Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
raveon
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:32 pm

Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by raveon » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:34 am

I plan to rent a car from Hertz in Florence for touring Tuscany next month. I am booking on Orbitz and I have declined the CDW. I am paying through the Chase Sapphire Reserve card where they say I am covered up to $75K (Orbitz CDW policy offers up to $35K). I am just wondering if there are any gotchas to be wary of. Reading some online reviews, I see some individuals complaining that they got some random charges to their credit card for dents/nicks a few months after the rental. And if there are issues you have to deal with Hertz Italia which is a separate entity from Hertz USA. I plan to thoroughly inspect and photograph the car before driving out.

billfromct
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:05 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by billfromct » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:27 am

I think the rental car agencies require CDW at the rental counter in Italy & Ireland due to the high incedence of theft & accidents. That was the case during the times I rented there 6 or 7 years ago.

You may want to to Google "is CDW required in Italy" to be sure.

bill

mick-madden
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:52 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by mick-madden » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:48 am

You should be okay. Take some time to read the terms and conditions from Orbitz though, there might be a few extra clauses. I know in Ireland some places get you for an Admin Fee when you decline CDW (€50) which will be worse than the CDW charge if you’re renting for a short period. Likewise I’ve been stung by an Italian car rental company for “fueling fees” which weren’t clear in the price quoted.

I usually avoid booking through third parties like orbitz, and go direct to the provider. There are less terms and conditions they can sting you for.

- they might pressure you at the desk, but decline all cover, that’s a condition to be insured by Chase.
- inspect the car and take photos, don’t stress about any dent smaller than a 2 euro coin.
- you can ask chase for a letter stating you are covered in Italy, in some cases they require this at the desk. It’s still easy to get it by calling support on the day if required.
- watch the road signs and follow google maps when in doubt. Italy has some “no rental cars allowed” districts. And the fine will follow you to the US unfortunately.
- go to Lucca!
No fear, No envy, No meanness

neilpilot
Posts: 2828
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by neilpilot » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:56 am

An IDP is a requirement in Italy and Hertz might need to see it before completing the rental.

vu8
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 10:15 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by vu8 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:19 am

I mean it's Italy, a crowded country with extremely sufficient public transportation. Why not take their state of the art railway transit and walk around the beautiful ancient cities?

rich126
Posts: 928
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by rich126 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:26 am

Many years ago I went to Naples for a brief business trip and there is no way in the world I would ever agree to drive in that town. Literally car horns were going around the clock, red lights didn't mean much, lanes weren't really followed, it was a nightmare. Other parts of Italy seem better but I personally try to avoid driving in most foreign countries. And yeah, I'd get as much insurance as you can just to be safe.

khangaroo
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:11 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by khangaroo » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:43 am

Different country but I just rented a car in Costa Rica and to be able to waive the car damage insurance you had to provide a letter from Chase stating that they’re going to cover it. It was in the fine print and I also read about it on Costa Rica travel blogs. It was quite easy to get the letter, just call the number on the back of your card. I’m not sure if it applies to Italy but it wouldn’t hurt to have just in case IMO.

dpm321
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by dpm321 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:50 am

We did exactly what you want to do in exactly the same place. Three times in a week the car received minor damage while parked. Even though I was covered by my credit card, it was still a hassle when I dropped the car off. If I had to do it again in Italy I would just take the waiver.

My info is a little old, but several years ago there were two countries in which you had to take the CDW waiver (because credit card companies refused to cover). Those were Isreal and Ireland. If you've ever driven in Ireland you'd understand why.

neilpilot
Posts: 2828
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by neilpilot » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:03 am

vu8 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:19 am
I mean it's Italy, a crowded country with extremely sufficient public transportation. Why not take their state of the art railway transit and walk around the beautiful ancient cities?
Good advice if you are happy to exclude the beautiful countryside and don't want to experience the rural areas outside those cities. I know many tourists simply rent a car to get from one city to the other, and for them rail/bus/air is a good alternative. I spent 2 weeks in and around Rome using rail and bus, and there's no way I would have wanted a car. But my fondest memories of Italy (other than the time I sailed south on my friend's boat) was a leisurely drive thru the Tuscan countryside.

