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Name: Ernie
About: Car hire insurance pioneer, industry expert focussed on value for money.
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About: Car hire expert focused on consumer experience.
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Car Hire Insurance Blog
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00

The OFT Reports on car rental contracts

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The Office of Fair Trading published the results of its investigation into consumer contracts last week and the car rental industry came off pretty well with the OFT concluding it is an industry which generally services its customers well. The contracts that rental companies impose are generally held to be fair yet there are situations involved in the booking and collection process where circumstances lead to reduced customer understanding. We detail some of the key findings of the investigation below and believe that there are a number of key things that customers can do to avoid the pitfalls that the OFT highlighted in its case study.

Monday, 21 February 2011 12:02

Easy rental drop-off processes could mean easy pickings!

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Here at iCarhireinsurance.com we’ve been running a survey of our customers trying to understand more about the typical car rental experience. This gives us useful insight into a range of experiences and covers the booking process, collection of the vehicle, the condition of the car and the drop-off process.

Although the survey hasn’t closed yet, I had a peek at the responses so far and my eye was drawn instantly to one statistic that stood out above all others. A staggering 64% of people who have completed the survey so far report that when they dropped their car off it was not inspected by a member of the rental company when they were present.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 14:17

Smart car rental customers use smart phones

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When you hire a car, you could be exposed to a number of additional charges when you drop your vehicle off. You will normally be exposed to the costs of the car hire excess limit of around £1,000 (€1,200) on your car hire insurance for any damage to the vehicle so it’s worth making sure that you have car hire excess insurance to protect against these charges. However damage to the vehicle is not the only thing that you could get charged for as there could be any number of additional charges in your rental agreement that could start to add up if you’re not aware of them.

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 16:29

Hey STREETCAR! What about the excess?

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As you are probably aware, living in the UK particularly in London is not getting any cheaper.  The costs of owning and operating a car in the UK have recently increased significantly.  Petrol costs have increased by 48% in the last two years and car insurance costs by 33% in the last year alone (Source: the AA).  Everything related to motoring is going up!

While Car Clubs like Streetcar can insulate you from the worst of car ownership costs, these types of costs are a significant part of providing their service and therefore you will only see their rates go up, as a recent email to Streetcar members shows (Source Streetcar members email 02/02/2011).

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 14:57

UK getaway? Make sure you’re insured.

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In February there is traditionally an increase in the domestic car rental market in the UK. There are a couple of things that drive this; Christmas is now a dimming memory and with Valentine’s day falling in the middle of the month it creates the perfect opportunity for the more romantic amongst us to whisk our other halves away for what Bridget Jones always claimed was the cornerstone of any romance………. a “mini-break”! Then towards the end of the month there’s half term which sees holiday cottages from St Ives to Inverness filled with families taking a week off to get away from it all.

Sunday, 16 January 2011 12:33

Driving a hire car in the winter

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With the recent Arctic conditions in the UK we can see at first hand the impact that snow can have on the transport system. We’ve seen drivers stranded on motorways across Britain for several hours, even days leading for calls for the government to be more prepared and to “learn the lessons” for future years. Our friends in Europe are often held up as an example of how to cope with this sort of weather, but what few people in the UK may realise is that the reason their road networks seem to fare better than hours isn’t purely down to more grit lorries and snow ploughs but it is largely due to the fact that their motorists are more used to driving in sever winter conditions, and also they have laws to ensure that motorists are prepared.

Thursday, 23 December 2010 12:00

iCarhireinsurance.com at the Insurance Times Awards 2010

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Hello!

With lots of pride and enthusiasm, I must tell you all about how iCarhireinsurance.com is making waves in the general insurance industry. To some, we are only considered a specialist low cost car hire insurance company, but as we growth our customer base and launch new products, we are starting to turn heads.

