April 21, 2009 at 10:24 am 1 comment


by Loraine Ritchey thatwb@yahoo.com

This blog has had a huge amount of international traffic hitting this article ( post)
“BUYER BEWARE!!!!!- EUROPE-PLANE-TRAIN-BOATS- AUTOS- HOTELS in the past two weeks- thanks to being no 2 in a google search . Therefore now may be a good time to revisit “car rental”

I promised to continue with the observations on “car rentals” abroad. The “language barrier and terminology” was addressed in the first part of the article.

Lets talk “INSURANCE”

Part one of my car rental experience found me not only confused as to the type of vehicle I was renting but the difficulty in deciphering “access” and “excess”. Finallly I twigged it ( even though I was born and bred in England- I was confused) the Enterprise member of staff was actually talking deductible

I had decided to use Enterprise – One they were an American company ( so I know where they live)

Two they picked up and dropped off .

Anyone who has rented a car ( especially abroad ), knows there are hidden charges of insurance.


How many times have I stood at the counter stating My credit card company covers that”- . only to have the “counter cretin” blankly stare and say –

We are sorry Madam this isn’t America – you will need to purchase our insurance or pay full price for the any damages and we charge your credit card.

There have been times when I have taken my chances and not paid the extra charges and times I have .

One car rental garage in Seven Oaks, Kent ( booked through Avis) two years previously put the 500 pound ( around $780.00 at the time ) on the charge card but did not process it until I took the car back – any damage would have been charged !

However, I had gone over the car with a fine tooth comb and made them mark down every knick , dent or tiny scratch and took pictures.

When I returned the car they tried to charge me for a door dent and bumper scratch – but I had the pictures and signed paper stating they were on the car when I had picked it up.


This time however, I was a little more concerned with the driving in England -( as I have aged -I now pay the extra for an automatic – standard shift is cheaper by quite a lot in England) also I have become less confident with British driving) –

We would be doing a lot of miles and I would be parking on a very narrow side road. I didn’t want to take the chance of not having the “deductible” covered and the worry some clot would clip me!

I was informed the excess ( deductible) on this Mercedes A class 1,000 pounds or at the exchange rate at the time over $2,000 dollars.

Since I hadn’t ordered the Mercedes A class , Enterprise lowered the deductible to the Fusion “excess rate” of 600 pounds just over $1,200 .

This is the insurance that would have been covered under my Visa- but I got the old song and dance
“So sorry Madam……”
so I bit the money bullet ”

Ok give me YOUR insurance to cover the 600 pounds-

Oh! Madam our insurance only covers 500 pounds of the 600 pound excess- you will have to put the extra 100 pounds ( 200 dollars) on your card and also another 100 pounds deposit

So 400 dollars was then put on my card.

Still with me?????

Now things have also changed from previous rental agreements I have held – Enterprise not only charged the card for the “deposit” but charged all the charges separately so I ended up having the car rental charges, the insurance and the deductable and all the other add ons put through on my card as separate items.

For those unfamiliar with the way this works I was charged 5 different transaction fees ( due to the exchange rate)for one car rental .

Then when returning the car ( and yes some twit had opened their door in parking lot and dinged the door which then meant I lost my “deductible 100 pounds” ( 200 dollars)

They then credited my account for the other 100 pounds BUT the exchange rate had changed so I LOST MONEY cost me over 200 dollars but only got back $186.00 and I was charged another transaction fee.

A couple of weeks later I had to get the 2nd half of my rental – and went through the whole rigmarole again – no dings this time but since the dollar was falling in free fall I lost $50 dollars on the deposit and once again was charged separately on the card and all the damned transaction fees.
When I received the statement I called Visa who explained that they will give you a number internationally that the car rental companies can call collect to verify your “excess” coverage or they will give you a letter stating your coverage- BUT some car rental companies will still give you a hard time and if you accept their coverage you will not be covered under your “credit card coverage” . You could be charged up to the cost of the vehicle – and strange things do happen
carhorse SOURCE

Such was the case with my $200 ding from Enterprise. If I hadn’t paid it upfront they could have charged me whatever and I would have been stuck paying the repairs and trying to get the credit card to pay me.

I had visions of an estimated $3,000 dollar repair bill being the cynic that I am …… YUP sure is enterprising this car rental lark!

to be continued………

Entry filed under: Brit take, Ripped Off?, The Trip, travel.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. thatwoman  |  April 22, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Oh and Enterprise would not take “cash” my husband just reminded me of that ……

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 231 other followers

April 2009

%d bloggers like this: