Problem with Sixt rental car

Oct 7th, 2016, 01:58 AM
  #1  
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Problem with Sixt rental car

Hi ,

We rented a car from Sixt in June 2016 and we parked that car outside in the night and in the night someone hit our car and next morning we found damages on the car and we informed Sixt same day we found damage and also filled up the form they asked us to fill, that is called Schaden report. And we did not know that we should inform police and also not worried about the things because we thought that we have zero liability insurance(Vollkassso insurance).

Now we got a bill for damages from Sixt that we have to pay 6074 € to them because we did not inform Police about the incident.

Please suggest what we can do in this case.

Looking forward to hear from you soon.

Thanks!
Ruchi Bhati
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 02:50 AM
  #2  
 
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What a bad way to end your vacation. Sounds like you did NOT have full insurance coverage. Of course you've already checked your rental paperwork to confirm this - right?? Without that coverage, Sixt will blame and bill you for the whole thing - unless, perhaps, you have some sort of proof that someone else was responsible (that's where the police report comes in.)

If you used a credit card to pay for the rental car, perhaps you can check your c.c. agreement. It is possible that one of your card benefits is liability insurance.

Also, it is possible that the offender who hit your car filed a police report. You might check with the local police department to see if that happened. Don't get your hopes up.

Complaints about rental company practices in Germany - especially at Frankfurt airport - are numerous on travel forums like this one. Others should proceed with caution if renting, or consider the train option, where by customers have near-zero exposure to unanticipated expenses like these.
Fussgaenger is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 03:06 AM
  #3  
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@Fussgaenger Thanks for your response. We have already taken full insurance coverage the time we rented a car from Sixt that is called Vollkasso versicherung. So we thought that if we have full insurance coverage then we need not to worry.

But the guy at Sixt says that we fail to inform the police. hence we need to pay the full amount regardless we have full insurance coverage.

Yes we can check with the Police if anyone filed the report that day . But if someone have informed the police, then Police must have contacted us.
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 03:42 AM
  #4  
 
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OK, so Sixt is SAYING that a police report is a condition of coverage with the plan you bought. That may be true, but Sixt is the car company - not the insurance provider, right? The only way to know for sure whether a police report is required for coverage is to read your insurance contract.

And if the contract tells you no police report = no coverage, then perhaps you can check with the credit card folks.

"But if someone have informed the police, then Police must have contacted us."

Why assume that? It's just a report. You committed no offense; the police don't have to contact you just to tell you you are a victim. You already know that.
Fussgaenger is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 04:53 AM
  #5  
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OK, so Sixt is SAYING that a police report is a condition of coverage with the plan you bought. That may be true, but Sixt is the car company - not the insurance provider, right? The only way to know for sure whether a police report is required for coverage is to read your insurance contract: My answer: We have appraoched a lawyer and he has written a letter to Sixt asking them about terms and conditions of Insurance company. Lets see what they say.We only have bill which we paid for insurance.


Why assume that? It's just a report. You committed no offense; the police don't have to contact you just to tell you you are a victim. You already know that.

My answer: Yes you are right. But we did not know about the rules. Anyways we have contacted a lawyer. Lets see what he will do.

But we did not do it by intention and in Sixt terms and conditions it is written that 'There shall furthermore be no right to a contractual exemption from liability if an obligation to be performed by the lessee or driver, particularly under Clause G of these General Terms and Conditions of Rental, has been breached intentionally' and clause G is that one must inform police.
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 05:55 AM
  #6  
 
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Is there a time limit to filing a police report? Maybe you can do one now.
AJPeabody is online now  
Oct 7th, 2016, 06:11 AM
  #7  
 
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Nice - you informed Sixt about the accident the same day and filled a form asked by Sixt to file. They of course at that time don't mention that you must inform the police and down the road tell you that by not informing the police your coverage is cancelled. These kind of tactics by car rental companies crap scares the daylights out of me when renting cars in Europe. I wish you luck and hope you don't end up paying.
mnag is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 07:26 AM
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I think this is a problem in a lot of countries where foreigners want to rent and drive cars but cannot read the language nor know the rules, so rent anyway and don't read contracts.

