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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Car Hire in Nice

According to a report just in from Riviera Radio Daily News today  

"Car rentals - According to a recent survey renting a car in Nice has increased by 4% between 2014 and 2015. The report carried out by Carigami has shown that the average cost of renting a car in Nice is currently 35.5 euros that’s 4% more than last year. Nice however still remains cheaper than Saint Tropez"

If you are thinking of hiring a car in France follow this link

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The half-term holidays are upon us says iCarhireinsurance

iCarhireinsurance are reminding customers about the half term holidays and also that Insurance Premium Tax is increasing as of the 1st of November 2015

The half-term holidays are upon us. Are you taking your family or loved ones away for a few days? Whatever your plans are, do not forget to buy your car hire excess cover with us!
Whether or not you are going anywhere for this half-term, if you haven't already, it is still a good opportunity for you to purchase your car hire excess cover:

Insurance Premium Tax is increasing as of the 1st of November 2015
, so if you buy your policy now to avoid the tax hike.
Stay a step ahead and beat the Insurance Premium Tax increase:
 
The company also received some PR in The Daily Mail Today - A column written by Becky Pemberton was using research carried out by iCarhireinsurance.
 
  • Five rental firms - Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar - were analysed
  • Milan sees a decrease from the usual price, falling from £256 to £240
  • In Faro the cost of hiring an average family car rose from £82 to £152
 
Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: 'Hiring a car at half term is often more expensive than hiring when kids are at school, but there are still some good deals to be had, and serious savings can be made by not buying the extras at the rental desk. 
'Buying your car hire excess insurance in advance, not adding an extra driver to the policy and bringing your own child's car seat and sat nav can save a small fortune.See full article here
 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Half term will soon be here - reminder from Insurance4carhire

insurance4carhire are reminding customers that half term is just around the corner and that they should be making arrangements now to take out car hire excess waiver insurance.

Did you know, damage to your hire car could cost you on average £350? Even if you have an excess waiver from the car hire company.

They think there's a better way!

Protect yourself with excess insurance from insurance4carhire.com and we'll even cover damage to the windscreen, tyres, roof and undercarriage.

You can pick up a daily policy from as little as £3.99 per day or an annual policy for £39.99 for UK & European cover. Get quick cover today.

You can even save on the £39.99 price by following this link  That makes real sense

Monday, 17 August 2015

Portugal is most expensive for car hire according to Post Office survey


The UK's Post Office annual Car rental Report has found that the average cost of a weeks car hire rental for a mid-sized saloon at Faro airport during the peak season was £553 / €786.

The cost includes the fee for the vehicle, excess waiver insurance (EWI), SatNav, an extra driver and 40 litres of unleaded fuel. With weekly costs of £547, Croatia worked out as the second most expensive destination for British holidaymakers to rent a car. France came third with total fees of £447.

In comparison, the Danish capital of Copenhagen is the least expensive for the same seven-day package and at £248 is less than half the Portuguese price. The second cheapest in the table was Germany with £264 and the Netherlands was the third cheapest at £277.

The Post Office says the strengthening pound is encouraging Britons abroad to splash out on car hire.

The Post Office was quoted as saying that at least 20 per cent of UK holidaymakers stated they would be hiring vehicles for their European holidays this summer. It noted that not only was the fee for the vehicle itself cheaper, but fuel to fill it up with was too. 

Ireland's car rental costs are in the middle bracket at €551.The Excess Waiver insurance was €128 and payable excess €1,346. 

Sources: Post Office, The Irish Times, Carrentals

Hiring a car over the age of 70? It could cost you more

The Daily Mail's "This is Money" feature published a report on Saturday about a couple from Uxbridge in Middlesex who were told they would have to pay more than double hiring a car in Majorca because of the age of one of the drivers who is 79.
 
We are being told we must work longer and wait forever to retire and when we finally get there discover if we want to hire cars it is going to be very expensive.
 
In the end Economy Car Hire came to rescue and have agreed a sensible price. (Find out a little more about Economy Car Hire Here).
 
