Dodgy Car Rental Companies: a Problem for Tourists

The whole process of hiring a car is frustrating for tourists. Some do not speak fluent local language of the country they’re in, while others are simply unaccustomed to the local way of doing things and therefore face confusion. The biggest problem they face however comes in the form of dodgy car rental companies. Ridiculous fees and policies are trademarks of these businesses; along with premium location surcharges and fees for those who aren’t even at fault in accidents. The problem is a prevalent one for tourists, and this article will take a look at the struggles they’ll face.

Ridiculous Policies and Pure Swindles

There was recently a story of an Australian car rental company, called East Coast Car Rentals that had the cheek to include a clause into their policies which, in practice, meant they could rent out car’s that do not even work.

There are also a number of examples of companies around the world that’ll have no qualms in renting out cars that are liable to break down, soon after touching the road; and charging customers for the damage by keeping any deposits put down.

Victims of the scam will be joined in their grievances by sufferers of another car rental swindle. This one involves a fake car rental company taking deposits from customers for cars that don’t even exist. A random address is given by these companies who then of course just keep the deposit, as the poor customer unsuccessfully searches for a car rental company at the address given.

The occurrence of such a scam is allegedly prevalent throughout Asia, with India and Thailand being specific hotspots. Police in Mumbai have thus recently warned tourists and locals to be diligent against such scams.

Are Such Problems Much Closer to Home Than We Think?

Such blatant incidents of fraud may seem to be far from the situation’s reality of those who hire cars in UK territory. However, those who believe that to be the case may want to think again. The Daily Telegraph reported a few years ago, that one in six customers have problems with rental companies. Many car hire companies do not accept debit cards and only accept credit cards, which leaves customers vulnerable to having chunks of money pinched from their account for no good reason.

It seems that the biggest problem facing customers of car rental companies is simply the oldest trick in the book: claiming damage after the user returns the vehicle. Such ‘damage’ is either non-existent or inflicted by the car rental company shortly after the customer leaves. The Daily Telegraph thus told the story of Anne Smith, who hired a car off Carjet. After initially agreeing to refund £140 debited into her account, Carjet had an apparent change of heart; soon after even changing their reasons!

Lesson to be learnt: keep diligent when renting cars.