With school holidays fast approaching in Ireland many people will be renting cars overseas. The Myles Dungan Today consumer programme offered advice on what to do and not to do.
I was in Dublin earlier this week and whilst I was sitting in the car wash, RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Myles Dungan programme and he was interviewing a lady regarding tips for when you are renting cars.
The interview came at a time when many Irish people will be off on their summer holidays as Irish schools (like Scottish ones) end the summer term much earlier than in England and Wales.
The person being interviewed in this consumer feature was warning people that although if they book a car via an online provider that the ultimate responsibility lies with the car rental company itself if there are problems.
She explained that the daily rate quoted would normally have lots of extras like car hire excess\insurance and waiver, insurance for additional drivers, however did not mention that if a renter was staying at home in Ireland, Dublin car hire rental companies normally charge an “airport fee” as well. Maybe this is just peculiar to some cities in Ireland.
Advice was given about checking the car when you collect it. Damage, is full of fuel etc, which was rather interesting as this north Dublin petrol station is also used as a depot for a few rental cars and as my car was being washed a mini bus arrived with two couples collecting their rental cars.
One couple never looked at the state of the car, it was very clean, but did not check for damage and the other couple were more concerned about how to open the boot. The representative helped here, but was already driving off in the mini bus before I saw him take a quick look around the 2005 Toyota.
Apparently one issue that is very important is to make sure if you are dropping a car rental back out of hours, that you actually leave the keys. One renter from Ireland had taken the keys on the flight back from England and posted them back when he realised that he had forgotten them.
They took a few days to get back to the car hire company and because the car could not be hired out to anyone else he had to keep on paying rent! Car hire companies don’t normally keep spares at the local depot unless it is a small organisation, so do take care not to loose them. This is another reason to take out car hire excess insurance, although not sure if the gentleman who flew off with the keys would be covered.
Another point that was mentioned was that apparently Visa and Mastercard must now inform the cardholder if the car hire company is going to charge for damage before debiting the account. Again do make sure you have you take out the appropriate excess insurance and an annual policy certainly proves great value. A company like insurance4carhire.com caters for the Irish renting cars overseas.
There were a few text messages to the programme with listeners’ experiences and one person who texted the programme said that he had booked a car rental in the USA costing €400, however by the time he had paid all the additional “add ons” this was €800.
Whether you are just off on holidays, on business and have or have not rented before do make sure you take out the proper insurance, check that car when you collect it and return it and make you are insured to take the car from one country to another if you are renting in mainland Europe for example. Don't forget to take out car hire excess before you pick up that car hire vehicle. You could save a lot of money.
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