5 important points to remember when you hire a
car, van or motorhome
a vehicle is normally very straightforward. You make the arrangements online,
by phone or in person, however sometimes there can be unforeseen problems so the
following will be of help.
When you book your car (van or motorhome), most
people do this on line using a car hire company direct or one
of the car hire brokers like Holiday
Autos. You should keep a copy of all the details
including the price quoted if booking on line. A lot of people
also take out cancellation insurance at this point. You might
also be persuaded to buy the vehicle hire company's excess insurance.
This tends to be quite expensive and for car hire if you are renting
several times a year it can make more sense to take out an annual
policy. Sites like insurance4carrental.com
have a lot of insurance companies advertising excess insurance
for car hire, van hire and motorhome hire rental.
arrive at your destination to collect the vehicle. With cars and
motorhomes this will often involve a flight and you could be rather
exhausted. Before you collect the vehicle the vehicle hire company
will try and sell you excess insurance again. If you have already
bought it separately make sure you decline this and don't sign
for this. Unfortunately occasionally a company is too anxious
to sell at the point of collection and last year in Dublin, Ireland
my wife declined the insurance when she rented a car from an Irish
car hire company. They ignored her, added it to the credit card
bill and refused to refund when it was spotted on the credit card
statement "saying she signed for it".
the vehicle over for any damage that has not been noted and report
it to the check in desk. Sometimes this can be difficult, you
are at a strange airport after a long flight, you are tired it
is dark and raining and you want to get going. Make the effort
and retain the paperwork and if you are really concerned take
a photo. Most people have cameras in their mobile phones these
days. If emergency equipment is the law of the country - warning
triangles, reflective jackets, fire extinguishers etc make sure
these are in the vehicle.
you return the vehicle retain the sign off paperwork and make
sure you have filled it up with fuel. It is normally a lot better
to do this yourself as otherwise you will be paying the vehicle
hire company an administration charge. Keep the receipt as well,
the car hire company might want proof that the correct fuel is
in the vehicle. Diesel in an unleaded vehicle for example. Vehicles
are normally clearly marked, however if your personal car takes
unleaded petrol and you rent a diesel and you are in a hurry to
get to your plane, you might put the wrong product in by mistake.
It is wise to retain that receipt till you have received your
credit card statement.
So we come to point four. As soon as you receive your credit car
statement check very thoroughly any vehicle rental transactions.
Some companies charge an initial deposit on the rental with the
balance being paid at time of pick up. If the figures do not add
up to the original quote that you should have retained then you
need to question this. You will normally be charged extra for
child seats, sat navs (on most vehicles apart from top of the
range ones) and roof racks, although you can often pre-book and
pay for these.
is still important to check those card transactions and if an
amount has been deducted a fuel deposit (as some Irish car hire
companies) do, make it has been refunded and that is why you should
keep your final fuel receipt. It was at this point that I discovered
last year that the incident outlined earlier with the Irish car
rental company selling my wife excess insurance even though she
had declined it.
we come to point five. We all accumulate a lot of paper and want
to re-cycle, however don't be too hasty getting rid of your car
hire documentation. Back in the early 1980's I rented a van from
a company in High Wycombe, England for a couple of days. This
was back in the era before independent insurance companies sold
excess insurance, so you just paid the van hire company what they
was no problem with the van or the return or any of the problems
that could have developed in the earlier points. Suddenly out
of the blue, about three months after the hire was a notification
saying van registration XYZ had been caught speeding on a certain
date in a certain location. I contacted the appropriate authorities
and said that yes I had the van that day, however it was in Worcester
at the time of the event. We are also talking early 1980's when
there were not speed cameras. It turns out that the van hire company
had got the registrations on the vehicles mixed up and had given
the Police my information opposed to the correct renter..
In 2004 my wife was in Dublin, she had rented a car and the Garda
Síochána (Irish Police) made a fixed penalty charge of €80 for
a speeding fine. The alleged offence took place in the south part
of Dublin on a Saturday evening when the car in question was in
north Dublin and had not been used that evening. The car hire
company had mixed up the registration and it took several telephone
calls and letters to both the car hire company and Garda to sort
out the problem.
conclusion here is a check list to use.