The full report can be seen here   
 
Car hire excess waiver insurance companies also offer cover to older drivers.
 
Questor insurance says anyone can buy their product between 21 and 84 (They can be found here).

Insurance4carhire say Drivers aged 21 to 85 years old (inclusive) (Find them here
 
Worldwideinsure says "If you are aged between 21 and 84 and are named as a on the vehicle rental agreement, you can purchase cover provided you have an internationally recognised valid driving licence" (They can be found here)
 
iCarhireinsurance says "Policy holders must be aged between 21 and 85" (They can be found here)
 
Carhireexcess.com says "You and all other insured drivers must be aged between 21 and 84 years of age on the date of purchase of this insurance and must have a full valid driving licence, or hold a full internationally recognised licence to drive the rental vehicle" (They can be found here)

So the car hire excess waiver insurance companies will look after the "senior" renters and therefore the car hire companies themselves should treat those customers the same without trying to take more of their hard earned money to add to the company's profits.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Problem Press Report for Budget Car Hire Ireland

The Guardian ran a report about a reader's bad experience of hiring a car in Ireland from Budget Ireland.

Entitled "Getting far more than we Budgeted for when hiring a car in Ireland", it reported how a reader  only discovered when he got home Budget had charged us five times more than we paid for our own insurance.

The car was collected from Budget Ireland at Kerry Airport and was tired and it was late when the car was collected.  When he got back home he checked his credit card statement and found that he had been charged £232 for excess and personal accident insurance.

"The Budget employee had used my credit card to charge me for this insurance without saying one word about excess insurance. He just smiled politely through the whole procedure."

See full report at The Guardian here

I have hired cars twice this year from Budget Ireland via Economy Car Hire. Each time I have shown them the Questor Insurance confirmation of excess insurance I have taken out and declined their insurance. No problems. Going again next week so will be extra cautious.

If you are buying Questor excess / travel insurance via the insurance4carrental site remember if you use the special code, you can save 10% Find out more here

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

iCarhireinsurance get great coverage in The Telegraph on the 12th June 2015

iCarhireinsurance received great media coverage last Friday in an article in The Daily Telegraph. - Avoid overpaying for insurance at the car hire desk - Check out these iCarhireinsurance tips and start your holiday safe in the knowledge that you haven't been overcharged for your insurance when hiring a car.

It looks like they had re-published an article on the iCarhireinsurance blog website from last December written by  Ross Callander

With the main holiday season just around the corner it contains some very useful suggestions.


When you pick up your holiday vehicle, the staff at the car hire desk will normally try and sell you a number of extras, including excess insurance. However, pay for excess insurance at the car hire desk and you’ll probably pay far more than you should.

Here are the basics of car hire insurance, what excess cover you can buy before you travel and how it compares to the additional cover you’ll be offered at the car hire desk.

Collision/loss damage waiver
 A collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) is probably what you think of as car hire insurance since it protects you financially against damage or loss to your hire car.

When you hire a car in Europe, the majority of car hire companies will provide CDW cover as well as third party insurance as standard. This means that if you’re involved in a car hire incident resulting in damage to or theft of the vehicle, the full cost of the vehicle would be covered minus any excess you’re liable for.

However, most car hire companies charge an excess if the vehicle is damaged or stolen, which ranges from £500 to £2,500.

Buy car hire excess insurance before you travel

The excess fee is set so high by many car hire companies so they can sell you their excess waiver insurance (EWI) as an extra. Many car hire companies also make it difficult for you to find out the cost of this waiver when you make your booking – it makes it easier to sell expensive EWI cover when you pick up your vehicle.

Some car hire companies charge as much as £25 per day for excess insurance – £175 over a seven-day holiday.

However, buy car hire excess insurance from iCarhireinsurance.com before you travel and you can save more than 70pc.
The cover sold by iCarhireinsurance.com is also usually more comprehensive than those sold by car hire companies.