But I must say that amount of damage would usually require a police report in most places, this would just be normal way to operate, I would think. I have insurance at home, also, but if I had that amount of damage, I would certainly call the police, also. So I'm not understanding the idea that you don't call the police because you have insurance. I'm sorry you don't want to hear that, but every place I've lived in the US, you don't call the police for minor fender benders if no one is hurt, but you do for major damage or anyone hurt. At least I'm presuming it was pretty major if they want over 6000 euro, unless that is all penalty (I doubt).

If I were driving someone else's car, I would be even more cautious about reporting things.

It isn't clear if you got a copy of the contract in English or not. If you rent on the Sixt website in English, even German Sixt, you get terms that clearly explain you must report all damage to the police, even minor damage, it isn't a secret as I just read them. I suspect you just didn't read your contract and while this is certainly unfortunate, I don't think you should get exempted from consequences because you chose not to do that. I notice you skip over that part, whether you got a copy of the terms or not.
Christina is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 07:50 AM
  #9  
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@AJPeabody No idea if i can file report now. I have to check,because Sixt has already got that car repaired.
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 07:50 AM
  #10  
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@mnag thanks
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 07:58 AM
  #11  
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But I must say that amount of damage would usually require a police report in most places, this would just be normal way to operate, I would think. I have insurance at home, also, but if I had that amount of damage, I would certainly call the police, also. So I'm not understanding the idea that you don't call the police because you have insurance. I'm sorry you don't want to hear that, but every place I've lived in the US, you don't call the police for minor fender benders if no one is hurt, but you do for major damage or anyone hurt. At least I'm presuming it was pretty major if they want over 6000 euro, unless that is all penalty (I doubt).

My answer: a) someone else hit our car when it was parked on the road. We came to know about that next day.

b) After 3 months we received the details from Sixt that we have to pay 6000 for the damage because we fail to call the police

c) We did not damage the car, someone else hit our car in the night when it was standing on the road in public parking area. I am sure that no one was hurt. Otherwise that person would have filed the case.

d) It was just a small dent in the car on right hand side.

e) Yes we did not know about the terms and conditions. because we have always rented car from Sixt and we never faced this kind of situation, so we never checked Terms and conditions which was a mistake i think.

No idea what is gonna happen.
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 08:31 AM
  #12  
 
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a question that you/your lawyer should ask is for proof of the cost of repairing the damage. If it was really a small dent, then that's not €6000 worth - they can probably get a new car for that.

you should also tell your credit card company that you are challenging firstly your liability to pay, AND the amount that they want to charge you. You should also complain that whoever you told about the damage did not tell you you needed to report it to the police, else it would invalidate your insurance.

Do you still have the document that you were given when you returned the car? it should show the location and extent of the damage to the car.

I don't suppose you took photos of it, did you?
annhig is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 09:13 AM
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'They of course at that time don't mention that you must inform the police and down the road tell you that by not informing the police your coverage is cancelled.'

I find this angle quite interesting linked to your 'intentionnaly not informed police'.
I guess your lawyer is working on it : Sixt could have easily asked you if you filed a police report, so they can be included for not caring either.

I'm sorry for you and note that if it happens to me, I'll send a mail to rental company and specifically ask if anything else is needed like going to police or calling the pope.
WoinParis is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 09:25 AM
  #14  
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@annhig

Do you still have the document that you were given when you returned the car? it should show the location and extent of the damage to the car.

I don't suppose you took photos of it, did you?

My answer: No we did not taken the photographs, but the lady at Sixt has taken the photographs as a proof and she sent us the email. But the report we got day before yesterday has more dents compared to that first report.
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 10:13 AM
  #15  
 
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But the report we got day before yesterday has more dents compared to that first report.>>

well that's your starting point, isn't it?

when you hand the car back they should record any damage that has happened during the course of the hire and you should sign it. If that is less than what they want you to pay for, then you have something concrete to argue about. you can also compare that with the paper you signed at the beginning of the car hire which should have noted any existing damage for which you shouldn't have to pay.

