Tuesday 30 April 2013

Compulsory petrol and excess insurance waivers in article following Which? report

This is Money ran a report on the 18th April following the recent Which? repost about car hire websites (see this blog 27th April).

"Tricks like compulsory petrol and excess waivers making it 'almost impossible' to compare car hire deals by Lee Boyce" went onto say

Extra charges for a compulsory tank of petrol, the cost of excess payments on insurance policies, and the waiver policy to avoid these charges, are routinely withheld until late in the booking process, Which? has claimed.

Economy Car Hire topped the broker table of ratings with 78 per cent.Read more here: including comments from readers like Roger from Bookham in the UK who said "Rented many cars across Europe and now exclusively use Economy car rental where poss (no I don't have any connection with them). Car is returned with same fuel as when picked up.

Have an annual excess policy for insurance with insurance4car hire (no I don't have any connection with them either). This covers all the areas that the usual CDW in the rental company policy does not. No insurance will cover you if speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving dangerously. Check all the details in the small print on the web site before buying and print a copy to take with you. If you don't fully understand what you are buying you are more likely to get ripped off."

Source: This is Money is part of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday & Metro media group

Saturday 27 April 2013

Car hire websites unclear about charges according to Which? consumer organisation

Which? The consumer organisation in the UK has been conducting research into on line car hire websites. On the 18th April 2013, they published their results under " Car hire websites unclear about charges, says Which?- Consumers in dark over hidden car hire charges - When Which? researchers went through the booking process 120 times on 10 of the most popular car hire rental websites, they said the total price was not clear for more than half the bookings.

Of the researchers who had a compulsory fuel charge to pay, 75% said they did not know how much it would be. Nearly half (44%) of our researchers didn't know the cost of the optional excess waiver to reduce the amount you'd have to pay if the car was damaged - even though it can add more than £100 to a week's rental."

They made a total of 120 visits in February 2013 to five car hire firms (Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar and Hertz) and five brokers (Argus Car Hire, Auto Europe, CarHire3000, Economy Car Hire, and Holiday Autos). They went through the booking process for a week's rental in Spain and also asked more than 3,000 Which? Connect members in January about car hire. To view the report in full here To find out about Car hire companies and brokers rated in the report Click Here  Source Which? April 2013.

Meanwhile Carrrentals.co.uk the car hire comparisson search engine published an article on the 23rd April 2013 by Andy Maher - "Which? says travellers are still confused by car hire websites"

They went onto say " Which? has been on the offensive as of late. Not only has it been attacking energy companies and Ofgem’s recent proposal for easy-to-read energy tariffs, but they are also attacking car hire websites.

This consumer group says that car hire websites are still very confusing to travellers. It is hidden charges that make it almost impossible for people to compare prices from different sites and find the cheapest deals." Source carrentals.co.uk April 2013  Read the full article here

Find out more about Carrentals and making a booking through their service Here

Friday 26 April 2013

Van hire customers are warned that they risk up to £1000 if the vehicle is damaged

iCarhireinsurance's specilalist van hire excess insurance division has issued a warning that "Bank Holiday Van Hirers Warned They Risk Up To £1000 If Vehicle Damaged".

 Drivers can save 50% on their car hire excess insurance buying from iCarhireinsurance.com

The long bank holiday weekends are traditionally when many people carry out DIY jobs around the house. Research on the cost of van hire over the May bank holidays reveal that DIY enthusiasts and home movers could be out of pocket by up to £1000 if the vehicle gets damaged, even if it's not the driver's fault.

With almost two-thirds )65%) of van hirers driving a van for the first time excess insurance is absolutely essential, but the good news is that drivers can save up to 50% buying excess waiver insurance in advance (see Table 1 below) and not from the van rentlal company.

iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading supplier of van and car hire excess insurance protection, researched the costs of hiring an average sized van (Transit 280) in Manchester for the May bank holiday weekends (4-7 May and 25-28 May 2013) from three leading van hire companies, Europcar, National and Sixt.

The rental cost was found to be similar form all providers at just over £100 for the four days, but the excess liability, i.e. the first part of any claim that the driver pays, ranged from £800 to £1000.

Buying cover direct from the van rental companies to protect themselves from this expense could cost up to £66, or £16.50 a day, compared with a policy from iCarhireinsruance.com at only £7.99 a day (and £31.96 for the four day bank holiday weekend).

"Driving a van is very different to driving a car, therefore we urge DIY enthusiasts and anyone using a van to transport items over the bank holiday weekends to check their excess liability if they don't want to end up with a large bill they were not expecting." said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com

Those drivers that believe that they do not need excess cover because they are good drivers may be interested to know that analysis of iCarhireinsurance.com 2013 claims has found that over a third (34%) of people that have claimed on their insurance for damage to a hire car or van said that the damage was "not their fault".

Ernesto Suarez, from iCarhireinsurance.com continued: "With 65% of van hirers driving a van for the first time, and 34% of claimants stating that incidents were not their fault, excess insurance to protect them against the first part of any claim, which can be up to £1000, is absolutely essential. A scrape to the side of a van when loading decking can cost hundreds, if not thousands to fix."

