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Navigating Car Hire Excess in Ireland:
What You Need to Know

Car hire is a fantastic way to explore the breathtaking landscapes and charming towns of Ireland. However, before you hit the road, it's crucial to understand car hire excess and how it works, especially when you're travelling in a foreign country like Ireland.

Relying solely on third-party insurance or your credit card cover might not be enough, considering the available excess waiver options can deliver peace of mind and the reassurance you need to know you're covered, no matter what may happen. In this blog post, we'll delve into what car hire excess is, how it operates and provide all the information you need to make the best choice to suit your car rental needs.

Gap of Dunloe

What is Car Hire Excess?

Car hire excess, also known as the excess waiver or collision damage waiver (CDW), is a financial liability that renters are responsible for in the event of damage or theft of the rented vehicle. It is essentially the maximum amount you would have to pay towards the repair or replacement of the car, regardless of who is at fault. In Ireland, like in many other countries, car hire excess can be a significant cost that travelers should be aware of. Find out all you need to know about's available protection options.

How does car hire excess work in Ireland?

When you rent a car in Ireland, the rental agreement typically includes basic insurance coverage, but it often comes with an excess amount. This means that in case of an accident, theft, or damage to the rental vehicle, you would be responsible for paying the excess.

To mitigate this financial risk, offer excess waiver options. These can include:

  • Excess Reduction: You can pay an additional daily fee to reduce the excess amount you would be liable for in case of an accident or damage. This can significantly lower your out-of-pocket expenses but comes at an extra cost.

  • Super CDW: Some rental companies offer a Super Collision Damage Waiver, which further reduces the excess amount or eliminates it entirely. However, this often comes with a higher daily fee than a standard CDW.

Credit Cards and Debit Cards: What You Need to Know

Many travellers may wonder if their credit card provides coverage for car hire excess. While some credit cards offer rental car insurance, it's essential to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions.

Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Check the Card Type: Some credit cards offer car rental insurance as a cardholder benefit, but this usually applies to specific card types, such as premium or platinum cards.

  • Card Coverage Limit: Even if your credit card provides rental car insurance, there may be a maximum coverage limit. If the excess amount exceeds this limit, you would still be responsible for the difference.

  • Declining CDW: In some cases, to benefit from your credit card's rental car insurance, you may need to decline the rental company's CDW. Be sure to confirm this with both your credit card provider and the car hire company.

  • Debit Cards: Debit cards typically do not offer the same level of rental car insurance coverage as credit cards. It's crucial to check with your debit card provider about any coverage they might offer.

Find out all you need to know about's available protection options.

Why Third-Party Insurance May Not Be Enough

Some travellers may consider purchasing third-party car rental insurance, thinking it will cover the car hire excess. While third-party insurance can provide valuable coverage in certain situations, it often does not cover the excess amount. Here's why relying solely on third-party insurance can be risky:

  • Excess Amount: Most third-party insurance policies focus on liability and may not cover the full excess amounts associated with car hire.

  • Claim Process: Dealing with third-party insurance claims can be time-consuming and may require you to pay the excess upfront and then seek reimbursement.

  • Specific Policies: Not all third-party insurance policies are created equal, so it's crucial to review the terms and limitations of your specific policy carefully.

In conclusion, understanding car hire excess and how it works in Ireland is essential for a worry-free road trip. While credit cards may offer some coverage, it's wise to inquire about their terms and limitations. Additionally, relying solely on third-party insurance may leave you exposed to high excess costs.

To ensure peace of mind while exploring Ireland, consider purchasing excess waiver or CDW option to minimise your financial liability in case of any unfortunate incidents on the road.

Find out all you need to know about's available protection options.

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