Monday, 8 July 2019

Renting a car abroad? Plan ahead and keep costs down says RTÉ article

RTÉ the Irish state broadcaster ran an article on their website news over the 6-7 July 19 weekend - Renting a car abroad? Plan ahead and keep costs down - It is summer holiday time again and like a fair amount of the media at this time of year they are reminding consumers of problems when they hire a car.

Some of the basic reminders we have talked about on this blog and on the insurance4carrental.com website for some years now - Paying for fuel "Always opt for the 'full to full' policy", Returning the car "Always aim to return the car during business hours so that a rental agent can inspect it. Make sure to get a copy of the paperwork confirming that the vehicle was returned in a satisfactory condition." and...

How insured do you need to be?  "Collision damage waiver insurance is the main hard sell. The European Consumer Centre (ECC) in Ireland says the car rental sector continues to be one of the top areas of complaints lodged here every year and a sizeable quantity of those relate to insurance products .Excess insurance at the rental desk will generally cost in excess of €20 per day - adding €140 to your car rental bill for a week" So it is much better value to buy it in advance from an independent insurance specialist. In Ireland you have a great  choice - carhireexcess.com part of Blue Insurance who also offer Travel insurance                 

There is also Questor Insurance and Worldwide insure Details can be found here

The full RTÉ article can be found here

Monday, 18 February 2019

No Deal Brexit could see car hire prices rising in Ireland

With all the Brexit uncertainty in particular if there is a No Deal by the time the UK leaves the EU on the 29th March 2019 on area of concern are increased car hire costs in Ireland.

There are concerns in the insurance and travel industry about "Green Cards" for drivers taking their vehicles in and out of the UX and this includes Northern Ireland. I remember was back in the late 60s / early 70s before the UK joined what was the EEC - Common Market. I had to contact my insurance company for "insurance cover" to take my car to France and other continental European countries. A document printed on green paper was sent out by the insurance company.

I remember earlier family holidays with my late father getting these documents and it was very common, however in the 1960s and even early 1970s there was not the volume of vehicles crossing the channel as there is in 2019.  

In Ireland many of these Green Card documents have been printed and templates sent to individual insurance companies. If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal then anyone and this includes the thousands and thousands of trucks and other commercial visitors entering the UK will need a Green Card plus the UK registered vehicles going to mainland Europe and Republic of Ireland.

If you need to add an additional driver to your vehicle and contact your insurance company, in most cases your insurance company will make an administration charge for this. So if that insurance company is going to have to issue a Green Card then it is more than likely they will have to make an admin charge. With regards to commercial vehicle operators this charge is going to be passed onto the consumer most likely.

If an insurance company says they will absorb these admin charges, I reckon that when the annual vehicle insurance is up for renewal the premium will rise.

Getting back to the heading in this article, as Northern Ireland is part of the UK then owners of vehicles wanting to cross the border (however soft or hard) from the Republic into Northern Ireland or vica versa will need the appropriate insurance cover.

Someone who works in Northern Ireland, but lives in another county of Northern Ireland County Donegal for example which is in the Republic will need Green Card cover. The driver might cross the border a couple of times on his / her  route to and from work.

At the moment when you hire a car in the Republic or Northern Ireland and want to take it over the border you will find that some car hire companies make an additional charge - often to do with breakdown rescue charges. (AA breakdown for an UK registered car travelling in the Republic could come under  AA Europe via Calais in France for example).

Other car hire companies allow their vehicles to cross the border with no additional cost for the hirer. However look at the Green Card situation. If the hire car rental company has to have these and somewhere along the line they have to pay either in an administration charge to their insurance company or by higher premiums, they will have to pass on these costs and of course we know who will pay.....the person hiring the car.


Monday, 14 January 2019

How car rental firms gouge customers for minor damages

How car rental firms gouge customers for minor damages That was the headline in an article in "The Irish Independent" on Saturday January 12 - 19.
The article by Amy Molloy was highlighting the problems of some customers of car hire companies in Ireland. The paper had reported on this subject previously, however no names of offending car hire companies were quoted. It was purely customers who had been charged amounts like €700 for scuff marks and another €1,205 for a dent in a drivers door.

The article went on to highlight how quite often multiple customers are charged for the same damage on a vehicle.

Paul Redmond, the chief executive of the Car Rental Council of Ireland said "customers were advised to inspect the car and agree details of any other defects".   

At the insurance4carrental website for years we have had advise on line for hiring a vehicle - Visit the page here

Today nearly everyone hiring a vehicle will have a mobile phone with a camera. Even if it is a dark wet night spend a couple of minutes checking that vehicle and take photos of any signs of damage before you drive away. If a member of staff is about have your comments noted on the hire agreement.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

insurance4carhire products now being marketed at jml Insurance websites once again

jml insurance / insurance4carrental are delighted to announce that once again insurance4carhire car hire excess waiver insurance products are being promoted on their sites.

