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I'm in the U.S. and (fairly spontaneously) intending to hire a car from Hertz or Avis for about 5 days. I'm intending to pay for this with my UK Natwest Mastercard, and since I don't have any of the small-print with me, I hoped someone could advise whether this credit card will provide collision insurance, or if I should pay (a lot more) for the Loss Damage Waiver from the hire company.

I don't own a car in the U.K. so I don't have any existing insurance which might cover the rental.


Update: so it turns out that while the LDW was very pricey booking through the Hertz U.S. site, it was trivially cheap (~$2.50 per day) via their U.K. one, presumably because - as Peregrine points out - it's pretty much required for overseas bookers. This means I didn't really have to worry about it after all, but only after I'd found that the U.S. site wouldn't accept my U.K. card because I didn't have a zip code!

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2 Answers 2

No UK credit card or domestic car insurance policy will cover you for driving in US. Specialised travel insurance may include some degree of car insurance although that is unusual.

The better option (assuming that you don't have a US driving licence) is to book through one of the UK base brokers such as

www.netflights.co.uk
www.carhire3000.co.uk
www.auto-europe.co.uk

and get a package that includes all of the required insurance. This will work out way cheaper than what you'd get just turning up at the car hire desk and taking whatever insurance they offer. Depending on the location, this could also give you the option of a one-way rental without any extra fees - especially between California / Nevada / Arizona.

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That's not correct - some of the very high end (expensive paid for) Amex cards issued in the UK include hire car insurance, and there may be others –  Gagravarr Sep 8 '12 at 23:14
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It depends on the exact type of card.

In general, most UK credit cards do NOT cover rental car insurance. Specifically for NatWest, the only card that does is the "NatWest Black" Mastercard, so if that's what you've got then you're set - although it still helps to read the conditions of coverage so that you're 100% sure what is covered and what is not.

If you have any other sort of NatWest card then you're probably out of luck on that front, although most travel insurance policies will cover rental cars, or you can look into a packaged rate that includes CDP and/or LDW coverage, which are fairly common on European booking sites.

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