Recent news has shown that one of the UK’s largest rental companies has been overcharging customers for vehicle hire repairs to damages. If you hire a vehicle and it gets dented, scratched, or stolen, how can you ensure you’re not being ripped off when it comes to paying the company back for repairs and replacements?
Overcharging and withholding repairs
In June, Trading Standards accused Europcar of fraudulently overcharging customers for repairs. Evidence obtained by The Daily Telegraph suggested that Europcar’s UK division may have profited millions of pounds by inflating the cost of windscreens and other repairs to consumers by up to 300 per cent. The case against Europcar could cost the company £30 million in compensation and legal fees. (1)
How to avoid paying more than necessary
These are our top tips to help you avoid paying more than you really should for damages to your rented vehicle:
1. Avoid using key drop facilities where you can. Always try to return the vehicle during working hours and allow time for the rental company to inspect the vehicle in your presence. Keep copies of all documentation, including inspection reports.
2. It’s reasonable to expect the hire company to back up their charges with a written estimate from a qualified repairer, make sure to ask for this so you know they aren’t just making a figure up.
3. Take the vehicle hand over seriously. Take time to check the vehicle with the rental company staff member when taking the vehicle. Finally, make sure you are comfortable the paperwork accurately reflects the condition of the vehicle!
4. If you hire a lot, consider taking out an independent annual excess insurance policy. This can be cheaper than the policies offered by the rental company and offer a lower excess.
Straightforward car and van hire
The standard insurance excess with Bayfield Vehicle Hire is £1,000. This is our customers’ maximum liability should the vehicle be damaged. Customers can even reduce their excess to just £500 by taking out our Excess Protection insurance, which means that whatever happens you will never have to pay over £500 for repairs.
We pride ourselves on being upfront and we will be honest when it comes to repairs. Bayfield Vehicle Hire will always support any charges with an itemised written estimate from a qualified repairer.
For reliable, trustworthy vehicle rental – perhaps car hire in Shrewsbury or van hire in Telford – contact Bayfield Vehicle Hire on 0333 555 3000 or fill out our enquiry form.
(1) Morley, K. (2017) Exclusive: Europcar accused of overcharging customers for repairs – amid Trading Standards investigation – The Daily Telegraph. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/24/exclusive-europcar-accused-overcharging-customers-repairs/ [Accessed 14th August 2017]