Wednesday 26 December 2012

Car hire excess insurance for your post Christmas holiday

Christmas day is over and many people might be off to watch horse racing or football today and getting into a queue for bargains at the local shoppoing centre.

Others might be off on a post Christmas holiday and are hiring a car. Have you remembered to buy your car hire excess insurance in advance?

After spending a lot of money on Christmas this is a great way of saving money. Buying your "excess insurance" from an independent insurance company will be a lot less expensive than buying it from the car hire company. 

You can arrive late and tired at your holiday destination and go and collect that hire car only to find that you are persuaded to buy their rather expensive product. 

Save money and buy in advance. The well known insurance companies advertise their products on the insurance4carrental.com site and you make all the arrangements direct with the company concerned. 

If you are likely to take more than one holiday in 2013 and are renting a car, an annual policy should work out a lot more cost effective than a daily policy.

To find out more about car hire excess insurance (and van hire excess insurance and motorhome hire excess insurance) follow this link here to insurance4carrebtal site     

Friday 21 December 2012

Car hire company Offers Travellers a Cheaper Alternative to Trains for Going Home This Christmas

Car rental brokers, Holiday Autos who are celebrating 25 years in business this year, are reminding the British public to book car hire now in time for the seasonal holidays as a cheap alternative to train travel.

The company released a news item yesterday saying that Since 1987, Holiday Autos have been brokering car hire deals for travellers in over 70 countries across the globe and this year, they anticipate an increase in demand for rental cars as drivers across the British Isles make their way home to friends and family for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

With most industries closing for a few days, the festive season is the busiest throughout the year for travel, and with rail operators across the UK announcing that ticket prices will be increasing, the cost of train travel could mean that for many families, journeys across country to be with relatives will be too expensive to undertake.

A spokesperson for Holiday Autos said, "We understand how expensive travel can be. Whether for work or leisure, transport is becoming one of the most expensive outgoings in many households so the government's recent u-turn on an increase in fuel prices is a welcome one. However, the Christmas and New Year holidays are the one time of year when friends and family should be able to get together and we are committed to finding drivers the best deals to make sure that doing that doesn't break the bank."

Commuters across the country are feeling the pinch of rising travel costs as train operators increase fares, in some cases by as much as 17%, an inflation-busting increase which has angered travellers and unions alike.


The TUC's Action for Rail Campaign is set to launch a series of initiatives this week to encourage commuters to speak out against unfair pricing. Passengers at 50 stations across the UK will be handed festive cards with a difference; traditional seasonal greetings have been replaced with information detailing an anticipated rail service in 2013 that will not only be more expensive, but one which will be making staff and service cuts and effectively offering travellers a worse service for a higher price.

Commuters who receive the cards are being encouraged to take action and to contact their local MPs to campaign for legislative changes which enforce fair pricing strategies with rail operators who are all earning substantial profits.

To find about more about Holiday Autos, visit http://www.holidayautos.co.uk/cgi-bin/liveweb.sh/QSearch.w?ctryref=GBR&lang=EN&aff=xjeffreymilnerltd

Monday 17 December 2012

Hiring a van at the weekend can be more expensive than you think

If you need to move some furniture or other items, go shopping at IKEA or similar store over the weekend hiring a van in the UK could cost more than you think.

The reason is straightforward. Most van hire companies do not appear to be open on a Sunday and close around lunchtime on a Saturday. This means the consumer has only a very small window to collect the vehicle, move, shop or whatever and return the vehicle before the company shuts.
One company I looked at would only rent out the vehicle for the complete weekend. Other ones said no problem hiring for all the day, but as the depot closed sharp at 12.00 or 1.00 you cannot leave it outside as it would be your responsibility until it was checked back in.

So in nutshell you can quite often be looking at two days rental plus three days insurance as you will have to pay for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Last weekend I hired a van locally, after shopping around found a dealer with a spare Ford Transit. Although they shut at 1.00 there would be no problem leaving it outside and putting the keys through the letter box, but of course the vehicle would not be checked back in your presence.

We arrived soon after 8 in the morning, moved the first item from A to B, then drove to C to move the second item back to A and returned the vehicle (after filling up with diesel to the quarter full level, which is lot harder than collecting it full and refilling it to full again!) and got it checked back in.

Although paying for a full day's hire, in fact only really needed the vehicle for around four hours, so it worked out well.

