Saturday 22 July 2017

The Great Car Rental Rip-off: A simple step could save you hundreds

Travel Tips & Advice

Car hire: Are you being ripped off?
Car hire: Are you being ripped off?
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Been stung with an upsell or extra on your holiday car hire?

You're not the only one. RTE's Liveline heard from several listeners on car rental woes this week, once again raising a hot topic for holidaymakers.

Extra charges at car rental desks are as predictable as they are frustrating, ranging from excess reduction to airport surcharges and over-priced fuel refills.

On the former, over 40pc of Irish holidaymakers renting a car end up buying car hire excess insurance at car rental desks abroad, according to a new survey carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for CarHireExcess.com.

As its name suggests, the website - a subsidiary of Blue Insurance Limited - specialises in daily and annual car hire excess reduction cover.

In car hire terms, 'excess' is the first portion of any claim — which the customer must pay. It can be as much as €2,000 on a single rental.

Reducing that excess can cost hundreds over the course of a holiday - up to €251 over two-weeks in Malaga, according to the survey.

However, there is a way around it - in the shape of car hire excess cover, which you can buy online or over the phone before you travel.

Excess reduction policies (also sold by AIG and Axa in Ireland) work by refunding the excess you pay in the event of theft or damage, including to tyres, keys and windows — subject to T&Cs, and an upper limit, of course.

Cover starts from as little as €2.99 per day, with annual policies (a better bet if you rent cars several times a year) ranging from around €50 to €60.

Worth a look - it could save you hundreds.

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