Ever felt like you’ve been taken “for a ride” when renting a car abroad!? Well you’re certainly not the only one. In the wake of damaging revelations surrounding car hire companies recently, our partner company and car hire excess provider CarHireExcess.ie, is calling on the EU to better regulate the car hire industry. The company is also advising Irish consumers to be extra vigilant when hiring cars on holidays.

Many car hire companies are reported to be pressurising consumers at car rental desks throughout Europe. Research conducted by the Irish Independent highlights that many Irish tourists are being overcharged by car hire companies for damages that they are not responsible for. Further research conducted by CarHireExcess.ie, confirms that a whooping 40.2% have experienced rip off car hire excess charges at the car hire desk abroad recently.

An image of a woman driving a convertible car. Many people on holiday feel they can get ripped off during their car hire experience

As well as being charged for damages that they are not responsible for, car hire companies are also charging holidaymakers excessive and expensive rates to cover this excess.This excess can be covered online before you travel for a fraction of the cost charged at the car hire desk. The company has warned Irish holidaymakers to always be extra vigilant of the following things when dealing with car hire companies:

  • Research Your Car Hire Company: A quick online search will tell you if the car hire company you are thinking of choosing has long queues at collection, is known for renting out poor quality vehicles, and/or takes ages at drop off when you have a flight to catch.
  • Beware Hidden Charges: Under 25? Been driving fully licensed for under 4 years? Well you may have to pay a hefty extra for this. Shop around for companies that do not charge extra fees for the above.
  • Check the Condition of the Car before and after you return the Vehicle: Before you leave, have a good look round and make sure you get an employee of the rental company to confirm, in writing, any damage. Always take photos of the car, including any damage, before you leave the rental company. Similarly do the same on return.
  • Fuel Deals: Shop around for companies that allow you to simply return the car with the same amount of fuel you received it with. Beware of full tank return policies.
  • Pay Local Currency: Insist on paying in the local currency. Car hire companies in countries with a weaker economy will benefit greatly by having foreign customers pay in their own currency.
  • Accessories: Car hire companies will usually charge extortionate daily rates for renting baby seats, sat nav’s etc. Check if your vehicle already has a sat nav before you pay! Also check out Bubblebum.com for inflatable booster seats!
  • Cover the Car Hire Excess Insurance before you go: Don’t wait until you arrive at the car rental desk abroad to cover the excess. You will get ripped off. Buy cover before you fly.

Car road trip beside the beach

So next time you’re planning on renting a car while on holidays, follow the above steps and make sure you have your car hire excess insurance! Don’t forget to pick up your travel insurance cover too. For future promotional offers, travel news and content, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages