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Insurance Business | 12 Nov 2014, 08:38 AM Agree 0
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken action against a rental car company it accuses of unfair contract terms and misleading conduct with relation to insurance liability cover.
  • Desmond Sherlock | 12 Nov 2014, 11:12 AM Agree 0
    You can always bypass the car rental companies by using sites like tripcover.com.au
  • Luke Chrzanowski | 13 Nov 2014, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    Excellent, it's about time! A client of mine had a significant issue with a rental car company (starting with T), who went after my client for $50k+ after he had an accident, saying he breached the rental agreement because he was charged with failure to give way following the accident! Imagine if your insurer denied your motor claim on that basis?

    I hope the ACCC assess the other rental companies agreements to provide consumers with more adequate protection from these unfair contracts.
  • Lisa Anderson | 13 Nov 2014, 11:31 AM Agree 0
    Just go look at the reviews of Europcar online and it will give you a fair gauge on their practices when it comes to making claims. Finally the ACCC is doing something about this!

    @Desmond Sherlock - I agree you can use sites like tripcover.com.au or the more popular rentalcover.com for purchasing excess cover but when you rock up to the rental company they will try and make the hard sale on you and push their insurance products. You need to be really cautious.
  • Ernesto Suarez | 15 Nov 2014, 02:40 AM Agree 0
    This resonates all the way to Europe.
    I wish there were regulators here with balls to tackle car rental companies. Parts of Europe are like the Wild West!

    Also, maybe the credit card companies can help in this regard, e.g. to stop car rental companies just taking money from customer's credit cards after the rental period has expired. A large percentage of people claiming on third party specialist policies (which are much better and cheaper than the compatition) are usually unaware of the damages they have done to the vehicles and are usually charged once they have left the country!

    In agreement something should be done on the contracts!
  • Sylvia Else | 03 Feb 2015, 11:46 PM Agree 0
    Even excess cover policies can have clauses that leave you high and dry. Often they include an exclusion where you've broken the terms of the rental contract. If one of those terms is that you not break the Road Rules (and some rental contracts have that term), then your third party insurer can escape liability.
  • Paul Bishop | 07 Apr 2016, 11:11 AM Agree 0
    have the same issue. Europcar wants to charge me $440 for stone chip damage during a 3 day hire, on a car that has 15000Km on speedo already. Drove it only on major sealed highways in Tas. They claim car was hired to me in pristine showroom condition, and all stone chips were caused by me. Totally unacceptable and from Europcar, demonstrating dubious business practices.
  • The West Australian Perspective | 07 Apr 2016, 11:55 AM Agree 0
    The old adage of buyer beware applies here of course, as most people won't even realise that the hire car company can debit your credit card, but can demand payment in full of the excess before it has even been assessed or quoted up.
    I had an experience with AVIS and learnt this the hard way on a $3,000 excess and as for my credit card company, what a joke they were. Despite there not being sufficient available funds for this, after about eleven rejected attempts by AVIS to debit my card, they rang my card provider and the transaction was approved by them without my authority which put my account overdrawn by $2,500!!! One can only wonder about what sort of privacy breach has occurred there and I quickly got AVIS to assess/quote and once the repairs were assessed at $295.00, yes that is right the repairs were only $295, they then credited the difference back to my card relatively quickly.
    Has anyone ever bothered to read the conditions on these anyway? I must say they are even worse than an insurance policy and as for the font size, please!!!
  • John | 07 Apr 2016, 12:56 PM Agree 0
    West Australian, at the time, did you ask your credit card company to advise as to the basis upon which they were allowed to debit the card? Did they charge any fees?
  • The West Australian Perspective | 07 Apr 2016, 01:05 PM Agree 0
    John, thanks for the question and I must admit that when I spoke with them which was after they had debited it of course, they didn't really apologise as the person on the phone wasn't in the team that authorised it of course. Can't recall if they charged me any fees as this was back at the end of 2014, but I will check my records as I no doubt they did!!
  • David | 07 Apr 2016, 01:29 PM Agree 0
    I work for a large independent rental company. We take photo's before and after our rentals to save these issues. We do hear alot about customers having bad experiences with the national operators regarding damages charges, whether that be over the excess or the fact the damage is brought up too far after the vehicle is returned and is questionable as to who did the damage. The way we operate is to inform the customer of damage (which we check pre hire photo's prior to ensure it's new) before obtaining a repair quote and then charging for repairs up to a maximum of the excess amount. The way some others operate is to take the full excess amount which in West Australians case above could be thousands of dollars even if the repair cost is minor. The other thing customers need to keep in mind is that if they're going to take out insurance cover with a third party the rental operator still charges you, it's up to you then to be reimbursed by your third party cover as that agreement has nothing to do with the contract between yourself and the rental operator.
  • Earnest | 07 Apr 2016, 05:02 PM Agree 0
    Some outrageous examples here of alleged wrongdoing of car rental and potentially credit companies. We need an immediate 2 year length Royal Commission into the industry followed by mandatory tough legislation to regulate the cowboys and class actions to fender bend the perpetrators. In 10 years, we will see some real progress. Either that, or just rent bombs where another asserted scratch isn't usually an issue for either party.
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