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  1. #1
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    Question Car hire - getting cheap insurances

    So hire companies charge you small fortune to bring the excess on their insurance down to a reasonable level not to mention filling the hire agreement with endless caveats that you need to be mindful of.

    I have been told by more than one person that a smart move is to get a hire car and then go to a third party to buy insurance. Apparently some online insurance providers will cover you for a lot less then the excess reduction fee of the hire company. Does anyone have first hand experience of this? What information is required and which suppliers did you find were good?

    Finally what about break down cover? Enterprise car hire from what I recall provide some level of break down cover if you buy their excess reduction but none without it (not absolutely sure about this).
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  2. #2
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    carhireexcess.com - had to claim for three windscreen chips last month (which I am sure were not caused by me!) and they paid up in full within a week

    Think they also include breakdown cover etc for about 30 quid a year

    Never had such good service from any insurance company ever.

  3. #3
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    I did this for a car hire in Spain last year. Declined the hire companies additional offering as I had taken out insurance of my own.

    After a bit of faffing about behind the counter between the sales staff I was told it was fine and was given a set of keys for the hire car.

    I had a look around the car (in the dimly lit airport carpark) before driving it out and all seemed fine.

    Drove it from the airport 200Ks to the hotel, 98% of which was motorway and the rest would be classed as A roads. parked it up for the 4 day duration I was there (I was passengered in another car when we went anywhere). Left hotel and drove directly back to the airport.

    When I parked up I asked in the kiosk if they wanted to check the car and they said it was not necessary.

    Three weeks later when I get my credit card bill I find a 1200 Euro charge on it by the hire company.

    When I queried it I was told it was for damage sustained by the vehicle whilst in my care. I queried the damage and a photo was duly supplied of a large dent in the underside of the sill. Whilst they claimed that it was new, you could clearly see that it was old, however as it wasn't listed on the docket when I accepted the car, and as they had not checked the car over with me I could not argue it, and had to claim on my other insurance to get the money back. Needless to say I did not get fully reimbursed for my outlay.

    This damage would have had to be caused by ramming the drivers underside of the car into a rock or high corner kerb. It was not something that could happen whilst parked up, and to have done it whilst driving would have been very obvious to the driver. My trips were wholly without incident and I am 100% sure that I did not cause the damage, and in any event it was obvious from the photo that it was not fresh enough to have happened in the last four days that I had it.

    Having investigated a bit further it would appear that this happens more often than you would think, and it seems to be a scam where if you have your own insurance cover the hire companies rent you a car with damage that is not easy to spot, and then charge you to fix it. I would not be surprised to find that they have claimed for this same damage on numerous occasions. What I thought was the staff not being sure about my insurance was probably a discussion as to which car they had in stock with hidden damage.

    What I thought was a way of saving money and being smart ended up costing me money, time, and stress. Next time I will take out the hire companies insurance, and ensure I deal with a mainstream company that hopefully have more integrity.
    Last edited by Nick M; 21-11-2016 at 09:35 AM.

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    I hired a van recently, and the insurance was included, but had an excess of 500, and didn't cover tyres or windscreen damage.

    To cover the excesses, I took out a policy with carhireexcess.com which cost me a grand total of 1.79
    In the end, I didn't need to use it, but to me, it was worth a couple of quid against the risk of a flat tyre or stone chip.
    The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

  5. #5
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    If you go down the third party route as I understand it you have to foot any initial bill frim the hire company and then claim back from your insurance?
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    If you go down the third party route as I understand it you have to foot any initial bill frim the hire company and then claim back from your insurance?
    Yes, my bill for 3 chips was 230 which came straight off my credit card - but the insurance paid out before my credit card bill was due so in effect made no difference to me.

  7. #7
    Formerly sbc23cam Steve Clark's Avatar
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    In the states, we use an agent usacarhire.com that provides a car hire voucher for Alamo.

    They have a 'gold' option that includes everything, including fuel and you can just confidently say no to the folks at the desk. Last time, I took a brand new (12 miles) Dodge Caravan and properly abused it. Returned it with 1500miles, full of sand inside and having had to tow it out of a grounding on a rutted sand road. We also lost a section of trim around the wing mirror having been hit by a lump of flying timber on the interstate.

    I will be using them again on Friday

  8. #8
    'Day 1' TDF Member doggy's doodah's Avatar
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    I've had this for years - from memory mine is Questor or similar.

    But a top tip is NOT to take the cheapest option car hire in the first place. I recently hired in the UK and when I returned it they 'found' some damage. As above the car went from Airport to B, was parked, then B to C parked, then C to airport. It was NOT me, but as it was on the wheels I had missed it. I had photos of all four corners and windscreen though! This company was the cheap version of a well known 'main' renter. Even the guys on the desk said not to use the cheap option!

    Once bitten and all that.
    Growing old is mandatory, growing wise is optional.

  9. #9
    Established WTF Member Spirit of Guernsey's Avatar
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    One piece of advice that I was given by a mate a few years ago, who worked part time behind the desk of a car hire company:

    Don't use your main credit card to hire a car, use a secondary one. Pay all of the anticipated costs up front, then report the card as lost or stolen before returning the hire car.
    There are four varieties in society: the lovers, the ambitious, observers and fools. The fools are the happiest.
    Hippolyte Taine French critic and historian (1828-93)

  10. #10
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit of Guernsey View Post
    One piece of advice that I was given by a mate a few years ago, who worked part time behind the desk of a car hire company:

    Don't use your main credit card to hire a car, use a secondary one. Pay all of the anticipated costs up front, then report the card as lost or stolen before returning the hire car.
    What every single time you hire a car?!
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)


 
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