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Monday, 21 December 2009

CAR HIRE ~ A WARNING

I was horrified when I read this email from a reader of The Irish Times 'GO' travel supplement (Saturday 12th December 2009) and thought it would be good to warn travellers to Ireland to beware and to thoroughly check the car hire company's terms and conditions PRIOR to booking.  And if you can't see anything about such a thing on their site, email or telephone and ask if this applies with their car hire company (I have added a suggested email at the end of this post which you may use). 

Unfortuately I don't know which car hire company is charging this outrageous money because the reader doesn't mention them by name but even in the best of times it would be wrong but now, when Ireland is on it's knees and desperate for the tourist trade these people should be named and shamed!

The email:

"I hired a car a Dublin Airport a couple of weeks ago.  Online.  All very efficent and, I thought, very reasonable.  The car was fine, the trip to collect if from the off-site depot was okay - although why the car-hire companies can't join up and save money by sending one bus every five minutes instead of one bus for each company every five minutes I can't imagine - but there is a new trick I'd like to warn unsuspecting travellers about.

Usually, one picks up a car with a full tank at the beginning of the hire, then hands it back full at the end.  This leads to a bit of driving around at the airport, trying to find a petrol pump, but so be it.  The new ploy is to make the hirer pay for a full tank (at an outrageous rate) at the beginning of the hire and hand the car back empty.  Of course, I hadn't read this in the small print (it was there, unsurprisingly).  The tankful cost €58.20.  I needed only a quarter of a tank.  Result: nearly €45 for the rental company - about the same as the cost of the hire.  It was a salutary lesson in reading the small print carefully.".

My suggested email to car hire companies PRIOR to paying ANYTHING.  I have asked a couple of extra questions here so as not to alert them to the real reason for the email.

Just copy and paste this email.
____________________

I need a car for (date from and to).  I am familiar with the standard conditions of car hire but understand that certain companies have their own particular terms.  I would just like confirmation of the following:

1.  Is the daily/weekly charge calculated from the time of collection until the time of return and if the car is not returned within 24 hours/7 days do I pay an extra day's charge?

2.  Will the car be full of fuel when I collect it?

3.  Am I charged for fuel in advance or do I simply return it full of fuel?

4.  If charged in advance, how is the cost calculated?  Will the cost be the cost at the pumps?

5.  Will I get credit for any fuel in the car when returned?

I await your reply.

____________________

The answer to questions 1 and 2 is probably obvious but if the answer to 3 is yes, you pay in advance, and the answer to 4 is more than the current pump rate, and the answer to 5 is no, then you obviously don't want to go with that company.

I'd be grateful that if any of you try this you email me the details at daisycottagedonegal@gmail.com .

The Irish Times link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/travel/2009/1212/1224260542009.html

2 comments:

Lord Mandelson said...

Wow - Very interesting and something I need to watch out for on my next visit to see grandson in Tip

Catherine McGlynn said...

Hi Lord Mandelson

Thanks for the comment.

Yes, very important to look out for this outrageous pricing structure.

I checked with a chap who rents cars in the village where Daisy Cottage is and he had never heard of this charge and he himself totally disagrees with it. So there are many decent hire firms but it seems there are just some who aren't as decent.

Enjoy your next visit to Tip.

Catherine