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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Car hire and excess insurance in June 17 News

Car hire costs and the benefits of taking out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent provider are very much in the news in the last week.


The Irish Times travel section of June 17th, featured a report by Joan Scales "Travel advice on....Pitfalls of car rental"


She reported that Car rental can be one of the most frustrating elements of any holiday. She had recently booked a car in Spain and the price for 10 days hire with a Nissan Juke was only €33.92. She added on the items in the Goldcar list it suddenly cost €313.92!


She wrote that Goldcar would block a deposit of €1,400 if she provided her own excess insurance, their price was €59.50 which of course costs the same as an annual policy from an independent insurance company.


On the 24th June in The Guardian's Travel special by Rupert Jones "How to avoid the add-ons that can double the cost of your holiday car hire" - This long article appears to be very much based on iCarhireinsurance's (  http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Icar ) very well researched press releases. It identified the add on route whereby car hire companies make their money - satnavs, child seats, additional drivers. The article also stated that you should keep the car rental paperwork for some time and particularly keep an eye on your credit card statements for a while as suddenly some "charge" might appear.


On the same day - 24th June BBC News reported the Mail on Line's "Hire firm Europcar is accused of raking in millions by fraudulently inflating repair costs by up to 300 PER CENT"


The article went on to say "Trading Standards raided the UK head office of car hire firm Europcar yesterday as the company was accused of raking in millions of pounds by fraudulently inflating repair costs.


The firm, one of the biggest hire companies in Europe, allegedly inflated the cost of windscreens and other repairs by up to 300 per cent for UK customers. Evidence, seen by The Telegraph, shows Trading Standards is investigating the firm over billing concerns, including overcharging"


More about this at The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/24/exclusive-europcar-accused-overcharging-customers-repairs/  and The Mail on Line http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4635826/Europcar-accused-fraudulently-inflating-repair-costs.html?ITO=1490


No doubt in the coming weeks more on this final story will be known.


So the main advice is when hiring a car take out car hire excess waiver insurance from an independent insurance provider.
On the insurance4carrental.com site http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Click There is a great choice - Questor, carhireexcess.com, insurance4carhire, Worldwide insure, Protect Your Bubble, iCarhireinsurance, insurecarhire plus companies offering Van hire excess, motorhome excess and minibus hire excess insurance and car club insurance.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Vignette in French cities and Holiday for less

The Irish Times of the 15th and 17th April 17 carried two features for travellers.


First of all travel advice correspondent Joan Scales wrote an article "Getting a Clean Air Certificate for France."


She reported that there is a new vignette/sticker for Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. They are first three cities to introduce emissions stickers for all vehicles and there are a lot of cities in France. Twenty two more cities are planning this.


On days when certain cities are at risk of reaching their Euro emissions limit heavy polluting vehicles can be refused entrance based on the "Crit'Air" sticker the vehicle is displaying.


You can apply on line and visit their website here Classifications are based on age of vehicle, there are quite a lot of restrictions for older vehicles.


Presumably rental cars will be issued with these, but no doubt it could affect the hire costs as it another admin detail for them.


Motorists driving without the Crit'Air sticker can be fined on the spot from €68 to €135


It will be interesting to see if other cities in different countries follow this system.


On Easter Bank Holiday Monday Conor Pope's article "How you can holiday for less than all the rest"


21 ways to bag a cheaper time away. No 11 on the list was "Car rental insurance" He said "if you do rent a car, do not take out super collision damage waiver insurance when you are picking it up. It's almost always spectacularly bad value for money and such as a policy could easily set you back as much as €300 for a two week rental." Buy on line first Ireland, UK and other countries here





Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Holiday Car Hire Charges go seasonally higher

Last Thursday (15th December) The Irish Independent had an article under their Consumer Guide - Taking the sting out of car rentals - Motor hire firms jack up prices over Christmas, but you can beat the system.

According to the article on the 6th December this year, The Irish Independent carried out some pricing checks online for car hire from Dublin Airport. They researched Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Enterprise, Europcar and Budget Car Hire.

The rental periods they looked at were one week rentals on the periods December 9-16, December 16-23 and December 23-30.

They looked at the cheapest basic cars - Ford Ka, Fiat 500, VW Up, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo.  So as we are approaching the time when there would be lots of customers, what did they find out? €114 for December 9-16,€320 for December 16-23 and €395 for December 23rd to 30th. This works out as an average of 250 percentage increase between the first and third weeks, so quite a Christmas bonus for the car hire companies.

Mind you flights generally cost more around Christmas and school holidays and other major holidays and car hire charges have been known to get more expensive at seasonal times for years. Try renting a car from Dublin Airport in mid January - prices are very, very competitive and a great choice, but that is after the majority of visitors have gone.

Collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance policies:

The article also talked about  collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance policies. This is an area the car hire company will normally throughout the year earn additional revenue. The Irish Independent said " Buy a collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance policy from a separate provider rather than from the car hire firm. These policies will cover you if you cause any minor damage to a rental car, but car hire firms will charge you an arm and a leg. Instead, you can buy a separate policy from AIG, AXA and CarHireExcess.com for around €60 a year, or else up to €3 a day."  If you are an Irish customer find out more about CarHireExcess here and a customer from the UK here

I read the article in the Irish Independent which apparently is the only Irish daily newspaper that you can buy in Britain. If you want to read the article in full you can find it online here

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year break


 
 
 
 
 


Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas and New Year holidays not to far away - buy your excess insurance now

Christmas holidays are fast approaching and although you might not be hiring reindeer and a sleigh, you might well be hiring a car - hiring a van to transport those Christmas presents or a minibus to take your friends out for a Christmas party.

Whatever the reason make sure you buy your vehicle hire excess insurance and make sure you do this in advance.

Buying it from the rental company will normally cost you a lot more and don't be fooled by the hire company telling you that you MUST buy their product.

They normally do this to pick up the commission.

Visit the insurance4carrental.com website today and find a great choice of companies offering excess insurance.

Buying an annual policy for car hire can often work out cheaper than buying a daily policy. You can only normally buy daily policies for Vans, Motor Homes and Minbuses,


Friday, 9 September 2016

Why car hire excess insurance saves money according to Irish Times article

The Irish Times today published an article by travel writer Joan Scales "Travel Advice: Why car hire excess insurance saves money. Car hire is sold with basic insurance but there is usually an excess amount on top of that."

Joan normally has a weekend travel advice column in the colour magazine on a Saturday.

Today she was saying that "Car hire in most countries is sold with basic insurance, also known as collision damage waiver, covering you for accidents and damage though not all damages. There is usually an excess amount which can be anything from €100 to €1,000 that you pay in the case of anything happening."

She did not mention any particular independent companies you can buy excess waiver insurance from, but there are several products available for the Irish market including Irish company Blue Insurances carhireexcess.com and Questor Insurance Services, Worldwideinsure and insurance4carhire.com amongst providers  See list here


View full article here at The Irish Times

Friday, 19 August 2016

Car hire rental desk very busy in Dublin, Ireland yesterday

We had to come over to Dublin for a few days and instead of a 4.5 hour drive and 3.5 hour ferry crossing flew instead. Unfortunately the Aer Lingus flight from London Heathrow did not take off till 30 minutes after scheduled departure. As Heathrow is so busy, this probably happens regularly.

Only having hand luggage meant no further delays after passport control and headed out of Terminal 2 to the waiting Avis / Budget / Pay Less Car hire courtesy bus that takes you to the car hire depot on the outside of Dublin Airport.

There were only 4 other people on the bus so thought it would be fairly quick to collect the car. That is where it all changed upon arrival. It was packed. Organised chaos! A long queue for the Budget / Pay Less side and a slightly shorter one for the Avis side. All the time more buses arrived with more travellers arriving.

The long desk / counter shared by the companies was full staffed who were looking exhausted, but were polite, calm and efficient.

Eventually our turn arrived to present our car hire voucher bought on line earlier in the week from the re-branded Economy Car Hire now called Zest Car Rental.

As normal said I did not want excess insurance as we had an annual policy purchased through one of the providers on the insurance4carrental site. We were told (as advised in the Zest booking) that by providing your own excess waiver insurance a £1,500 deposit (€1,600) would be required via credit card.

I explained we did not want an automatic as a year ago with the same company, because of the busy summer period there were a lot of cars in the car park with Northern Ireland registration plates and we were provided with an automatic that I could not get into forward or reverse and it had to be changed for a manual model.

We were told there would be a fifteen minute wait. It was a very long 15 minutes. In fact by this time it was nearer to 1.20 and had we driven to Holyhead would just about be loading onto the car ferry!

Anyway eventually the car arrived and they highlighted the two areas of minor damage as several people had to come back to get their paperwork verified as these cars had additional damage.

It looked like if we had wanted to rent an expensive BMW, Audi or Mercedes there were plenty parked outside, but it looks like there were just not enough smaller cars like the Nissan Micra we had.

Although the staff were so helpful and stretched it was not a good welcome to Ireland. The car rental base has several companies operating from there and one person from Northern Ireland went and looked at the competition and said that in other ones there were no crowds. Maybe these companies were charging more - no idea. But with Canadians and other visitors waiting patiently in a queue it is not a good start to a visit to Ireland.

The Zest Car rental broker site offers several companies and you can check their individual terms of business. One area I always look for is the fuel policy and cross border policy. It is no good renting a car with a full tank of fuel and being told you bring it back empty if you are only driving 100 km in the rental, thereby the car hire company makes some extra money at the renter's expense.

We would use Budget / Avis again in Dublin, however if it is in the holiday season, hope they actually have more vehicles ready for collection when the customer arrives.

Sunday 21st August - Made sure hire car was refilled and returned early to airport. A queue for returns to get fuel deposit back of about 8 minutes so not so bad. No great long queues in the collection point, however if any staff took a break or a lot of flights came in chaos of the previous Thursday could return.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Car rental companies still make renters pay for excess insurance if credit on card not sufficient

My niece and family were visiting Ireland from France in July. They were flying to Belfast and hiring a car at the airport.  


