Additional driver charges

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

  • FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Does anyone know of a FFP, or hotel programme which, at entry level, gives complimentary additional driver on Europcar and / or Sixt? I have the additional driver with Avis, courtesy of BAEC, and with Hertz courtesy of Amex Platinum card.

    I recently lost my Gold status with Europcar and was staggered to find the additional driver charges. I can understand an additional charge for adding a driver, but cannot understand a daily charge. Just for fun I checked the additional driver charge with Europcar, same dates and car type, for a 7 day rental, for a range of Countries and the results are:
    Portugal €64.58
    Italy €70.03
    Spain €90.00
    France €91.06
    Germany €95.31
    UK €154.55

    If there are any readers from car hire companies perhaps they would care to explain the reason for a daily charge, or consider a one time charge.


    FDOS
    Participant

    Faroflyer

    In case it take BT a whilte to moderate my post with a link, you could google Autoeurope UK free additional driver offers.

    As I said in my blocked post, I don’t know how good this offer is, as I’ve never used it, but I do use Autoeurope frequently and have always had good service.


    MartinJ
    Participant

    I usually go through third-party booking sites, which usually offer better rates anway and often include fully comprehensive insurance with no excess and free cancellation up until 24 hrs before start of rental. Many of their rates include a second driver at no extra cost. Very rarely do I book directly with the rental company.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Thanks FDOS and MartinJ,

    I checked 2 upcoming bookings on Autoeurop UK free driver offer. In both cases the lowest price for the rental did not include the “free” additional driver, and the price which included the “free” additional driver was actually higher than booking direct.

    I agree that the third-party booking sites can be good for holiday rentals, or rentals where the major rental companies are not well represented.However, a deal breaker for me is that I must be able to use my Amex card at pick up so that I have insurance protection through Amex. Most of the minor rental companies refuse Amex as they want to sell their insurance packages.


    FDOS
    Participant

    @FaroFlyer

    Thanks for the feedback – I wondered if it would be a gimmick, rather than a genuine offer.


    FDOS
    Participant

    Don’t know if this will work for you, AutoEurope offers some deals with free additional drivers.

    Haven’t used it myslef, so it may just be a marketing gambit and very limited, however thought I’d share.

    https://www.autoeurope.co.uk/free-additional-driver/


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Helpful replies – thanks to all posters as this is something that I have encountered in the past too. But what I do not understand is why the charge exists at all. After all, only one of the named drivers can drive the car at any given time, and if both drivers are of similar standard, why should having a second driver on the contract make any difference? It could even lead to safer driving as it enables you to switch drivers on a long run when the first driver is tired.


    Swiss Rod
    Participant

    I have had good experience with Zest Car Rental, who appear to offer a free second driver with most rentals but are definitely in the holiday rental category. I have used them several times to hire in Spain and the price I pay appears to be the same, or cheaper, than the price offered by the car rental company direct.
    As to the question of why there are second driver charges anyway, the cynic in me would suggest that the answer is “because they can”! None of the additional charges I am aware of (including “insurance” and “car seats” for infants and children) bear any relationship to actual costs – hiring a child’s car seat for two weeks invariably costs more than purchasing one new from a local supermarket – but how do you reach that supermarket without the rental car…?


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Hello Cedric,

    I can understand the need for a one off charge for the costs of verifying a drivers licence validity for the car being rented. There is no obvious justification for a daily charge.

    In the UK you need a DVLA check if you have a UK driving licence. In Portugal the owner of a vehicle faces prosecution if they permit someone, who is not fully licensed, to drive their car, whether a rental car company or private owner. In December last year ago Max Verstappen had rented a Mercedes AMG GT from Sixt in Faro, but they refused to let him drive it as he was under 30 years old:-). He had a lower category car instead.


    FDOS
    Participant

    Additional driver charges are a classic example of a pricing strategy known as ‘optional extras’, which allows the headline price to be kept lower, but then provides additional revenue streams.

    Think of Ryanair et al.

    This is no different.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    FDOS,

    Thanks for the comment, but I disagree with you. An additional driver charge is different.

    If you check a bag in for a 4 hour flight the charge is not 4 times that for a 1 hour flight. If you pay for a seat for a 4 hour flight the charge is not 4 times that for a 1 hour flight.If you pay for speedy boarding for a 4 hour flight the charge is not 4 times that for a 1 hour flight.

    If you pay for an additional driver for a 4 day rental it is 4 times that for a 1 day rental. It is different.


    FDOS
    Participant

    @FaroFlyer – the additional driver charge is optional extras pricing, it’s just extortionate compared to other examples.


    Travelfoot
    Participant

    If you are an Amex Platinum card holder, please check the travel insurance benefits. You may find that the Car Rental benefit does not require the use of the card for booking. You can clarify this with Amex directly.


    Travelfoot
    Participant

    Before Covid California State law was in place for additional drivers to be covered for free. With intense lobbying after Covid by the rental companies claiming poverty this was amended and limited to spouses being automatically covered at least in California State but varies in other states.
    Booking through autourope.co.uk often in the same search results, an option is available to select one with one additional driver for a reasonable higher rate and there may also be a Gold rate that includes three additional drivers with a full tank of fuel. Gold rate works out good value if you are likely to spend on a full tank anyway, the difference between Standard and Gold rate is almost comparable to the cost of a full tank.
    Car rental in Europe has its own norms. However, autoeurope.co.uk does offer additional one driver packages that are slightly more than the standard rate but still economical compared with standalone additional driver charge.

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