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In a couple of months I will be traveling to Portugal, and I need to rent a car. Since I have a MasterCard Platinum, I can get coverage and save some money by declining CDW and LDW.

From MasterCard's Guide to Benefits:

To Get Coverage:

  • Initiate the transaction under your name and pay for the entire Rental Company’s security deposit using your card and sign the Rental Agreement;
  • Authorized Drivers whose name(s) appear as a driver on the Rental Agreement will also be covered;
  • Pay for the entire rental transaction (tax, gasoline, and airport fees are not considered rental charges) with your card and/or points earned by a Rewards Program associated with your card prior to picking up or immediately upon the return of the Rental Car; and
  • You must Decline any/all partial or full collision damage insurance or similar collision damage and loss damage waiver (CDW/LDW) offered by the Rental Company.

So I went to search the companies I could book a car from, and, so far, Europcar is the cheapest one I found. However I couldn't find a way to decline those insurance fees.

For instance, these are the options on Europcar:

Europcar

As you can see, the first "tier", Basic (that looks pretty much CDW+LDW, although not named that way), is already included and cannot be declined. I would like to know if I there is way I can decline while booking online, or whether it would be better if I rent the car in the airport/company's counter instead of pre-booking it online.

  • Look at the green "Adicionar" (Add) button in the Basic insurance column. It is unclickable, so apparently that fee is included and I cannot opt-out. However the credit car instructions say I should decline it. My question is: how do I do that, how do I decline? – Guilherme Apr 3 '15 at 16:20
  • It does matter, because MasterCard will cover me for free, while the rental company will charge me for coverage. There is an embedded price in the Basic coverage, and that is what I want do decline. – Guilherme Apr 3 '15 at 16:28
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    Hire car prices can vary by the country you book from, as certain things will be included/excluded from the default, amongst other things. What happens if you try booking on their US website rather than their Portuguese one? – Gagravarr Apr 3 '15 at 16:30
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Unfortunately, this is most likely not possible to decline CDW at Europcar and get a better price. Like discussed this question about protection depending on the booking website, pricing of rental cars is pretty opaque. Depending on your residence country, on the rental company, on the location, and some possible other parameters (like temporary offers), the protections that are included in the base price may change. This does not mean that if the protections change, the price will change (in the linked question, if you book in the UK or in the US, the price is the same, but one has more protection).

In the specific case of Europcar, its FAQ mentions that CDW/LDW is usually included if booking from its UK website (you can search the FAQ for another website):

A UK quote generally includes road tax, third party liability cover, VAT, CDW & TW

So if you want to get the better price without the CDW coverage, you should compare the different rental companies' offers without the CDW. I.e. it does not mean that if Europcar has the best price with CDW for your search, it also has the best price among all offers without CDW.

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    It's worthwhile noting that the renting country is also relevant here, because in some countries they are legally obliged to include CDW and LDW. – gsnedders Apr 11 '18 at 12:26
  • @gsnedders not only is it worthwhile noting this, it is the main point of this answer: renting a car from the UK usually includes CDW. – Vince Apr 12 '18 at 0:25
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It really depends on the country, in places like Italy CDW is mandatory so there is now way to decline it. You first have to check the legal requirement for the country where you want to rent, then also call your CC or Mastercard and ask for clarification about their policies.

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