Saturday 23 January 2010

Garden Route Forum South Africa comments found

Came across this on Tripadvisor earlier today.

Jan 21, 2010, 6:03 PM
hi....was wondering if anyone can give any advice...ive planned to hire a car to do the Garden route part of my trip to SA, and have been searching online for a good price, as u do...

i was just completing my booking on an AC car (which included theft protection, CDW, unlimited mileage, local taxes etc. ) when i noticed an option for TDEW (total damage excess waiver)....

i am confused as to wether i Need this or not (as its an extra £52 on my rental cost)...and dont really know what it is...

fellow travellers who have rented a car - is this something u would advise i get????....

thanks in advance for anyone who replies, advises or helps!!

1. Re: car rental
Jan 21, 2010, 6:47 PM
Destination Expert
for Cape Town, Western Cape, World Cup 2010

If you hire a car with standard CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and Theft protection. The insurance policy will normally require you to pay the first amount of any damage or loss. This amount vairies depending on who you rent from and the type of car. This is normal anywhere in the world but in South Africa can range from around R2,500 up to R15,000. Sounds like you are probably renting through a UK broker in which case the excess is normally at the lower end of this band. It is also possible to reduce the excess to "zero" by the payment of an extra insurance premium. In other words if you damage the car you pay nothing - EXCEPT if the damage is to the tyres, windscreen or underneath of the car in which case the excess still applies. For a further payment it may also be possible to reduce even this excess to zero. The combination of these two additional premiums is normally known as Total Damage Excess Waiver. This is what you are being quoted £52 for.

Should you take it out? That is purely your choice and is a straightforward gambling risk calculation. Without payiing the additional premium the maximum you are risking is say R6,000 (£500) if you damaged the car significantly. At a premium of £52 the company suggest that your risk of having an accident is worse than 10:1. If you believe your driving is this level then take it out.

I personally never do. The amount you are risking on a single rental is not huge but over the years the premiums can mount up. Over the past 15 years or so I have probably rented cars around 100 times on holidays and business in South Africa and around the world. I have only ever had an accident, and been charged an excess amount, once - and that amount was less than £200. A number of times I have had minor damage but this has always been passed on inspection and my excess was never charged.

So by not taking out TDEW I have saved a few thousand pounds. As I say however, now you understand what the risk is, it's completely your decision.

There is another way to eliminate this risk for a lower cost - if you rent cars a few times a year. In the UK you can take out a yearly insurance which covers you against "excess" claims on any rentals you make. Rather like single premium annual travel insurance - although here the consequences could cost hundreds of thousands!

The original company offering this was Insurance4carhire :

There are now quite a few other companies such as :

2. Re: car rental
Jan 21, 2010, 6:54 PM

Hi I rented with economy car hire where they offered comprehensive insurance and didn't have a CDW, so perhaps you'd like to try them.

3. Re: car rental
Jan 21, 2010, 7:08 PM
Destination Expert
for Cape Town, Western Cape, World Cup 2010

Yes, economycarhire is pretty normal pricing. They include the first part of the insurance in the standard price but as they say - "Certain parts of the vehicle such as the wheels, tyres, locks, roof, glass parts of the vehicle (including the windscreen), the underside and interior are not covered by the insurance as they are normally damaged as a result of negligence." So this is not a Total Damage Excess waiver and you would need to pay extra if you want to cover this. Not sure that if you get a tyre puncture it is "negligence"?

But it is important when comparing offers that you are aware of what they include. Economycarhire is good as they also include the cost of a second driver. But this is of course of no value to you if you only intend to use one driver!

4. Re: car rental
Jan 22, 2010, 6:13 AM

Hi, justback from SA on Tuesday. Hired a car for 17 days both at Cape Town airport and Joburg airport. Booked car months before going through Holiday Autos and also took out the Total Damage Excess Waiver with them for peace of mind.

