Saturday 25 February 2012

Simon Calder gets caught with car rental rip off

Simon Calder the Independent's Travel expert has recently been involved in a car rental rip off in the USA.

According to his article in the 25th February 2012 edition of "Independent Traveller" he recently visited California. His moto is never to upgrade a US hire car and always order and go for the basic model.

This time he arranged the rental via Holiday Autos and when he went to collect it, was offered a "Thanksgiving weekend upgrade special". He declined it and was then asked to initial the rental contract in the places he was asked to do. He had just had a 12 hour flight and like any traveller tired.

He discovered when his credit card bill came in and additional £26 had been added for the upgrade!  He took up the issue with Holiday Autos customer services who did a an efficient job looking into it and they got hold of a copy of the rental contract. This showed he had initialled for a better car.

This type of action by car hire receptionists, of getting customers to sign here, there and there is so similar to when my wife rented a car in Dublin via Irish Car Rentals the Europcar Ireland franchise operator. She declined their excess insurance as she had her own, however was told sign here, there and everywhere and when questioned later, although she has said she did not want it, but they said you signed for it so we are not refunding the money.

Do take great care and if you are tired, why not write on the contract "don't want upgrade" or "your excess insurance" even if it is one of those screen signature boxes that a lot of car hire companies are now using.

To see Simon Calder's article on line at The Independent, follow this link.


Anonymous said...

This is simply hilarious! I gotta keep coming back.
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Unknown said...

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Car rental said...

Every driver, regardless of age, driving skills and country of residence must have a set of documents to get a rental car. Read this information carefully so that you do not have any problems during the car rental procedure. In order for you to use a car hire service, you first need to have a passport or one of the other documents that certify your identity. This is necessary to draw up a lease agreement and insurance for the driver and passengers in USA. Note:
under 21 Car rental
Your document may be an international passport or travel document. To rent a car abroad, your document should not be expired and damaged. In the passport you must have your photo;
If you are less than 21 years old, you must have a driving experience of at least 1 year. Please note that there should be no car accidents and other incidents in your driving skill history. You must have a driver's license of international format (this is a plastic card);
Drivers under the age of 21 have a limited number of USA car rental categories: CCAR, CFAR, ECAR, FCAR, ICAR, IFAR, ILAE, ISAR, MBAR, MVAR, SCAR, SSAR.

Car Rental Under 21 said...

What’s the Minimum Age to Rent a Car?
Because drivers under 25 statistically get into more auto accidents than other age groups, car rental agencies have long penalized young drivers—even those with good driving records—by charging high daily underage fees, restricting the types of cars that can be rented, and even banning drivers (particularly those ages 18 to 21) from renting at all. So what’s an underage road tripper to do? See more here: rental car under 21 .