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Hiring a Rental Car Abroad: A Case Study

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 5 May 2016 | comments*Discuss
Rental Car Hiring A Rental Car Abroad

Hiring a rental car abroad is not always a smooth process. There are many scams in operation that can easily fool unsuspecting holidaymakers, as Zoe Clarke (32) found out while on holiday in France. Even if you are able to stay clear of the con artists, hiring a rental car abroad is something that often requires a lot of thought and planning.

Providing ID

As a means of identification, you will usually need to provide ID such as passport, driving licence or even credit card details. Like many people, Zoe was wary of doing so. She says, “I expected to have to provide some form of identification before being allowed to hire a car, but the first place that we went to insisted that we leave a passport and driving licence with them as “insurance”. Naturally, I thought that this was ridiculous and took my custom elsewhere. The place that we eventually hired our rental car from only asked for a quick look at our identification, just to check that it was all above board”.

Don't Feel Obliged to Upgrade

Once you have expressed an interest in hiring a rental car, you will often be encouraged to upgrade your rental package. This is usually rather expensive to do, especially as most people only want to use the rental car to get out and about in the local area.

Short Changing Customers

Zoe advises giving the rental car a full inspection before parting with your money. She says, “When I asked to see one of their rental cars to see what we would be paying for, it appeared fine on first glance. However, a quick check highlighted the fact that there was hardly any petrol in the tank, despite the fact that a full tank of fuel was supposed to be included in the cost of the rental package. We wouldn't even have got to the nearest petrol station! I immediately demanded that we be given a rental car that actually had the promised full tank of fuel – that's what we were paying for, after all!"

Unsightly Bodywork

Zoe also advises against accepting a rental package for a rental car that has multiple scratches or dents. She says, “When we were negotiating our rental package, we heard another customer being requested to pay for a dent in the car that he insisted was pre-existing. The first rental car that we saw was absolutely covered in dents. Frankly, if the customer had caused any more dents, it would be impossible to pinpoint exactly where! After I complained about the state of the rental car, it was swiftly swapped for a more presentable option. It would not surprise me at all if that was a bit of a scam to try to get more money off customers who are too scared to complain about the car and who can be bullied into accepting blame for something that they didn't do”.

As Zoe's story suggests, it is important to be able to stand your ground and be prepared to negotiate and argue when being presented with a rental car package. Not all car hire schemes will be looking to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting customers, but foreign holidaymakers are often seen as an easy target.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Paula - Your Question:
Which countries in Europe can you hire a car at the age of 78

Our Response:
The easiest way to find out this would be to contact different hire car providers before you travel. Some companies may ask to see medical evidence that you are fit to drive. Try an organisation for older people such as SAGA or Age UK for advice.
AboutDrivingAbroad - 6-May-16 @ 2:41 PM
Which countries in Europe can you hire a car at the age of 78
Paula - 5-May-16 @ 11:46 AM
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