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Any Hire A Car Gotchas Need To Be Aware Of?

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I need to hire a car soon and was wondering if there are any gotchas, things you need to be aware of? Obviously I'm going to do a walkarond and take photos to ensure everything matches the paperwork, but anything else?

Also, can anyone recommend one, was going to go with Enterprise.

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Make sure the checkout and checkin mileage are correct if you have a mileage surcharge in your contract. Check tires carefully too.

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Try and get a "Full. full" service instead of "Full, empty" as they'll charge you about 150-200% of the regular petrol price.

And when you return it you just need to fill up until the fuel gauge shows full, not until it's actually full.

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I need to hire a car soon and was wondering if there are any gotchas, things you need to be aware of? Obviously I'm going to do a walkarond and take photos to ensure everything matches the paperwork, but anything else?

Also, can anyone recommend one, was going to go with Enterprise.

if it's after the 8th June, you'll need to get a statement from the Share Driving Licence service. I believe this is only valid for 72 hours.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

Hire companies tend to charge extra for calling DVLA, but this might change in light of the new requirements..

You can blow your nose on your paper licence!

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This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished.

hahah

After 8 June 2015... so they have a month to sort out a system that can cope with the level of enquiries..

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When checking the vehicle, don't overlook the aerial!

We rented a car a year or so ago and I noticed it had a rather short aerial on the roof (at front). It didnt occur to me to question whi=y it was like that as I dont know much about the differences in aerials in various car models. (And the radio seemed to work OK.) But when we returned the car a week later, we were told we would be charged for ... breaking the aerial! We protested at the office at the airport and luckily for us they took pity on us. (And cancellled the charge.) They said that the roof aerials often get damaged when they go thru the washer. (We didnt use a washer of course.) Or can be result of vandalism. (I was pretty sure it was short when we got it!) So it probably happened before we picked it up, but it was our fault (techincally) for not having noticed it when we took possession. (In the dark of night, having just got off a flight.)

Talking about picking up at night, the hire companies usually allow you to phone then next morning if you spot any damage (eg scratches) which were not visible in the dark the night before.

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if it's after the 8th June, you'll need to get a statement from the Share Driving Licence service. I believe this is only valid for 72 hours.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

Hire companies tend to charge extra for calling DVLA, but this might change in light of the new requirements..

You can blow your nose on your paper licence!

Not looking forward to this. I do about 30 hires a year (10 abroad) and this is going to be a nightmare.

Hopefully corporate hires won't need to worry about it.

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You should give it back to be collected when the rental runs out! I did just that, but somebody stole it from my drive. There were no dents to examine. There was no car. :o

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And when you return it you just need to fill up until the fuel gauge shows full, not until it's actually full.

I'm guessing that's why not many of the car hire firms offer it anymore?

I hired one from a parent company that acted as a broker a few years ago, thinking I'd ordered a full full, but when I got there it was a full empty. Despite arguing the toss with them for over an hour (and with a rather unhappy family in tow) I backed down.

I tried for my life to return it empty, there can't have been more than a few yards left in the bugger when I returned it. If airplanes would let you take petrol on board I would have.

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If youre hiring from an airport abroad make sure you keep doors locked when you drive it off (if they dont auto lock)

Ive been car-jacked leaving a European airport - reason being (I guess) hire cars are easy to spot/follow from airport hiire centres, usually by motorcyclists, and youre not at your most aware driving on right in an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads and of course youre loaded with luggage, cash, passports etc. Not the most pleasant start to a holiday.

Another couple Ive had:

* Oil filler cap left off - so after 100 miles or so and a rather unpleasant burning smell I pulled over opened bonnet to find it was missing and the engine compartment was completely covered in oil.

* Bonnet not closed properly - which I discoved only when I hit the autoroute.

All major hire cos. Level of care is astonishingly cr4p.

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In my experience: when you arrive, they rarely have the car you actually asked for.

So be sure to get a free upgrade to something better as opposed to accepting something worse.

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In my experience: when you arrive, they rarely have the car you actually asked for.