Resist the car hire desk sales patter
 Sometimes, less reputable companies may try to tell you that the excess insurance policy you bought before travelling is “invalid”.
But remember, it is not a policy that insures the rental company; it is a policy that insures you against excess charges the rental company may charge you. That’s because it’s actually a personal indemnity against car hire excess insurance charges – the rental company is nothing to do with the contract.
However, you might need to leave a deposit to cover any car hire excess. When you use a stand-alone car hire excess insurance policy you will usually have to leave a security deposit with the rental company up to the value of the excess.

Most rental companies hold this as a pre-authorised amount on a credit card, so make sure you have the money available on your card when you collect the vehicle.
 
If the car is damaged or stolen when it’s with you, the rental company will withhold some or all of your deposit – all you have to do is submit a claim to iCarhireinsurance.com to recover it.

What a car hire insurance cover policy with iCarhireinsurance.com covers
 The car hire excess insurance sold by iCarhireinsurance.com is much more comprehensive than the cover sold by most car hire companies. So if you buy an iCarhireinsurance.com policy, you can turn down other car hire insurance – such as cover for the roof, undercarriage, windows and tyres.

To Go to The  Daily Telegraph article follow this link

To find out more about iCarhireinsurance products follow this link

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Problems already for UK licence holders following abolition of paper licence

From  yesterday 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart of the UK's driver licence was abolished as part of HM Government's "Red Tape Challenge" to remove unncessary administrative burdens on drivers. 

The DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart and from  now onwards all existing paper counterparts will no longer have any legal status.

There will be no change to the photocard part of the driving licence and vehicle rental companies will still need to check that document. This is where the problems could start.

According to a report in todays "Independent", the AA reported that a number of its members had had problems with the DVLA website yesterday. Under this new scheme, anyone wanting to obtain details of their licence to hire a car has to go to the DVLA website and provide their National Insurance number.

If you have not got the information just before  you set off you can have a situation whereby  you have just arrived late at Faro Airport in Portugal with your young family, now you will have to remember your National Insurance number (and that of your partner as well) if the Car Hire company needs more information.

The AA on their Hiring a Car page suggest that  you "Print your own driving licence record from DVLA's website - you'll need to know your driving licence number, national insurance number and your home address post code.

Obtain a code from the DVLA's 'share driving licence' service that you can pass to a third party (employer, hire car company). The code will only be valid for 72 hours and will give them one-off access to your online driving licence record to verify the printed copy." See Page Here

According to The Independent, yesterday the AA's president Edmund King said " There have been problems for some of our members. We have heard that a number have found the DVLA website very slow. Another problem is the need to give a national insurance number. People travelling abroad and hiring a vehicles could well not have this number to hand. We are pushing for a change on the website, so people are asked for their passport number instead". The relative page of the DVLA website is here  Unfortunately this National Insurance number does not appear on  the European Health Insurance Card - certainly not my one.

You can’t use the DVLA  service:•if your licence was issued in Northern Ireland
•to check the progress of a licence application
•to check historical information, eg expired penalty points or old driving licence entitlements The DVLA also has
updates and advice here

Hiring a vehicle: how to prove your driving record after 8 June 2015 - Information below is from DVLA website

From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company
Whether or not of course if you are overseas you can call the 0300 numbers, no doubt time will tell.

The trade association in Britain for vehicle rental the BVRLA's  Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “Replacing paper forms with digital services is a great idea, but the government has gone about this the wrong way by rushing the process and not giving enough warning to motorists.

“The online system being offered by the DVLA is far from ideal and the car rental industry is working with it as best it can. “We are confident that our members will keep their GB licence holder customers up-to-date with any new procedures, which should minimise any disruption for travellers." They too are offering advice at this page

It will be interesting to see how this all works out over the next few weeks as we enter the main holiday season. You might collect that hire car late at night at Faro without a request for more information on your driving record, but then you might not. The DVLA say this is progress and are offering a more efficient service or is this just another way to save money by the British Government.