The bottom line though is that they will need more than a few scratches to justify a bill for more than €6000. You need to ask to see an itemised bill - in english.
annhig is offline  
Oct 18th, 2016, 05:44 AM
  #16  
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@annhig, thanks for your response.

Following the same topic i have one more query. The bill we received after giving that Vehicle back to Sixt, total kilometres on the same was 32,200 and the damage report which we received from Sixt has 37,000 km written on the report and also in this report one can see more damages than what we have shown them. It means that Sixt has rented the car to other people as well after we returned the car. Is this not wrong? Shouldn't they first get the damage fixed and send us damage report with bill rather sending a damage report which has more damages then what we saw?
ruchibhati17 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2016, 06:19 AM
  #17  
 
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Billing for damage but with an extra 5k on the car is either a gross error or fraud. Point out that errors can be corrected but fraud should be prosecuted.
AJPeabody is online now  
Oct 18th, 2016, 06:38 AM
  #18  
 
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ruchbhati - you need to say all this to the credit card company, first of all telling them that you are disputing the Sixt bill [which means that they should take it off your credit card account while they are investigating] and then sending them the paperwork, pointing out all these discrepancies.

or having disputed the c/card bill, send copies of all the paperwork to Sixt head office and tell them it looks like fraud and you'll be reporting them to the credit card company.
annhig is offline  
Oct 18th, 2016, 06:46 AM
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Given the information provided, it's difficult to see much fault with the rental company. Informing the police of an accident (ie: securing a police report) is standard contract requirement when dealing with car accident insurance claims, rental car or not. No one needs to know another language to learn that this is standard operating procedure for all car rental contracts.

If a customer does not read or know the terms of the car rental contract before signing it, then the customer has failed to do due diligence.

If the person on the other end of the phone did not remind the customer about the police report requirement, one could argue this is poor customer service. But we'll never really know the truth, and poor customer service after the accident does not void the details of the contract. When travelers make a responsibility mistake (ie: if you don't know the details of your contract, then DON'T sign the contract), they often come on boards like these to either complain or seek guidance. It's impossible to know the true details, and readers tend to fill-in the missing information. Lots of assumptions on threads like these.

When it comes to legal things like signed written contracts, I tend to rely on the advice of a lawyer. In my experience, a signed contract is a signed contract. It's very difficult to fight one of those.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Oct 18th, 2016, 08:39 AM
  #20  
 
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The bad news is that the so called "call the police clause" in rental car contracts is valid in Germany. It has been challenged several times in German courts but eventually got the OK from the highest court.

This means that you voided your insurance.
And you must pay for the damage.

A very different beast is how to assess the damage.
Even in Germany where auto shops are known to charge an arm and a leg, more than €6K to fix some dents sounds ridiculously steep.

From a legal point of view, the rental car company is entitled to fix the damage (at your costs) by the least costly means which have to take into account the age and condition of the car.

First, you should ask for an itemized statement of what type of repairs have been done - split up by costs for parts and labor, down to the last screw they replaced.
It should mention what has been repaired using which means.
It would, for example, not be acceptable if they replaced the door. With a used car with 30+K kms driven, you would, for example, have to live with a few traces of the dents after the door had received some "dent doctor" treatment.
Compare the costs on this website, for example:
http://www.beulendoktor-muenchen.de/preise.html
Caveat: Don't use the quotes in that website as the gospel. It's a bargain dent doctor, so they will advertise costs on the cheap side. And the rental car company is not obliged to use the cheapest dent doctor. Actual costs may be higher - more like up to €1K.

If they replaced the door, ask for an expert assessment with stamp and signature (by the certified garage or shop) why the damage (i.e. the dent or dents) could not have been fixed - with age and wear/tear of car in mind - by other means.

In the meantime, do not pay.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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