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
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
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 asked for.
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
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.