Monday 30 March 2015

Hiring a car - van- Motor Home this Easter? Buy your excess insurance in advance

Easter holidays are just around the corner now and for many it is the time to take a break and hire a car at your holiday destination.

For others you might be setting off in a Motor Home that you are renting or purely staying at home, moving house / flat or simply buying some large items of furniture for your home and need to move it easily by hiring a van.

Whatever your reason for hiring a vehicle there is always that extra you need to pay for (apart from fuel for the vehicle) and that is excess waiver insurance.

If you buy this from the vehicle hire company normally you will pay a great deal more than by buying your excess insurance from a specialist insurance company. Unfortunately this is one area a vehicle hire company attempts to make additional revenue from the customer.

Other methods include buying a full tank of fuel at their price and being told you must return it empty which is not always easy if you are only renting for a couple of days so the car hire company gains a nearly full tank of fuel to sell onto the next customer.

Fortunately these hire companies are not in the majority, however it is something to check when you make a booking.

As fare as this excess waiver insurance is concerned you can save a great deal of money by buying from and independent company.

For car hire you can buy daily or annual policies. Annual policies will work out better value if you are going to be hiring a car more than once during the year, or your one hire is of several days duration.

For van hire, motorhome hire and minibus hire you will normally only have the opportunity to buy a daily policy.

Where can I find this excess waiver insurance? Well the insurance4carrental.com website has several well known insurance companies advertising their products.

Find out more here      (They also have links to great value Travel insurance products too)

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Car Hire Tricks that are Sneaky and Drive Up Prices

Just picked up an article / press release featuring Economy Car Hire.

Entitled "Sneaky car hire tricks that drive up prices - How to pay less for your hire car by avoiding rental companies' ploys." It runs along similar lines as an article in The Guardian "Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday . featured on this blog Here a couple of days ago.

Anyway the important info that is on at least two sites today .....
You can now hire a car on the continent for as little as €1 (72p) a day. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t mean you can pay less than £10 to rent a car for a week.
While the base price is low, there are more and more extra charges to pay on top. And some of them are pretty sneaky.

Rory Sexton, managing director of rental company Economy Car Hire, said: “With car rental prices dipping to new lows of €1 per day, it’s hardly a surprise that car hire suppliers are having to find new ways to increase their profits.”
His top tips for keeping your hire car costs down include checking the terms of the booking carefully, and taking the time to read the rental contract when collecting the car.
“If there are any concerns or surprise charges, this is the time to raise the issue with the car rental company or contact the broker,” Sexton said.
He also advises booking through a broker in the UK in order to benefit from the protection of UK consumer laws, and keeping an eye out for the tricks designed to up the overall cost of your hire car.
The five top car hire tricks
1. Insurance excesses
Car hire deals generally include insurance. However, in some cases there will be an excess (the amount you must pay towards any claim) of up to €3,000 – making smaller claims completely pointless.
That’s why you should always check this before driving off.
2. “Collect full, return empty” fuel policies
With these, you are generally charged for a full tank of petrol – at way above the going rate to fill up at a local petrol station.
And there is no refund available if there is any fuel left in the car when you return it. That’s why it’s important to check the fuel policy before booking a hire car.
3. “Free” upgrades
We all like being given something for free. But if you arrive at a car rental counter to be told you’re being given an upgrade, it’s worth checking that it is free of charge.
Some companies will argue that by accepting it you agreed to be charged.
4. Extra insurance
Most hire cars come with insurance included as standard. But you may find yourself being pressured into buying additional insurance costing up to €15 a day.
In most cases, the salesman is simply trying to earn some extra commission, so stand your ground if you don’t want to take the cover out.
5. Hefty repair bills
If your hire car is damaged and the resulting costs are not covered by the insurance policy, you will have to pay for the repairs.
However, you should always ask to see a breakdown of charges, and a repair invoice – just to check that you are not being overcharged.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Should I buy car hire excess insurance? asks The Daily Telegraph

On the day The Guardian was running a car hire insurance feature, The Daily Telegraph ran a story "Should I buy car hire excess insurance?"
A reader Liz Percival asked "I have just booked hire cars through Holiday Autos for both Cyprus and Spain and the company keep sending me emails saying they recommend that I buy excess insurance at £4.99 per day. Is this necessary?"

The Telegraph's car hire expert Nick Trend replied in the article. saying "Excess insurance for hire cars is a notoriously tricky area......."

He then went on to say "  You could buy a policy covering the excess from another source: insurance4carhire; questor-insurance; worldwideinsure and icarhireinsurance all sell policies independently. The holidayautos site says that if you do this, the rental agent will take a deposit on your credit card to cover the risk. "

Incidentally talking of deposits on credit cards, Economy Car Hire sent out an email yesterday saying "Shock changes to Spanish car hire industry - Many car rental companies in Spain have started to levy an excess for collision damage or theft of up to €1,000 EUR."

To see the Telegraph article in full go to the page here

Monday 9 March 2015

Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday says a report in The Guardian

The Guardian has just published a seasonal reminder for people wanting to hire a car with Easter holidays just around the corner.
Steer clear of car hire rip-offs on holiday is the title of this report that has a list of what has become usual headings over the last couple of years or so in various publications. One of these about overcharging by asking a customer to pay in £ Sterling I had not heard off with car hire, but something to watch also in hotels and restaurants. 
Rip-off 1. Being made to pay over the odds for petrol.
Rip-off 2. The unwanted upgrade that costs an arm and a leg.

Rip-off 3. Paying for someone else’s bumps and scrapes

Rip-off 4. Overcharging you by asking for payment in sterling

Rip-off 5. Getting you to pay over the odds for inadequate insurance

Rip-off 6. Flogging you expensive extras

Under "Rip-off 5. Getting you to pay over the odds for inadequate insurance"

They quote Bob Atkinson from Travelsupermarket.com who says “This is a huge rip-off,do not cave in to scare tactics by high-pressure staff to try and make you buy things you do not need. A simple way to counter the high cost of ‘excess insurance’ is by buying a policy here in the UK before you set off. Not only will this cost you a fraction of the price, but it will also give you more comprehensive cover as well.”

Independent companies quoted in this article are Icarhireinsurance, Insurance4carhire and Protectyourbubble

See article in full here

Saturday 7 March 2015

Portuguese Car Hire Tax Rules

A "collection fee" of €15 (Fifteen Euros) has been levied on all car rentals at Portuguese airports from Sunday March 1st 2015 according to a report in the "The Irish Times" of the 7th March.

The Portuguese Airport Authority (ANA) has levied the tax on car hire suppliers who operate out of airport car parks rather than the terminals.

In Faro, the gateway airport to the Algarve, this affects roughly eighty per cent of all car rentals, as the majority of suppliers work out of the airport's Car Park 4

The new charge currently only applies to mainland airports including Lisbon, Oporto and Faro, but ANA is considering also applying the surcharge to offshore airports in Madeira and The Azores.

Source: The Irish Times

Looking for car hire in Portugal - Pre - book via this link.

Don't forget your car hire excess insurance either. Find out more here