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Car Rental - Zero Deductible?

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
We've been renting cars thru AutoEurope/Kemwel for many years now, and have always chosen the zero deductible option. There have been a few times we've been VERY glad we had it - I think just the thought of doing the paperwork in Italy is enough to keep me paying extra. BUT....for next year I've started looking at rates - which all over the place right now - and I see that for a rental of 76 days, I can pay a zero deductible rate of $1392, or I can pay the 'regular' deductible rate (Est to be $1600) of $873. That a whopping $518 difference.

Certainly if there's a problem $518 is much less than the $1600 listed in the fine print, but it got me to wondering - what does every one else do? Have you ever had to file a claim with your U.S. based insurance company, and if so, how did that go? I'm pretty sure we're going to keep the zero deductible because I'm an even bigger chicken than I am frugal.
 

Kportgrl

10+ Posts
We've been renting cars thru AutoEurope/Kemwel for many years now, and have always chosen the zero deductible option. There have been a few times we've been VERY glad we had it - I think just the thought of doing the paperwork in Italy is enough to keep me paying extra. BUT....for next year I've started looking at rates - which all over the place right now - and I see that for a rental of 76 days, I can pay a zero deductible rate of $1392, or I can pay the 'regular' deductible rate (Est to be $1600) of $873. That a whopping $518 difference.

Certainly if there's a problem $518 is much less than the $1600 listed in the fine print, but it got me to wondering - what does every one else do? Have you ever had to file a claim with your U.S. based insurance company, and if so, how did that go? I'm pretty sure we're going to keep the zero deductible because I'm an even bigger chicken than I am frugal.
Hi. So we always decline the deductible because we have a “premium” credit card and my husband (a lawyer) always scrupulously goes through the contract fine print to make sure that we are indeed covered by the credit card. We once had our side mirror knocked off where we were parked in a small town in Italy. I believe what happened was that he called the toll free credit card number and got some info about what to tell the car place in Italy. I assume all was well because we weren’t charged anything. I have to tell you that we HATE paying the deductibles and over our 30+ years of traveling i think we’ve never taken it. And who knows whether we were always completely covered but we’ve never (touch wood) despite having some little things happen, gotten nicked with a big bill. My husband also takes many pictures of the car in the lot before we leave the rental and will point out anything scratches etc there. Anyhow you should do what you feel most comfortable with.
 

GailS

100+ Posts
I always book through AutoEurope and always choose the zero deductible in Italy. This past August was the first time in 20+ years of renting that we actually put a scratch in the car (first time trying to get a Fiat into reverse where you had to pull up on a ring on the shifting arm - was not in reverse...). It was so worth it to not worry.
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
We also decline the deductible since our credit card covers it. We did have a claim two years ago where (we believe) the valet parking at a hotel damaged the car and we didn't notice the problem until turn-in. It was a pain to do all the documentation after the fact to satisfy the credit card company, but they eventually made a payment in full and life was good again. We also limit costs by having my wife do all the driving and avoiding the extra driver charge (aside from being economical, it helps preserve the marriage due to differences in driving habits and map skills).
 

Fedina

10+ Posts
Our "premium" credit card, through Citibank, used to cover this, so in the past, we never took the zero deductible. However, earlier this year I learned that they no longer cover this benefit! So this year we took the zero deductible option. We've never had an incident to use it. Check your card coverage to make sure they still provide this coverage.
 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I've had no claims, and I've used the Chase Sapphire Preferred with primary coverage, unusual compared to most U.S. cards where the coverage is secondary to one's coverage on their own car at home. I haven't seen many reports on cases where people have made claims with this, but I've seen some where it's worked out with many requests for documentation. After regularly using Auto Europe or Kemwel, on our last trip we used Autoslash to find the best rate, and it redirected to Priceline with a discount code. Although I don't know if we needed to when using that Chase card on a standard deductible quote, on top of that I used the Allianz insurance they quoted at $11/day to bring it to zero deductible, and combined it was a lower rate, paid at the time of the rental rather than prepaid, than what AE or Kemwel had quoted.
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
It is quite common in the UK to get "Car rental excess insurance". I's surprisingly reasonable at around £40 a year for Europe only, £60 for worldwide.
 

