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  • FIRST POST
    • vitamind
    • By vitamind 3rd Jul 17, 6:09 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 5Thanks
    vitamind
    0 WOW
    Car rental damage charge
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 17, 6:09 PM
    0 WOW
    Car rental damage charge 3rd Jul 17 at 6:09 PM
    Hi all,

    Hope this is the right place to post. On Friday, I rented a car with a large, international car hire company (not sure if I can say the name) from an Irish airport. I was scheduled to pick the car up at 3, but my flight was delayed and I didn't get it until 5. At 12 that day, they emailed me a pre-inspection report with very low-res pictures, with no visible damage. The pictures were taken in an outside space that I later discovered was the returns area.

    When I picked up the car, it had been moved to a multi-storey car park, and parked beside two cars, in front of a pillar and bumper to bumper with another car. I did a quick inspection, but it was dark and hard to see well. Once I turned on the engine, I found that the petrol tank was nearly empty, despite being marked as "Full" on my rental agreement. The entertainment system was also in German, but that's just extra info highlighting the shoddy job they did in checking the car.

    I immediately called the company to inform them of the fuel situation, which we resolved. I then drove down a large motorway, parked the car in a rural country hotel and forgot about it. I returned it on the Sunday evening and the attendant identified a number of faint scratches on the rear bumper. You really had to get close to see them. She claimed that, as this was not on her report, I was liable for the damage to the tune of over 600 euros!

    I obviously don't think A) I'm responsible for this, and B) that it could possibly cost close to that amount to repair. I refused to admit liability, and I will challenge this charge on the basis that:

    - Five hours passed between the pre-inspection report and me picking it up, during which time it was driven into an enclosed location and parked near several obstacles
    - The pre-inspection report failed to identify the empty fuel tank and entertainment system in the foreign language
    - The pre-inspection pictures are so blurry that it's impossible to say that the scratches aren't present in them.

    Now, I know I should have looked more closely, but as I said, my flight was late, the parking garage was dark and I was distracted by more glaring faults. I don't want to mess this up, so can anyone advise me about how best to challenge this charge?

    Any help at all is appreciated .
Page 2
    • WAYT
    • By WAYT 12th Jul 17, 4:41 AM
    • 511 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    WAYT
    I've used the MSE advice and bought UK excess insurance for EU hires.

    But in USA I bought the excess insurance from the car hire co as I didn't trust a UK insurer to cope with a dispute with US insurance lawyers! It only added 25% to the hire cost.

    But what I find annoying is, no hire companies seem to post their excess insurance rates, or allow you to buy it, at the same time that you book the car online. They always seem to save it for when you are standing in front of their booking counter.

    Are there any honest car hire companies out there?
    Originally posted by buglawton
    There is a reason for this, as all US car rental booked from the UK have CDW and the minimum amount of Liability Insurance included.
    So there is absolutely no need for you to purchase excess insurance from the car hire company, as it is already included.
    Why is why they can't sell it to you on-line. The option is automatically selected.
    So what you are buying at the desk is possibly Liability Insurance or whatever they can sell to you when you badger them to sell you something.

    Note: If you rent a car in America through a UK based company or website normally (but not always) CDW/LDW/SLI comes within the package as the company will assume it is required for travellers from Europe.
    So the only issue may be with your liability in causing damage to a person or to their property, which is covered under SLI, The rental may come with only a minimal amount, say US$20,000.

    So you can buy a supplement, taking that to US$1,000,000. That can be obtained here:

    https://www.carhireexcess.com
    https://www.bettersafe.com/Products/Car-Hire-Excess-Insurance-Protection
    http://www.insurance4carhire.com/usa-canada-car-hire-excess-insurance

    I have it as a matter of course, as it covers me for everything. Not just in the USA. So I don't need to think it about it wherever and whenever I want to rent a car on the spot.

    You worry too much.
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