Friday, October 20, 2017
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Don't Get Ripped Off Over Car Hire - Warning

In the wake of damaging revelations surrounding car hire companies, Ireland's leading car hire excess provider, Blue Insurance, is calling on the EU to urgently regulate the car hire industry who are selling excess cover at highly over inflated prices and pressurising consumers at car rental desks in the EU.

The company is also advising Irish and UK Consumers to be extra vigilant when hiring cars on holidays during the coming weeks.


Research conducted by the European Consumer Centre has highlighted that many tourists are being overcharged by car hire companies for damages which they are not responsible for. The European Consumer Centre are also warning holidaymakers to be extremely careful this summer.

The Serious Fraud Office in the UK is currently planning to launch an enquiry into this overcharging. It has been also been alleged by the Daily Telegraph that one of the world’s biggest car hire firms has been cheating customers over damaged cars and it is believed that this overcharging is endemic across the car hire industry. It is alleged agents inspecting hire cars for damage are being rewarded with €4/ £4 for each car they flag up as damaged, regardless of whether a repair is actually warranted or not.

Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Blue Insurance who trades under, is calling on the EU to regulate car hire companies and the selling of ‘excess’ insurance at car hire desks. Ciaran says: “Thousands of Irish holidaymakers rent cars abroad each year and many experience horror stories of rip offs at the rental desks. The EU has to stop this ruthless behaviour by car hire companies. One of main areas that car hire companies are ripping off consumers is through the ‘excess’ charges. Holidaymakers are being charged up to €25.00 a day at the rental desk abroad and they should avoid these last minute rip off charges imposed by going online before they travel.”

Ciaran's company is warning concerned holidaymakers to be extra vigilant of the following when dealing with car hire companies:

1. 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.

2. Beware Hidden Charges: Under 25? Been driving fully licensed for under four 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 for inflatable booster seats!

7. 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 could well get ripped off. Buy cover before you fly.


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