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Rental car damaged after return

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by smileedude, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. So me and the dudette went for a lovely trip to Tassie over Xmas and new years. We hired a car. The roads are stunning. Definitely need to return with a bike.

    So the day after we returned the car we get a phone call. "You've scraped underneath the rear wheel arch, we are charging you $3000 excess and you will be refunded any difference, we'll send some happy snaps".

    We think there is some bullshit damage to the undercarriage that should be classified as wear and tear. We weren't aware of any damage and we looked pretty closely.

    3 weeks later not a peep. I call today and they send me some thumbnail sized photos where there is some reasonable damage on the rear bumper. Damage we would have seen.

    The only rational explanation is that it was hit in the car park lot after return by another car or an airport trolley. That or we didn't see some pretty clear damage when we were looking.

    We were standing on this corner of the car when we got the receipt from the return guy. The damage wasn't reported until 11:30 the next day some 18 hrs after return.

    A) if you return a rental car ask for it to be inspected there and then.

    8) anything I can do?
  2. Did you take any pics of the car when you picked it up and then when you returned it?
  3. Nope
  4. Damage charges should only be made after the hire company provides an itemised bill and a reasonable opportunity for you to dispute any charge and it's reasonability.
    If they did not advise of this damage in the call the day after return, they cannot add additional damages.
    This. And get a copy of the inspection report so they cannot later claim otherwise.
  5. Solicitors Letter perhaps?

    Pointing out the long delays in inspection. The lack of response in appropriate time frames, that the matter is in dispute. In any case sit down and write out the timeline of events as a first thing.

    Have they charged you?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Should have. Unfortunately.
    There is a well known scam where rental operators deliberately damage returned vehicles knowing that the true cost of repair charged by their mates in the repair shop will be far less than the excess.
    This is also a good reason to buy travel insurance with $0 liability for collision damage.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. They've charged us the $3000 excess which will be refunded any differences. They did this the day after return.
  8. Oh buger there's a time stamp on the photo, half an hour after the return time.

    Either it's the scam Titus is talking or we are just blind.
  9. Can you check the exif data of the pic rather than just the time stamp?
  10. First thing I would do is deny liability and demand your money back so at least they know you aren't going to be a pushover. Is it a well known brand or an El cheapo?
  11. I normally hang around and ensure that the attendant inspects the car before I leave. Successfully 'defended' a similiar incident once. (But must be said that i had been flying and using Europcar in Perth for 11 months so knew all the attendants by name). With Hertz I hang around till the attendant logs the return on his handheld. Can be argued that handover happened at that stage so no damage at that point.

    If you made airline bookings by credit card you may be eligible for travel insurance????
  12. Avis

    It was logged on the hand held and I have the receipt. Don't think that means a lot.
  13. He'll, I've never had a problem with them, might be a franchise, maybe write to head office if you don't have any luck with the Devils.
  14. I assume they've charged the credit card used as security?

    Contact the bank and order a stop on the card until you've got further details from the rental company.

    If you honestly cannot remember any event during which you had the vehicle whereby the damage may have occurred - plausible deniability is your best friend.
  15. As GeorgeOGeorgeO said, check if you booked using credit card. Platinum cards will cover any excess claims like this, not sure if this applies to all of gold / standard cards. But check because the small print can save you heaps on so much stuff its unbelievable - just not well publicized by the bank lol...!
  16. I admit I would surprised that a large and established brand like that would bother to do anything truly underhand (although there is another one that I don't trust at all).
    I suppose it's possible that another renter might have hit the OPs car after it was returned, but before it was inspected.
  17. I've put a reminder down to go through the fine print of the rental agreement on my next flight! Devil is in the detail!
  18. You said you got a receipt when you dropped it off, was there any damage noted?

    Do you still have it?
  19. What excess?

    I know at least one major hire car company self insure, the insurance premiums would far exceed the damage repairs and write-offs every year.