Hiring a car can be a long and complicated procedure. That is why Vehicle Rent is here to help you and make things simple. We have talked with our Quality Control Manager Janko Svete on car hire coverage.
When you hire a car there are certain things you have to do, and procedures that you need to follow. When we decide to hire a car where can we gather all the information?
The best way to do is to call the broker's customer service, which will guide you through your journey, and inform you on all the additional information you need. The essential thing is being and staying safe on the road. Fingers crossed everything goes well, but it's better to be safe than sorry. People often think coverage is something unnecessary. And that is a huge issue.
OK, let's start from the beginning, what happens when we pick-up the car?
The story goes like this: At the pickup, the car hire agency will block a certain amount on your credit card. This amount is called deposit. Deposit is usually equal to or greater than your excess amount (=your financial responsibility for any car damage or theft + lost revenue during car repairing time). If the worst case scenario does happen – the car gets damaged or stolen – you can lose your deposit. Just recently Dutch Radio Radar covered such a story.
This is the case when you have only CDW (Collision Damage Wavier)?
Yes, this can be the worst case scenario. You have no coverage, only CDW and you’re keeping your fingers crossed nothing happens. People are often unaware that the majority of your vehicle isn’t covered. CDW only covers the car’s bodywork. Damage done to mirrors, roof, undercarriage, tires, locks, possible loss of keys CDW will not cover. CDW also won’t cover immobilisation costs. Your driving skills may be perfect, but you’re not alone on the road.Although your excess isn’t huge, the final expenses can be really high. You will be also charged for administrative and immobilisation services by the car hire agency.
What if I decide to have coverage via credit card or third-party coverage?
Maybe you have a car hire excess coverage via your credit card, or you bought car hire excess policy online from a third party. If that's the case, let me just give you a friendly advice to call your bank and ask for their Terms & Conditions, check all the exclusions, later on, call the car hire agency and check their policy. And remember; there is something fishy when a company wants to sell you car hire coverage, and can’t explain to you what exactly they are selling. If you’re 100% sure the coverage covers everything – you’re good to go. But there's a trick. Although your coverage covers everything you need, you’ll probably still have to make a deposit at the counter. And you need to make sure you have enough limit on your credit card (your available amount of money for vacation could be reduced from 700 to 2000 Euros depends on the selected car). The procedure when making a claim for universal coverage or with your bank can be really long and complicated. In certain cases the credit card bank didn’t refund for certain damages according to their policies, that is why you need to call your bank, check their Terms and Conditions, demand to share all exclusions with you, and then call the car hire agency to check their policy. Gathering all the information you need can take a lot of time, and you can get pretty frustrated.
But I can also take the coverage at the counter, right?
Yes, but although you’re already insured the agent at the counter will offer you coverage of their company. The main benefit of this option is The Zero Exces – the car hire agency won’t take any deposit for the time of your rental. But the price will be higher since this is your last-minute decision. I agree it's better to take this last-minute coverage than no coverage at all. In this case, there is no deposit, but this doesn’t mean you won’t pay anything in the end. But you need to know one thing – this is usually the most expensive scenario. Plus, there are possible exclusions, such as tires, mirrors, windows, immobilisation costs, etc.
What do I need to do to make sure I'm fully covered?
You can protect your excess with us – that’s how you will get your whole deposit back.
If you take our Relax package, and if something bad happens, like damage or theft, we’ll refund up to 3000 EUR of expenses charged by the car hire provider. There are practically no exclusions with SER. We have a transparent claim procedure, and you can cancel booking until the last minute.
SER refunds the final expenses – when it’s clear what’s the amount. If you hire a car with us, you can always call our customer service, and they'll guide you through the process.
But surely there are cons to this scenario as well?
Majority of car hire agencies will demand that you leave a deposit or provide credit card details before they hand over the vehicle if you decline their coverage. Buying SER cannot prevent this. SER will not cover vague costs like repairs of the vehicle that were not approved by the car hire company or administration and immobilisation fees. Also, SER won't cover the expenses of car damage if the driver was intoxicated or drove irresponsibly. But remember, even though by purchasing SER you can always reimburse for excess paid to the rental company in the unlucky event of car damage or theft - its price is very reasonable.
And again, although your coverage covers everything you need, you’ll still have to make a deposit at the counter. And you need to make sure you have enough limit on your credit card (your available amount of money for vacation could be reduced from 700 to 2000 Euros depends on car selected).
Are there any other solutions available at the car hire market regarding the issue of deposit?
Soon we'll be offering another »Premium Product« as an optimum solution. Premium Product will cover all kinds of risks you may have and no deposit will be needed at the counter when you pick up the car. This package may look like the most expensive one, but in the end, it will be the cheapest one due to the coverage it brings.
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