Source iCarhireinsurance - To find out more visit their site Here

Sunday 21 April 2013

Car Hire Excess Insurance in the News & Blogs in Mid April 13

I have come accross a couple of features on the Internet over the last 48 hours for car hire excess insurance.

First of all in the "canalworld" forum someone had started talking about insurance4carhire.com excess cover. The contributors live in Aberdeen and fly down to their boat. Sometimes they hire a car as well. They go on to say "You can get some pretty cheap deals with the likes of holiday autos, but there is always the excess on the collision damage waiver, around £800 these days.

You can of course pay an exhorbitant daily fee for CDW excess waiver but that can be as much again as the car hire. The company in the topic title offers an annual policy for £42 or so that in the event of damage, although you have to pay the excess up front, you get it back. Any number of hires, max duration of each hire 30 days." (In fact the Annual Europe 30 days from insurance4.carhire is at a discounted price of £40.19 by following this link )

Anyway apparently "So having hired perhaps 12 times in the last 2 years and never had any damage, when we were hit by a massive stone on the motorway that severely cracked the windscreen last month and a consequential bill for £260, I wondered whether, like some insurance companies, they would be very good at taking the premium but not so keen to actually pay out. No, I was wrong, less than 2 weeks after I submitted my claim, the money is languishing in my bank account. Well done Insurance4carhire. Just thought I would share that in case anyone else is in the habit of hiring" Canalworld Page Here

The second pirece was in the London Evening Standard on Friday 19th April. "It pays to cover your back" A long piece featuring the iCarhireinsurance.com products.

"Most of us hope we won’t actually need it when we take out a new policy, pinning our trust in our skill and care behind the wheel. But new research, exclusively compiled for this page by iCarhireinsurance.com, shows that it really is the others you have to worry about, especially when you’re driving a hire vehicle.

Their figures reveal that in one-third of cases (34 per cent) where motorists have had to claim on their insurance policy for damage to a hire car or van, it has not even been their fault. And — worryingly — it’s where you’d expect the car to be safest (not when it’s in swirling traffic but securely locked up in a car park) that most of the damage seems to occur, potentially threatening to ruin a holiday getaway in the blink of an eye. More than one-fifth (21 per cent) of those questioned said the damage to their hire car occurred in car parks, with more than half (54 per cent) saying the damage was caused by a third party when they weren’t present."

Find out more about iCahireinsurance car and van hire excess products Here

Read all the London Evening Standard article Here 

Friday 12 April 2013

Gerry Keaney appointed CEO of BVRLA

It was announced just before Easter that Gerry Keaney has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Gerry Keaney arrives with a tremendous automotive pedigree, having started his career at British Leyland and subsequently spending 21 years at Volvo Cars. After spells in a number of senior sales, operations and dealer roles, he was Managing Director of Volvo Cars UK between 1996 and 2002. He then moved on to a number of international roles at the parent company, culminating with nine years as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.

“We are delighted to welcome Gerry to the UK’s most progressive automotive trade association,” said BVRLA Chairman, Neil Cunningham.

“The vehicle rental and leasing industry continues to lead the way in promoting safe, sustainable and affordable road transport and we are proud to have attracted a senior executive with such a wealth of experience.”

Gerry Keaney will take up his appointment on 1st May. Current Chief Executive John Lewis will be stepping down after leading the association for thirteen years, but will assume a new part-time role as the BVRLA’s Director of External Affairs.

Neil Cunningham said: “I would like to thank John for the tireless work he has undertaken on behalf of the association and its members.

“Thanks to his leadership, the BVRLA has more influence than ever and has evolved into a growing, modern trade association that continues to deliver vital information and services to its members.

“I am delighted that he has agreed to stay on and use his knowledge and contacts to help represent the industry’s views in the UK and in Europe.”

Source BVRLA 27-3-13

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Holiday Autos is having an April Sale

Holiday Autos announced in a press release yesterday that they are holding  a Grand April Sale 10 day sale featuring top destinations including Spain, France, Italy, UK and South Africa.

Holidaymakers flexible enough to travel outside of busy booking periods, like Easter, can make some fantastic savings in the Holiday Autos Grand April Sale.

The event runs over 10 days between 8 April and 17 April 2013 - giving customers the chance to save 15% on their car hire at a huge range of UK, European and Worldwide destinations.

Each day at least one location will be on sale and customers will have 24 hours to book with a unique sale code for rentals picking up between 7 April and 30 June 2013.

Kevin Currie, Global Digital Marketing Director of Holiday Autos commented:

"Easter bookings this year went way beyond our forecasts and despite the school break being behind us, we're expecting that booking trend to continue, as more bargain-savvy drivers decide to travel off-peak.

"With hotel and flight discounts coming into play, we want to complement that idea of a money-saving getaway; the discounts running through April are designed to do just that.

"Hopefully, our customers will take full advantage of the sale and enjoy some more spending money during their springtime escape."

Meanwhile, regardless of the British climate being dry and cold for the most part in April, the Met Office has recently issued flood warnings across the south of England. If the downpours of 2012 were to be repeated this year, it will be no surprise to see more last minute holiday bookings in summer.