There seems to be no let up in the winter weather that is causing ongoing travel chaos across the UK and many other areas of Northern Europe. In the UK alone we’ve seen closures at many of our leading airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, and Edinburgh and further delays on the rail network including travel to and from the continent on Eurostar services with queues at St Pancras station over half a mile long!. Our offices in Uxbridge are just down the road from Heathrow, and we can see at first hand the misery that many people are experiencing as they try to get to and from the airport and the knock on effects that this has on the rest of the travel network including the road system. Delays on one leg of your journey can have a huge knock on impact on the rest of your trip. For example, many people who are trying to leave the UK for overseas destinations may well have a hire car booked at their destination and could well incur charges if they don’t make it to the booking desk on time to pick up their car. During periods of travel uncertainty it certainly pays to make extra arrangements to provide a bit of extra protection and peace of mind. At iCarhireinsurance.com, as well as providing low cost car hire excess insurance, we also provide Rental Vehicle Cancellation Insurance which provides up to £500 of protection from cancellation fees charged by car rental companies if you need to cancel your rental vehicle at short notice. This cancellation insurance is available as an optional upgrade when any one of our main car hire excess insurance policies is purchased and we’ve seen its popularity increase massively in recent weeks when the weather has created additional uncertainty over travel plans. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen interest in this car hire insurance upgrade increase. The year started badly for travellers with Christmas travel plans for December 2009 being disrupted due to industrial action from British Airways Cabin Crews. The disruption for travellers continued throughout 2010 with volcanoes, industrial action and the good old British weather all conspiring to dampen traveller’s spirits. Every time the level of disruption and uncertainty increases, so does the popularity of our rental vehicle cancellation insurance, but when a few pounds investment buys so much extra peace of mind it’s hardly surprising to see why its so popular! Some of the main events that have caused disruption this year alone include; February – heavy snow across the UK cause disruptions to road, rail and air travel March – British Airways strikes April - Volcanic ash clouds grounding European flights May – Volcanic ash clouds continue to disrupt air travel. British Airways Cabin Crew start a series of 5 day strikes. Greek national strike over austerity measures affects travel and tourism to Greece. June – British Airways strikes ongoing. Strikes over pension reform in France disrupt travel to the continent September – London Underground strikes, French strikes over pension reform disrupt travel to the continent October – London Underground strikes, French strikes over pension reform continue to affect European travel November – London underground strikes December – Snow across the UK and Northern Europe cause travel chaos on roads, rail and air. Unite Union announce further ballot on strike action at British Airways for 2011 Lets hope that 2011 is a better year for travellers, but with the BA dispute ongoing, predictions of prolonged arctic conditions from weather experts and ongoing seismic rumblings in Iceland from Eyjafjallajökull and Katla who knows what next year will bring?!

There seems to be no let up in the winter weather that is causing ongoing travel chaos across the UK and many other areas of Northern Europe. In the UK alone we’ve seen closures at many of our leading airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, and Edinburgh and further delays on the rail network including travel to and from the continent on Eurostar services with queues at St Pancras station over half a mile long!. Our offices in Uxbridge are just down the road from Heathrow, and we can see at first hand the misery that many people are experiencing as they try to get to and from the airport and the knock on effects that this has on the rest of the travel network including the road system. Delays on one leg of your journey can have a huge knock on impact on the rest of your trip. For example, many people who are trying to leave the UK for overseas destinations may well have a hire car booked at their destination and could well incur charges if they don’t make it to the booking desk on time to pick up their car. During periods of travel uncertainty it certainly pays to make extra arrangements to provide a bit of extra protection and peace of mind. At iCarhireinsurance.com, as well as providing low cost car hire excess insurance, we also provide Rental Vehicle Cancellation Insurance which provides up to £500 of protection from cancellation fees charged by car rental companies if you need to cancel your rental vehicle at short notice. This cancellation insurance is available as an optional upgrade when any one of our main car hire excess insurance policies is purchased and we’ve seen its popularity increase massively in recent weeks when the weather has created additional uncertainty over travel plans. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen interest in this car hire insurance upgrade increase. The year started badly for travellers with Christmas travel plans for December 2009 being disrupted due to industrial action from British Airways Cabin Crews. The disruption for travellers continued throughout 2010 with volcanoes, industrial action and the good old British weather all conspiring to dampen traveller’s spirits. Every time the level of disruption and uncertainty increases, so does the popularity of our rental vehicle cancellation insurance, but when a few pounds investment buys so much extra peace of mind it’s hardly surprising to see why its so popular! Some of the main events that have caused disruption this year alone include; February – heavy snow across the UK cause disruptions to road, rail and air travel March – British Airways strikes April - Volcanic ash clouds grounding European flights May – Volcanic ash clouds continue to disrupt air travel. British Airways Cabin Crew start a series of 5 day strikes. Greek national strike over austerity measures affects travel and tourism to Greece. June – British Airways strikes ongoing. Strikes over pension reform in France disrupt travel to the continent September – London Underground strikes, French strikes over pension reform disrupt travel to the continent October – London Underground strikes, French strikes over pension reform continue to affect European travel November – London underground strikes December – Snow across the UK and Northern Europe cause travel chaos on roads, rail and air. Unite Union announce further ballot on strike action at British Airways for 2011 Lets hope that 2011 is a better year for travellers, but with the BA dispute ongoing, predictions of prolonged arctic conditions from weather experts and ongoing seismic rumblings in Iceland from Eyjafjallajökull and Katla who knows what next year will bring?!

Monday, 20 December 2010 11:48

Car Sharing Clubs – an alternative to car ownership.

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One of the fastest growing areas of the national transport infrastructure is the car sharing club. People outside of London may not be immediately familiar with these, but the growth of this sector in a reasonably short period of time means that if you live in a city or town, and there’s not already a car club near you, there probably soon will be. Big Brand car clubs such as Streetcar, City car club and Zip car are amongst the best-known but there are many other networks in different towns across the UK now. Car clubs enable members to access cars which are usually parked at the roadside in designated bays in urban areas. The parking spaces are reserved exclusively for the car club in question, an added bonus which also makes car club vehicles on of the easiest types of cars to find parking for in many of the town in which they operate.

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