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Monday 19 August 2019

'We're being made pay for damage we didn't cause' - Couple outraged by car rental experience while at wedding in UK


Leonard and Siobhan Foley
Leonard and Siobhan Foley
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A couple who travelled to England for a wedding have said their trip was ruined as they claim a car rental company charged them for "damage we didn't cause".

Leonard and Siobhan Foley flew into Luton Airport two weeks ago and rented a car from company Green Motion.

The pair, from Tralee, Co Kerry, were staying in a hotel 30 miles from the airport and decided it would be cheaper than travelling by train or taxi.

An advertisement for the company appeared on Ryanair's website after they booked their flights.

Mr Foley said they arrived on a night time flight so it was dark when they were picking up the vehicle.

A Green Motion staff member told them the car they were originally meant to be renting was damaged and they were to be upgraded.

Mr Foley says he was then asked to examine the outside of the car to check for dents before he signed the rental agreement.

He says he was not asked to examine the inside of the car.

"We attended a wedding so we only used the car to get there and back," Mr Foley said.

"The following day we placed our bags in the boot and travelled back to Green Motion car hire.  As soon as we arrived at the car park there was an employee who went directly to the boot and opened the boot and pointed out scuff and scratches which he claimed we were responsible for.

"He then entered the back of the car to point out more damage which he also said we were responsible for. He held £1205 (€1327) for scratches that were not caused by us.

"There was damage to the plastic panel in the boot and he said that our bags must have caused it which is ridiculous. It ruined the whole weekend."

After initially retaining the £1205 amount, the company says it has now deducted £90.97 and returned the remaining funds.

However, Mr Foley says this is still unacceptable.

"It's not even about the money, it's the principle as we did not cause that damage."

A spokesperson for Green Motion said "we handled everything in accordance with our internal processes and terms and conditions."

"I understand that the customer did collect the vehicle in the evening, however, our staff have confirmed that this was around the time of sunset and there was sufficient light to complete the inspection. On this occasion, the customer did not contact us with any issues during their rental.

"When the vehicle was returned, our normal inspection process was carried out again by our staff, and it was found that there was significant damage to the plastic trim and lining in the boot of the vehicle.

"There was also scuff marks and dirt on the back of the rear headrests which seems to indicate that the vehicle was used to transport items / goods. I would like to state that we do expect some wear and tear in the boot compartment, but this was beyond reasonable limits."

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