Like previous van hire requirements, I purchased my own van hire excess insurance which was actually cheaper than the van hire company's one. As we promote different insurance companies on the insurance4carrental.com site, I like to try our advertiser's products. This time I used Questor Insurance Van Hire Excess Insurance, they have recently entered this market after being in the car hire excess insurance and the motorhome hire excess insurance business for a number of years. This cost me £5.99 and I was not charged a credit car fee. Find out more about Questor Van Hire Excess Insurance Here.  It is for UK hire only. 

Earlier this year I used iCarhireinsurance Van Hire Excess Insurance which again was good value, the current price is £7.99 a day with zero excess and they will cover you in Europe. Find out more about them Here  

On a couple of other occasions I have used Insuremyvanhire.com which is part of Towergate's Insurance4carhire They currently charge £7.99 a day. Find out more about them Here

So if you are going to the post Christmas sales, move home or furniture, do remember that if hire a van at the weekend and only want it for one day, it might be cheaper to hire it on a weekday.

Friday 14 December 2012

Beware of cheap deals for Christmas car hire on the Internet or in the press

This is is the warning that was issued yesterday (13-12-12) in a press release from the The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the trade body for the UK car rental industry.

They are warning customers to take extra care when confronted with cheap deals for Christmas car hire on the Internet or in the press.

"Festive season travellers have been caught out by bogus car hire companies for the last two years year, hoodwinked by their offers of very low prices and nationwide availability right up to Christmas. Many customers handed over deposits of hundreds of pounds for cars that never materialised. The BVRLA is warning that similar scams could already be up and running this year, targeting unsuspecting travellers.

“These companies offer unbeatable prices and free delivery – but they really are too good to be true,” says BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

“Unfortunately it is very easy for fraudsters to build a simple website and set up a call centre to pass themselves off as legitimate businesses.”

The BVRLA is offering five simple tips for customers looking for safe and hassle-free car or van rental.

1. Only use a BVRLA member. Seeing our logo on the front desk or website is a sign that you are dealing with a reputable company that has been vetted and operates to a professional code of conduct. You will also be able to use our conciliation service in the event of any dispute. Find a BVRLA member via the ‘member locator’ on our website at: www.bvrla.co.uk
2. Never hand over cash. Most reputable rental companies will only want to accept credit/debit card payment

3. Make sure the company is operating from a bona fide commercial premises, not a PO Box or virtual office, no matter how prestigious the location sounds
4. Make sure the company actually owns and operates the cars it is offering - all BVRLA members operate their own rental fleet.

5. Remember, if the price or service being offered seems too good to be true, it probably is and you may well end up out of pocket and disappointed!"

Naturally if you are hiring a car outside the UK do take notice of the BVRLA's advice. Remember also to buy you car hire, van hire or motorhome hire excess insurance in advance. If you buy it from an independent insurance company like Questor Insurance, Worldwireinsure, Insurance4carhire.com, Carhireexcess.com Essential Travel, iCarhireinsurance, ProtectYourBubble or Odyssey Insurance you can save a lot of money comparerd to buying it from the car hire - van hire -motorhomehire company direct. For more information follow this link... http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Click 

So take great with your vehicle hire over the festive period. 

Monday 10 December 2012

No Number 13 in Irish Vehicle Registration Next Year

Since 1987 registration plates in Ireland have been very similar to those in a number of other European countries. A blue Euro badge with  black lettering on a white background on the front and rear of the vehicle. 

Before that the number plates had letters for the counties in the Republic of Ireland with Black lettering on a white background at the front and on a red background at the rear.

Then in 1987 the new system came in with year (12) the County or City (e.g W for Waterford City) and random numbers.

So it is all change in 2013 because of the "13" factor and the possible effect on the Irish car market. Vehicles registered between January and the end of June will have a '131' registration. Those from July 1 to the end of the year will have '132' on the plate.

In the AA Ireland December blog  they said "Motorists were not at all keen on this idea when it first came out. We asked people about it as part of our AA Motorists’ Panel poll and the results were strongly in favour of sticking with the existing system."

Anyway it looks like it is all change now, so when you are hiring a car in Ireland in 2013 you will soon be able to spot how old it actually is. Not only will you be able to tell it is a 2013 registration, but if it is has 131 in the registration it will have been registered between January and the end of June and 132 from July till December.

