Friday 28 February 2014

Economy Car Hire warn of common travel scams to be aware of

The Economy Car Hire e-newsletter has featured this week the problem with "Travel Scams".
They say "Usually as a tourist you will stick out like a sore thumb to the locals.

As a result, you might find yourself the target of some common travel scams around the world.

Whilst these scenarios are unlikely to happen to you, it pays to be aware so that you can spot these common travel scams before it’s too late…"
What are these "common travel scams to be aware of " then?
 Scratch cards and Timeshare Apartments

Splat and grab

The golden ring
 Front desk fibs

Tricks at tourist attraction hotspots

Taxi drivers taking liberties

Sorry, it’s closed

Well those are the headlines read the accompanying travel scams here

Now how about booking car hire with Economy Car Hire Here?

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Which? survey reveals the best and worst car hire companies

The UK Consumer Affairs organisation Which? has just published its survey of "Best and worst car hire companies".

 Auto Reisen has topped the survey achieving a customer satisfaction score of 89%,  The Spanish car hire firm Goldcar came bottom, scoring just one star across seven of  the 10 categories.

Which also looked at "Car Hire Brokers", these are companies like Holiday Autos and Economy Car Hire. In the survey Economy Car Hire was rated top with 75%, scoring five stars for the ease of its online booking and the clarity of its pricing.

They also listed the "Top five car hire pitfalls to avoid" - All of these we too have been stressing on this blog and on our car hire excess waiver insurance site for a long time.

1. Damage charges
Protect yourself against charges for pre-existing or fictional damage when you pick up and drop off by being vigilant and taking photos to prove the condition of the car.

2. Excess waiver fees
Take out a third-party excess policy in advance and bring the details with you. If you’re asked to buy more cover when you pick up the car, ask what this actually covers and show the agent what you’re already covered for.

3. Fuel options
The biggest fuel trick to watch out for is being charged for a full tank of petrol, at a price set by the hire company, and being asked to return it empty with no refunds for unused fuel. Once you have a quote, call the hire company before paying to check what its fuel policy is.

4. Automatic toll payments
If you’re offered a car with toll collecting equipment fitted; ask about the rental costs, whether it’s a legal requirement for the country, and whether it can be turned-off at no cost to you.

5. Unauthorised payments
Check your credit card bills or bank statements carefully after hiring a car. If you’re faced with unexpected charges, complain to the hire company – many of the cases we’ve seen have been resolved this way. (Source Which? 26-2-14)

To view their report follow this link

Monday 17 February 2014

iCarhireinsurance ski research mentioned in Mail on Sunday yesterday

The Mail On Sunday "This is Money" column ran a story yesterday- "Steer clear of 'winterisation' car hire traps: Last-minute extras including crucial snow chains can double your costs By Sally Hamilton"

According to the report, last month, when she set off for a few days of relaxation in the French ski resort of Tignes with my husband I felt that same recurring sinking feeling as I approached the car hire desk at Geneva airport.

She had booked car hire  in advance so they could drive to Tignes and I did this a few years ago, but left the airport on the French side in a French registered hire car.

The car hire people at the rental desk tried selling on the usual "extras" Waiver excess insurance (she already had this), Sat Nav and snow tyres were declined but she ended up agreeing to pay €38 for snow chains.

She then got caught out on the route from the airport. Apparently to leave on the Swiss side, the journey to Tignes is about an hour shorter, so had to enter Switzerland and then you have to buy a Swiss Motorway pass called a vignette  costing 40 Swiss Francs (£27). 

Had she hired a car on the Swiss side, they come with one of these, but the article did not say whether the price of renting a car on the other side is higher.

It is somewhat frustrating from personal experience, as on my trip we left on the French side, but misread the return and ended up crossing the border and having to pay for a vignette. I removed it from the car thinking someone might want it between April and the year end, but it was never used again.

iCarhireinsurance research was quoted about the fact that  found that, depending on which hire firm they picked, drivers could be encouraged to pay as much as £185 for excess insurance, £42 for tyre and windscreen insurance not covered by car hire excess insurance, £84 for an extra driver, £102 for a sat-nav, £75 for snow chains and £102 for a child’s car seat.

The excess a customer faces if the hire car is damaged or stolen has risen by a quarter on average in the past year to £1,078, while the insurance offered to cover this excess has also leaped by 16 per cent on average to £104 for a week.

The insurer also found that ‘winterisation’ charges, which include the price of winter tyres and/or snow chains and are normally only paid for at the desk, vary widely. You can view this in much more detail  on this blog from the 4th February 14 here

Source - This is Money 15-2-14  and iCarhireinsurance

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Renting a car or a Van over the Half Term Holidays?

If you are off on your travels this weekend for the half term break, are you hiring a car?

If so has the car hire company persuaded you to pay the very high excess insurance premiums that so many offer as an essential add on?

Maybe you have not considered excess insurance, however when you go to collect the vehicle if you don't have excess insurance again you will be persuaded, after all this is how so many car hire companies make additional income out of the commission from sales of excess insurance.

Of course there is another alternative, buy it from an Independent insurance provider and save money. You can save even more money if you are hiring a car for a couple of holiday breaks this year. Buy an annual policy.

So where do you go to find one of these "excess waiver insurance policies" from?

