How it works:
- Situation: just like around Europe (e.g. Ireland, Italy, Spain), rental car horror stories are not uncommon. However, these tend to be limited to certain notorious names in the industry (e.g. Goldcar) due to their business models – staff gets a commission if they execute such schemes successfully.
- Version 1: forcing you to take up expensive excess insurance even if you already have cover via other third party policies. If you do not, then a large sum will be put on hold on your credit card as deposit which leaves you vulnerable to the next scam.
- Version 2: charging a high cost for pre-existing damages not caused by you. These tend to be minor (e.g. scratches) and will not be repaired anyway. Sometimes, they simply hold and do not return your deposit even though there is no damage, hoping that you do not realize it.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- If you are planning to drive, make sure to research and understand the rules of driving (e.g. having an international driving license, speed limits, road signs, etc).
- Next, rent from a reputable shop or from an online agent/aggregator like AutoEurope (over 60 years of experience) which will help you in case you face any issues.
- Thoroughly inspect your vehicle before use and take photos and videos as evidence. Read the terms and conditions of the insurance contract carefully. Do not hand over your passport as collateral. At the point of returning the car, take photos and videos again to serve as proof in case need.
- After your trip, check that your deposit has been refunded.