Holiday Autos use Europcar as their partner, they are nothing short of a nightmare. When arrived in Cape Town after overnight flight and eventually getting through passport control, went to get car. There were four desks operating with about 7-8 people including me in looking for car. I was 3rd in queue. It took 50minutes for me to get keys for my car. This is unacceptable when all they do is type a few details into computer and photocopy your license and passport and swipe your credit card. Operator did not appear to be fully computer literate, typing with one finger and looking for keys on the keyboard.

Also no Total Damage Excess Waiver on contract, as operator stated that Holiday Autos do not pay them the premium, so if you have a collision you can spend the rest of your life trying to claim any excess payments to Europcar from Holiday Autos, very underhanded in my view!

Oh, also there were a group of four germans who had arrived from France who had been at the desk for an hour and a half because Europcar had totally lost their booking in their system, and refused to give them a car until the booking could be traced, how bad is that. Man were they frustrated, making numerous international phone calls from their mobile to try and assist Europcar with the details of their booking!

When we flew up to Joburg, I was dealt with immediately, no queue, I was ecstatic to see. However when providing the dedetails for my rental I was informed that they only had a small car available, not what I had booked. I refused to accept it and was told I would have to wait. I asked how long I would have to wait and the operator could not say. I had a 500KM drive ahead of me and I told them that I would not wait indefinately for a car I had booked months ago and had arrived at the designated time I had indicated when booking the car. The lady then went off for a while to enquire, it appeared that I had put her to a lot of trouble by refusing the small car. I was eventually given a car I had booked after 15minutes or so waiting. Again the admin procedure was slow for all they have to do.

Overall a tiring and trying experience, and I will never use either Holiday Autos or Europcar again for car hire in any country.

I don't know what they are going to do when tens of thousands decend in June for the world cup and many are looking for rental cars, probably booked months/years in advance?

5. Re: car rental
Jan 22, 2010, 6:47 AM
Destination Expert
for Cape Town, Western Cape, World Cup 2010

Hi Bobbles

Sorry to hear your specific story. However I have personnaly used both Europcar and HA dozens of times around the world - including many times in South Africa. Europcar is no different in efficiency to any of the other multinational companies. Also BTW HA don't deal always with Europcar in South Africa. I have had cars more frequently from budget and also from Hertz. In other countries I have had Avis and Sixt.

To blame HA because you had one slow booking clerk is not really logical. I booked a car a few months ago with Avis at Heathrow and it took me nearly an hour to get the car and I was first in the queue!

Concerning not having cars available this often happenss with all car hire companies.

Unfortunately often customers don't return their cars on time or think they can just add a couple of days without informing the rental company. Or cars are returned damaged and need to be repaired or serviced before being rented out again. Sounds like you were renting right at the peak of the main SA holidays so they are unlikely to have spare cars available. If they don't have the right car, rather than downgrade and pay less, ask if they will upgrade the car for the same price. This very often works.

Also maybe you didn't understand the concept of TDEW with HA and all the other broker companies. The additional insurance is direct with HA not with Europcar or whoever. So they were absolutely correct - HA do not pay them this premium. If you have a claim, the local company will take the excess from your Credit card. They also send you a bill. You send this to HA and they reimburse you directly. People on here report that they ofetn get the reimursement on the same credit card statement as the excess charge - or sometimes even before!

6. Re: car rental
Jan 22, 2010, 6:14 PM

Won t go into the HA debate as others have said it all, except to say I do understand some of your frustrations.

Don t know if this suggestion might help you tho... If you drive a lot abroad each year you can take out a completely seperate insurance policy which will waive all the CDW to zero. You will find easily on the web, if you search thro google, but if you cant find I will dig out my details and msg you back.

Alternatively you could try economycare hire who also include all excess, the only bad news is they are also hand off to Europcar or they do in PE where I m starting from. A few yrs ago I hired thro HA when staying up near Kruger ... dropped off in JoBurg and all went well.

Source Tripadvisor: Add your comments and experiebces to this blog.

If you are looking for car hire excess insurance with a choice of providers and car rental, then take a look at insurance4carrental.com

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