The answer is very straightforward visit the www.insurance4carrental.com site. It is not a care hire excess insurance comparison website, but a market place where car hire excess insurance companies advertise their products. You make all the arrangements direct with the individual insurance company.

Is there much of a choice?  There certainly is. carhireexcess.com - Worldwideinsure - iCarhireinsurance.com - Questor Insurance - Essential Travel - Insurance4carhire.com and their daily excess.com and ProtectYourBubble

So a great selection and now is the time to arrange this before you set off and are persuaded at the car rental desk to pay a great deal more.

Van hire excess waiver insurance:
So you are staying at home and not hitting the ski slopes and the sun, but renting a van to move your belongings from a to b or for some other reason. Again you can save money too by buying direct from an independent. As people only rent vans for a few days and probably not too often the insurance companies package these policies as "daily policies". Visit www.insurance4vanrental.com

The insurance4carrental.com site also promotes motorhome excess insurance and minibus hire excess insurance as well.

There are also companies advertising in case you need temporary vehicle insurance or if you are running your vehicle hire business and need insurance for those vehicles.

Car, van and minibuses can also be hired through the site. There is a great deal of great deals under one roof 24/7.


Tuesday 4 February 2014

Great news from Economy Car Hire - Choose your car hire supplier now

Following overwhelming customer feedback, we have heard from Economy Car Hire that they are now displaying the logos of all available car hire suppliers when you get a quote on their website.

This means that you can easily pick your preferred car hire supplier at locations worldwide, allowing you to make a more informed decision when booking your next rental car.

Sounds like great news for people renting a car.  

Find out more via this link to their site....

As we are in the skiing season, the Economy Car Hire website has a very comprehensive article "A beginner’s guide to skiing etiquette"

The main headline top ten tips are:

1. Be mindful of your poles

2. If you fall, get out of the way!

3. No queue jumping

4. Don’t be a litter bug

5. Take a trail map with you

6. Pay attention to signs and warnings

7. Always give yourself plenty of room

8. There is a science to the lift

9. Stick to the right

10. Be aware of what is going on around you

So, these 10 tips complete the Economy Car Hire beginner’s guide to ski etiquette. Abide by these recommendations and you should be set for a fantastic skiing holiday without upsetting or hurting anyone else around you! Read the article in full here

Holiday Autos says for the widest range of rental cars in the world boook with Holiday Autos

Holiday Autos sent out a message yesterday saying Wherever you go, Holiday Autos has a network of suppliers to offer you the widest range of vehicles in the world.

With more than 3 million rental cars, you can choose from compact and economy cars for a weekend away, fullsize family cars and SUVs for longer breaks, or luxury models for the ultimate driving experience.

The choice is yours. 

Enjoy access to a wide choice of cars at great prices from the best suppliers including:

Seasonal skiing press release from iCarhireinsurance.com

The half term holiday break is not that far away and iCarhireinsurance sent a press release yesterday with a suitably seasonal title. "Snowballing Car Hire Costs for Feb Half Term Skiers"

They are illustrating the costs that can be incurred when you hire a car.

"Skiers could be parting with up to £184 for a week's excess car hire insurance when they arrive to collect their car, plus £42 for tyre and windscreen protection, £84 for an extra driver (£227 if they're under 21 yrs), a sat nav for £102, snow chains costing £75 and a child's car seat for £102 (See iCarhireinsurance website)

According to this release iCarhireinsurance.com  has researched the six popular ski gateways of Geneva (Switzerland), Turin (Italy), Innsbruck (Austria), Barcelona (Spain), Sophia (Bulgaria) and Inverness (Scotland) to see how a traveller's costs snowballed on picking up their hire car. (Avis, Sixt, Europcar and Hertz were researched for the hire of a medium compact car, 15 - 22 Feb 2014).

They say that "Without excess insurance a customer could be liable for charges of up to £2300 (e.g. the excess amount in Turin with Europcar) if the hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it's not the hirer's fault. e.g., a medium compact car hired from Turin costs £143 with Hertz for the week (15 - 22 Feb) while its excess car hire policy is an additional £184 - a pricey £26 a day and over eight times more expensive than an independent policy from an insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.com, which costs from £2.99 a day, a saving of £163.

The average cost of car hire excess insurance charged by the rental companies across all six destinations is £106. However some of these excess policies require an additional policy to cover the car's tyres and windscreen, e.g., Sixt charge £21 for a tyre and windscreen policy in Innsbruck, £27 in Geneva and rising to £42 in Barcelona - these are all on top of its basic excess policies.

An iCarhireinsurance.com excess car hire insurance policy is £21 for the week (or £39.99 for an annual policy) and includes vulnerable parts of a vehicle providing up to £6000 of protection cover."

Finally another reminder  about Snow Chains: Expect to pay around £50 for snow chains. NB. Sixt make snow chains a compulsory cost in the destinations of Geneva, Sophia, Innsbruck and Turin. Travellers need to make sure they know the rules and regulations of the country they're hiring in, otherwise they (and not the rental company) could face a fine.

iCarhireinsurance has researched the "major players" in the car hire business and it certainly makes a great deal of sense to buy excess insurance direct from an independent insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.com.

Consider also taking your own child seats and sat navs to save some money too.

For more information visit iCarhireinsurance website