What do other countries do? According to "Citizens Information" in The Republic of Ireland "From 2013 a new plastic-card driving licence has been introduced, replacing the paper driving licence. This is an EU initiative to introduce a secure, compact style of licence in all member states".

The NDLS - National Driver License Service website says "You are still required to produce your own licence for inspection when hiring a vehicle overseas; an International Driving permit (IDP) should be seen as a translation of your licence and not a replacement.

All countries in the EU benefit from a 'mutual recognition' agreement in respect of driving licences.

Under the agreement, Irish driving licence holders can drive in any EU country on their existing Irish driving licence so long as it's current and valid.

An Irish licence holder must be age 18 with a full licence to drive in most EU Countries. The following countries (Austria, Hungary and United Kingdom) allow a full licence holder to drive at the age of 17.

Other Countries
When driving in non-EU or EEA countries, an international driving permit (IDP) is required. This is recognised internationally and allows you to drive in most but not all countries across the world. An IDP is available to Irish residents with a current full Irish driving licence. The permit is valid for one year from date of issue or to the expiry date of the licence if less than a year. More information Here 

So at the end of the day it would be interesting to find out how other countries operate and what  additional information will be required when the renter of a vehicle produces his / her plastic licence at the car hire company's check in desk.



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Always check the rental car before driving off


We rented a car in Dublin last week, booking via Economy Car Hire as we had done in January. Before making the booking I checked the rental conditions of the various car hire companies the broker had listed.

My main concern was their fuel policy. It is all very well hiring a car and finding out that you pay for "their price" for a tank of fuel, but their policy is to return it empty and if you don't use that fuel, too bad its their gain.

I also declined Economy Car Hire's additional excess waiver insurance that is supplied by Questor Insurance Services, deciding to purchase it independently particularly as I could save 10% with Questor by using a special discount code at the Insurance4carrental .com site.

The plane was delayed by nearly an hour, however it was very early afternoon on a cold May Monday. I called over to a representative at the car hire desks at Terminal 2 and said should we proceed straight to the car hire buses which we did. The car hire terminal is only a short drive away outside Dublin Airport and we were attended too very quickly.

We declined their excess insurance as we already had the Questor product and such, we had a "reserve" that could be debited to our credit card of €1,350 / GBP£1,017.

The keys were handed over and I talked to their representative about the new rules for those with UK driving licences only having plastic ones and no paper counterpart this month. I was not asked for the counterpart and the representative told me she had heard something about this, but was not too concerned.

We were presented with the damage report and told there was a mark on offside front wing. On checking the car further there was also a mark on the nearside rear and the nearside front hub cap was missing.

I marked these areas and returned to the check out desk and had the changes signed off.
It looks like the car hire company had not done a full check on a 2013 Renault Clio from Cork.

It is very important to thoroughly check the car yourself and even photograph it before leaving the car hire depot if you at all concerned.

You also need to check if the fuel gauge is showing full after just paying a deposit on the fuel or buying depending on the contract you have taken out with the car hire company.

Sometimes because of bad light or weather conditions it is not possible to check everything.

A day or so after collecting this car we discovered  a mark around the opening system for the boot. Unfortunately you cannot look everywhere including looking under the bodywork in general.

This applies just as much if you are hiring a van, motorhome or even a minibus.

We have had a lot of bad experiences hiring cars in Dublin over the years, but of late have been well impressed by the polite friendly manner car hire operatives have been in looking after their customers.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Car Hire Confusion over new Driving Licence Rules - What does it mean for You?

There have been many newspaper and online articles over the last three weeks or so since the DVLA in Britain decided to stop issuing "Counterpart" paper driving licences. These counterpart documents had all the info about penalty points etc that someone at a car rental desk could look at. Personally since I have had a plastic card driving licence no one has asked for the counterpart, but apparently it could happen.
 
iCarhireinsurance sent an interesting email out yesterday - Thinking of hiring a car? Changes by DVLA could affect you. -
As you may already know, from 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. If you are thinking to hire a car this summer, this could possibly affect you. 

