Car hire companies are not giving accurate descriptions of existing damage on hire cars, according to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of stand-alone excess car hire insurance.
Over one in three business travellers (37%) said that they have found damage on a hire car which was not highlighted on the check-out sheet when they collected the car.
Any damage incurred to a hire car, even if the car is stolen or scratched in a car park, can lead to the hirer having to pay the first part of an insurance claim, up to the excess amount, which can be up to £2000.
"When you pick up a hire car check it over as if you were buying it," said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com. "We see plenty of people getting charged for minor wheel damage or scratches on the bumper which they know were on the car when they picked it up but unfortunately were not noted on the paperwork when they collected the vehicle. Sadly in the modern world of vehicle rental this is tantamount to writing a blank check to the rental desk."
Excess waiver insurance is still the most expensive cost at the rental desk costing on average over £14 a day according to a 12 country survey, conducted by iCarhireinsurance.com - this is over four times more expensive than a car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com which costs from £2.99 a day for European cover [three day minimum purchase].
iCarhireinsurance.com policies also cover vulnerable parts of the vehicle, including windows, tyres, windscreen and the undercarriage, which the rental companies usually exclude.
"When a small chip to the windscreen can cost hundreds business travellers need to make sure their companies are properly protected from unwanted costs by buying excess insurance before they fly," said Ernesto Suarez. "Send us your rental expenses and we will review them, free of charge, and provide a report detailing the amount that could be saved with iCarhireinsurance.com annual policies."
Regular business users can also buy an annual policy from just £35.99* which allows them to make an unlimited number of trips each year, and use it for leisure travel too.
*From 1 September 2014 a European car hire annual excess insurance policy will cost £39.99.