You can find a great selection of companies to choose from at insurance4carrental site by following this link


February 2013  See New Number Plate system in Ireland 

Sunday 9 December 2012

Car Hire Abroad - Ask Joan of The Irish Times this weekend

carhireexcess.ie suggested in Travel advice yesterday. The Irish Times Magazine runs a feature on Travel Advice by Joan Scales called "Ask Joan". This week on the 8th December 2012 edition there were three features St Petersburg to the Baltics, America by Air and one "Car hire abroad"

Question to Joan: "Our family is visiting South Africa over Christmas. We have hired a car with Hertz. I remember you advising travellers who hired cars in certain destinations, to watch out for extras such as additional insurance being imposed by the car hire company.

You gave the name of an insurance company that covers such eventualities for a nominal premium. Our rate from Hertz includes taxes and, I hope insurance. - PM Clare"

Answer from Joan: " Car hire always throws up questions as the rules vary from place to place and company to company. Generally, rates are quoted with CDW (collision damage waiver) which will be the basic insurance you need to drive in the country you are in. The additional insurance to cover the excess, fire, theft of personal belongings and extra drivers varies widely.

The excess, and you should ask how much it is, will be the amount you have to pay if you have an accident, lose keys, have a blowout, damage the windscreen etc. It can be from €100 to €2,500 depending on the country and the type of car.

Personal items left in the car are not covered under the basic insurance.

You can take out an additional insurance policy to cover all these eventualities and things like an additional driver for around €3.99 per day from carhireexcess.ie."

Irish Residents go to  http://www.carhireexcess.com?AffiliateNo=JM43153

UK Residents go to   http://www.carhireexcess.com?AffiliateNo=MI22932

Source of above information The Irish Times Magazine | December 8, 2012

Incidentally the insurance company that runs carhireexcess - Blue Insurances also has a comprenhesive selection of travel insurance products both for the Irish and UK markets. Brands like  Annualtravelinsurance, Backpackertravelinsurance, Greatcover and Multitrip Find out more Here

Monday 3 December 2012

The breathalyser / éthylotest in France

Since July of this year, we have been covering the on going saga on this site of the French Government's new law on the breathalyser know as éthylotest

In theory since November car hire companies in France apparently were going to provide one of these testers in each rental so I was interested to find out if this would be the case at the end of November.

I hired a car at Nice Airport through Holiday Autos / National Citier and although Holiday Autos partner National Citier had said on their website these testers would be provided there was not one in my car.

Returning the vehicle yesterday I asked the check in person about this and was told that they were putting them in the "standard" car rentals and would be adding them to all cars for the start of January. It will be interesting to find out if this is the case.

Friday 2 November 2012

Moving Home in the next few days?

The half term break is nearly over, but of course many people will not have taken a holiday this week.

They don't have school children or work in schools, but they have been covering for colleagues who have taken a break this week.

Suddenly in the next few days it is moving time. The lease has expired on the rental property or you have just signed one and need to move your belongings from A to B and maybe even drop your rubbish off at C.

You can rent a van through Holiday Autos in the UK. Just like hiring a car it is very straightforward to do. Make sure you choose the right size vehicle for your requirements. They offer different sizes and it is important to get the one that will be suitable for the long settee you have. Find out more about Holiday Autos Van Hire Here 2012 is the 25th birthday of Holiday Autos.

So you are hiring a van, don't forget to buy that Van Hire excess insurance from an independent insurance company and save money that way.

There are currently three insurance companies advertising their products on the insurance4carrental.com marketing website.

iCarhireinsurance - insuremyvanhire - Questor Insurance Services

So if you are hiring a van save some money by buying that excess insurance in advance before you collect the vehicle.

You should print off the documentation the insurance company supplies and take it with you to prove to the hire company that you have cover.

Don't forget your driving licence as well. They will probably want to see both the photo identity and paper counterpart. You will need a credit card as well.

Remember a lot of van hire depots are not open on a Sunday so you won't be able to collect or return the vehicle that day unless you been able to arrange something with them.

If you are moving hope it all goes well and if you are looking for Tenants Contents Insurance - there is a great selection being advertised here  

Most people will need a van to move with however as a shopping trolley might just be too small!

Saturday 27 October 2012

Some helpful tips from Insurance4carhire

Got an email a couple of days ago from insurance4carhire.com with some helpful tips.

They suggested the following tips:

Your Driving Licence:

British licence holders should note that many car hire outlets will not release the rental vehicle on sight of a photocard driving licence without also seeing the paper licence counterpart.
They may also ask to see the paper licence counterpart of all named drivers.   Credit Card:
The person renting the vehicle must have a credit card. Most car rental companies will not accept debit or switch cards, or cash.   Excess - What to Do
We cover Excess on CDW and Theft as well as damage to: undercarriage, roof, windows and tyres. Decline the car rental company's Excess at the counter. You do not need to show them your policy.If you have any damage to the vehicle you will be charged, and then you claim for reimbursement.
  and finally one of mine...   Want to save some money on certain  insurance4carhire.com policies?   Follow this link  http://www.insurance4carhire.com/index.asp?linkfrom=4&curID=1&langID=1&refID=188 and you can save £9.80 (or Euro equivalent) on the Annual Europe 31 and £13.00 on the Annual Worldwide 31. Seems like a couple of good tips there, not just one.

