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Hacking Car Hire

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Tbh @Roguevfr, I do consider dings in doors from parking as wear and tear, as otherwise I would get very cross in life.

That being said - if done in my watch on a hire car I know I would be liable.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Roguevfr wrote:
Any normal person would not consider the damages we're discussing to be wear and tear. I'm sure you wouldn't be happy if I dented YOUR car door in a car park and said " oh, that's just wear and tear".


My van has several, it sucks and I don't like it but it's an unfortunate part of owning a vehicle. The fact that there's only one person arguing for the rental companies might suggest that you've got a bit of a PR issue around what's considered normal.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Roguevfr wrote:
No reputable company would operate in this manner in my opinion, what some back street operator would do is a different matter.
So getting billed for fuel a month after the rental, car returned full, receipt saying no fees to pay, was not something that a reputable company would do? It was Hertz, BTW.

€900 repair bill for a very small ding is the action of a reputable company?

I started this thread with a fairly neutral view on the industry, and had written off my experience with Dollar to an over-zealous car return agent who was acting as if he was incentivised to compile a certain number of damage reports each week. But now my view of the entire industry is much less favourable.
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andy wrote:
That's proper chancing it imho.

We've had some serious damages to cars on 6 week rentals in Cayenne, and the tab there was nothing like that. Can get away with a lot there though. Wheel snapped off due to hitting a pothole cost nothing, as did a crack in a windscreen that split to cover the entire glass from top to bottom. But then they still chanced it by trying make one colleague pay for 2 new rear tyres and accused him of doing burnout round the roundabout outside the foreign legion barracks... in a renault clio. Still wondering to this day how one manages to wear out 30,000 miles worth of rear tyres in 6 weeks in a FWD car Wink They dropped that one from the final tab, unsurprisingly. We handed back wrecked cars that either had to be rescued by recovery or would be a visible MOT failure (or whatever the French equivalent is), and never had a real invoice for more than a €100 or so.


Such is the beauty of paying the insurance cover, no ?
Still , had I been renting to you under your current litany of damages, I'd certainly be asking the company paying the bills , or my superiors ,whether we were interested in taking any further bookings from you / them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rob@rar wrote:
But now my view of the entire industry is much less favourable.


Yep, no doubt there are people who rent cars and return them in crap order, filthy and with a few dings/scratches. But the posts of one person in this thread suggests that we're all doing it and every person is looking to screw something out of the rental company.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
But now my view of the entire industry is much less favourable.


Yep, no doubt there are people who rent cars and return them in crap order, filthy and with a few dings/scratches. But the posts of one person in this thread suggests that we're all doing it and every person is looking to screw something out of the rental company.


On the contrary, there are several posters here who have admitted to doing exactly that, and one person trying to give the opinion that not all companies act in the manner which you all seem to believe.

I'm the only one with direct experience of the other side of the argument, so I'm perfectly entitled to put that across .
Pay the insurance, use a reputable company and don't try to be a wide boy when you return the car and it'll all go better for everyone.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Roguevfr, I don't like that you're suggesting I act like a wide boy, tosser.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@Roguevfr, I don't like that you're suggesting I act like a wide boy, tosser.
+1.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@Roguevfr, I don't like that you're suggesting I act like a wide boy, tosser.

I dont much care for your tone either.

If you take that part of the post to mean you specifically, then that's on you.
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Oh remembered another classic of the dilligent saints that work for car rental companies - got nobbled by a small town cop late at night on my first night in New England while looking for my hotel. Cos my tail light was out. He let me off without a ticket once I'd produced the paperwork to show I'd only rented it that day. When I took it to the auto shop the next day to get replaced there wasn't even a bulb in there. Yeah they all do a rigourous inspection. In other cars I've found a joint in the central bin which I suspect at the time the cops would have been less lenient about.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Oh remembered another classic of the dilligent saints that work for car rental companies - got nobbled by a small town cop late at night on my first night in New England while looking for my hotel. Cos my tail light was out. He let me off without a ticket once I'd produced the paperwork to show I'd only rented it that day. When I took it to the auto shop the next day to get replaced there wasn't even a bulb in there. Yeah they all do a rigourous inspection. In other cars I've found a joint in the central bin which I suspect at the time the cops would have been less lenient about.
My “favourite” is a very chunky plastic cable tie securing the box that the snow chains are stored in. Impossible to open unless you have a scissors or similar implement, which generallly are banned if you are travelling with just hand luggage. Last time I had a rental car when it was forecast to snow I took th chains to the office in the garage and asked, politely, if they could remove the cable tie as I might need to use the chains. Chap in the office acted like I had asked him to carry me to the resort, and took him 15 minutes to locate a pair of scissors. Another successful graduate of the car industry School of Customer Service.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Roguevfr wrote:
... I'm the only one with direct experience of the other side of the argument, so I'm perfectly entitled to put that across .
Pay the insurance, use a reputable company and don't try to be a wide boy when you return the car and it'll all go better for everyone.

