Tuesday 26 February 2013

More destinations from Economy Car Hire

Just had an email from Economy Car Hire. They now offer car hire in Switzerland, Poland, Egypt and Tunisia and  are working with a new car hire supplier in Ibiza who offers customers a fair fuel policy.

All very good news for people hiring a car this year. Looking on their website, they have some useful advice posted yesterday (25-2-13)   "How to get a stress free start to your holiday"

Some of the points made are: Prepare in advance

Preparation is essential when it comes to tackling the airport. Something that is often left until the last minute is airport parking. Make this holiday a little less stressful and arrange airport parking a couple of months before you are due to depart. It’s one less thing to worry about and it will no doubt save you money also.

A few days before.... In the countdown to your holiday, be sure to tie up any loose ends at work so you can enjoy your time away without work hanging over your head. Make a list of anything that might come up in your absence, organise and deal with your emails and voicemails and don’t forget to set your out of office alert.

On the day of departure
You will have already packed the essential items a few days before, but don’t rest of your laurels. Be mindful of packing restrictions for your hand luggage. Limit the number of liquids you take with you as they will have to fit within one small plastic bag when you go through security. If you’ve got loads, you can get stressed when you realise you have to throw half of them away.

Also, remember the usual tips such as food and drink restrictions as well as the usual prohibited items. If you are taking hold luggage, then use your hand luggage to carry items that you’ll need on your person and on the plane only.

Economy Car Hire offers lots of great advice and articles on their website - Find out more about Economy Car Hire Here 

Another insurance company enters the car hire excess insurance business

Direct Travel Insurance (part of AIG) announced earlier this week that they too have launched  a car hire excess waiver insurance product under the name of "Direct Car Excess Insurance".

Their press release stated that  Direct Travel Insurance Launches Direct Car Excess Insurance Products - British holidaymakers are collectively wasting an estimated £800m a year by buying expensive ‘excess’ insurance from car rental firms, as opposed to buying online from somewhere like Direct Car Excess before they go.  

Direct Travel Insurance is now offering a new product for travellers – Direct Car Excess Insurance. Travellers who plan on hiring a car abroad can save a significant amount of money by taking out an excess policy in advance rather than obtaining one at a rental desk. All policies are underwritten by AIG Europe Limited meaning travellers can feel secure when exploring a new country in a hire car.

According to a recent report British holidaymakers are collectively wasting an estimated £800m a year by buying expensive ‘excess’ insurance from car rental firms, as opposed to buying online from somewhere like Direct Car Excess before they go.

When hiring a car, a person is required to insure it as if it was their own and many people believe that the insurance policies offered by car rental services will cover any damage a car sustains during the hire period, which is certainly not always the case. The average price charged for top-up insurance by car rental desks is £9.99 a day – and this figure is on top of what has already been paid for the rental charge! In most situations, customers can feel under huge pressure to take it out when they pick up the car. In a lot of cases, travellers will reluctantly cough up the cash, unaware of the full facts and the money they can save.

If the worst happens during a rental agreement, the driver will be required to pay a portion of the costs to the car rental company – the ‘excess’ – which can be as much as £2,000. In addition, damage to tyres, windscreens and the undercarriage are often the responsibility of the hirer. All in all, even if the the most sensible thing has been done, hiring a vehicle abroad can mean ending up paying the cost of the rental, the cost of the top-up insurance and the cost of damages which often are not covered by the top-up insurance. In a worst case scenario the bill can be significantly higher.

However, there is a simple way around this; buying the excess insurance beforehand from an insurer who will provide excellent cover at a competitive price. Direct Car Excess policies remove the excess from as little as £1.99 a day in Europe, £5.99 a day in the Americas & the Caribbean and £2.99 a day in the rest of the world, so in the event of an accident or theft there's no nasty bill to dent holiday memories. Car Excess Insurance gives peace of mind that, should the worst happen will not yield a hefty bill at the end of a holiday. Buying excess only cover will insure the excess as well as providing cover for damage to tyres, windscreens and the undercarriage. With the Collision Damage Waiver product, in addition covering excess, insures up to $100,000 for damage to the rental car and $1,000,000 for Third Party Liability.

All policies offer baggage cover, car rental key cover and Personal Accident. Not only that, but policies also cover all other named drivers, providing they are UK residents, have a full licence and are aged between 21 and 85 years.

Disruption to a holiday is bad enough, but facing a car rental excess fee can ruin it completely. Choose car hire excess insurance from Direct Car Excess Insurance so that, wherever the holiday, one can benefit from great prices and great cover. Source Direct Travel Insurance - PR Web"

If you are looking for car hire excess insurance take a look Here where there are a great choice of insurance companies advertising on this specialist site for you to buy from.... 9 Car hire excess insurance companies to choose from plus 3 Van hire and 2 for Motorhome hire excess insurance (+1 for 9 seater minibus hire)

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Yet another Car Hire Insurance Dispute

Another car hire dispute was highlighted yesterday in the Daily Telegraph column written by Gill Charlton.

