approximately 6,300 EUR.
The money will not be drawn from your account, thus you will not pay any
conversion fee or accrue any interest on that amount, and the authorization
will be released when you return the car undamaged.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,
Otis
Internet Reservations
Kemwel"

What do you think?


-- Edited by Michele Erdvig on Sunday 8th of August 2010 01:07:17 AM

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Nancy,

I don't know if there is an advantage to your son renting the car or not. He will have to explore that possibility on his end.

Generally, if you confirm a reservation with Kemwel the name of the car rental company should be on your confirmation. If not, you can phone them to see who it will be with. One year they booked me with a company I didn't like. I phoned them and they changed it to another company for me. I suggest you call them, ask your questions and get any confirmations you need in writing. Several years ago a rental company wanted to charge me for some item that was included on Kemwel's voucher. I had the voucher with me, showed the car company that it was already included and it was not added to the contract. You have to be on your toes at all times and know exactly what is included and what is not. Always challenge any extra charge that is incorrect.

Is that $6,300.00 hold from Murray's? Many people don't have credit limits that high on their cards. Seems excessive. Maybe you can get the company changed if you call Kemwel.

Definitely print every bit of info about the car rental. Put it all together in an envelope with your voucher. Highlight the important info for quick reference. If needed at the car rental desk pull out your paperwork and show them what you have.

Michele



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