This thread isn't about your personal approach, although you're not helping the industry one iota.
No one's suggesting that criminals don't hire cars, which would be absurd.

It's illegal in most countries to force people to buy expensive "extra insurance".
If a rental agent ever managed to force me to do that (and it's been close on more than one occasion), I'd recover that cost plus damages subsequently.
I think that combined with a relaxed and polite attitude stops most fraud before it starts. They pick easier targets.

None the less, I started the thread because I'm looking for less obviously corrupt operators.

Do you know what the commission rate is on over the counter insurance sales? Are all operators pretty much running the same rates?
What portion of a rental agent's salary is formed by these commission based sales?
Is rental car operator "insurance" actually insurance, or does the company self-insure?
Clearly they don't repair all damage "as it happens"; it's batched up. How does that work?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Roguevfr wrote:
If you take that part of the post to mean you specifically, then that's on you.


You were replying to my post and quoting it, who else am I supposed to think you're referring to?!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Roguevfr wrote:
use a reputable company

For whatever reason this seems to be the issue.

Apologises if I missed it but who are they?

Roguevfr wrote:
don't try to be a wide boy when you return the car

This works both ways though, doesn't it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Here we go. Another thread degenerating into 'you said this, I said that, what's your source, willy waving'.

Seriously, this thread could be really interesting for us ignoramus' who would genuinely appreciate some good honest feedback and advice.

For instance; If I were to buy the full cover when booking online at around £3 a day (seems reasonable) would that stop the sales spiel at the desk when collecting?

I've never rented from an airport before so I'll really appreciate some good honest advice/thoughts!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
If you take that part of the post to mean you specifically, then that's on you.


You were replying to my post and quoting it, who else am I supposed to think you're referring to?!


I was replying your post, yes. If you can't understand a generalisation then I'm afraid that's your problem.

You're happy enough to reflect my comments and experiences to apply to all car rental companies and employees apparently , so I don't see your problem.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
esaw1 wrote:
For instance; If I were to buy the full cover when booking online at around £3 a day (seems reasonable) would that stop the sales spiel at the desk when collecting?
Not always in my experience, although the sales pitch seems much more insistent when I’ve hired in the USA than in Europe. This is especially annoying as after a long flight I just want to collect my car and get going, rather than listen to nonsense from the sales agent describing the consequences for my wallet when the sky falls down.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@rob@rar, Thank you Rob. It's just that annoying sales pitch that I would rather avoid, if possible. Even after a relatively short flight to Innsbruck when I just want to get to the resort.

Good to be back on topic!!
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philwig wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
... I'm the only one with direct experience of the other side of the argument, so I'm perfectly entitled to put that across .
Pay the insurance, use a reputable company and don't try to be a wide boy when you return the car and it'll all go better for everyone.

This thread isn't about your personal approach, although you're not helping the industry one iota.
No one's suggesting that criminals don't hire cars, which would be absurd.

It's illegal in most countries to force people to buy expensive "extra insurance".
If a rental agent ever managed to force me to do that (and it's been close on more than one occasion), I'd recover that cost plus damages subsequently.
I think that combined with a relaxed and polite attitude stops most fraud before it starts. They pick easier targets.

None the less, I started the thread because I'm looking for less obviously corrupt operators.

Do you know what the commission rate is on over the counter insurance sales? Are all operators pretty much running the same rates?
What portion of a rental agent's salary is formed by these commission based sales?
Is rental car operator "insurance" actually insurance, or does the company self-insure?
Clearly they don't repair all damage "as it happens"; it's batched up. How does that work?