What does this mean for you? Fortunately, we have a page dedicated to provide you with this information. I followed their link to the website and they had put together a very imforative page to help address this problem. 
 
They say that "The DVLA (The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) are going to get rid of their paper counterpart that accompanies all UK photo card licences from the 8th June 2015. Although this is quite a big change and has been widely reported in the media we don’t think that this is going to cause a massive problem for UK travellers this summer as long as you follow a few simple steps before you travel.
 
In the long run this move will probably be beneficial to car hire users as not having to worry about taking your paper counterpart on holiday with you to hire a car will ultimately be more straight forward and is the way that a lot of other EU licences operate anyway, however there could be some delays and confusion in the meantime as rental companies have to adapt their processes to cope with this change."
 
 
 
Going to the DVLA website they say.....
From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.

Please note, this does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland
 

If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.
 
After 8 June 2015 if you are hiring a vehicle or you drive for a living and you are asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you will be able to do this online for free by accessing our Share Driving Licence service. This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders and will also allow you to download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared.
Alternatively you can call DVLA and give permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation.

From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you are asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you will be able to request a unique code from GOV.UK which will allow you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code will last for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. You can also request a code by calling 0300 083 0013. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.
Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.

There could be some delays when you go to collect that hire car in the next few  months. The iCarhireinsurance article says There’s no need to panic so long as you still keep your paper counterpart for the time being, print off your details from the DVLA web service as well as generate their online passkey. Be prepared for longer queues and slightly confused staff at rental desk across Europe in the period immediately after this change even though we don’t think there will be major disruptions as a result of this it may take the industry a bit of time to adjust their processes completely to cope with this.
See article Here

Go to DVLA Here            
 See iCarhireinsurance Excess waiver insurance products here


 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Avoid car hire pitfalls - seasonal newspaper article for late May bank holiday

We have just had the first May Bank Holiday and the second one with be on the 25th May this year.

On Sunday the Express Personal Finance column ran an article "Avoid car hire pitfalls: Five-minute guide to renting a vehicle when on holiday - If  you are booking a hire car for your foreign holiday this summer, try to steer clear of hidden charges."

They are warning of the hard sell of additional insurance at the pick up point for the car. According to MoneySupermarket.com, this can cost as much as £20 a day in some countries, driving up the cost of a fortnight's motoring by another £280.

They quote iCarhireinsurance and they charge £2.99 a day or £39.99 a year. Lauren Mason, marketing manager at that insurance company says "Excess waiver policies from the rental desk are not just more expensive, they often exclude vulnerable areas such as the windscreen, tyres or undercarriage,So even if you pay for the cover and chip your windscreen, you would still be liable to pay for the repair, often at over-inflated prices"

See the article in full Here   Find out more about iCarhireinsurancve Here  Makes sense naturally to go prepared in advance and if you have a UK Driving Licence the rules about paper licences change on the 8th June. More about this Here

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Car Hire Insurance mentioned in two Daily Telegraph reports in last few days

April 15 at the "Daily Telegraph" started with Car Hire Insurance articles two days running. On the 2nd April the first article appeared "Hidden hire car costs - and why urgent reform is needed -Trend on Travel: No-frills airlines have been taken to task over fare transparency. Isn't it time car hire firms got the same treatment?"


Nick Trend's article was reporting the fact that when you book an airline ticket the various charges have to be shown, whereas this is not the case with car hire.


He had received an email offering him car hire in Lanzarote for £5 a day - too good to be true and what else would he have to pay?


The problem of fuel policies and of course car hire excess waiver insurance are covered thoroughly. See the article here


The second article by Richard Dyson appeared a day later on the 3rd April. "Holiday hire car: Avis still refuses to spell out extra insurance costs when customers book online - Travellers booking overseas car hire online with Avis, one of the biggest firms, aren't given full insurance costs until they reach the pickup desk – landing many with extra bills for hundreds of pounds"


This article reported that "Car hire giant Avis continues to withhold the costs of additional insurance from customers who book overseas vehicles online, despite promising Telegraph Money eight months ago that it was "working on a solution."