According to the report, Tori Tomlin from Newcastle who had collected a hire car from a car hire company the Greek island of Cephalonia to drive to their villa just outside Fiskardo. As he drove along the main highway a large rock fell into the road right in front of the car and he was forced to drive over it. The rock damaged the power steering but was were able to continue driving to the villa. He reported the incident to the car hire company and was sent a replacement car.

When the car was returned hew was presented with a bill for €2,225 (£1,890). Apparently, he was not  uninsured for this incident because the underside of rental cars is not covered by collision-damage- waiver insurance (CDW).

Read the Full Telegraph article here 

Gill Charlton goes on to say in the article "As your experience shows, the total exclusion of insurance cover for any damage to any element of the underside of a vehicle is a gaping hole in holiday car insurance. One way to avoid being caught is to buy an annual top-up policy from a specialist broker. Insurance4carhire offers £5,000 of cover for £49.99 a year. This includes covering the CDW and theft excess as well as damage to windows, roof, undercarriage and tyres."  In fact insurance4car's prices are lower than that quoted by Gill Charlton yesterday. 

On Monday this week on this blog we reported that  "insurance4carhire has lowered some of it's prices today"  Annual European dropped from £49.99 to £44.99 however if you buy it using the web site links in the jml Group (including insurance4carrental.com and on Irish Property Insurance.com) it will actually cost £40.19. Link Here

There are a number of other car hire excess insurance waiver companies advertising on the insurance4carrental.com site that also offer cover for underside, wheels etc. Visit www.insurance4carrental.com 

Monday 18 February 2013

insurance4carhire has lowered some of it's prices today

We had an email from Towergate's Insurance4carhire representative this afternoon advising of price changes with immediate effect on some of their excess waiver car hire insurance products.

The Daily  policies have gone down from £5.25 to £4.25

Annual European dropped from £49.99 to £44.99 however if you buy it using the web site links in the jml Group (including insurance4carrental.com and on Irish Property Insurance.com) it will actually cost £40.19.

Annual Worldwide has gone from £65.99 to £60.99, however once again via jml Insurance site special link it is actually only £52.99.

Finally the Annual Worldwide 60 that was £79.99 is now £75.99.

So what is this special link to find these even lower prices? CLICK HERE  

Sunday 17 February 2013

Car Hire Confusion in Florida over new International Driving Licences

Simon Calder's travel article in the "Independent Traveller" yesterday, 16th February featured the new rules about people hiring a car in Florida having to have an International Driving Permit  (IDP) 1949 edition.

Apparently the authorities needed to be able to read the driving licence in English. There are quite a few countries in the world that have English as their first language however.

According to the article Avis and Hertz were insisting that British renters in Florida have one of these.

I recollect having one myself in the early 1970's to be able to drrive in countries like Spain. I believe I got mine from the AA and it had to have a passport photo on it. Today they can be obtained from certain UK Post Offices, the AA and RAC and cost £5.50. 

Car hire in Florida takes a giant leap... back to the Forties is a very interesting article, read it here

Looking at the UK's Foreign Office website today, they state "The State of Florida has suspended enforcement of a recently introduced driving law requiring non-resident drivers to be in possession of an International Driving Permit and a UK driving licence.  Following the change, a valid UK driving licence, or licence issued by another foreign government or US State, is the only requirement for driving a car in Florida".

Hopefully the car hire companies in Florida are fully aware of this change and tourists and business people arriving there are not being stopped ffrom hiring a car.

If you are off to Florida or other parts of the USA and Canada don't forget to buy your Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance in advance from a specialist insurance company. You can buy daily or annual policies. There are a great choice of companies advertising these products and in many cases you can buy them a few months in advance.  

Find out More Information Here

If you have not arranged car hire yet then now is a good time to do it in advance.
With Easter holidays not that far away (Easter weekend is early this year - 29th March - 1st April) you need to make sure you book well in advance together with car parks at the airport you are flying from. 

Find out More Information Here

Sunday 10 February 2013

Change of name for National/Citer to Citer

The first of February 2013 saw a name change for the French car hire company “National/Citer  back to it’s old trading name “Citer”.

Originally established by French car manufacturer Citroen in 1968 it was then sold to Enterprise Holdings in November 2011.

According to the Enterprise press release  at the time “Enterprise Holdings owns and operates the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, as well as its flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in North America. The company also operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in the UK, Germany and Ireland, and a licensee network that operates the National and Alamo brands throughout the Americas

The company takes great pride in it’s good customer service and Holiday Autos has been using them as a partner for many years in France.