However, most of our travel in Europe has been to Spain, France & Germany. We always have a car except when we plan to spend most of our time in the city. The most rewarding times have often been in small towns in the countryside. In September we will spend 2+ weeks in the UK. The initial 12 days will be in Sussex, and we'll rent a car. Then we ditch the car for the final 5 days in London.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 17568
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by Watty » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:21 am

Some credit cards exclude coverage in some countries, as I recall Italy is sometimes one of them. Double check your credit card to make sure that it covers you there.

User avatar
elcadarj
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by elcadarj » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:32 am

Basic CDW is mandatory in Italy and it's included in the rental. Here's an excerpt from my Enterprise reservation, pick up at Florence airport, from spring 2017:

Car and Rate Information:
Intermediate
Mercedes Classe A or similar
55.56 EUR (3 Day @ 18.52)

0.00 EUR (Drop Charge)

0.00 EUR (CDW WITH DEDUCTIBLE)

0.00 EUR (THEFT PROTECTION WITH DEDUCTIBLE)

10.80 EUR (ROAD FEE 3.60 EUR/DAY)

14.60 EUR (VALUE ADDED TAX)

43.92 EUR (Total Charges)


2 Free Day(s) Credit -37.04 EUR
Points Redeemed: 800 Points

TOTAL CHARGES INCLUDE THEFT PROTECTION (TP) COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER (CDW) AND THIRD PARTY LIABILITY. VAT, AIRPORT/RAILWAY FEE AND ROAD TAX ARE NOT INCLUDED BUT MANDATORY AT THE DESK. ADDITIONAL PROTECTION PRODUCTS MAY BE PURCHASED. FOR RENTALS IN EXCESS OF 28 DAYS A 3000 KM PER MONTH LIMIT WILL APPLY.


So what you would have covered by your credit card is the deductible. You can add Zero deductible coverage at the rental location but not required.

Thesaints
Posts: 2919
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:51 am

In Italy it is quite normal for people low on gas (and funds) to put their vehicle in neutral and let themselves be pushed by a trailing car for a while. Therefore a certain amount of damage to back/front is to be expected, but rental car companies know about it and generally let it go. The driver will usually request a push by extending his right arm out of the window in a closed fist, with only index and pinky showing.

Also, yes, circulation of rental cars is excluded from some streets: all those named after an artist on Tuesdays and Fridays. Oddly musicians are excluded, tho. That’s why street names signs have the person’s occupation written in small characters under the name. “Via Ruggiero Raimondi - Architect (1854-1932)”

Italians do honk a lot. Being a generous people and car racing aficionados, they like to celebrate especially skilled drivers when they see one. Be proud when that happens to you; they are not easily impressed. You may notice honking people also asking for the honor of a push.

Red lights are optional, but taking a right turn on red is always ticketed; California friends take notice.

martint
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:31 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by martint » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:14 am

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:51 am
In Italy it is quite normal for people low on gas (and funds) to put their vehicle in neutral and let themselves be pushed by a trailing car for a while. Therefore a certain amount of damage to back/front is to be expected, but rental car companies know about it and generally let it go. The driver will usually request a push by extending his right arm out of the window in a closed fist, with only index and pinky showing.

Also, yes, circulation of rental cars is excluded from some streets: all those named after an artist on Tuesdays and Fridays. Oddly musicians are excluded, tho. That’s why street names signs have the person’s occupation written in small characters under the name. “Via Ruggiero Raimondi - Architect (1854-1932)”

Italians do honk a lot. Being a generous people and car racing aficionados, they like to celebrate especially skilled drivers when they see one. Be proud when that happens to you; they are not easily impressed. You may notice honking people also asking for the honor of a push.

Red lights are optional, but taking a right turn on red is always ticketed; California friends take notice.
All very good points. You forgot to mention that it is legal, and preferred, to skip a long center lane left turn line and instead, come up from the right lane to the front of the line then turn left across all the lanes of traffic. This is only legal, however, if you are driving a German made car. If you do this in a Fiat, you will get a ticket.

Also (and this is actually true) accidents between two cars that involve no bodily injury may (should) be settled completely between the two parties without involving the police.

aude
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by aude » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:15 am

I have driven a lot in Italy, including several days of side trips from Florence in the last few months. Keep in mind:

--Rental car insurance provided by credit cards is not valid in Italy. Call it protectionism of local insurance companies, etc. but it's a sovereign country and can make its own rules.

