Harmony FM
Gran Alacant Insurances
Aeromax
My Cheap Removals
Fincas Inland
Just One Small Step - Counselling
Viks Tennis
Siesta Group
AA Free English TV
Almond Blossom Property Services
pa Language Services
Spanish Dream Property
Protek - Property Management Key Holding Meet and Greet Cleaning Laundry Services General DIY and Garden Services
Parasol
Costa Caretaking

Join the La Florida forum

Join the La Florida forumMy name's Jan and this is my website all about La Florida in Spain. Register now for free to talk about General La Florida discussion and much more!

Car hire, it's finally happened.

Whatsapp

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 8:52am
51 replies2754 views15 members subscribed
Kenbo

Posts: 34

Location: La Florida

19 helpful posts

Over the years I have read about many acts of dishonest practice by the bigger car renters but I have had 17 years of untroubled rentals, now it was my turn.

Arrived in Alicante at 21.30 on the 16th of June at the Centauro desk on airport whereupon their lady agent gave me a very hard sell to upgrade to their expensive all inclusive insurance, I declined as I have my own annual excess policy.

She was very persistent and rude and I could imagine others succumbing to this type of pressure, eventually she threw the keys on the desk and stated that you are the first to drive this car, not true actually as the car had covered 500km.

I did my usual inspection of the car as best as I could as it was parked between 2 other cars.

No issues with the car during our stay and returned to the airport on 1st July. At Centauro drop off we stood behind the vehicle and waited for their agent to check the car off, he flicked a torch quickly up and down the near side and bonnet not looking too thoroughly but then suddenly dropped to his knees at the offside front bumper whereupon he located a scratch tucked underneath the bumper which could only be seen if your were on your knees.

Now, I know that I did not do this or I would have heard it and told him this firmly, nevertheless he said he had to report it and the system they use automatically charged €174 and this would be deducted from my credit card.

I also told him that I worked in the car trade and this repair would cost no more than €75, he agreed but stated as the car is so cheap to rent the money had to be made elsewhere.

I will now have to test out my annual policy to recover this amount.

Just a couple of observations here, previously I have always considered Centauro to be one of the better companies and have always had good service from them, they appear to have changed tack.

Did the rude rental lady specifically allocate me an already known marked car following my refusal to take up their expensive insurance? 

Will this repair ever be done in spite of them collecting €174 or will this particular car be used as a cost recovery mule ? In the remote hope that I come across this vehicle again all taken pictures will be saved.

I know that it is now only my word against theirs but you can't help sniffing a little fraudulent activity here can you ?

Cheryl

Cheryl

Very helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:05am

Posts: 786

Location: Albatera

695 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:05am

They really are getting worse aren't they!
It's coming to the point where we, as consumers, will have to start demanding full inspections with a representative present, with the car jacked up and specialist lighting provided so we can fully inspect the car beforehand. The lighting in the Alicante airport car park is particularly bad and why should we have to crawl about on dirty floors after a day of travelling? Of course, the minute you drive outside the barriers into natural light it is too late to state any damage was already there.
I would get my credit card company to query the charge, at the very least it will put a stop on the money until it goes through the process and  the car hire company will incur administrative fees.
I also think you were duped, from the girl on reception making a point to tell you that you were the first hirer, to the sudden drop to the knees during the car park inspection so we all need to fight back in any way we can. 

Kenbo

Kenbo

Original Poster

Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:23am

Posts: 34

Location: La Florida

19 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:23am

Thanks for your advice Cheryl.

I will contact my credit card company.

Yes, all very suspicious.

UKHandyMan4Hire

UKHandyMan4Hire

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:30am

Posts: 439

Location: Aspe

346 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:30am

Hi Kenbo and welcome to a world that is riddled with Scams, you have lived a charmed life to make it this far without such an incident! 

However, this is where the fun begins! From here on in I speak with experience and success, NOT supposition and hearsay.

So, you will make a claim on your annual policy - that's quite easy, a few forms to complete etc. If it is a UK based company then it should be straight forward enough.

Next, I take it you paid for the hire by a credit/debit card of some description (please tell me you did, not many pay cash?!) You did? WINNER!

You need to contact your bank issuing the credit card. When you speak to someone advise them that you wish to make "A claim under section 75 of the consumer credit act" (CCA 1974 if you need to review it) Ah but, the car company is Spanish... YES BUT... you made payment with your UK bank card!

Under the terms of the consumer credit act the car hire company should do the following:

1) Provide you with three quotations for the work to be completed

2) Give you the chance to take the vehicle away and have the opportunity to get a quote or have the damage repaired

3) Demonstrate that vehicle DO get repaired.

I can tell you without asking that the company will fail on all three counts, so basically they are in breach of the CCA1974. You will have more forms to fill in, copies of documents to be sent etc, then wait... you WILL win.

