Undoubtedly at the end of a holiday when we’ve got flights to catch we don’t want a long a protracted process to drop off our rental car. After all, it’s only a question of dropping off the keys right? Why should that possibly take any longer than a couple of minutes? Well, the straight forward answer to that question is that if you drop the car off without getting someone from the rental company to sign for it and inspect it with you present you are exposing yourself to claims for damage that are impossible to defend.
Sometimes it may be necessary to drop off your rental vehicle out of hours so there may not be anyone around to hand the keys to. If this is the case, you should consider taking a photographic record of the car at drop off to use as evidence if you believe you were charged for damage you didn't cause. However, if you are dropping your car off when the rental office is open, you should insist that someone walks round the car with you and signs to attest to the condition of the vehicle.
It’s definitely worth leaving enough time for this process, over 50% of people that have responded to our survey so far have stated that staff availability when they were dropping off their vehicle was a problem. (Compare this with only 21% of people who say that staff availability or wait time is a problem at the point that they picked the vehicle up and you may start to get suspicious!!). The average charge that people have reported to us is around £300, which falls squarely below the average excess level of £750 - £1,000 where the car rental companies insurance would have to start paying out. This means that unless people had taken out car hire excess insurance, they would have ended up adding £300 to the cost of their holiday for the sake of an extra 15 minutes in the rental company when dropping off their car.
Click here to find our about daily and annual car hire excess insurance
Click here to take our car rental survey and share your experiences with us