More Van Hire Excess Insurance now available via jml Insurance websites from Questor Insurance Services

Moving home over the half term holidays? Buying new furniture?

Whatever your reason to hire a van, you will normally pay less on the daily "excess insurance" by buying it from an independent insurance company than through the van hire company.

Questor Insurance Services have now moved into this market following on from their very succesful car hire excess insurance and motorhome hire excess insurance products.

This product is designed for the UK market only and you can now arrange this by visiting the Questor Insurance Van Hire Excess Insurance advetising pages at insurance4carrental.com or jml-insurance.co.uk.

An even quicker method is to follow this link (You can access car hire excess insurance - motorhome excess insurance - Car Club excess insurance - LifeStyle-Lite Excess Insurance, Motor Excess Insurance and three travel insurance products - Standard Travel Insurance, Winter Sports Travel Insurance and Back Packers Travel Insurance).

Follow this link for the Press Release "Questor Van Hire Excess Insurance now available via jml Insurance websites from jml Insurance Services"

Thursday 25 October 2012

Don't forget your car hire for the Halloween Half Term

Half term is nearly here, so is Halloween, darker nights (unless you live in the sothern hemisphere)  and even bonfire night celebrations. Still won't be dark in the evenings for too long as it won't be long till the Christmas lights are up again!

So you are off on a few days holiday, hope you have rememembered your travel insurance? If you have not taken it out visit this page now.

What about the car rental? There are no reports in the media of there being shortgages, so you should still be able to book one for this weekend.

At the insurance4carrental.com site there are four companies advertising.

Holiday Autos who this year are celebrating their 25th anniversary and they also are involved in motorhome hire and van hire which is very handy if you are planning on going self catering or moving furniture over the half term break.

Then there is Carrentals.co.uk is the comparison search engine for luxury and budget car hire.

Economy car hire - Experience the difference... Their fully inclusive car hire has no-excess, is hassle-free and has no hidden extras.

Finally rentalcars.com - who are trusted by over 2.1 Million Customers.

How do I make a booking? the easiest and fastest way is to follow this link

Monday 22 October 2012

Travellers should beware of hidden car hire costs says Direct Travel News

Direct Travel News included the following story last Thursday - New research suggests that hidden extras make hiring a car during a holiday in Europe quite expensive.

When it comes to booking a holiday, there are a number of costs that you need to budget for, including your travel insurance.

However, there is one expense that you might not realise the scope of, and that is your holiday car hire.

According to new research from the Post Office, consumers who are planning a family trip to Europe this year could find that they have difficulty stretching their budget to include this form of transport.

Figures show that, for a basic one week rental, the price doubles when extras are included in the majority of holiday destinations on the continent.

The Post Office Holiday Car Hire Barometer revealed just how much car rental prices could differ depending on whether extras such as an extra driver or excess waiver insurance (EWI) were included in the cost.

For a basic car hire, Alicante in Spain would be your least expensive option, costing just £94.09. However, this surged to £216.61 when extras were included in the package.

A more consistently priced option would be to a holiday with car hire in the US where a basic week will cost £125.35 and a package including extras would take the price up to just £177.18.

For travellers who are determined to head to Europe, Andrew Brown, Post Office head of travel money, warned that keeping costs low by sticking to a basic headline cost can create a false economy.

"The worst thing is to arrive in the car hire office at your destination to collect the car and find that you have the 'Hobson's Choice' of paying for the Excess Waiver Insurance at a high price or choosing not to pay for it and risking the consequence of a much higher bill if you have an accident," he said.

Mr Brown also warned holidaymakers about the potential expense of paying for fuel as part of the hiring process.

"One of the problems for many holiday motorists is that they only find out they have to pay for a full tank of fuel when they arrive, and the prices charged vary quite dramatically from one destination to another," he stated.

Source Direct Travel   Looking for Travel Insurance from Direct Travel? Follow this link  

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Breathalyzer kits / éthylotest in motor vehicles in France, the saga continues

Over the past few months on this blog we have been following the new law in France that means motor vehicles (not mopeds) must by law have a breathalyser ( éthylotest ) kit / Alco-tests in your car.