JMichael

10+ Posts
We always get the super CDW with zero deductible in Italy. It makes pick up and return so easy because we don't have to worry about missing some pre-existing scratch or undercarriage damage. When we return the car, it's usually just a matter of passing the keys across the counter and we're off. I don't mind paying a bit extra for that peace of mind.
 

Tery

10+ Posts
We've always gotten a rate with zero deductible ever since 2007, when we ended with a cracked windshield after a rock hit our windshield in Italy. When we returned the car in Switzerland at the end of the trip, Europecar (via AutoEurope) charged us over $700 for the damage/new windshield. I'm sure one of my credit cards might cover the deductibles, but I don't want to risk it. I'd just rather pay a little higher rental rate and have everything covered.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
Be very careful to read where and how your credit card covers you. Some credit cards, like my Amex Platinum, doesn't cover some countries ( Italy, Ireland and I believe New Zealand and Australia). Also check how it covers a claim, is it primary insurance or secondary (meaning you have to submit the claim to your home car insurance and the cc will pay what they don't cover). This also means if you live in a State like mine your insurance company will raise your personal rate for the next 6 years.

If you are taking a car for 3 weeks or more I highly recommend you look into leasing a Renault, Peugeot or Citroen, The French government has a great program to aid their auto industry. You actually lease a brand new car. You get the exact car you select, you can chose gas or diesel, manual or auto, and GPS is standard. You can't pick any options nor can you pick the color.

There is 0 deductible for anything, includes coverage for theft of personal items, there is unlimited mileage, any licensed family member can drive at no extra fee, even an unrelated person (such as your BFF ) can drive as long as you are in the car.

We typically pick up the car in Nice. You can pick up and drop off outside of France but there is a $250 charge. Sometimes they run specials where they will waive this fee. I also recently received a special where they reduced the minimum 3 week lease period.

I've leased a car in each of the last 6 years, I'd never rent a car again for an extended stay.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
We've leased before and always compare rates. Because we usually pick up in Rome, we have to watch for specials where the fee for picking up outside of France is waived. This year the best deal for us was a long term rental.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
It's a little late now probably for most people, but here is the latest Peugeot offer -

Reserve your vehicle before the end of 2019 for 2020 delivery and receive 12 FREE DAYS* on most models or 15 FREE DAYS* on the 3008 vehicles and FREE DELIVERY AND RETURN to ALL LOCATIONS on ALL MODELS**

*OVER THE INITIAL 21 DAY MINIMUM
**ALL LOCATIONS & MODELS FREE DELIVERY AND/OR RETURN IN FRANCE, BELGIUM, ITALY, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS AND SWITZERLAND


Also be assured that we can adjust the dates*** once you have made your definite plans, so make your reservation now for this great savings!
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
It's a little late now probably for most people, but here is the latest Peugeot offer -

Reserve your vehicle before the end of 2019 for 2020 delivery and receive 12 FREE DAYS* on most models or 15 FREE DAYS* on the 3008 vehicles and FREE DELIVERY AND RETURN to ALL LOCATIONS on ALL MODELS**

*OVER THE INITIAL 21 DAY MINIMUM
**ALL LOCATIONS & MODELS FREE DELIVERY AND/OR RETURN IN FRANCE, BELGIUM, ITALY, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS AND SWITZERLAND


Also be assured that we can adjust the dates*** once you have made your definite plans, so make your reservation now for this great savings!
Where was this offered?
 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
On our trips to Italy we don't usually meet the minimum time for a short-term lease, and I don't look too closely at the wording of the promos I get from Auto Europe, but there's this for their leases:
  • NO FEES OUTSIDE OF FRANCE - 100% off delivery/collection fees outside of France + 3 free days on gas/hybrid models
Offers valid on new bookings paid by March 30, 2020 for pickup in 2020 only and can not be combined with other offers.

At https://www.autoeurope.com/short-te...809&l=181_HTML&u=6647517&mid=100003911&jb=337
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
Could you post the specifics on the rental, i.e. car model, period, insurance coverage, mileage, pick up and drop off location(s), age restrictions, additional driver fee and any other particulars. I am interested since it is a lot less than a lease. I realize the car model you actually get will be a guesstimate! :)
 

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