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Sixt charging for pre-existing scratch

edited 19 August 2019 at 8:51PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
9 replies 1.3K views
EugEug Forumite
7 posts
edited 19 August 2019 at 8:51PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
I flew into Malaga airport at the end of July and picked up a rental car from Sixt. When I spoke to the gentleman at teh desk he pointing out the list of scratches and said I may want to check this and document any they may have missed. Given it was 1a.m. with a 90 minute drive ahead, I took a quick video of the car on my phone. Then went off and had a fab holiday:beer: When we returned the car, the guy inspecting the vehicle pointed out a scratch on the front bumper. So I had a quick look at the video and lo and behold there was the scratch. I showed him and he asked me to write a comment and then told we were good to go!

A couple of days later I received the "final invoice" and asked to rate the experience.

A week later I then received a damage report highlighting the scratch so I sent off a screen shot from the video.

:eek:Today I received an email saying they are still pursuing me for the damage as I should have told them before I drove the car away. They have pointed to a clause in the contract to say that I should tell someone but this is not the advice I was given at the desk.

Anyone got a similar experience - any advice welcome. Really don't want to pay around £250 for a scratch I didn't cause.

Thanks

Replies

  • brianposterbrianposter Forumite
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    What does the "clause in the contract" actually say ?
  • mattyprice4004mattyprice4004 Forumite
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    How do they know you didn't make the video after you'd damaged the car?
  • EveryWhereEveryWhere
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    Raise a dispute with your CC company or make a claim on the car hire excess insurance that you purchased after reading the advice oft repeated here.
  • EugEug Forumite
    7 posts
    Thanks for the responses.

    The clause says - "I confirm that I will check the vehicle for damage prior to the commencement of the rental and will report any damage not recorded to the pick up location or service hotline before leaving the branch"

    So that is clear but 1) I question if it is reasonable, 2) It wasn't what was verbally relayed to me and 3) as someone who is dyslexic - it's a tough call to be asked to read all of this and absorb this in what is not a particularly relaxing environment.

    I do have excess insurance but the principle of this for me is important. I didn't cause the damage or had taken responsibility for the car when the damage was caused so why should I pay?

    Thanks
  • edited 20 August 2019 at 1:23PM
    brianposterbrianposter Forumite
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    edited 20 August 2019 at 1:23PM
    That clause does not enable the hirer to charge you for damage which was on your car prior to the hire. If your video will stand up to examination you can simply ask what you are being charged for - obviously it cannot be for damage which you have caused, for you can show that such damage does not exist.
    Your excess insurance complicates the matter and it would probably be appropriate to ask them what you should do. It would be interesting to know what they say.
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    Eug wrote: »
    I do have excess insurance but the principle of this for me is important.

    You buy excess insurance in principle to cover any such issues. Claim on it and save yourself the ache of dealing with the hire company. Unless, of course, you enjoy the argument in which case fill your boots.
  • EveryWhereEveryWhere
    3.2K posts
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    EveryWhere wrote: »
    Raise a dispute with your CC company or make a claim on the car hire excess insurance that you purchased after reading the advice oft repeated here.

    Again.
    They will simply take the money back when shown your evidence. SIXT will need to prove to them that it wasn't existing damage.
  • It's always tempting to forego checking the car over thoroughly and even though you did take a video, hire firms are notorious for sticking to the term and conditions and even making up some that don't exist.
    When making your video did you include the dash mileage reading as this will back your claim when combined with your paperwork which should have the mileage on it as well.
    One possibility is, if you are charged by the hire company, they will presumably charge your credit card. If they do, you could dispute it with your credit card company and presumably they would claim the money back from the hire firm. I have claimed money back from a hire car firm this way when they took the full security deposit from my card for no reason at all and failed to pay it back.
  • Another thought on this is to take to social media with your complaint. A pretty big firm like Sixt will not like other people on Facebook or Twitter seining bad comments on their pages. They will especially notice if you ask other users for their experiences and thoughts and start trending a bit.
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