@philwig no one is "forced" to buy insurance . Either its included in the price as it was in my day, or its optional. If you choose not to purchase it then you will be told the amount you may be liable for, in the event of chargeable damage. There are excesses levied on most insurance policies why do you think this should be any different?

I have no experience of working in an environment where such "sales" form part of a wage or commission. There may be some , but I am not the industry monitor of such practices. I'd expect it to be more prevalent if it exists at all in small independent companies.

Many companies self insure. Therefore all damage up to and including write-offs come directly out of profits. Obviously it is in the companies interest to have as little loss/ damage as possible to minimise this.

Damage can not be repaired as it happens unless its preventing the car being rented/safe because most companies run at a very high utilisation of vehicles- ideally over 95% and often 100% or more during peak periods. How would you like to be standing in a queue at an airport for your pre-booked car only to be told its not available due to being off the road due to a scratch ? However, the companies have to manage to keep as many of their customers bookings fulfilled as is possible , despite damage/late returns/unforseen circumstances at the customers end etc etc.
Our company used to regularly run vehicles all around the country to satisfy booked vehicles which were for some reason no longer available, primarily due to the renter changing circumstances. It would have been a great deal simpler to do what many airlines , hotels, and other businesses do and simply cancel the booking.


As I stated early on in this thread, prices have hardly changed from more than 20+ years ago, and if you consider the cost of a pair of skis, and the cost of a mid sized family car, I find it astonishing that people think the rental prices should be equivalent.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Roguevfr wrote:
I have no experience of working in an environment where such "sales" form part of a wage or commission. There may be some , but I am not the industry monitor of such practices. I'd expect it to be more prevalent if it exists at all in small independent companies.
I have no idea how the sales agents are paid, but my opinion based on the behaviour of plenty of them is that they act as if they are incentivised to sell additional insurance products to the customer when they collect their pre-booked car. Incentivising sales agents to up sell products is pretty common I would have thought, I’d be staggered if the car rental industry was different in this respect.

If you think the hard sell on top-up insurance is limited only to small, independent companies I’d have to say that your experience of this industry is not as wide as you think. I only book with the big name renters, either direct or via a partnership agreement they have with something like n airline. I have had the hard sell at one point or another from all of them, dating back to the 1990s when I first starting hiring cars for international travel. All of them.
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rob@rar wrote:
esaw1 wrote:
For instance; If I were to buy the full cover when booking online at around £3 a day (seems reasonable) would that stop the sales spiel at the desk when collecting?
Not always in my experience, although the sales pitch seems much more insistent when I’ve hired in the USA than in Europe. This is especially annoying as after a long flight I just want to collect my car and get going, rather than listen to nonsense from the sales agent describing the consequences for my wallet when the sky falls down.


And that's the problem in a nutshell. Believe me, the desk jockey doesn't want to have to explain all this to you either, for the 300th time that day. With another 30 or 40 people standing in the queue behind you.

Then again, it's their job, and it saves the argument at the other end when the car is returned with a damaged tyre, or a knackered alloy.

Believe me, the company wants their car returned clean, undamaged and ready to go swiftly on to the next tired and emotional renter with the minimum of fuss. This ludicrous idea that they want to be going through damage repairs and invoicing out damage as income is simply nonsensical.

It's going to be more prevalent in the US, since they don't even put the sales tax in their prices on the shelves in a shop, and it's a far more litigious society where they need to be told that hot coffee may be hot. I've spent many a wasted hour explaining to Americans that " no, having a visa/American express card does NOT give you insurance cover to drive a car in the UK".
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rob@rar wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
I have no experience of working in an environment where such "sales" form part of a wage or commission. There may be some , but I am not the industry monitor of such practices. I'd expect it to be more prevalent if it exists at all in small independent companies.
I have no idea how the sales agents are paid, but my opinion based on the behaviour of plenty of them is that they act as if they are incentivised to sell additional insurance products to the customer when they collect their pre-booked car. Incentivising sales agents to up sell products is pretty common I would have thought, I’d be staggered if the car rental industry was different in this respect.

If you think the hard sell on top-up insurance is limited only to small, independent companies I’d have to say that your experience of this industry is not as wide as you think. I only book with the big name renters, either direct or via a partnership agreement they have with something like n airline. I have had the hard sell at one point or another from all of them, dating back to the 1990s when I first starting hiring cars for international travel. All of them.