"The insurance in question is known as "excess waiver" protection.
If you don't buy it, you are liable to pay the "excess" or first part of the cost of any damage caused to the vehicle. This is usually about £1,000. If you buy "excess waiver" cover you won't pay this excess. Most of Avis's rivals, including Europcar and Sixt, do spell out the need for the cover and its cost at the time of booking. This gives travellers the option to shop around and consider stand-alone car car hire excess waiver policies which can cost as little as £3 per day"  See the article here


Whoever you rent a car from, you do need to check out what you will be paying in extra charges, particularly excess waiver insurance. This has been an area for many, many years now that the car rental companies can make some extra money.


Now of course some of them have this unfair fuel policy of collect it full, paying their price and return it empty. Great if you are on a fairly long hire driving around a lot, otherwise it better for those car hire companies as you return with a lot of fuel that they can sell on again.


For more information on excess waiver insurance for various types of vehicle rental, follow this link here.



Monday, 30 March 2015

Hiring a car - van- Motor Home this Easter? Buy your excess insurance in advance

Easter holidays are just around the corner now and for many it is the time to take a break and hire a car at your holiday destination.


For others you might be setting off in a Motor Home that you are renting or purely staying at home, moving house / flat or simply buying some large items of furniture for your home and need to move it easily by hiring a van.


Whatever your reason for hiring a vehicle there is always that extra you need to pay for (apart from fuel for the vehicle) and that is excess waiver insurance.


If you buy this from the vehicle hire company normally you will pay a great deal more than by buying your excess insurance from a specialist insurance company. Unfortunately this is one area a vehicle hire company attempts to make additional revenue from the customer.


Other methods include buying a full tank of fuel at their price and being told you must return it empty which is not always easy if you are only renting for a couple of days so the car hire company gains a nearly full tank of fuel to sell onto the next customer.


Fortunately these hire companies are not in the majority, however it is something to check when you make a booking.


As fare as this excess waiver insurance is concerned you can save a great deal of money by buying from and independent company.


For car hire you can buy daily or annual policies. Annual policies will work out better value if you are going to be hiring a car more than once during the year, or your one hire is of several days duration.


For van hire, motorhome hire and minibus hire you will normally only have the opportunity to buy a daily policy.


Where can I find this excess waiver insurance? Well the insurance4carrental.com website has several well known insurance companies advertising their products.


Find out more here      (They also have links to great value Travel insurance products too)



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Car Hire Tricks that are Sneaky and Drive Up Prices

Just picked up an article / press release featuring Economy Car Hire.

Entitled "Sneaky car hire tricks that drive up prices - How to pay less for your hire car by avoiding rental companies' ploys." It runs along similar lines as an article in The Guardian "Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday . featured on this blog Here a couple of days ago.

Anyway the important info that is on at least two sites today .....
You can now hire a car on the continent for as little as €1 (72p) a day. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t mean you can pay less than £10 to rent a car for a week.
While the base price is low, there are more and more extra charges to pay on top. And some of them are pretty sneaky.
 

Rory Sexton, managing director of rental company Economy Car Hire, said: “With car rental prices dipping to new lows of €1 per day, it’s hardly a surprise that car hire suppliers are having to find new ways to increase their profits.”
 
His top tips for keeping your hire car costs down include checking the terms of the booking carefully, and taking the time to read the rental contract when collecting the car.
“If there are any concerns or surprise charges, this is the time to raise the issue with the car rental company or contact the broker,” Sexton said.
 
He also advises booking through a broker in the UK in order to benefit from the protection of UK consumer laws, and keeping an eye out for the tricks designed to up the overall cost of your hire car.
 
The five top car hire tricks
 
1. Insurance excesses
Car hire deals generally include insurance. However, in some cases there will be an excess (the amount you must pay towards any claim) of up to €3,000 – making smaller claims completely pointless.
That’s why you should always check this before driving off.
 
