Saturday 20 August 2011

More complaints about car hire companies - renters advised to buy cheap excess insurance

The Guardian ran a story yesterday (19th August 11) entitled "Avis and Hertz leave car hire consumers fumingCustomers' poor experience of car hire from Avis and Hertz underlines the need to buy cheap excess insurance" by Miles Brignall

The first consumer was a person who rented from Avis in London. According to the report the car had numerous scratches and eventually the VCR(Vehicle Condition Report) was signed.

Upon returning the car a "non signed off" scratch was found. The car hire company is claiming £420 for repairs.The renter paid additional excess insurance to reduce the excess to £100 but is not happy.

The second reader hired a car through Hertz in Sweden, paying £450 for 10 days.Theye were offered top-up insurance when theye picked up the car, for about £120, which they declined.

They said "After an accident-free holiday we returned the vehicle. Again, no one checked the car. The day after we got home we received an email telling us it had been damaged. The cost to our credit card would be £550"

Miles Brignall says in his aricle "We are receiving so many complaints about car hire firms – these two are fairly typical – that it seems we need to do a quick guide on how to hire a car without getting ripped-off by an industry that will strike many as a law unto itself.

The first rule: before you pick up a car abroad, buy cheap excess insurance from Insurance4Carhire.com or icarhireinsurance.com – daily cover for Europe starts at just £3 a day. This is one policy really worth having.

When you pick up the car, mark on the paperwork every single scratch, dent and blemish. If a member of staff doesn't accompany you to the car, go back to the office and get them to sign the paperwork showing all the damage.

Don't let them brush you off – do it properly and get it signed. Use a digital camera to take multiple images before you drive it away. When you hand the car back, do the same thing – mark every scratch and get the paperwork signed. Take digital photos of every panel to show there is no new damage, plus one of the mileage recorded."

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.

At the end of the day it makes financial sense to take out excess insurance cover. For a low annual or daily premium a car hire excess insurance company can provide excess insurance protecting the customer against excess charges whenever someone rents a car.

You can also get this type of cover when you rent a van or motorhome.

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