So how do they get away with it? Well, people are typically, inherently lazy, so it's a numbers game. There are many scams these people run. I have posted on here as well as trip advisor and when I finally pull my finger out and finish it, I am doing a Guide to Car Hire, which I hope will assist others.

For anyone else reading this for future reference, as well as the Section 75 part which is important, other known scams include, but are not limited to:

Checking door locks with the keys NOT just the remote. Broken locks = €€€ (Who checks locks with keys these days?!)

Not issuing a warning triangle and/or high vis - charge you on return (It is the law they provide you with them but if you drive away without them... it's your problem!)

Damaged rims/alloys on the INSIDE of a wheel! 

Telling you to ignore a scratch or dent etc smaller than a certain size - make a note of EVERYTHING you see

They don't record everything you point out - CHECK what they issue you with against what you noted

They give you a blank sheet and you have to note everything!  Then they swap your info on to another sheet and they keep and dispose of your original, give you the copy, which they happened to miss one or two items on (Goldcar speciality!)

Make you inspect the car between parked cars or in a dark area... move it out! Get some light! Do not be fooled by their games.

My all time favourite - tell you 3 weeks later they found damage and charge you! (Dickmanns Special!) Thankfully in my case, my video and photo evidence exposed their lies. I presented myself and asked for their complaint forms and made them do a merry dance through the complaint process! I was close to going for a Denuncia for fraud, but had a long time in the UK planned I so couldn't be bothered!

The list goes on!

Ultimately. Keep copious notes, make notes of names and conversations, keep every scrap of paper. If they take some paper off you then take a photo of it. Video the car (inside and out) as well as photo specific problems. Read advice on Trip Advisor and Forums to make yourself aware of the scams.

Hope it helps! 

Let me know how you get on with your section 75 claim 

Relyat

Relyat

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:40am

Posts: 274

Location: Denia

171 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 10:40am

Another I fell foul of years ago was when returning the car it was pointed out that the antenna was missing, 45 Euros thanks.

I genuinely don't know if it was there at the start of the rental as I never use the car radio. Since then, when collecting the car the antenna is unscrewed and stowed in the glove box.

Kenbo

Kenbo

Original Poster

Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:02am

Posts: 34

Location: La Florida

19 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:02am

Thankyou Handyman

Firstly and importantly I always use hirecarsinspain to book my cars, customer service second to none.

They are currently in dialogue with Centauro, should I have to pay then yes I have an annual ins policy.

Should the insurers not accept the case then yours and Cheryls advice re credit card will be very useful.

UKHandyMan4Hire

UKHandyMan4Hire

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:09am

Posts: 439

Location: Aspe

346 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:09am

Hi Kenbo

I always used doyouspain, for similar reasons - good customer service and of course, competitive prices.

It is unlikely you will get anywhere with your provider as they are the middle man. I will be surprised if you do.

The process is simply that Centauro will release your deposit less the claim amount. You need to pursue the claim amount back off your insurance providers. Even IF Centauro reduce the charge to 74€ I would progress a claim.

I would now progress the claim with your annual policy provider (I use icarhireinsurance - about £40 per year for annual European CDW cover)

I would also, immediately begin a section 75 claim.

It is likely BOTH will pay out.

UKHandyMan4Hire

UKHandyMan4Hire

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:10am

Posts: 439

Location: Aspe

346 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 11:10am

May I add also, just for the sake of clarity, for other readers.

Car Hire comes with car insurance and is mandatory for the hiring out of the vehicles, in any country. 

The insurance you are referring to is known as Collission Damage Waiver insurance CDW.

Cathiejstead

Cathiejstead

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 1:12pm

Posts: 295

306 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 1:12pm

If they want to get you. They will.

I video whole car asap.

 But still if theres a little scratch they know about youll never win. 

Chezste

Chezste

Helpful member

Tue Jul 2, 2019 3:04pm

Posts: 400

Location: La Zenia

167 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jul 2, 2019 3:04pm

This is precisely why we bought a great runaround for 1,000€,  we have car on tap, cheap to run and we don’t mind scratches bumps etc, much more relaxed motoring and don’t worry when or where we park it.  I despise rental companies now after being stung too many times!

Sign up for free or login to reply to this topic

Want to reply to this topic? Login or register for free to post your message:

Related topics

Find more General discussion topics from a particular area:


Register for free!

Login to your account

Viks Tennis
pa Language Services
My Cheap Removals
Gran Alacant Insurances
Aeromax
Just One Small Step - Counselling
Harmony FM
AA Free English TV
Almond Blossom Property Services
Fincas Inland
Protek - Property Management Key Holding Meet and Greet Cleaning Laundry Services General DIY and Garden Services
Parasol
Siesta Group
Spanish Dream Property
Costa Caretaking
Advertise your business here