iCarhireinsurance.com is calling for the car hire industry to put its house in order after a YouGov survey it commissioned found the following experiences were commonplace amongst consumers who have hired a car:Consumers being wrongly charged for damage to a car;
Damage not disclosed to them correctly at pick-up;
Consumers forced to wait for over an hour before they could collect their hire car;
Not getting ordered car;
and Insufficient staff to check the hire vehicle at drop off.
The survey also revealed that 15% of people who have hired a car had driven it without fully understanding exactly what insurance they had and what they were covered for.
The company’s founder, Ernesto Suarez, said: “It is extremely worrying that a sixth of people are in the dark on their insurance cover. Many people are totally unaware that if their hire car is stolen or damaged in any way, even if it’s just a small chip to the windscreen, they could end up with a large excess bill.”
The survey, of more than 1,000 Brits who have hired a car, revealed that one in 20 (5%) people felt they had been wrongly charged for damage to their hire car. Any damage to a hire car is subject to an excess amount (typically around £625), so if the customers had not bought additional excess insurance they could be liable for at least this amount, then an additional charge if the damage cost exceeded this. Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) had found damage on the car that had not been disclosed initially during the pick-up process. At the end of a holiday or business trip, almost a fifth (18%) of people have arrived to drop off a hire car and found the staff were too busy to check the vehicle, meaning they had to trust that the check would be done fairly in their absence.
Suarez said: “The customer service that people are used to receiving from other industries appears to go out of the car window in the car hire industry. Our survey revealed that people are experiencing shocking levels of customer service standards. Firstly long delays to even get their hire car; then often not receiving accurate descriptions of existing damage to the car; and finally to add insult to injury being charged for damage that they did not cause. “Our advice to people is to buy before you fly. Buying excess insurance in advance not only saves customers a significant amount of money, it also protects their wallet in the event of damage to a hire car.”