Originally from the 1st November 2012, if you did not have one, or one that had not been used you can be finded eleven Euros.

We contacted National/Citier car rental to find out what they proposed to do and this is what their website says   http://www.citer.fr/guide_location

Possession obligatoire d'un éthylotest

En application du décret n° 2012-284 du 28 février 2012, "tout conducteur d'un véhicule terrestre à moteur, à l'exclusion d'un cyclomoteur, doit justifier de la possession d'un éthylotest, non usagé, disponible immédiatement"

Le défaut de possession d’un éthylotest est sanctionné par une amende de 11 euros à compter du 1er novembre 2012.

Pour répondre à cette obligation, National/Citer mettra à disposition gratuitement à partir du 1er novembre un éthylotest dans chaque véhicule. En cas de non-restitution, un montant forfaitaire de 5€ TTC sera facturé.

Des éthylotests seront également vendus aux comptoirs National/Citer au prix de 2€ TTC / ethylotest.

National/Citer ne peut être tenu responsable s’il n’y a pas d’éthylotest dans le véhicule. Il convient au conducteur de s’assurer d'être en possession d’un éthylotest non-utilisé.

Translated - Possession of a mandatory breathalyzer

Pursuant to the Government Decree No. 2012-284 of 28 February 2012, every driver of a motor vehicle, excluding mopeds, must be in possession of a breathalyser, which has never been used.

From the 1st November 2012, if you do not have the breathalyzer you will be fined 11 euros.

To comply with the law, National / Citier car rental will provide one in every car as from the 1st November, free of charge. In case of the breathalyser is not returned a fixed fee of 5 € will be charged.

Breathalysers will also be sold at the counters National / Citier car hire counters for 2 €.

National / Citier will not be held responsible if there is no breathalyzer in the car.

A lot of discussion have taken place on forums like the one run by The Riviera Reporter - Alco-tests in your car 

It now looks like the law changing again with Le Monde running a story on the 8th October

The Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, extended to March 1, the date on which drivers will be fined for failing breathalyser in their vehicles, "given the difficulties of supply", announced Monday, October 8, the road safety in a statement.

The deadline was originally set for November 1, but "given the difficulties of supply identified in some regions," Mr Valls "has decided to postpone the date" March 1, 2013, to "allow all drivers equip themselves in good condition and at a fair price, "says Road Safety, confirming a report  from Parisien.fr.

Full news report here

It will be very interesting to see what happens next and will retailers like Halfords & P&O be able to get rid of their stocks of these testers that are currently on sale in the UK and on cross

channel car ferries for around £5.99 each / €7.00.  Just hope the British Government does not come up with such an idea!.


Do you know that Extras at the Car Rental Desk Can Double Cost of Car Hire for Families

iCarhireinsurance.com have issued a news release yesterday saying that  families planning to hire a car this half term are being warned that buying extras at the rental desk, such as excess insurance and child seats, can more than double the cost of hiring a car.

They went on to say - iCarhireinsurance.com looked at the four leading car hire companies and found those renting a family car this October in Milan would be charged 120% of the rental cost with Budget for excess insurance and a child seat and 110% with Hertz (see table 1 directly below ).

The average cost of purchasing excess cover and hiring a child seat is 81% of the average cost of renting a car from the leading four providers.

To save money families are being urged to purchase their car hire excess insurance in advance and consider bringing their child seats with them to avoid being stung by the extras at the rental desk. Policies from iCarhireinsurance.com can be bought online for only GBP £2.99 a day or GBP £39.99 for an annual policy. They also include cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies' policies.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com said, "Many people choose their hire car provider because they offer the best price, but the added extras can make this a false economy. Excess insurance is one of the most expensive added extras sold at the rental desk, so make sure you don't get caught out and save more than 82% by buying from us before you fly."  Source iCarhireinsurance October 2012

Find out more about iCarhireinsurance by visiting their advertisement page at insurance4carrental Here

In case you did not already know it they also offer van hire excess insurance and minibus hire excess insurance for minibuses up to 9 seats.

It is insurance4carhire car hire excess insurance renewal time once again

My annual Europe car hire excess insurance expires later this month and I have received a couple of reminders from insurance4carhire.com advising me of this as they say in their email "If you have recently renewed your insurance4carhire.com policy, please ignore this email. FSA regulations state that we must issue a renewal notice on any insurance policy that we sell"

So what else do they say " To remind you, our Policies give you peace of mind by covering the excess on damage and theft, as well as damage to windows, tyres, the undercarriage and the roof for any one rental vehicle. We have also negotiated a number of cover enhancements.