Look. I'm not saying that it is not a tactic used. I'm saying that I am not familiar with it. To all intents and purposes extra income whether it be in the form of hire cost or additional insurance is INCOME . They are in business to make a profit. Ideally, the renter pays the hire cost, and any additional insurance charge that is optional, they use the car, and they return it . Rinse and repeat. Literally.

However, in the same way that shops use loss leaders or hotels do cheap weekend dates, the price you see has to be as low as possible on the website/leaflet in order to attract the " financially cautious" customer. That's just the way business is, in every walk of life.

Now, if part of the actual cost of the rental is actually covered by the insurance "cdw" top up, then it's obviously in the interests of the rental company to make it
1)cost effective for the customer to be incentivised into purchasing this.
2) ensure that such costs as may be incurred due to damage or other "wear and tear" be reimbursed to the company from the renter in the event that they opt NOT to purchase the "CDW".

We used to be constantly told by customers " oh, you're expensive, xyz company only wants .£20 a day for a Fiesta" etc.
The obvious reply to that was " so go rent from xyz then " , which of course we never said, because we were professional, conscientious workers.
Or " I had a car/van booked from xyz , but when I got there it wasn't available".
Or I had a car before from xyz, but I damaged it and had to pay £? to get it sorted. "Is your insurance included ?"

That reflects badly on the company xyz, and maybe on the industry as a whole, but it's not the way WE operated and its no different nowadays.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Roguevfr wrote:
And that's the problem in a nutshell. Believe me, the desk jockey doesn't want to have to explain all this to you either, for the 300th time that day. With another 30 or 40 people standing in the queue behind you.
Based on my experience I simply don’t believe that. When asked if you want top-up insurance there are three responses: yes, no, or “what’s that?”. The first two replies need no further sales pitch, you either add it to the bill or move on to the next item to be dealt with. That’s simply not what happens. A polite and clear “no thanks, I don’t want the extra insurance” far too often leads to a sales pitch which can sometimes border on aggressive. On one particular occasion in LA if I hadn’t been so “tired and emotional” (did you treat all your customers with such contempt?) I would have asked to see the sales agent’s supervisor to complain about her. As it was I had a couple of hours drive ahead of me battling the LA traffic, so my polite decline of her sales pitch became a little less polite which didn’t make either of us especially happy. Fortunately that’s at one end of the spectrum of such encounters, but not unique. It was with Avis, not some small, cheap off-site renter operating from the back of a fuel station.
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Cheapest way to hire a car is NOT AT THE AIRPORT.

You pay for the convenience of airport pick up.

I found easy car (not at the airport) much more in tune with what you are after (of course they still try to ensure you are insured). Enterprise is also good, but (not at the airport).

You get good weekend deals as well, which are usually cheaper than weekdays.

I have hired from rent a wreck in Vancouver (NOT AT THE AIRPORT), although it was not substantially cheaper than a newer car. The car hired was a 100,000 km ford escort which did not look like a hire car. (which is useful if you do not want to look like a tourist). 2 week hire driven through Canadian Rockies.

In the US and Canada you can get what are known as driveaways which are essentially vehicles being delivered to their owners across large distances (many companies offer this, just look in yellow pages or lonely planet). Not always convenient, and difficult to get exactly what you want going where you want and when you want. Also sometimes the boot is full of the owners junk, (drugs and other things). However, you generally only have to pay for fuel costs.

The best deals for hire cars are often advertised by flyers in youth hostels in large cities. People who stay there are going to go budget, or not hire!

Britz campervans in NZ offered great packages (flyers in youth hostels).


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 9-06-21 9:26; edited 2 times in total
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Roguevfr wrote:
Look. I'm not saying that it is not a tactic used. I'm saying that I am not familiar with it..
It’s a shame you didn’t acknowledge this point up front, and perhaps this thread would have been less heated.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
rob@rar wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
Look. I'm not saying that it is not a tactic used. I'm saying that I am not familiar with it..
It’s a shame you didn’t acknowledge this point up front, and perhaps this thread would have been less heated.


I'm afraid I can't acknowledge something I'm not familiar with, much like your damage to your car.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Roguevfr wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
Look. I'm not saying that it is not a tactic used. I'm saying that I am not familiar with it..
It’s a shame you didn’t acknowledge this point up front, and perhaps this thread would have been less heated.


