Sunday 30 June 2013

Double check for what you sign for at the car hire rental desk

I was reading yesterday's UK Indendepent under the money section and a "Question of cash". A car hire problem was reported.

Question. My friend travelled home for his brother's funeral and hired a car from Hertz at the airport. He was charged for "extra insurance", though he said no when asked if he wanted any. Hertz says he signed for the extra insurance and so was charged for it. LS, by email.

Answer. Hertz has produced screen shots of the booking forms showing your friend initialled the "super cover (zero-excess) insurance" option. It adds that he was served by an experienced staff member, who has not been the subject of a similar complaint. But Hertz accepts your friend was unaware what he was signing. As a result, and given that he was distressed at the time, Hertz has agreed to refund the zero-excess insurance premium and has repaid £117.72.

Original on line  at The Independent on Friday 28th June 2013 and that story and others can be found Here.

It does show that you do have to be so careful. You could have just had a very long flight, have your young family with you who are tired and want to get to their holiday destination or in a hurry for a business meeting because your flight was delayed.

It is so easy to do and in particular at certain car hire locations where it has been known that a company tries to make you buy excess insurance even if you did not want this insurance.

This happened to my wife in Dublin in November 2010 (article here). Although she verbally declined the company's excess insurance they still added it on and unlike the case illustrated in The Independent, the car hire company refused to budge. She has never rented a car from them again.

I was told that this happened a lot with them and personally is not a good business policy for a short term gain, but then a longer term loss of business. There are many such stories on line forums like Tripadvisor.

Generally you are asked to sign here, here and here for example, or initial sections. Some car hire companies are not using paper for this now but an electronic pad, but what you can still try to do if it is paper and you have your excess insurance is to write on the paper no additional excess insurance required and initial it.

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