Car Rental Deposit in GB

Old Jul 19th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Car Rental Deposit in GB

This was the first time renting a car overseas for me. I went through Europcar. I thought the rate was fairly resonable but when I got there to pick up the car they tacked a 250 pound deposit on it and said it would be taken off 7-10 days after we dropped it off. That's $500 USD! Is this how it works over there? They also put the fear of God in me about other people damaging the car and of course what happened the first day. Someone rammed their door into the side of our car (a new Saab. Only 900 miles on it)On the drive back to Heathrow a truck threw a pebble into the windshield and nicked it. So I'm sure they're going to say the deposit is to pay for all of that "Damage" when in my way of thinking that's just how it works on the road. Any thoughts? I'm just worried I'm got suckered.
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Old Jul 19th, 2007, 03:32 AM
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Some companies (everywhere) do this, others don't. We always book with one which doesn't.

Did you take all of the insurance offered ? If they put the fear of God into you, presumably you did and so have nothing to worry about. Did you pay extra to waive the excess, i.e. so you wouldn't have to pay the first £xxx ?

Without knowing the full details of your car hire agreement we can't say definitely what your situation is.

I wouldn't expect them to bother about the nicked windscreen but the rammed door sounds more serious.
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Old Jul 19th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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First of all, deposits: normally the car is secured against your credit card and you would have been asked to swipe your card when you pick the car up. In this case the money is not actually debited from your CC at the time, it just gives the hire car company the means to do so if you were to damage the car or steal it. If you do not provide a CC, most hire car companies I know will be very reluctant to hire to you and would only do so if you handed over a large cash deposit.

Damage waivers: did you take out the optional Super CDW package? Normally this is offered when you pick up the car and costs £10 to £15 a day. If you have this you can relax, you don't have to pay anything if you damage the car. If you didn't take the Super CDW option, then IO'm afraid you are liable for the standard damage limit which is normally about £500 these days. This is precisely why they were "putting the fear of God" into you, as accidents involving hire cars are surprisingly common. Obviously they want to make more money as well.

Your damage: If you didn't take the Super CDW and the damage is obvious (a scape/dent down the side and a cracked windowscreen would be obvious IMHO), then you will be charged when you return the car. What they do is charge the full amout up to the standard CDW (ie the £500) to your already swiped credit card. Then the vehicle will be repaired and the total cost assessed. If there's anything left over in the £500 you will get some money back... eventually (could be 2 months). But don't hold your breath, repairs can be very expensive.

I've sustained 2 hire car damages in my time:

1. A fully super CDW covered car in the US which I scraped at a hotel in San Francisco - total cost to me: zero

2. A standard CDW car in Australia which I crashed into another car: total cost to me: £480!!!

Moral of the story: always take the full CDW package when offered for piece of mind.

A final piece of advice, if the damage really is obvious make sure you fill in the damage form provided in the car before you return it and be prepared to tell them what happened.
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Old Jul 19th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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Thanks for those replies. I feel a little better. The door was just a ding but it was obvious to me because it was on my side and the paint from the other car was still on it. It wasn't too bad. You just hate for that to happen on a new car. I did get the extra insurance so I'm hoping that will take care of it. I was really careful and mindful of where I was. The only problem I had was in St. Ives where I had cars on one side and people with shopping bags on the other. Tight squeeze.
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Old Jul 19th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Just to be clear, when you say you took the "extra insurance", you mean the Super CDW option I was referring to, yes? Not PAI (personal accident insureance) which is additional cover for you not the car. If you really want to be sure, check your rental document or the UK website of the hire car company involved.
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Old Jul 19th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Also, sometimes no matter how much insurance you take it does not cover glass.

I am not saying this is in your case. It is just a fact of life when renting a car in Europe. Tires are sometimes excluded also.
Sher is offline  
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