So be sure to get a free upgrade to something better as opposed to accepting something worse.

Good tip.

I was picked up to collect my car last time in the car I was notionally going to hire. I noticed her struggling to select reverse (and she does this for a living, so it was obviously the car at fault) so sparked up about what cars she liked driving, which she recommended, and went with the car she most liked out of their (limited) range.

Diesel i30 which was a decent car, and I wouldn't have picked it myself.

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Not looking forward to this. I do about 30 hires a year (10 abroad) and this is going to be a nightmare.

Hopefully corporate hires won't need to worry about it.

Remember to change the car when the ash trays are full. ?

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what I wonder, is, if they charge for all the marks and scuffs a car gets, why does any renter ever get one with marks and scuffs on?

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Watch for the kerbs, they charge steeply for scratched hubcaps.

If there is a problem, complain. I have had 2 problem cars, one stank of fish (masked for the first couple of hours by cleaning fluid) and one the heater was stuck on max. Raise a stink and you might get a refund or at least a voucher.

I usually use Enterprise, they write down the fuel gauge reading and expect you to return it the same. Takes some judgement to put just enough in (e.g. needle just above the 1/4 mark) - better to run it a bit low and stick in the minimum (£2?) Just before you return it.

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If youre hiring from an airport abroad make sure you keep doors locked when you drive it off (if they dont auto lock)

Ive been car-jacked leaving a European airport - reason being (I guess) hire cars are easy to spot/follow from airport hiire centres, usually by motorcyclists, and youre not at your most aware driving on right in an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads and of course youre loaded with luggage, cash, passports etc. Not the most pleasant start to a holiday.

Another couple Ive had:

* Oil filler cap left off - so after 100 miles or so and a rather unpleasant burning smell I pulled over opened bonnet to find it was missing and the engine compartment was completely covered in oil.

* Bonnet not closed properly - which I discoved only when I hit the autoroute.

All major hire cos. Level of care is astonishingly cr4p.

SEAT Ibiza in Gran Canaria was low on brake fluid - kept a warning beeping on hills, of which there were many of course.

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"Simplifying our service". That's lovely!

if it's after the 8th June, you'll need to get a statement from the Share Driving Licence service. I believe this is only valid for 72 hours.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

Hire companies tend to charge extra for calling DVLA, but this might change in light of the new requirements..

You can blow your nose on your paper licence!

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Watch for the kerbs, they charge steeply for scratched hubcaps.

If there is a problem, complain. I have had 2 problem cars, one stank of fish (masked for the first couple of hours by cleaning fluid) and one the heater was stuck on max. Raise a stink and you might get a refund or at least a voucher.

I usually use Enterprise, they write down the fuel gauge reading and expect you to return it the same. Takes some judgement to put just enough in (e.g. needle just above the 1/4 mark) - better to run it a bit low and stick in the minimum (£2?) Just before you return it.

I got absolutely caned for a scratched alloy and damaged tyre in Amsterdam (no, that's not what I was doing), in addition I missed the last petrol station on the way back to the airport and got almost a full tank at the contract rate. Came to about 850 euros. I'd only had it 16 hours.

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You can get care hire excess insurance for about 35 quid for an annual policy. All you've got to worry about then is standing firm in the face of the barrage of dire threats from the car hire clerk when you refuse their insurance...

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As for the DVLA, I can't see why you'd need to bother with this licence share business? TBH it's nearly 20 years since I last hired a car in England, but I'm sure I've only ever been asked for the card bit of my license in Europe- it has all my entitlements on the back...

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SEAT Ibiza in Gran Canaria was low on brake fluid - kept a warning beeping on hills, of which there were many of course.

Could be very nasty. If there is any practical alternative I wont use a hire car. Id rather take a bus, train, taxi or even own car.

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Enterprise can be quite "generous" on scrapes and bumps. They have a card with a hole cut out of it and place this over the scrape. We had one which was left on the car when we got back to a carpark. There was nothing on the CTV so thought we would be stuck with a claim, however when they came out with the card the bump fitted well into the allowed area.

We now have a yearly policy for hire cars.

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