Gill Charlton in her Daily Telegraph column earlier today ran a story "Am I liable for rental car damage?"
A reader had rented a car at Munich Airport, Germany and discovered a scratch on a door a shortwhile after collecting the car. Apparently there is quite a distance between the terminal and car rental collection point. The reader was charged €485 (£425) on the credit card. Despite arguing the case with the car hire company and it looks like the customer had signed the vehicle condition report before checking the car. They should have notified the company immediately and not till returning the car.
On the insurance4carrental.com website there is a page of advice on what to do when a renter collects the hire car. This can be found here.
Gill Charlton suggested in the article "Your experience shows how essential it is to report damage immediately, however minor. Any dents or marks should be added to the VCR(Vehicle Condition Report). This will mean returning to the rental desk in the terminal. At some airports, there's a booth in the car park to sort out such problems. In your case, the car hire company would have accepted the scratch if you had telephoned to report it from the café.
For peace of mind it is worth paying £49 for an annual excess insurance policy from a specialist insurer such as insurance4carhire.com. This will also cover damage to tyres and windscreens, which are excluded from basic policies."
In fact if you buy that £49 policy through the insurance4carhire.com link on the www.insurance4carrental.com site it only costs £39.20 as it is a discounted promotion that insurance4carhire.com is running for visitors to the insurance4carrrental.com site. Find out more here