--You should buy the CDW even though in most other countries I decline and rely on the credit card coverage.

--In Tuscany there are some incredibly narrow lanes that can result in scraped mirrors. With CDW you have more confidence to drive through them with a bit of fudge factor.

--Drivers in Italy are by and large not reckless (like, say, China) but they do view stop signs as yield signs. There is more risk of accidents here than in, say, the U.S. or Germany.

--Keep an eye out for ZTL (limited traffic zones) which result in a fine if you drive into them at the wrong times (red circle on white sign).

--Speed cameras (snapshot and average speed) are all over the place (Sistema Tutor and some other name). Basically, don't speed.

--When you turn in the rental, with CDW you can basically slap the keys on the counter and the rental agent will give you a wave goodbye, and you won't need to wait in line for a return inspection, etc.

--International Driving Permit ($20 at AAA) is required by law, and although the rental agency may or may not require it, the police can give you a fairly large fine if you don't carry it.

--Italy is not known for administrative efficiency, so the less you deal with any of these details the better. Buy the CDW and follow the rules above!

Have a great trip!

Aude

User avatar
elcadarj
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 am

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by elcadarj » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:36 am

aude wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:15 am
--When you turn in the rental, with CDW you can basically slap the keys on the counter and the rental agent will give you a wave goodbye, and you won't need to wait in line for a return inspection, etc.
What Aude is referring to as CDW is the ZED (Zero Excess/Deductible) option. Here's a good explanation of Italian rental car insurance options from the Auto Europe's website: https://www.autoeurope.com/travel-blog/ ... n-italy-2/

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by Starfish » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:12 pm

My opinion after renting cars in many countries is that you should never use expedia, obitz etc sites, the prices there are fake as they will add "mandatory" insurance etc.
Go on the rental company's website and rent from there. I like Sixt but there are many others.

Another thing to consider is that if you use your CC insurance they usually put a large hold on your CC and take the money they want from there. So any leverage you have regarding the inflated costs is gone. You cannot fight anything.
For example one thing they do even in US is to assign a huge loss of use for 1-2-3 months while the car is incapacitated. The insurance makes them prove that they did not have any other cars available, and to show the average price per day to justify the loss of use. Good luck doing that after they took your money.

Also make sure you know how to drive in Europe. Road signs, priority in complicated intersections etc.
Also there is some skill involved. Everything is much closer.

User avatar
TexasPE
Posts: 238
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:41 pm
Location: Southeast Texas

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by TexasPE » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:20 pm

I rented a car in Italy while on a business trip to Taranto. Company policy was to get full insurance for international travel. As things turned out, I was glad I had the coverage.

I foolishly left an open map on the seat overnight at the hotel. I guess this screamed 'tourist' to a casual thief. The next morning I found that the passenger side window was smashed and the glove box rifled. I told the hotel desk and they asked "did you buy the insurance?". I answered 'yes' and they said 'there will be no problem'. I called the police, and then the rental car agency, and received the same response. I was on a tight schedule and can only imagine the hassle and wasted time if I hadn't purchased it.

My two cents...
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)

jminv
Posts: 985
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Collison Damage Waiver for Car Rental in Italy

Post by jminv » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:51 pm

I'll add that the state of some (a lot) of the tolls roads is appalling from a European perspective and that some other European countries forbid luxury rentals from entering Italy due to theft (as well as entering Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia for the same reasons due to the proximity with Russia)...so...be careful if you are renting a luxury car I suppose and take everything out of the car each night so it doesn't look like a tourist car. If it's a Europcar, they unkindly put a Europcar sticker on the back window of the car. Peel it off - it does so easily, do not leave it on. If you don't, it screams I'm a tourist car break my window and see what's inside. Otherwise have a lot of fun. Italy's lovely.

If you do have damage you'll have to deal with the insurer and the card company anyway. You'll likely have basic cdw, seem to remember that being a thing in italy. If you could have taken the train, you probably should have. It's very cheap and the private train company even cheaper. It's also less stressful. I like Italy, but I do try to take the train when I visit.

Post Reply