Back in 2004 jml Property Services started to promote insurance4carhire car hire excess products becoming an early affiliate of founder Larry Ursich. Up until October 2017 over £190,827 income was generated for the company behind insurance4carhire.

Then in 2017 new underwriters were appointed and the affiliate system ended for jml Property Services.

In early December 2018 a letter was received advising that jml Property Services had worked with them in the past (some 13 years in fact) and invited them to apply under the affiliate agency they now used.

Just before Christmas insurance4carhire banners and links went back to the insurance4carrental site and feeder links at jml-insurance.co.uk, euro-rentals.com and cotedazurrental.com.

To find out more go to http://www.insurance4carrental.com/insurance4carhire.htm

Monday, 11 December 2017

Questor Insurance Services 10 per cent discount

Christmas and New Year holidays are now just days away so it is vitally important that you have the right Travel and Car Hire Excess insurance arranged and buy it now.
At this time of year it can be very costly with presents, decorations, food and drink and other seasonal fayre so if you can save some money then that is so much better.

If you buy your Questor Insurance product via a link at the euro-rentals, jml-insurance or insurance4carrental websites you can save money  - 10% off the cost.

Questor offers a great range of products -
Car Hire Excess Insurance
Motor Home - Camper Van Hire Excess Insurance
Minibus Hire Excess Insurance
Van Hire Excess Insurance
Car Club Excess Insurance
LifeStyle-Lite Excess Insurance
Motor Excess Insurance
Motor Fleet Excess Insurance
Golfing Travel Insurance
Gadget Insurance
Standard Travel Insurance
Winter Sports Travel Insurance
Back Packers Travel Insurance
Gadget Insurance

To find out more follow this link http://www.insurance4carrental.com/questor.htm#Discount

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Fines For car hire damage trigger numerous complaints to EU watchdog

The 30th August 17 edition of The Irish Independent had an article saying that rental car companies have been accused of imposing supplementary charges on consumers for alleged damage to vehicles. The report said that disputes around car hire charges are the second biggest issue for The European Consumer Centre (ECC) in Dublin, Ireland has to deal with every year in it's annual report.

A press release was published on the 29th August by the organisation saying that it had published its annual report 2016 which shows that air travel is once again the most common area of cross-border consumer complaint. Also in the top five consumer complaints for 2016 are car rental, electronic products, furniture, hotels and accommodation.

In 2016, ECC Ireland dealt with 4,337 total contacts from consumers (cross-border complaints and requests for information) which represents a significant increase of almost 24% on the number of contacts handled in 2015. Complaints actively pursued by ECC Ireland and requiring further assistance from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) came to 719.

Air passenger rights, which accounted for 338 cases (47% of cases), was the most popular area of complaint. This category has held on to the top spot year-after-year. With 78 cases (11% of cases) car rental came in second and was followed by electronic products with 57 cases (7.9% of cases), furniture with 49 cases (6.8% of cases) and in fifth position was the hotels and accommodation category with 39 cases (5.4% of cases).

Of the 719 complaints requiring direct intervention on behalf of consumers, 167 involved Irish consumers against traders based in other European countries while 552 cases related to complaints by consumers from other European countries against traders based in Ireland.  Full report here

Car rental
  • There were 78 cases dealt with by ECC Ireland, 59 originating from consumers based in other EU/EEA countries complaining about car rental traders in Ireland, whilst a further 19 cases were pursued on behalf of Irish consumers.
  • Supplementary charges imposed when returning the vehicle was the most problematic area of complaint, followed by problems with the booking process, and hard-selling techniques for additional products such as insurance.

Recently the usual summer holiday bad experiences of car hire have been in various  consumer complaint columns in newspapers in Britain and Ireland.

Yesterday (30th August) BBC Radio 4  "You and Yours" programme featured complaints on same subject including complaints about a car hire company that is very cheap to hire from, however when they include the extras you don't realise you are signing for, can be very expensive.

At the insurance4carrental.com we put together a very useful guide about hiring a car - Visit the page here   

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Holiday warnings about Car Hire Scams are everywhere

You can tell that schools break up for the summer holidays in England and Wales in the next couple of days by the amount of media coverage given to Car Hire scams and rip-offs.

Last Saturday(15th July 17) iCarhireinsurance PR people had been very successful in getting their latest research in car hire onto the front page of the Daily Mail. The same report was carried over to the online edition of The Sun.

They had researched how car hire companies increase their charges during the busy holiday periods, particularly at popular destinations. Nothing new in this as it does appear to happen on an annual basis.

Meanwhile Simon Calder travel writer for The Independent and The I featured "The ultimate guide to hiring a vehicle without scams and shocks".

