Rental Car Scam in Ireland?

Aug 7th, 2013, 05:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 127
Rental Car Scam in Ireland?

My partner has read several horror stories on Trip Advisor regarding rental cars in Ireland. Several people have reported the same problem: upon returning to the States, their credit cards are being charged hundreds of dollars for damage done to the car that they say wasn't there when they returned the car.

We have a reservation with Hertz, one of the reported perpetrators. We'll photograph our car when we pick it up and before we return it and hopefully we won't have any problems.

Has anyone on this board had any issues with a rented car?
travelbug2000 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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My friend and I recently rented a car in Dublin and returned it to the airport in Cork.
There were no issues. We checked it over with the rental agent before we drove away and left it in the return lot at Cork airport, returning the keys to the desk agent.

That was the first week of July and I have had credit card bills since, and no problem.

I think you will be fine, especially if you photograph the car, but it probably isn't necessary.
raincitygirl is online now  
Aug 7th, 2013, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
We once returned a rental car to the casino in Sydney instead of the airport. Apparently the employee who drove it back to the airport managed to crumple the entire front end. They tried to say that we had returned it that way. Without photo proof we would have been on the hook for a virtually totaled car. It takes less than a minute to take photos of the car when you return it and it's iron clad proof that you didn't cause any damage. It may not be 'necessary' 9 times out of 10 - but that one time that you do it and something happens you'll be glad you did!
Hez is offline  
Aug 7th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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I really would not rely on hearsay and second-hand information. Comments on Tripadvisor always need to be carefully scrutinized. I can't imagine a well - known rental company (whether it be American, Irish or European ) scamming a customer. I've rented from several different companies and have never had a problem.
historytraveler is online now  
Aug 7th, 2013, 08:37 PM
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Hertz is more than a reliable provider of cars; it has the annual distinction of being the most highly regarded of rental agencies.

I've been a Hertz Gold member for more than 25 years, and I've never had a problem with Hertz.

Any damage I might have caused was minimized by Hertz at the time of return.

Until I had to cancel my upcoming trip to Ireland, I had a rental with Hertz.

Heresay doesn't cut it in the real world.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 12:27 AM
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Do watch out for perlescent paint (the one with fine flecks in it) what that seems to do is make digital photos less precise so scratches are hard to see.

To get over this take a few more close ups of the surfaces at the before stage so that you can do a proper comparison at the after stage. We ran into this issue this year and while the hire company "let us off" it was frustrating to find our normal technology did not work perfectly.
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 01:51 AM
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Hertz are on my personal 3 strike list but many people are perfectly happy with them... What I do recommend is (no matter who you rent from) is that you drop the car when someone is there to inspect it not just drop your keys in a box at the airport..

As a regular on TA I can assure you that the very few "genuine" people who get "stung" could have avoided it, Many complainants moan about the charges for damage they admit they have done and many just complain for complaining sake. a good proportion never went near the car they claim to have hired.. There are probably 50 messages in my Out box sent to car hire complainants and 1 from someone who got back to me for help.

It always pays to book direct.. take out SCDW so you can walk away (leaving a battered wreck if you want to)secure in the knowledge that provided the tyres are fine you will have no repercussions.
Tony2phones is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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travelbug2000 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 08:10 PM
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Just a quick plug for Dooley Car Rental. They have an agent in the States if that helps.
We rented from them in May and had a flat tire. Had to have the car towed because the tire jack was bent and useless.
I had full insurance. I was reimbursed for the new tire I paid for and also was not charged for the tow.
Only issue, was in dropping the ar off at ork airport, no one was there to check the car. I asked them at the desk about that and they said no problems (what me worry!) no repercussions or problems.
giro is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 08:30 PM
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We always take a dozen or so up close pics of our rental cars upon picking up. I point to dings/scratches and my hubby takes pics with my finger in the pic to determine size of ding/scratch. We've never had to use them but we will be ready if necessary and it only takes five minutes of your time.
michele_d is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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I don't understand why taking photos either on pick-up or return will be all that useful in the event of a dispute. Please tell me what proof would you have that the pictures were taken when you said they were? Also it's so easy these days to digitally modify images that they can't be relied on.

The most important precautions you can take are (a) thoroughly examine the car at the point of collection and ensure that any marks/damage are recorded on the check-sheet before you drive off, (b) have the car inspected on return by the rental agent and get a receipt showing there is no additional damage. Much more relevant / important than photos.

Obviously if you take the "zero excess" package from the hire car company (at additional expense), you won't be liable for most types of damage at all. IN this case there is no need for anything more than a perfunctory pre and post hire inspection on your part.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 19th, 2013, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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It's not always possible to have the car inspected on return. For instance last month I returned a car to Florence on a Sunday - no agent, just a key dropbox. Photos which obviously show the car in the Florence garage, undamaged, and with the correct time stamp would be invaluable if, for instance, someone crashed into the car from the time we dropped it off until the agent checked the car on Monday morning. And just as photos can be altered, they can also be proven to be unaltered. And why, would I go to the bother of going to a drop off location and taking pictures of an undamaged car just in case I get in an accident? Even though I do have insurance? I think any court would deem that highly unlikely!

I have a credit card which covers my insurance with no deductible, however I don't see why I should risk my very good relationship with them if someone else does damage to a car I have rented. I'm sure they would be very glad of photo evidence if anything ever did happen!

In my example above we were given a receipt upon dropping off the car but they tried to say that it was only for the charge, and that nothing said the car had been inspected. As soon as we provided the photos (which were obviously taken at the casino) they dropped the charges and apologized (I imagine someone was fired at that point as well!)

At that time our insurance had a $500 deductible (AU) and we were young and in the middle of a very expensive move to the US so having to pay that would have been very difficult for us.

I just can't see what harm there is in taking the photos - like I said, it's less than a minute to run around the car and take a few photos so why wouldn't you?
Hez is offline  
Aug 19th, 2013, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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We have picked up and returned rental cars when there was no attendant present, and once last year at the Vienna airport when the attendant said it was not necessary to fill out any return paperwork. That is when I got out the camera and snapped away. Our time stamp on the camera corresponded to the receipt we were given, so if push came to shove we had proof on our side of the existing scratches on the car. Again, have never needed it, but much prefer to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
michele_d is offline  

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