I bought on her behalf a European car hire excess insurance policy from Questor Insurance. She printed off the details for the holiday. First of all she had to find a car rental company that allowed the driver to take it in the Republic of Ireland and then find one that did not charge a hefty fee for cross border use.


She booked the car online from France and they arrived at Belfast Airport. They went to collect the car and although she showed them the Questor Insurance policy document, as she was providing her own independently purchased excess insurance she fell down on a common financial problem.


Yes she could use the Questor Insurance, however they wanted to debit her French debit card immediately with some £800. This would have meant this amount of money (around €1,000 at that time has the value of the pound had not fallen post Brexit). She could not afford this so they sold her excess insurance costing some £125.00 for ten days cover.


So she had two lots of insurance cover. On costing £39.99 from Questor Insurance and the Car Hire company's product (for which they earn a lot of commission) costing £125.00 for ten days.


This is totally unfair. They should have the right naturally to hold a credit card deposit, but to actually take it off the driver at the time of hire is not right. This means the car rental company has additional funds in the form of cash flow and  if the hirer is not in the Sterling  zone they have to pay currency conversion costs to their bank.


I have hired cars over the years in similar circumstances, however most of the companies used have "swiped" the card and had the right to deduct the amount if there was a problem on returning the car, but funds were not immediately withdrawn.


This type of incident once again does not help tourism and only benefits the car hire company trying to make up income from competition by making a lot of money from car hire commission.


If you are looking for Questor Insurance products, excess, travel + and want to save even more money collect a discount of !0% when you buy from the insurance4carrrental.com / jml-insurance web sites at   http://www.insurance4carrental.com/questor.htm#Discount






Monday, 25 April 2016

Several easy tips to avoid car hire rip-offs in Sunday 24 April 16 Sunday Irish Independent

Yesterday's Irish Independent ran a seasonal article about car hire rip offs. With bank holiday and main holiday seasons fast approaching it was time to remind readers that it is not all plain sailing when you hire a car.

There were fourteen issues in the check list :-  Book online,  Small print and hidden costs, Check the excess, Credit card and driving licence, Paperwork,
Size matters, Finding your way, Child seats, Emergencies, To fuel or not to fuel,
Mileage, Essential equipment, Parking and Inspect it.

These issue have been written about now on numerous occasions by journalists in British and Irish newspapers, Car hire excess insurance companies and on this site. They are all very important and easy to forget the moment you have arrived at your destination with a tired family or just tired yourself.

One item of note that no particular car hire excess insurance company was suggested in the article. Being an Irish newspaper article, I would have thought that Blue Insurance's carhireexcess.com was included. 

If you are looking for car hire excess waiver insurance products in Ireland visit this page at the insurance4carrental site   

Read the article here.

Monday, 11 April 2016

More bad car hire experiences appear in last Saturday's Guardian

Car hire ‘super CDW’ cover: your policy should be to avoid this rip-off By Patrick Collinson was the headline in The Guardian on Saturday 9th April.


Once again there were warning on the problems of renting a car. It starts of saying "Rental companies are using ever more desperate tactics to force you into buying their wildly expensive “super CDW” insurance. The reason? Lots of people have woken up to this holiday rip-off and bought annual cover from the likes of icarhireinsurance or insurance4carhire instead. Nearly all the profit hire companies make comes from the extras, and when you don’t buy they get frantic."


First of all Patrick tells the story of his brother arriving at Glasgow airport with family. They had booked a large family car a Ford Galaxy. The company did not have such a vehicle and were offered a Citroen C3 Picasso which is about £10,000 cheaper on the market if you want to buy one.  Next came the hard sell on the excess insurance.


Although his brother had an annual car hire excess policy costing around £40 this was not good enough as the car hire company wanted to immediately debit £1,250 from his credit card. He did not have enough credit for this and refused to let his wife use her card. The only solution was that he had to pay £12.50 a day - the car hire company's price for their preferred insurance product.


This is so typical, however from personal experience, many car hire companies don't take the excess fee (£1,250 in this case) off your card them, they just want to be able to do it.


Patrick also pointed out that the policy you often buy from a car hire excess company, does not cover additional damage like tyres, under carriage, wheels and windscreens.


This blog has been around for many years now and together with the  insurance4carrental.com website we have featured so many similar reports like this.  Will it ever change? Read The Guardian article here

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Reminder to buy your car hire excess waiver insurance for Easter now

We are at the day before St Patrick's Day and before you know it next weekend will be Easter. Another important date in the Irish calendar with the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Mind you in 1916 Easter was very late in April.

The picture of an Easter scene was taken in Bruges in Belgium, however wherever you are off to for your Easter break and hiring a car, don't forget to buy your car hire excess insurance before you go.

It is a very well known fact that you will usually pay A LOT more if you buy car hire excess insurance from the car hire company.  

You can of course find a great choice of insurance company providers at   http://www.insurance4carrental.com/#Click 

Don't forget your Travel Insurance as well. Remember once you have left home many companies will not cover you. Find travel insurance companies here  


Happy Easter 2016