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Car rentals

Ottawa, Canada
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Car rentals

Calling all recommendations and personal experiences!

We've done lots of research and are about ready to rent our vehicle for our trip, but there's only so much a website can tell you. So what are your favourite car rental companies? Who had the best/most all inclusive insurance? Who had the best service? Who was most helpful if/when something went wrong (because things don't always go smoothly!)

We'll be looking at renting a 4x4 as well. Vehicle recommendations are also welcome. We are going during the summer; won't be doing any crazy river crossings.

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1. Re: Car rentals

You may want to check the right side of the page, under "Top questions about Iceland."

There, you will find a link titled "Car Rental Options & Advice" compiled by the forum experts.

You might also consider searching the forum for car rental threads; there are lots of opinions posted.

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Boston...
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2. Re: Car rentals

And after that, skim back a few pages and read The stories here about how not to fall victim to false claims of damage.

All the companies have their fans

All the companies have complaints

Avoid companies with words like SAD or CHEAP in their names and take the suggested precautions and you will be fine.

Waterbury, Vermont
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3. Re: Car rentals

I am in that process now for November trip. I find the more difficult aspect is sorting out insurance. I called my American Express company yesterday to ask about what they offer. I learned that they already offer FULL coverage without paying anything - it is already a part of being a card holder. IF I pay additional $20 for the entire rental period (not per day) that it increases my limit from $50,000 to $75,000 for car value. (Increased to $100,000 if I pay $25). There are a few other benefits as well. They do not cover off-roading and they do not cover Liability. I will check with my own car company regarding this. A few important things: 1) You must pay for the entire rental with that credit card 2) car holder needs to be the person on the car contract - (for us that means paying additional driver per day fee with car rental company since my husband will be the actual primary driver) 3) You must decline any insurance the car company offers - even if it is free with the car. I am still a bit confused on a few details since the car company may be required to provide the CDW - so I plan to have second (and third if needed) conversation with my credit card company before I push the GO button.

I should also say that the regular coverage my card offers (without paying the added optional $20/$25) makes that coverage secondary meaning any other coverage pays out first. But with the added optional, they become the Primary, which I believe streamlines things if I need to make a claim.

ALSO (sorry, this is getting long)- they say it covers EVERYTHING. So, tires, sand and ash, undercarriage, car theft.... The added optional insurance with my card ($20/$25) also covers theft to anything in the car such as GPS, laptop, camera.... To me, this is a no-brainer.

For some reason this is not offered for all countries. They would not insure us for Ireland, but I think they do for Northern Ireland. Also not New Zealand and a short list of others.

Hope this helps. Do call your credit company. It is a very valuable benefit that you may already have! Have an amazing journey.

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Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Car rentals

@BarrettS thank you so much! I feel silly for never thinking of calling my credit card company. Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely be doing that asap

Waterbury, Vermont
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5. Re: Car rentals

Kaysstj - my pleasure. I figure this will save me a big chunk of cash. I find the whole insurance topic frustrating but important. And knew of this CC benefit, but not the specifics and had not used it before when renting internationally. I have been reading many car insurance related posts and am seeing what my CC company told me to be true (thought it might be too good to be true !). I read the fine print and will quadruple check everything.

Waterbury, Vermont
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6. Re: Car rentals

Kayssti - PS - See you are from Ottawa - Love skating the Rideau Canal in winter. What a hoot. Next time will take off the toe picks on my older pair skates!

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Car rentals

Kayystj, hello neighbours! Neither of our credit cards - Capital One MasterCard and VISA - offered any auto insurance help. Neither did CAA. At this point we have decided to purchase all the insurance we can get from the rental company because the cost of repairs or replacement in Iceland is much higher than here at home. Mplease read also some of the threads detailing problems with car rentals in Iceland.

The short story is that you can get charged very high prices for any damage on the car you return. Many people claim they did not actually do the damage at all, that it was already on the car. Too bad. The short story is, inspect the vehicle with a fine tooth comb, take photos and note all damage. Do not accept the car before the rental company acknowledges and signs for the existing damage. Be especially picky about pointing out tiny pits in the windshield and the paint finish. Check and photograph the underside, roof and inside the car and trunk also. We have not had a problem with two car rentals in Iceland, but we do take all these precautions and get comprehensive insurance.

Have a great trip, and enjoy driving around. It’s a great place for car trips.

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