If you are flying to France and looking for great value Car Hire, find out more about Holiday Autos Here

See also: Great customer service from National Citer before they are re-branded by Enterprise

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Rent a car, rent a surprise says euronews report

"Rent a car, rent a surprise" was the subject to a report from euronews right on yesterday (4th February 2013).

It highlights the problems of hiring a car, in particular in Italy and the fact that some people thought that they had hired their car from a well known brand name and if fact it was from a company that had gone out of business.

"Excess charges, insurance, hidden costs. Sometimes renting a car can turn into a nightmare. We went to Italy, one of the countries with the most complaints, to discover what are the most common problems and how to protect your rights.
"We rented a car for our holidays in Italy and when we returned it we put the keys in the drop box, as nobody was there. When we went back home we had a nasty surprise; we had been charged 600 euros without any explanation," says Salvatrice Bufalino..
Nearly one year has passed by since Salvatrice, a French woman, went to Catania on holiday with her partner. Hers is a very common case; it was her word against the car rental company's. Her complaint will now be examined by an Italian court, which means finding a lawyer and additional costs to try to get her 600 euros back.

"Following my complaint we received some photos. We don't know when they were taken, but if you compare my contract with them, you can see the crosses. Basically the car was already damaged when we took it. It's just a rip-off, they didn't compare these photos with the contract. I hope this document will demonstrate that I don't owe them anything," she says.

Salvatrice's case was followed up by European Consumer Centres in France and Italy. Monica De Gregorio (in picture above) is the expert for car rental complaints in the Rome office and explains that she handles an average of 80 international cases per year:

"We had already closed this case, as the car rental company gave us a negative reply. They said that when the clients rented the car, the agency was run by a company that went bankrupt . We don't have any enforcement powers. Therefore we can only try to resolve it in a friendly way, out of court," says De Gregorio.

When keys are left in a drop box the customer is responsible for the car until the car rental employee closes the contract. Salvatrice complains that she was never informed that another company, Car Net, was behind the brand she contacted for her car rental.
"It's surprising because I signed my contract with Budget. Today they tell me that Car Net has gone bankrupt, but I have never heard of it. I signed with an international company that should protect me from this kind of bankruptcy problem. But it actually doesn't. I feel like they have lied to me," she says.

Avis, which took over Budget last June, replied that they have no information on the case, in spite of them being contacted by the European Consumer Centre. Their French branch agreed last July to refund the customer, then disappeared.
So what can a customer do to avoid being driven round the bend? Beware of fuel charges; if the tank is not 100% topped up, you risk to be stung with an inflated price for the missing fuel. Beware of off-limits areas and remember that a fine is often increased by administration charges, as this car rental manager explains:

"In our case it's 50 euros. For every fine the client also has to pay an administration fee of 50 euros," says Auto Europa's Giorgio Salvatori.

Basic insurance often does not include damages to all parts of the car, like windows, tyres and the roof and the super collision damage waiver can work out to be very expensive. Experts suggest buying excess insurance independently online.(Choice of companies here)  Then carefully read the contract, including the small print. Car hire insurance policies are usually riddled with catches.

"In Italy there is a problem linked to regions considered a high theft risk. In these regions some car hire companies apply double excess in case the car is stolen. These regions are Campania, Basilicata, Molise, Puglia and Calabria," warns Monica De Gregorio.

When it is time to return the car, it is important to hand the keys back to the person at the desk and then check the car together. Some car hire companies might jump at the chance to charge you for damage to the car you have hired.

"Among the complaints that we receive a really small percentage are closed with the consumer being refunded. Often when it happens car rental companies don't admit their fault," says De Gregorio, and when your holidays are over, always keep the paperwork and check your credit card statement." (Source euronews)

Friday 1 February 2013

Don’t forget your car hire excess insurance if you hiring a car around Valentine's day

Valentine's day is only around 13 days away and as it is on a Thursday this year, many people might be taking a mini break holiday off to some romantic destination.

If you are planning such a trip and are renting a car, remember you can save a lot of money by buying the car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent insurance company instead of the car hire company itself.

For those of you thinking about a couple of holidays this when you hire a car, it will make a lot of economical sense to buy an annual policy, rather like saving my money when you buy an annual travel insurance policy. 

At the insurance4carrental.com that celebrates its birthday on the 2nd February (established in 2009), there are a great selection of companies advertising there - insurance4carhire.com & it's dailyexcess.com partner - Questor Insurance - Worldwideinsure - iCarhireinsurance.com - carhireexcess.com - Essential Travel- Odyssey Insurance and Protect Your Buble. Some of these also offer Travel Insurance for that romantic break.

If you fancy a romantic  break in a motorhome then Questor and Worlwideinsure offer this product, or if you are being totally practical and moving your love nest and hiring a van  you can get your van hire excess waiver insurance from Questor Insurance - insuremyvanhire.com or iCarhireinsurance.com

Find out more at http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Click