The Annual Excess Policy now covers:

All drivers between the ages of 21 and 85, so there is no need to purchase a separate policy.

Towing costs relating to damage or mechanical breakdown.

The costs incurred as a result of misfueling up to a maximum of £500 per incident and up to a maximum of £2,000 in any one period of insurance (unlike many of our competitors).

Includes in-Country Rentals - this means there is no longer a 150kms restriction from where you live. Particularly useful if you are a member of a car club.

Just Text HELP Emergency assistance

If you have an emergency abroad, text "HELP" and the country you are in to Call UMA and you will get a call back from a multilingual assistant who will advise you, and if necessary speak the local language for you. This service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should receive the call back within five minutes of your text being received. You just pay your standard network rate and/or your network provider's roaming charge for the text message and call back. This service can be used for any of the following:

Emergency assistance abroad (police, ambulance, fire, hospitals) with language interpretation

Victims of crime abroad (assistance dealing with police etc) with language interpretation

Assistance dealing with lost/stolen passports or credit cards

Any car hire related emergency


We have increased the amount we will reimburse you for the excess or repair costs up to a maximum of £4,000 (double our previous cover) any one incident and up to a maximum of £5,000 (this was previously £3,000) during any one period of insurance.


We will not reimburse your excess or any financial loss or expense in the following circumstances:

If your country of residence is outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

For losses caused by accidental damage to the interior or contents of the Rental Vehicle.

If the Rental Vehicle is a motor home, camper van, trailer or caravan, commercial vehicle or truck, motorcycle, moped, motorbike, off-road vehicle, recreational vehicle, passenger van or other vehicle with more than 9 seats.

Where damage is the result of driving whilst on an un-made up road.

Letting your policy lapse could leave you exposed to costly insurance premiums and hidden excess charges whenever you rent a car. But if you renew your policy by October 26 2012, you'll stay protected - which could save you thousands if a car you rent is damaged or stolen.

Because you can buy your policy up to three months in advance, you can still renew now - even if you're not planning to travel straight away.

Interested in a different Insurance4carhire annual policy? No problem. If you do not want to renew your existing policy, you can choose a different one altogether."

I have now renewed and what does the annual Europe 31 cost? Well this is £49.99 however I paid a lot less.

How -  I followed the affiliate link through insurance4carrental.com (also via jml-insurance.co.uk) that means the price is reduced to £40.19 Quite a saving.

So if you are thinking of buying or renewing follow this link here and save some money. Not a bad idea for a Wednesday in Mid Octotober!

Sunday 14 October 2012

Carhireexcess.co.uk suggested in Independent Question of Cash yesterday

Yesterday's Question of Cash by Paul Gosling in The Independent featured a letter from a reader " We,ve still been hit for a bump despite collision waiver."

The letter was from a reader who had returned from a lovely holiday in the Italian Alps who then discovered the collision damage waiver included in their car hire was "nothing of the sort and did not provide the cover they expected". They had a minor accident in heavy rain puncturing a tyre and breaking a mirror and were left with a €900 bill.

In fact they should have taken out additional excess insurance via the car hire company or via an independent insurance company (which is usually a lot cheaper than with the hire car company) and as the Independent said

"Alternatively you could have taken out your own independent insurance cover to protect you from an excess as the policy offered by www.   carhireexcess  .co.uk  which would have cost you £1.99 per day of car hire. Not reading the small print of car hire contracts can be very costly"

Carhireexcess.com which is part of Blue Insurances also offer car hire excess insurance for the Irish market - Details Here

Monday 22nd October 2012 - The same report has just been published in today's Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 11 October 2012

Car Hire Dublin. It is a shame that you cannot always collect the car from the airport itself

Recently hired a car in Dublin, Ireland and because like many others have had problems with car hire companies over the years (making you pay for excess insurance you did not want, charging you a fee for going over the M50 toll when the vehilcle was never near that part of the city when it was rented etc) once again opted for the company that has a Number 1 on their cars, Hertz..

I paid for the booking on line and added the comment " Will need an additional driver please, but not excess insurance"

I had also opted for a 2(+boot) door or (for same price 4 door model) as we were taking elderly relatives out for lunch on the Sunday.

The Aer Lingus plane was a long time in a queue at London Heathrow and when it eventually landed at Dublin Airport had to wait a while for a stand to become available outside Terminal 2.

