/ Social car rental abroad
Has anyone used a "social" car rental while abroad (or in the UK)?
I've never had a good experience of rental companies in Europe, always trying to con for expensive tiny marks that were already on the car, and to be honest I'd rather put my money into the pockets of people who don't need their car for a week than propping up share-holders.
Over 20 years of hiring abroad, particularly Europe and never had an issue you are talking about. But sorry, no experience of sharing.
On the point of propping up shareholders... if you have a pension you may well be a shareholder yourself without realising it...
I guess you don't know how well looked after a private person's car is?
It was 'rent a banger' or something like that which my bro used in Norway, but he mentioned being perturbed by the noises coming from it while driving through woods without a phone signal at night to their friend's home with 2 children in the car.
Edit: Perhaps Rampikino could recommend a firm?
If you are worried you could always take photos or even a video of the car when you pick it up. Also make sure you check the paperwork, they should have existing damage marked on the diagram. I've never had an issue either.
Where are you looking to travel? There are independent and smaller hire companies about
Tend to agree regarding hire car companies (esp. after National FR tried to stiff me for 650 euros once (they failed)). However, seems to me swapping one can of worms for a possibly even bigger one.
I do agree a lot of car hire companies can be bar stewards, however I think once you know their system it becomes a lot less stressful. I.e purchase excess waiver insurance from a 3rd party insurer prior to hire, checking car for marks and taking photos/videos if required. Also a fair few companies now seem to ignore any new marks smaller than 2cm, so that prevents you getting done over for a tiny chip.
Many moons ago, when I was an undergrad student (probably aged about 20), I hired a car to go away for a weekend. Found a cheap deal online for it and off I went. I was a bit worried about leaving it parked on a narrow Sheffield street on my last night with it, but it was fine in the morning and I set off to fuel it up and hand it back. While I was in paying for fuel, I heard horns honking in the forecourt, but couldn't see what was going on. I drove to the hire company and when I got out I realised I had a huge gouge out of the passenger side of the car. I presume the honking was at someone who scraped it. I really panicked as I couldn't afford to pay for that as a student. The garage told me they didn't have CCTV (which I didn't believe at the time and still don't). Thankfully, I hadn't noticed the box on the online form which you had to untick if you didn't want the damage excess waiver. (It only cost an extra couple of quid, but as a student I would probably still have unticked it if I had noticed it) The people at the hire company noticed I had it and told me it was no problem.
I learnt then that I would always get the damage excess waiver! Definitely worth it!
Those were the days when the excess waiver was priced in line with what it cost to provide. Before hire companies realised that by massively inflating the price of damage waiver they could cut headline hire quotes to win business - the Ryanair model. It's still often not such a bad deal for a couple of days or so but for weekly or longer rentals the insurance waiver cost can run into hundreds.
Since then the better strategy has been to take out separate excess waiver insurance, at a small fraction of the hire companies' rates, and thereby receive the advantage of the low headline rates without the sting of the waiver charges.
The only significant downside is that you often need cash in the bank (or credit) as you're looking at potentially having to pay the higher cost of the unwaivered damage charge and reclaim it through the separate insurance company. This is often in the order of £1000 or so nowadays.
Yes, I seem to remember it was about £2! Last time I hired a car I did go through a 3rd party company for it. As you say, it's now silly money.
Car hire companies are a bunch of torags now. You have to read Ts&Cs so carefully. Penalties for going over stated daily mileages etc are also crazy
I buy car hire Excess insurance as a separate policy. Loads of firms do it now, try google, or someone like https://excessbuddy.com.
For c. £15 it covers you for a week's damage excess, or an annual policy for about £40.
Then you can get your normal cheap car hire deal and dont have to worry about being flogged stupidly expensive insurance at the pick-up desk.
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