2. “Collect full, return empty” fuel policies
With these, you are generally charged for a full tank of petrol – at way above the going rate to fill up at a local petrol station.
And there is no refund available if there is any fuel left in the car when you return it. That’s why it’s important to check the fuel policy before booking a hire car.
 
3. “Free” upgrades
We all like being given something for free. But if you arrive at a car rental counter to be told you’re being given an upgrade, it’s worth checking that it is free of charge.
Some companies will argue that by accepting it you agreed to be charged.
 
4. Extra insurance
Most hire cars come with insurance included as standard. But you may find yourself being pressured into buying additional insurance costing up to €15 a day.
In most cases, the salesman is simply trying to earn some extra commission, so stand your ground if you don’t want to take the cover out.
 
5. Hefty repair bills
If your hire car is damaged and the resulting costs are not covered by the insurance policy, you will have to pay for the repairs.
However, you should always ask to see a breakdown of charges, and a repair invoice – just to check that you are not being overcharged.
 
 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Should I buy car hire excess insurance? asks The Daily Telegraph

On the day The Guardian was running a car hire insurance feature, The Daily Telegraph ran a story "Should I buy car hire excess insurance?"
A reader Liz Percival asked "I have just booked hire cars through Holiday Autos for both Cyprus and Spain and the company keep sending me emails saying they recommend that I buy excess insurance at £4.99 per day. Is this necessary?"

The Telegraph's car hire expert Nick Trend replied in the article. saying "Excess insurance for hire cars is a notoriously tricky area......."

He then went on to say "  You could buy a policy covering the excess from another source: insurance4carhire; questor-insurance; worldwideinsure and icarhireinsurance all sell policies independently. The holidayautos site says that if you do this, the rental agent will take a deposit on your credit card to cover the risk. "

Incidentally talking of deposits on credit cards, Economy Car Hire sent out an email yesterday saying "Shock changes to Spanish car hire industry - Many car rental companies in Spain have started to levy an excess for collision damage or theft of up to €1,000 EUR."

To see the Telegraph article in full go to the page here

Monday, 9 March 2015

Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday says a report in The Guardian

The Guardian has just published a seasonal reminder for people wanting to hire a car with Easter holidays just around the corner.
 
Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday is the title of this report that has a list of what has become usual headings over the last couple of years or so in various publications. One of these about overcharging by asking a customer to pay in £ Sterling I had not heard off with car hire, but something to watch also in hotels and restaurants. 
 
Rip-off 1. Being made to pay over the odds for petrol.
 
Rip-off 2. The unwanted upgrade that costs an arm and a leg.

Rip-off 3. Paying for someone else’s bumps and scrapes

Rip-off 4. Overcharging you by asking for payment in sterling

Rip-off 5. Getting you to pay over the odds for inadequate insurance

Rip-off 6. Flogging you expensive extras

Under "Rip-off 5. Getting you to pay over the odds for inadequate insurance"

They quote Bob Atkinson from Travelsupermarket.com who says “This is a huge rip-off,do not cave in to scare tactics by high-pressure staff to try and make you buy things you do not need. A simple way to counter the high cost of ‘excess insurance’ is by buying a policy here in the UK before you set off. Not only will this cost you a fraction of the price, but it will also give you more comprehensive cover as well.”

Independent companies quoted in this article are Icarhireinsurance, Insurance4carhire and Protectyourbubble

See article in full here

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Portuguese Car Hire Tax Rules

A "collection fee" of €15 (Fifteen Euros) has been levied on all car rentals at Portuguese airports from Sunday March 1st 2015 according to a report in the "The Irish Times" of the 7th March.

The Portuguese Airport Authority (ANA) has levied the tax on car hire suppliers who operate out of airport car parks rather than the terminals.

In Faro, the gateway airport to the Algarve, this affects roughly eighty per cent of all car rentals, as the majority of suppliers work out of the airport's Car Park 4

The new charge currently only applies to mainland airports including Lisbon, Oporto and Faro, but ANA is considering also applying the surcharge to offshore airports in Madeira and The Azores.