We went through passport control and collected our luggage and went to the car hire reception desk and were told we must go downstairs and get on the bus to the out of airport car hire zone. 

Apparently only with early morning flights can you pick up the car from the car park at Terminal 2, which means that other times you will be delayed a great deal.

We got onto the bus and headed out to the Car Hire area which is near Santry. We had a business appointment in north Dublin and were getting more and more delayed by the events of the morning.

The person at the desk was very helpful, but rather slow and kept on going off.

As normal declined their excess insurance as we have a family and partners annual policy from insurance4carhire, but asked if we could have a 4 door model as I paid for one in that group explaining we had to take our relatives out and a 3 door car would be tricky.

He went off again and returned saying there would be a delay, so as we were already late for the meeting took the 3 door Renault Clio. Checked it for damage before driving away and went off.

A while later I looked at the printed receipt, I had paid £116.52 on line and I knew that I would have to pay a fuel deposit  and additional driver. But suddenly the amount at the bottom totalled €310.69 less €145.69 paid.

We returned the car at the prescibed time filling it up with fuel en-route. I had to show the checker in person the fuel receipt. I had paid cash, but it is a wise tip to obtain a receipt that also confirms what you spent and that you put the correct type of fuel in the vehicle that you have hired.

I showed the person the temporary receipt we had got when we got the car and I was issued with a final receipt for €47.50 for the additional driver. I have today checked my credit card on line and this amount was deducted. Hertz do say in their "Important Customer Information" "A statement of your rental charges should be requested upon your return of the vehicle".

Shortly after our return home , I received an email from Hertz.
In the comments box I put "Although not your fault, because of Dublin Airport restictions, it was a great shame that a) we could not collect the car from Terminal 2 car park and b) that you could not provide a 4 door car without a long wait as we had to take elderly relatives out on the Sunday and a 3 door proved very, very difficult."

Would certainly use them again, but it would be good to know that if you want a 4 door and pay for one you get one. Another time, would add this under Customer Remarks when I book the car.

Looking for car hire for Dublin (or any other city / country)? Follow this likn for a great choice 

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Prestige from Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, has teamed up with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket group

Europcar Communications announced yesterday (9-10-12) that Prestige from Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, has teamed up with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket group, to offer Tesco Clubcard holders great deals on luxury car hire. Now 17 million Tesco Clubcard customers can swap reward points for Prestige from Europcar’s luxury car hire service - perfect for weddings and special events, including Christmas celebrations. And a great idea to drive away the winter blues!

Tesco’s Clubcard rewards scheme allows customers to exchange their Clubcard vouchers, accumulated as points through shopping, for Clubcard Rewards tokens, worth up to three times the value. These tokens can then be used with a range of over 600 partner rewards, including Prestige from Europcar.

The Prestige from Europcar range includes 4×4s, luxury saloons and performance cars, available from a network of over 40 locations throughout the UK. Plus there’s no hassle collecting the car because free delivery and collection from Europcar is available on hires of 2 days or more to home addresses within a 15 mile radius of a Europcar branch.

“As people start planning for Christmas, having a nice car to get to their destination could make the festivities feel extra special”, said Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. “And for Tesco Clubcard customers they can make the most of their Rewards tokens by hiring anything from a Porsche Boxster to an Audi A8.

“The Prestige from Europcar range caters for even the most discerning customer, and as a Clubcard Rewards partner, our partnership means every time a Tesco customer shops, they can be saving to enjoy the quality and convenience of luxury vehicle hire with Prestige from Europcar.”

Sounds quite rewarding.

Did you know that you can buy carhire excess insurance for a week for the equivalent of one week's pension?

Just picked up a Press Release from the car hire excess insurance specialist insurance company iCarhireinsurance. (They also offer Car Club insurance and Van Hire excess insurance as well).

Anyway they are saying in their press release from a couple of days ago "A Week's Excess Car Hire Insurance Can Cost a Week's Pension"

Photo courtesy of cotedazurrental.com

It is that time of the year when many retired people head off to some winter sun and hire a car. Icarhireinsurance are pointing out that  Retired people heading off for some late summer sun are warned that buying car hire excess insurance direct from the rental company could cost as much as their week’s state pension.

With the average pensioner in the UK receiving a state pension income of £107 a week, travellers arriving to pick up their hire car are being asked to pay on average over £130 for a week’s excess insurance to protect them against the first part of any claim.

If excess waiver insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £1500 if the car gets damaged or even stolen. Even a small scratch on a windscreen can cost hundreds to fix. Older travellers should also be aware that some car hire companies set higher excess levels for the over 70s.