I'm afraid I can't acknowledge something I'm not familiar with, much like your damage to your car.
No, that’s a fair point. But you can state that you don’t know if such behaviour exists, as you have just done, rather than be reflexively defensive and place all the blame on the customer. As I said, if you had acknowledged this point earlier there might have been a bit more light and a little less heat in this discussion.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Mulling this over, if people have their own insurance (or self insure), then if someone persists in selling expensive additional insurance in that knowledge,
they may be mis-selling. The insurance they are selling no value to the customer, only cost.

I like the idea of Hertz Gold if that avoids the pickup hard-sell.
They're also a multi-national so it's hard for them to cost effectively fight small disputes.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
philwig wrote:
Mulling this over, if people have their own insurance (or self insure), then if someone persists in selling expensive additional insurance in that knowledge,
they may be mis-selling. The insurance they are selling no value to the customer, only cost.

I like the idea of Hertz Gold if that avoids the pickup hard-sell.
They're also a multi-national so it's hard for them to cost effectively fight small disputes.

You cannot FORCE someone to take an optional extra .

Also, having a customer say " I don't need it, I've got insurance " then requires proof of such insurance , in much the same way as saying " yeah, of course I've got a licence".

In such instances, I'd expect a deductible amount to be held against the customer's credit card , and the customer to have to RECLAIM the damage costs if any from their privately held insurance.

Any "club" membership is a good idea if you're a regular customer, since it means your details are held on file, and preferences and previous rental details are available and will already be on the rental document when you come to collect your pre booked vehicle.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Roguevfr, really interesting to hear 'the other side of the coin'..........thank you

DotM, Rob, Snoodles...........easy guys - i know 2 of you well enough to know that you're way more chilled than this in real life......

Anyway, my conciliatory tone is because i'd like the view of both sides on one my 'experiences'.......... I returned a car to MUC airport with a small chip in the windscreen ( way less then the diameter of a 1 cent coin - i took a lot of pictures !! ). The damage occurred on my watch. In fact, the damage occurred on my drive to the airport Sad . I reported the damage during the return inspection. Upon my return home, I made a note of the cost of a day's hire £30, got a quote from the VW garage for supply and fit of a new windscreen £230. A few days later the bill from the hire car company arrived at €600. To say I wasn't pleased is an understatement. I wrote to them, and offered payment of £250, they wrote back politely saying no, and with an introduction to their lawyers. I wrote back supplying the evidence behind my offer of £250.....a few weeks later, they wrote to say that the matter had been resolved......... Bizarre........maybe the vehicle in question had been moved on, maybe a subsequent hirer had written the vehicle off.......who knows...

I'd like to know how they come up with their estimates of repair costs, because there is no way that a windscreen costs €600 Evil or Very Mad and i wonder why they dropped it all of a sudden when they had a guaranteed £250 in their coffers......
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Roguevfr wrote:
As I stated early on in this thread, prices have hardly changed from more than 20+ years ago, and if you consider the cost of a pair of skis, and the cost of a mid sized family car, I find it astonishing that people think the rental prices should be equivalent.


I'm surprised prices remain as low as they generally do but that is the industry's problem to sort out not on customers to demand to pay more. As this thread illustrates there are those of us willing to pay more for a guarantee of an honest, no hassle service but of course everyone will claim that is them and there will no way for the customer to differentiate. AIUI crudely the car rental industry exists at the scale it does as a mechanism for putting plenty of used vehicles into the auto supply chain so there is always likely bar isolated timeframe squeezes to be supply exceeding demand.

I've really heard some laughable lies over the years from desk staff. Some that I can recall in pursuit of upgrades were "That 2.0l engine won't work properly at this altitude" (In which case why is it in your fleet) "It's illegal to drive in the mountains without 4WD" (it really isn't) and "That Fiat 500 is a mid-size car"
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The last few times I have travelled to the UK, I have rented a car there, from the airport, pre-booked online. I don't recall any hard-sell of extras, but I do recall quite a lot of damage to report at point of collection (bodywork/wheel damage, cigarette burns in upholstery, missing buttons, oil leak, etc.). However the prices were always very competitive, often less than €150 for a week's rental.

