Advertisement

Beware the hidden costs of holiday car hire

Car hire firms can chase you for money long after you thought you had paid for your holiday.

Family of four on holiday with hire car © Alamy
Will a big bill be waiting when they get home?

Family of four on holiday with hire car © Alamy

The summer holidays are over. But you may not have finished paying for them if you hired a car during your trip. Kate Palmer in The Sunday Times tells the story of Peter and Lynne Darker, who found themselves chased for a car-hire payment 15 months after their journey. To make matters worse the charge was for damage and breakdown cover after the tyre exploded on the vehicle on a motorway just 15 minutes after they hired it. This shows that "rental companies can charge for alleged damage to vehicles long after customers have returned home", says Palmer. They can do so because they store your financial details when you hire the car and it is in the terms and conditions that they don't have to seek your permission to take a payment. In a case covered in The Daily Telegraph, a "highly experienced police driver was accused of burning out the clutch and billed £1,235 five months later".

Keep an eye on your card statement

Try to book with a firm that has a UK office so if there is a problem you aren't trying to communicate across a language barrier. You also have additional support when dealing with UK firms. "If you cannot resolve a dispute with a car-rental company in the UK, use the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's conciliation service (bvrla.co.uk)," says Nick Trend in The Daily Telegraph.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Finally, avoid hiring a car through InterRent, Goldcar, or their parent company Europcar. In a survey by Which? Travel, an independent consumers' organisation, these firms were ranked the worst. Almost half of those who hired with InterRent, and four in ten Goldcar customers, had a problem, says Guy Hobbs on which.co.uk.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/personal-finance/tax/inheritance-tax/601511/are-you-due-a-refund-on-your-inheritance-tax-bill
Inheritance tax

Are you due a refund on your inheritance tax bill?

If you’ve paid inheritance tax recently, you may well be due some of your money back. Here’s how to tell
23 Jun 2020
Visit/personal-finance/601483/how-to-navigate-the-probate-process
Personal finance

How to navigate the probate process

Death can create a great deal of paperwork. Here’s what to do if you need to apply for probate.
15 Jun 2020
Visit/personal-finance/601446/dont-count-on-a-holiday-abroad-this-year
Personal finance

Don’t count on a holiday abroad this year

With travel firms offering big discounts, people have rushed to grab a bargain. But it is unlikely Britons will be able to holiday overseas this year.
5 Jun 2020
Visit/personal-finance/601398/how-to-protect-your-online-passwords
Personal finance

How to protect your online passwords

There are several ways to help prevent cyber-criminals from accessing your online accounts, says Ruth Jackson-Kirby.
3 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/economy/inflation/601584/the-end-of-the-bond-bull-market-and-the-return-of-inflation
Inflation

The end of the bond bull market and the return of inflation

Central bank stimulus, surging post-lockdown demand and the end of the 40-year bond bull market. It all points to inflation, says John Stepek. Here’s …
30 Jun 2020
Visit/investments/commodities/gold/601587/bullish-gold-price-cup-and-handle-chart-pattern
Gold

This chart pattern could be extraordinarily bullish for gold

The mother of all patterns is developing in the gold charts, says Dominic Frisby. And if everything plays out well, gold could hit a price that invest…
1 Jul 2020
Visit/economy/global-economy/601579/how-pent-up-demand-could-drive-a-v-shaped-economic-recovery
Global Economy

How “pent-up demand” could drive a V-shaped economic recovery

“Pent-up demand” is usually a myth. But not this time. The Covid lockdown has created genuine pent-up demand, says Merryn Somerset Webb. That’s now be…
29 Jun 2020