But many rental companies do not make this clear.

Research by excess insurance specialist, iCarhireinsurance.com, found that the four leading car hire companies surveyed charged an average of £17 a day for excess car hire insurance, with the highest being an eye watering £23 a day with Hertz.

Hiring a car and taking out excess insurance from the rental company is a “rip off” say over one in five (22%) consumers who have hired a car in the UK or abroad, according to a 2012 YouGov poll* commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com.

However, policies can be bought online for £2.99 a day, or £39.99 for an annual policy, from iCarhireinsurance.com for those up to 85 years. This reduces a traveller’s excess amount to zero.

“Handing over a week’s pension is a big chunk out of a retired person’s income when they could have bought excess insurance in advance for 80% less,” said Ernesto Suarez, Chief Executive of iCarhireinsurance.com.

“Travellers are being held to ransom to take out a rental company’s excess insurance with the threat of huge penalties if they damage the hire car when all they want to do is pick up the keys and start their trip.”

iCarhireinsurance.com’s excess policies also provide cover to vulnerable areas like the windows, tyres, windscreen and undercarriage which the rental companies’ policies usually exclude.
Its policies are available for Europe, USA and Canada, or Worldwide. Visit iCarhireinsurance here for more details and to obtain a quote and use that extra cash you have saved to have a really good holiday.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Alco-tests in your car in France

We have featured this subject back in early July with an update on the 26th July -  Another Update on Breathalyser Kits in France

Although it is now law to carry one of the testing kits in your car in France, it is proving very difficult to actually buy one there at the moment. The €11 fine does not come into force till this November, so hopefully pharmacies in France and other outlets might have found some stock by that time.

Earlier this month I started adding posts on the English language magazine Riviera Reporter's Forum as I had attempted to buy one of these in the south of France in July and was not alone in my failure to get one!

On the Forum I said "As someone who has a holiday home in France and also runs a car hire excess insurance advertising site I have been following this new bit of legislation quite closely from the visiting tourist's prospective. I also run a blog car hire excess insurance and have featured this a couple of times.

A few months ago a relative bought me one of these testers when they first came on the market. I rented a car from Nice Airport in July and although they had warning signs that this was the law, but they were not supplying them with the car hire. Possibly because there were none available. I went into a pharmacy in Valbonne and they were out of stock.

I discovered some in my local Halfords back in England at £5.99 each. Driving acroos to France later in August, I too discovered them on the car ferry at £5.99 each. They are meant to cost under €2 so at around the equivalent of €7 + each that is a nice little profit. They probably only cost a few cents to manufacture.

Found these on a P&O Car Ferry in August 2012
 Earlier this month I went into a large pharmacy in the centre of Cannes. Just like in Valbonne, nothing there. Nothing in the local Intermarche. I even checked Connad at Vengtamillia thinking that as so many people shop there, they might sell them to people crossing over into France.

Where are they meant to be sold or are they all being exported to England at high costs to the law abiding public going off to France? I  would also like to know what are people meant to be doing when they hire a car now"

Various other comments have been made on the Forum - The car hire firms will be scratching their heads. One more thing to provide (or sell) to the customer and one more thing to check when the car is returned. What happens if a customer uses the test? Does he then pay for it, replace it or what?

I got mine ages ago in Norauto, Nice Lingostiere. They have loads! Maybe you could try a Norauto near to where you live if Lingostiere is out of your way. Make sure they have the "NF" logo otherwise I believe they are invalid.

I tried the one in Sophia Antipolis (on the way to Vallauris) about 2 weeks ago and they didn't have any. Might be worth trying again, thanks for the tip.

I tried two pharmacies in Sophia today and both had no stock and no idea when they might get them.

You sound like my husband! We have tried everywhere around us and he even tried in Paris on a business trip. These things are impossible to find.

I may have been lucky but I walked into a pharmacy in Antibes last month and got 2 immediately

I'd too would like to know where you can buy these. I have been trying a couple of pharmaciers regularly and they don't even know when they're getting them in. It might have been a good initiative to supply them via the Police or the Mairie, but I guess that would be too simple to work in a country like France.   Earlier this week I emailed National Citer about whether customers will be provided with a test kit, have to supply one themselves or pay a deposit on the one they borrow from the car hire company. I received a reply saying their website will be updated in October to reflect the current situation. Interesting to see what it says?

We will add more information when we have it, in the meantime please let us have details of your experiences on this subject.