Source: The Irish Times

Looking for car hire in Portugal - Pre - book via this link.

Don't forget your car hire excess insurance either. Find out more here

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Avoid being a victim of car hire charges says Express article

The Express ran a report yesterday - 22 February 2015 about after a car hire firm’s lawless raid on a holidaymaker’s credit card account, Eric Hart was burdened with hundreds of pounds of debt and wondering where to turn to get his money back.

Apparently this 64-year-old man from Essex was the victim of some highly questionable number crunching by Thrifty Car Rental’s operation at Barcelona Airport last month. Far from the £68 (€94) he had agreed to pay for insurance cover, on his return his bank statement showed £364 (around €486) had been charged to his card – and for damage he didn’t do.

The issue appears to have been sorted out, however the Express reported that The UK European Consumer Centre explained: "It is the people you hire the car from who are responsible for the charges."

It also recommends that you take photos of your vehicle before and after, request evidence of disputed costs, and pay by credit card for more protection. iCarhireinsurance offers excess insurance from only £2.99 a day or £39.99 a year and includes all damage. (More information about iCarhireinsurance here.)

A new European Car Rental Conciliation Service, ecrcs.eu, has been set up by some of the big rental companies for customers who have booked direct. See the article in full here

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Hiring a car again this year? Save money and protect yourself with excess insurance

Just had an email from those people at insurance4carhire.

They said "Did you know, if you're hiring a car for more than 10 days in a 12 month period, it's more cost effective to purchase an annual policy?

That way you can get up and go, giving you peace of mind for the next 12 months."


Pre-buy peace of mind today!


What is more, if you use this link for the  annual Europe you save even more money. Now that is a great way to start the New Year.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Good Weekend Car Hire via Economy Car Hire in Dublin

Had to hire a car for a visit to Dublin a couple of weekends ago. As Hiring cars in Dublin had been a bit of a nightmare over the years I was a little concerned when I made the booking in December.

The Irish car hire market has had a very bad press over the years which is most unfortunate as tourism is so important to the country's economy.

I used Economy Car Hire.  I carefully checked the fuel policy terms and conditions of each car hire company they put forward on line. I knew we would not be travelling a great distance so having to pay for a full tank of fuel and bring the car park empty without a refund was out of the question.

Budget Car Hire had the deal that meant that you paid them for a full tank of fuel and returned it full to get your money back.

I took out excess waiver car hire insurance with Questor Insurance Services. Just before departing, I received an email from Economy Car Hire saying "
£7.50 will make sure you are covered - Our improved top-up insurance provides reimbursement cover against any loss or damage to the vehicle not covered by the car rental insurance such as wheels, tyres, glass, under body, roof, keys, locks, mis-fuelling, lock outs and battery failure. Insurance also covers mobile phone charges, curtailment, car-jacking, and road rage incidents.

You can add this additional cover to your car hire booking for just £7.50"  I believe they use Questor for their "top up insurance", but had already purchased separately. I in fact paid a lot less than £7.50 as I used the discount system for Questor Insurance on the jml Insurance websites.
 
Arriving at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 early on a Friday morning, I went to Budget Car Hire's desk who re-directed us to a mini bus from Avis and Budget on the ground floor. 
 
We did not have to wait for any other people as it was in the very quiet time of year after the Christmas rush.
 
We were soon in the car hire terminal located just outside the airport. A very helpful Budget / Avis representative processed the hire and I pointed out that I was declining any excess waiver insurance and a large deposit was held from my credit card, although checking the credit card details they did not put the transaction in as debit and credit, but just retained the right to do this if necessary.
I also double checked the fuel policy and was debited £73.78. I signed the paper work also writing on it declined excess waiver insurance and we checked the car over before setting off.
 
On the Sunday I had great difficulot getting 10 euros worth of fuel in the car. On my credit card statement £73.78 was refunded.
 
The car was checked back in and in no time at all were in the mini bus that dropped us off at Departures at Terminal 2,
 
A very pleasant experience of car hire at Dublin.