Although travel to the UK may not be possible this year due to quarantine restrictions, I have been pricing up a trip in case the possibility arises. The cost of car hire seems to have risen at least four-fold. Is this a Brexit and/or Covid bonus? Pricing up similar car hire elsewhere in the EU seems slightly more expensive than my previous experiences, but certainly not a four-fold increase.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Timberwolf wrote:


... Rob, ...easy guys - i know 2 of you well enough to know that you're way more chilled than this in real life.......
That's a fair point, but I didn't like some of the suggestions that I was being dishonest in my dealing with rental companies. Nor the obvious ignoring of reality. But hey ho, we seem to have reached a better understanding now.

@philwig, Avis Preferred also works well in some locations (including in the US where I've more experience of it), being able to head straight to the garage to collect your pre-booked car, bypassing the rental desk altogether.
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Timberwolf wrote:
@Roguevfr, really interesting to hear 'the other side of the coin'..........thank you

DotM, Rob, Snoodles...........easy guys - i know 2 of you well enough to know that you're way more chilled than this in real life......

Anyway, my conciliatory tone is because i'd like the view of both sides on one my 'experiences'.......... I returned a car to MUC airport with a small chip in the windscreen ( way less then the diameter of a 1 cent coin - i took a lot of pictures !! ). The damage occurred on my watch. In fact, the damage occurred on my drive to the airport Sad . I reported the damage during the return inspection. Upon my return home, I made a note of the cost of a day's hire £30, got a quote from the VW garage for supply and fit of a new windscreen £230. A few days later the bill from the hire car company arrived at €600. To say I wasn't pleased is an understatement. I wrote to them, and offered payment of £250, they wrote back politely saying no, and with an introduction to their lawyers. I wrote back supplying the evidence behind my offer of £250.....a few weeks later, they wrote to say that the matter had been resolved......... Bizarre........maybe the vehicle in question had been moved on, maybe a subsequent hirer had written the vehicle off.......who knows...

I'd like to know how they come up with their estimates of repair costs, because there is no way that a windscreen costs €600 Evil or Very Mad and i wonder why they dropped it all of a sudden when they had a guaranteed £250 in their coffers......


Maybe the cost of the windscreen was E200 (they must get bulk discount on repairs) plus another E400 in admin/lawyer fees that they couldn't really justify? Or perhaps a corporate policy based on success rate that says if someone starts fighting them its not worth them persisting because plenty of low hanging suckers pay up straightway (and they retain the inertia advantage there anyway because they'll usually have billed your CC before you get to challenge the invoice).
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Mankei wrote:
The last few times I have travelled to the UK, I have rented a car there, from the airport, pre-booked online. I don't recall any hard-sell of extras, but I do recall quite a lot of damage to report at point of collection (bodywork/wheel damage, cigarette burns in upholstery, missing buttons, oil leak, etc.). However the prices were always very competitive, often less than €150 for a week's rental.

Although travel to the UK may not be possible this year due to quarantine restrictions, I have been pricing up a trip in case the possibility arises. The cost of car hire seems to have risen at least four-fold. Is this a Brexit and/or Covid bonus? Pricing up similar car hire elsewhere in the EU seems slightly more expensive than my previous experiences, but certainly not a four-fold increase.


Undoubtedly the combination of both sets of circumstances , not to mention that the supply of brand new cars is severely restricted at the moment.
The simple answer is that it's a supply and demand situation - prices rise when there's short supply and fall when there's a glut . The situation in europe may well be less extreme but that's for obvious reasons.

This may come as a shock to some people ,but prices have been artificially low for many years, and now there are far more people both privately, and for company use, who are driving instead of flying, not to mention restrictions in the number of people allowed to travel in one vehicle etc. For example , companies who provide transport home for offshore workers may now not allow 3 guys in a car, instead will take 3 cars. While this appears to be good business for the rental company, in fact its the opposite, since the company may be on a fantastic rate for the rental, based on an agreed yearly contract, having to meet that price commitment on more cars than originally budgeted for leaves the rental company short of cars for daily rental. Ergo prices rise due to lack of availability. It shouldn't come as a surprise.
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rob@rar wrote:
Roguevfr wrote:
I must admit to having worked as a customer facing employee in a car rental company, albeit 20 + years ago. I have to laugh at all the people who are mortified at the "scams" that all the "conning" companies operate.

