Almost one in seven business (14%) travellers have arrived to collect a hire car only to be told that none were available, according to a new survey by YouGov which looked at the experiences of business travellers hiring a car.
Assuming that a hire car was available one in five (21%) have returned a hire car with some damage, although 15% of these said the damage wasn't their fault.
Unfortunately this cuts no ice with the rental company and car hirers are still required to pay the first part of any claim, which can be up to £2000, even if the hire car's been stolen or scratched while stationary in a car park for instance.
The survey, which was commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading specialist provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, found that 62% of business travellers were not even aware that they would be liable for an excess amount if their hire car was damaged. Not surprisingly then, 29% admitted to being confused about car hire insurance and don't know what they were and weren't included for.
iCarhireinsurance.com sells excess insurance from £2.99 a day for European travel compared to an average cost of £17 a day for excess 'waiver' from the rental companies this autumn (NB. Seven European destinations and five rental companies' costs were researched)* - a saving of almost £100 for a week's car hire.
"Companies could be making significant savings if their travel bookers were buying car hire excess insurance in advance of travel but this still appears to be an area that's over-looked in most companies' business travel budgets," said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com.
" 61% of business travellers didn't even know that they could buy car hire excess insurance from a separate provider to the rental company, which is really an own goal for the rental companies to charge extortionate prices for excess waiver policies which frequently do not even cover vulnerable parts of the vehicles, which a policy from us does."
* Research conducted across the seven destinations of Tenerife, Faro, Cyprus, Ibiza, Milan, Barcelona and Nice for a standard compact car for a week's hire, from 25 October to 1 November 2014, from the five rental companies of Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar). The average cost of car hire excess insurance across the destinations was £119, compared with the average cost of car hire for the week (paid in advance) of £195.