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Monday, 05 September 2016 11:45

One in five have found unrecorded damage on hire car

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One in fIve have found unrecorded damage on hire car

- Only half (57%) always check hire cars for pre-existing damage

- Only 38% check hire car wheels and tyres

- 7% believe they have been wrongly accused of damaging a hire car

Over one in five people who have hired a car (21%) said they had found damage on the car which was not highlighted on the check-out sheet, according to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance.

Any damage to a hire car, even if it isn’t your fault, can lead to the hirer having to pay the first part of the cost of repair, up to the excess amount, which can be as much as £1200*.

The survey found that whilst half (57%) of hire car drivers always check their car for damage before they drive it, and almost a quarter (24%) have taken a picture of the hire car to prove it was damaged before they used it, only 38% check the condition of the wheels and tyres, despite the fact that these items can account for approximately one in five charges for minor damage made at the rental desk.

Claims for damage to wheels and tyres, for instance, can cost from €120 to €400** so they are just as important as the rest of the car to check before driving the car away.

It isn’t just on pick-up that drivers need to be vigilant. A quarter have had to return their hire car without seeing a hire car representative. With 7% of renters believing they have been wrongly accused of damaging a rental car, not getting it signed off by a company representative is a risky move that could end up costing a small fortune.

The survey found that 9% of drivers have returned a rental car with damage which wasn’t their fault, and 6% have returned a rental car with damage which was their fault.

Excess insurance can be bought to protect drivers from paying for damage, but the rental company policies cost up to £17 a day*, five times more expensive than a policy from iCarhireinsurance.com (from £2.99 a day). Rental company policies also often exclude damage to windows, tyres and undercarriages, areas that are most likely to be damaged, but iCarhireinsurance.com policies automatically include these vulnerable areas as standard.

“When you pick up a hire car always check it thoroughly. Make sure that you note down every mark, no matter how insignificant on the checkout sheet, including damage and scuffs to the wheels. We hear of many people getting charged for minor damage, which they say was on the car when they picked it up, but which they didn’t mark on the paperwork. Sadly in the modern world of vehicle rental this can be tantamount to writing a blank check to the rental desk,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com.

He continued: “Many people protect themselves by buying a stand-alone excess insurance policy in advance. These policies are usually much better value than those offered by the rental companies and, in addition to the bodywork, they also cover tyres, wheels, roofs and windscreens, which are often excluded from the rental desk policies. It’s still important to check the car for damage though, as whilst claiming is easy it’s always easier not to have to claim at all.”

For more information please contact:

  • Frances Knox, Frankly PR  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. + 44 7850 470123
  • Cath Roan, Roan Media This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 7081 817 451
  • Or Ben Wooltorton, Sales and Marketing Director, Halo Insurance Services Ltd - Tel:  +44 7739 719 570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2088 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th - 29th April 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* iCarhireinsurance.com surveyed the costs to hire a compact in Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona with five hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt , for a week's hire from 28 May to 4 June. The highest excess cost charged by the rental companies was in Faro where it was, on average, £1,231.98.

** Source Dickmans Rental Company.

*** iCarhireinsurance.com surveyed the costs to hire a compact in Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona with five hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt , for a week's hire from 28 May to 4 June. The average cost charged by the rental companies for an excess/waiver policy was £119.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2088 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th - 29th April 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:24
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