Ireland CDW InsuranceWhat is CDW and do I need to purchase it?

Ireland Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) If the vehicle or any of its parts or accessories are damaged other than by theft, attempted theft or vandalism, while on rental, CDW limits you liability to the amount of the non-waivable excess, if any, which applies in each country provided that you have complied with all the terms of the Rental Agreement. CDW in Ireland does not cover any damage caused as a result of theft, attempted theft or vandalism.

Car rentals in Ireland are fairly inexpensive; it's when you add all of the insurances to the rental and then you start scratching your head as to how it became so expensive. And when you check in for your rental car you could be presented with even more options to pay when you get there and you do because you are on the spot, don't have time to research the option and feel you need it.

We want to give everyone as much information about Ireland car rental insurance as possible before you go to Ireland so that you can make a sound decision before you're standing at the counter, nervous about driving for the first time... and buy everything.

Please note that all advice here is based on our own experiences and you should read all rental contract information as rules change over time.

Can I Decline CDW Insurance

If you choose to decline CDW while in Ireland, you will be responsible for the full replacement value of the car which means you're buying them a new car if you get into any type of accident. This little bit of information, hidden in the fine print, has made me re-think my current coverage and purchase insurance every year I go back.

If you do decline insurance, please be aware that we cannot help you at all should there be an issue while in Ireland. You become fully responsible for the car. You will also be required to have a large amount of available credit on your credit card and the rental agency will put a hold for the entire amount, which is not available to you until you return the car. If you do not have that much credit available on your card, you will be required to purchase CDW at this point.

We highly discourage declining CDW Insurance for any rental in Ireland.

Purchase Super CDW to Reduce the Deductible

CDW comes with a deductible which you are responsible for, if you were to get into an accident or damage the car in any way.

Many rental agencies offer an additional rider which reduces or removes the deductible for paying an additional fee upfront. You will not receive a refund for this fee if you return the car without damage therefore it is very difficult to make a recommendation on this type of insurance for anyone other than ourselves.

But I Have Car Insurance

Your car insurance here in the U.S. won't cover you while traveling abroad, with the exception of Canada and sometimes a portion of Mexico, therefore you must purchase insurance in Ireland to ensure you're covered.

Remember Murphy's Law? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong... make sure you are covered should something go wrong!

Is CDW is Refundable?

This is a strange statement, right? Not when clients email and ask for their CDW to be refunded when they return the car in perfect condition!

There are also some strange nuances if you have a rental car accident in Ireland. For instance, you must return the damaged car (if driveable) and repurchase the CDW insurance for the replacement car. The CDW you already purchased is expended on the damaged car and you are required to purchase new CDW for the replacement rental car.

Additionally, if you purchased Super CDW and have to return the car, you cannot purchase Super CDW again. You are a liability and your insurance company dropped you for the best coverage.

Credit Card Insurance Coverage in Ireland

The only credit card that we know which may offer coverage is the OneWorld Mastercard however the hoops you need to jump through makes it easier to simply purchase the insurance on the car rental and be done with it.

Our understanding for using OneWorld Mastercard insurance in Ireland is:

  • You must have documentation from your credit card detailing that you do have coverage in Ireland
  • You must decline the CDW insurance for your rental
  • A hold will be placed on your credit for the replacement value
  • If you have an accident, your hold will be turned into a charge
  • You will have to work with your credit card to deal with the charge and insurance

Additional Insurances Offered at Check-In

You will be offered additional insurances at check-in and once you accept it, there is no way to receive a refund. We have had clients berate us for the cost of their rental car upon return and after asking for a copy of their rental agreement, we noticed that they accepted EVERY insurance possible... and said they wanted it refunded because they didn't use it. If you accept the insurance, you are responsible.

  • Theft Protection - Protect against theft, attempted theft or vandalism
  • Additional Driver - Extends insurances to others who want to drive the car
  • Windscreen/Tire - Not covered under CDW

What do I do if I have a car accident in Ireland?

This has so rarely happened that I didn't know how to handle car rental accidents in Ireland - until a client got into a small accident.

  • Notify Rental Agency: Call them right away, if you can. If another person is involved, they will likely call the Gardai for a report.
  • Return Car: The rental agency will advise if you need to return the car and the location of the nearest rental office.
  • Get New Car: You will have to repurchase CDW and Super CDW will not be available.

What if my rental car breaks down in Ireland?

It happened to us and we were totally unprepared because we expect rental cars to be low in mileage (it was) as well as well maintained (which it was). Unfortunately, we were driving from Dublin to Doolin and reached a round-about about 30-minutes out and the transmission would not catch the gear... so we were on the side of the road without cell service. Thankfully a walker called the rental agency for us and this is where we learned what to do should something happen in the future.

  • AA Phone Number: Confirm AA coverage when checking in for your car rental; you will be advised of their phone number and information (typically in the glove compartment). Check to make sure it is there.
  • Tire Changing Tools: Though we didn't have this problem, we think everyone should ensure they have the tools to do this - if the AA info wasn't in the car, it's possible these could be missing.
  • New Car Rental Costs: It's a pain but just know you will get charged for a new rental and we will sort out the issue later, knowing you didn't damage the car or cause the break-down.

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