Finally The Europcar story was featured in The Daily Mail yesterday - 17 July. "Car hire industry is thrown into crisis as major firm faces police probe into 'fraudulent' repair costs
Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs- Company is facing criminal inquiry over bill inflated by up to 300 per cent Hire firm has admitted customers may have been overcharged £30million"
No doubt more of this will follow.

Enjoy the summer holidays, but do take care.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

CritAir anti-pollution sticker on cars in France

Riviera Radio News e-newsletter has advised motorists that as from  Saturday July 1st motorists, including foreign ones, will be subject to a €68 fine if they don’t display their “CritAir” anti-pollution sticker on their cars, whilst driving in certain parts of France.

For the moment the stickers are obligatory in Paris and most of the French capital’s surrounding suburbs, Lyon and Villeurbanne in central France and Grenoble in the south east.

Signs on the road side will let you know you are in a Zone of restricted Circulation (ZCR). By 2020 they will be obligatory in some 22 towns and cities across the country. (Source Riviera Radio News)

No doubt the car hire companies operating in France will be geared up for this, but do check if you are hiring a car. If you bring your hired car across the border from another European country it is advisable to check on the situation if you are likely to drive in one of the Zones. 

If you are taking your own car to France, you can apply on line and visit their website here Classifications are based on age of vehicle, there are quite a lot of restrictions for older vehicles.

Want to hire a car in France - Visit Zest Car Rental Here

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Car hire and excess insurance in June 17 News

Car hire costs and the benefits of taking out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent provider are very much in the news in the last week.

The Irish Times travel section of June 17th, featured a report by Joan Scales "Travel advice on....Pitfalls of car rental"

She reported that Car rental can be one of the most frustrating elements of any holiday. She had recently booked a car in Spain and the price for 10 days hire with a Nissan Juke was only €33.92. She added on the items in the Goldcar list it suddenly cost €313.92!

She wrote that Goldcar would block a deposit of €1,400 if she provided her own excess insurance, their price was €59.50 which of course costs the same as an annual policy from an independent insurance company.

On the 24th June in The Guardian's Travel special by Rupert Jones "How to avoid the add-ons that can double the cost of your holiday car hire" - This long article appears to be very much based on iCarhireinsurance's (  http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Icar ) very well researched press releases. It identified the add on route whereby car hire companies make their money - satnavs, child seats, additional drivers. The article also stated that you should keep the car rental paperwork for some time and particularly keep an eye on your credit card statements for a while as suddenly some "charge" might appear.

On the same day - 24th June BBC News reported the Mail on Line's "Hire firm Europcar is accused of raking in millions by fraudulently inflating repair costs by up to 300 PER CENT"

The article went on to say "Trading Standards raided the UK head office of car hire firm Europcar yesterday as the company was accused of raking in millions of pounds by fraudulently inflating repair costs.

The firm, one of the biggest hire companies in Europe, allegedly inflated the cost of windscreens and other repairs by up to 300 per cent for UK customers. Evidence, seen by The Telegraph, shows Trading Standards is investigating the firm over billing concerns, including overcharging"

More about this at The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/24/exclusive-europcar-accused-overcharging-customers-repairs/  and The Mail on Line http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4635826/Europcar-accused-fraudulently-inflating-repair-costs.html?ITO=1490

No doubt in the coming weeks more on this final story will be known.

So the main advice is when hiring a car take out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent insurance provider.
On the insurance4carrental.com site http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Click There is a great choice - Questor, carhireexcess.com, insurance4carhire, Worldwide insure, Protect Your Bubble, iCarhireinsurance, insurecarhire plus companies offering Van hire excess, motorhome excess and minibus hire excess insurance and car club insurance.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Vignette in French cities and Holiday for less

The Irish Times of the 15th and 17th April 17 carried two features for travellers.

First of all travel advice correspondent Joan Scales wrote an article "Getting a Clean Air Certificate for France."

She reported that there is a new vignette/sticker for Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. They are first three cities to introduce emissions stickers for all vehicles and there are a lot of cities in France. Twenty two more cities are planning this.

On days when certain cities are at risk of reaching their Euro emissions limit heavy polluting vehicles can be refused entrance based on the "Crit'Air" sticker the vehicle is displaying.

You can apply on line and visit their website here Classifications are based on age of vehicle, there are quite a lot of restrictions for older vehicles.

Presumably rental cars will be issued with these, but no doubt it could affect the hire costs as it another admin detail for them.

Motorists driving without the Crit'Air sticker can be fined on the spot from €68 to €135

It will be interesting to see if other cities in different countries follow this system.

On Easter Bank Holiday Monday Conor Pope's article "How you can holiday for less than all the rest"

21 ways to bag a cheaper time away. No 11 on the list was "Car rental insurance" He said "if you do rent a car, do not take out super collision damage waiver insurance when you are picking it up. It's almost always spectacularly bad value for money and such as a policy could easily set you back as much as €300 for a two week rental." Buy on line first Ireland, UK and other countries here