By Dom at Reduce My Excess,
14 September 2018
You’ve just landed. It was a long flight, full of screaming teenagers and cramped conditions; your luggage took FOREVER to arrive at baggage reclaim, and the queue at passport control was outrageous. Now you’re finally walking to the car hire centre, surely it’s plain sailing from now on?
Well if our customers’ responses are anything to go by, that’s not often the case.
We recently asked a proportion of ReduceMyExcess customers what negative experiences they had endured whilst hiring a car. The results you gave us were eye-opening, and a little bit scary:
Just under half (46%) experienced waiting times of over an hour
29% were charged for damage they didn't cause
21% received a vehicle with a lower specification than the one they booked
16% received unexplained card charges after their trip
Whilst having to wait an awfully long time to get your hire car is obviously not acceptable, the most worrying statistic from our survey by far is the 30% of you who said they were charged for damages that you didn’t cause.
What this data also shows us is a trend of car hire companies not only over-charging, but wrongfully charging too, which has unfortunately led to 1 in 3 of you saying that you were charged for damage that you simply had nothing to do with.
So, how do you combat this?
Well, the best way is to take photos of your hire vehicle as soon as you get to it. Any little scratch or scrape you see, take a photo. This may be time consuming, but all photos are time-stamped and therefore could save you £100’s when you arrive back at the car hire desk and the company inspect the car.
Another aspect of the data we collected was the 16% of you who claimed to be caught up in the mysterious “unexplained charges” that you incurred long after you’d come back from your holidays. These can be the most frustrating to deal with. Not only is your memory hazy, but companies can bombard you with jargon such to the point that you’ll feel it’s no longer worth the effort of contesting the charge. Ignore this impulse. Make sure you keep all paperwork and documents from your car hire dealings until any final expected payments have been made, this way, if there are some nasty surprises you’ll be better prepared to contest them.
Lastly, make sure your voice is heard. After you’ve purchased a policy from us, head to our car hire review page where you can leave comments about your car hire experience. The best way to avoid being disappointed is through word-of-mouth so spread the word, and our future customers will be grateful to you!