Holiday Autos are encouraging those looking to get away to book early and take full advantage of the Grand April Sale.
Well with weather like we are still experiencing in Britain (only hitting double figures centigrade this weekend), people will want to get away to a warmer client and take a flight somewhere and hire a car.

Find out more about Holiday Autos Here

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Carhireexcess.com is earning some excellent reviews

Just come across some great reviews for the car hire excess insurance company carhirexcess.com

They are listed at the "Trustpilot" site and here is a small selection from between January 2013 and the 9th April 2013 by "confirmed purchasers".

Peace of mind for a reasonable fee - We travel abroad and hire vehicles very frequently and paying the extra excess fees each time can become quite pricey so we joined carhireexcess and have never looked back. For a very reasonable fee we now have peace of mind when driving. We did have to make one small claim and it was dealt with quickly and efficiently. We can highly recommend this company.

Didn't have any problems  - Paid the insurance, received the certificate, everything went well. The prices are very competitive. Didn't have to claim anything since didn't have any problems with the car, so don't know how the company deals with the claims. Will use it again for sure.

Value for money - Easy to buy, much cheaper than excess charged by hire companies

Save with a CarHireExcess policy vs Car Hire company policy - The policy is very good value to cover the exhorbitant insurance excess that car hire companies impose. I was caught out a few years ago when hiring a car in Europe and ended up taking the hire car company policy to cover the excess. A once a year payment to CarHireExcess covers all car hires during the year, worldwide, and saves a lot of money. Since discovering CarHireExcess I have recommended it many friends

Very efficient and reasonably priced. - No accident/claim associated with the two times I have used the company so no experience at the sharp end. But all good so far.
Source: http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/carhireexcess.co.uk

Blue Insurances Limited trading as Carhireexcess.com is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is EEA authorised to conduct insurance mediation services in the UK by the UK Financial Services Authority. Please note payment is collected in the name of Blue Insurances Limited who administer and issue the policy.

They operate a service for UK residents Here and Irish Residents Here

They also have a range of Travel insurance Products Here 

Overseas Holiday Home Property Insurance written in English is attracting a lot of interest from jml Insurance Services

Read our latest Press Release below

Overseas Holiday Home Property Insurance written in English is attracting a lot of interest from jml Insurance Services

Friday 5 April 2013

Florida overturns law which stopped Britons renting cars with their UK driving licences

Daily Mail 5th April 2013

A new law which banned holidaymakers from driving cars in Florida unless they had an international driving permit has been repealed.

The U-turn comes after British visitors carrying a UK driving licence suddenly found themselves unable to hire cars in the popular holiday destination, without warning.

The law calling for an International Driving Permit (IDP) was quietly introduced in January without notifying travel companies, meaning they were unable to advise holidaymakers on how to proceed.

Read all of this report at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2303849/Florida-driving-law-overturned-Britons-CAN-hire-cars-UK-licence-confusion-new-law.html#ixzz2Pd1xMO4g  

See also: Car Hire Confusion in Florida over new International Driving Licences - February 2013

Make sure you check the fuel guage on the car that you hire

Just hired a car in Nice France from Citer - Enterprise and as usual the staff were very helpful. First of all we were offered a larger car as an upgrade free of charge and this had happened before, then suddenly it was not available. That was no problem as a small car in that area is much easier to park.

So we were taken to the car hire car park and introduced to a small 4 door Peugot 105, we checked the car over with the representative for scratches and left the car park. The paperwork said it came with a full tank of fuel.

As I was driving along I looked at what I presumed was the fuel guage and as I had never driven one of these cars before thought that surely the black bars in the image on the left should be near the top not the bottom. I took this photo showing the guage  21 kms (12 miles) after collecting the car.

It did not seem right so when I got the opportunity early in the evening I telephoned Enterprise - Citer and reported it for the record and said I will put more fuel in the next day and bring it back in the same state of fuel in the tank.

The next day after the car had travelled a total of 45 km since we had collected, I put in 28.46 litres costing €46.22 into the car and sure enough as the picture shows on the left the car was full and how it should have been at the collection in Nice Airport.  

Apart from taking photos of the petrol guage and printing them off for when I returned the vehicle, I also kept the petrol receipt and took a photo of the quantity and price on the petrol pump.

When I returned the car I explained what had happened and the paperwork was changed. The downside of this was that had I not used all the fuel in my stay I would have been out of pocket.

I also explained to the Enterprise Citer check in car hire representative that there was no warning triangle or reflective jacket in the car. By law you are meant to have a reflective jacket in the main body of the car (not the boot) in France and you can be fined if you don't have them.

I trust they equip the car properly for the next renter and next time before leaving the depot in France will check the fuel there and then and see if there is a warning triangle and reflective jacket / apron as well. This has been the first time in many years of hiring a car in France that these items were missing as you tend to thake these for granted. Obviously someone had taken them out.

I did not go down the route of mentioning a lack of a Breathalyser Kit in there and I have no idea what the current situation is regarding these. Does anyone know?