The number one, best advice I give to someone renting a car in Ireland?
Buy the Super Collision Damage Waiver insurance for your Ireland car rental.
Yup…it has a long name and it may sound confusing, but it can save your bum on those narrow country roads.
Basically Super Collision Damage Waiver (affectionately known in the biz as SCDW, Excess or even Top Cover) gets your liability for damage to your rental car down to €0 or at most €250.
What this really means is if you get scratches, dings, dents on your car, you won’t be surprised by a big ol’ bill at the end of your trip to get them fixed (which usually swings from a couple hundred to up to €2000).
Joe and I have been traveling in Ireland for over ten years and we rarely leave without some sizable something on our car.
I don’t know about you, but I want my trips to be as stress free and easy as possible. So if that means spending a couple hundred more bucks, it’s totally worth it for the peace of mind.
Side note: At the moment, Super Collision Damage Waiver will run you about €22/day. Give or take depending on which car rental company you rent from.
Yeah…it’s not cheap. 🙍
But, in my opinion, totally worth it.
The Landscape is Changing
No, not the Irish landscape/scenery, that is as pretty as ever. 😊 But the Irish rental car landscape is changing.
It used to be that you had to scour the terms and conditions on every rental car company page to find out how much this extra SCDW would cost you. You had to calculate that cost into your quote to determine your final price and purchase it at the rental counter when you arrived.
Talk about a hassle.
Dan Dooley used to be the only website you could book Super Collision Damage Wavier online directly with the company.
But not anymore.
Some car rental companies are waking up to the fact that they benefit by being more transparent and are now listing SCDW as an option during the online booking process. Yay!!
Car Rental Companies with inclusive SCDW quotes
Here’s a current list of Irish car rental companies where you can purchase SCDW when you make your reservation:
Car Rental Company
SCDW Available During Online Booking Process?
|Payless Car Rental||NO|
|Irish Car Rentals (Third party company booking with several car rental companies)||YES|
|Conn’s Ireland Car Rental (Third party company booking with Hertz)||YES|
Which Ireland Car Rental Company is the Best?
I get this question all the time and, honestly, if you get the SCDW, it doesn’t really matter.
You’ll be covered for damage (except possibly tire and windshield) and won’t have to worry about a big bill at the end of your trip.
If you Google Ireland Car Rentals, you’ll read good and bad reviews about every car rental company.
I have always been a big fan of Dan Dooley, but, if you get the SCDW, I say go for the best deal.
What about credit card insurance?
Even if your credit card does cover car rentals in Ireland (not all do), I still recommend that first-time visitors purchase the SCDW.
If you have driven on the left comfortably before AND are ok with the potential hassle of compiling reports, photos and communicating between the car rental and credit card companies, I’d suggest considering credit card coverage. It will be less expensive.
I’ve written all about credit card insurance coverage over here.
Fees, Fees and More Fees.
So I hate to break it to you, car rental companies have other fees than just insurance that tend to sneak on your bill too.
Again, reading the terms and conditions will give you all the details.
Here are a few you may need to consider:
- Additional drivers
- WiFi hot spot
- Infant car seat, child seat, or booster seat
- Cross border fee (going into Northern Ireland)
- One way rental (picking up and dropping off at different locations)
- Age surcharge (young or old)
- Tire and glass coverage
- Theft protection
- Location surcharge (airport or city pickups)
- VAT (value added tax)
Not all companies charge each of these fees and not all will apply to you, but it pays to read everything.
If you’ve downloaded my printable Ultimate Ireland Packing List, you already knew some of this (smart cookie, you).
If not, just enter your info below and you’ll get the best packing list ever and a series of all my favorite Ireland travel tips, including a few more about driving in Ireland.
Happy traveling friends!