In my experience, which was over 10 years in post, 95 % of customers are trying to get one over the rental company in some small way, whether in "yes I've filled it up" to no, I didn't scrape the bumper on any wall.
In all honesty, you reap what you sow, and its the cumulative effect of decades of this sort of behaviour which puts in practice the elements you are now all so up in arms about.
I guess I’m in the minority then. I treat rental cars with the same respect as my own, and I’ve never tried to get one over on a rental company. Yet I’ve had to fight off the hard sell at the rental desk dozens of times, and twice had to deal with what I consider scams by the rental company (exorbitant charge for a scratched panel, and a fuel charge added a month after returning the car where I was given a receipt showing nothing to pay). Maybe I’m just unlucky.


No not unlucky - the business model involves setting low headline prices then making up the margin on expensive insurance or exorbitant damage claims.
I got charged 900CHF for a minor scuff on a humble fiat (came back to find the scuff in a car park - not that I'm incapable of cocking up!). The car had several other scuffs on it already. Charging for scuffs would have been a big part of the cars revenue if they had all been uninsured (by the rental company). I take out my own annual CD insurance which is much cheaper but the amount of paperwork I had to complete (real and online) to get refunded was painful and honestly quite an encouragement to paying up at the car hire desk for insurance.

Of course I use comparison sites to get cheap car hire deals so I'm probably one of the people that forces hire companies to do everything they can to keep headline prices low....
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@Roguevfr, thank you for the explanation.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rob@rar wrote:
Timberwolf wrote:


... Rob, ...easy guys - i know 2 of you well enough to know that you're way more chilled than this in real life.......
That's a fair point, but I didn't like some of the suggestions that I was being dishonest in my dealing with rental companies. Nor the obvious ignoring of reality. But hey ho, we seem to have reached a better understanding now.

@philwig, Avis Preferred also works well in some locations (including in the US where I've more experience of it), being able to head straight to the garage to collect your pre-booked car, bypassing the rental desk altogether.


You may have taken offence, but I simply restated the facts as you reported them. You did return the car damaged, and you did not report it.
I'm afraid in the circumstances your particular assertion that you neither knew about the damage , nor were to blame for it are no different in the eyes of the rental company than the guy I dealt with who, on returning his car , very carefully placed a large suitcase on the ground immediately behind the driver's side rear wheel. It seemed an odd thing to do , since I knew he wasn't returning directly from an airport or holiday. When I went to move the suitcase , he immediately stood in front of it, all the while chatting amicably about the day, until I removed the case to reveal a 8" long scrape through to bare metal , where he'd conveniently forgotten to mention scraping it along the wall at his driveway.

Now I'm not in any way suggesting this is the same as your experience , or that all renters behave in this manner, but a significant number do, in the same way that some people shoplift, but I don't see you berating the shops because some people steal.

In that case, we asked him to fill out a damage report, and that was the end of it as far as he was concerned, since he'd paid for full insurance in the cost.
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@Roguevfr, you have repeatedly ignored the point I made about that incident. It was not that there was a damage report, but that the bill was €900 for a car park ding that was so minor I didn't see it (which is the reason I didn't report it, not some nefarious effort to defraud rolling eyes ). I consider the amount of that charge to be disproportionate, and an example of the shady practice that a number of people seem to associate with car rental firms, big and small.
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I think the cost of rental of skis being high is fairly in comparison to a car is fairly obvious. At least it is to me. 1st and foremost is that it’s a captive audience, and an audience which tends to have lots of cash. 2nd, the useful life of a pair of rental skis is about 12-15 months at best (3 x 4 or 5 months) after which they are completely valueless. A rental car on the other hand can we worked for up to 36 months, after which it is shifted on back to a dealer for sale and still has considerable value.

The main point of contention with rental companies seems to be the hard sell for extra insurance and exorbitant fees for damage. I have only ever been pushed hard for CDW by the larger companies. My local hire place, which is small, doesn’t do this.

The worst point of all though is the fees for damage. Ok fair enough, if you properly pranged the car that’s fair, but in my experience the larger companies (who have a big scary legal team) take the p i s s by trying to charge £150 excess for each and every tiny thing. Eg. If a bonnet had 4 stone chips (which should be fair wear and tear) they try and hammer you for £600, when they zero intention of actually repairing the damage. And I would argue all but serious/structure damage never gets repaired. I must have rented several dozen different cars in my time and not once have I had one that was immaculate.
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