Ryanair & not so Thrifty/Hertz car hire – extra insurance rip-offCreate Topic

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    I’ve just returned from a great long Easter weekend in Puglia. However, despite paying for extra insurance cover for my car hire at the time of booking my flight with Ryanair, on arriving, the Thrifty/Hertz rep at Bari airport said I wasn’t fully covered. My confirmation from Ryanair had stated: ‘The car hire supplier may offer insurance products. You are already fully covered and do not need to purchase any insurance at the rental desk’, but in another part of the documentations stated: ‘You may be offered additional insurance at the car rental desk. This should be declined if you have already purchased excess insurance. The credit card holder will still be required to leave a security deposit with the car rental company.’ Standing in a long queue was not the time to be having this debate.

    In addition, the Thrifty/Hertz airport rep said I would be responsible for a hefty excess of €1,300 if I didn’t pay and extra €40 per day i.e. €160 in total over the 4 day period (the original total car hire cost with EXTRA insurance was just £90).

    It was 10pm and I just wanted to get to my apartment hour away so I had to decide who was telling the truth. It felt like moral blackmail. I gave in but was determined not to let it ruin my stay. However, I did try a couple of times to talk to Thrifty/Hertz the next morning – I was told that I’d signed the documentation at the airport – basically, tough! I emailed Ryanair – got a similar response from them yesterday.

    When will car hire be straightforward and transparent? Is the only solution to buy specific excess insurance cover from a third party? This wasn’t some dodgy one-man band company (I’ve used those in the past and had bad experiences) – but Thrifty/Hertz? You should be ashamed of yourselves!



    I use insurance4carhire.com. I do not work for them, and have no affiliation or benefit. I just renewed my annual policy yesterday, for my wife & I. Cost for an annual policy throughout Europe was £75 less 25% cashback on Quidco. I also have cover through my Amex Platinum card but treat this as a safety net.

    As a general comment, when hiring a car I would always use a charge card, Amex or Diners, not a credit card like Visa or MasterCard, as the excess deposit does not affect your available credit.



    FaroFlyer beat me to it.

    I use insurance4carhire.com. I do not work for them, and have no affiliation or benefit

    They are a superb outfit. I’ve used them for at least 6 years, had about 3 claims which were settled fairly, and without argument or deduction.

    They also helped me to prepare my argument for the Small Claims Court after I was ripped off by Easirent (for the avoidance of doubt, this outfit is nothing to do with easyJet), who deviously conned me into taking their excess waiver when I didn’t need it. Easirent is another story, an outfit to be avoided at all costs.



    Thanks a lot – I’ll check them out!



    Ditto! Thanks



    I also have an insurance4carhire.com policy for any excess but AVIS in the UK still insist on taking a £1500 deposit from my credit card which is refunded when the car is returned. Someone needs to introduce legislation that care hire charges MUST be inclusive of all required insurance excesses.




    That is because insurance4carhire are only insuring against you damaging the car, or you allowing damage to occur to the car. They are not insuring the car.

    You are renting the car and accepting liability for damage, which is why you are taking out the private insurance. Your rental contract is between you and the rental company. Your insurance policy is between you and insurance4carhire.

    That is why I made the point about using a charge card, not a credit card.



    Thanks FaroFlyer, – I will do that from now on!



    That is correct. If damage occurs to a car that you are renting, the rental company will charge you for it, regardless of the fact that you are covered elsewhere. You then claim back against Insurance4carhire (or similar).



    I rely solely on my insurance cover with Amex but will take a look at insurance4carhire as a backup.

    It always annoys me when these car hire firms try to rip you off. Though Hertz is a big name many of the local offices are run by franchisees who need to sell extras to boost their income and profit. At one rental (Avis I think) they persuaded me to take a GPS for the rental period. When I got in the car I saw it had an inbuilt one so they used the excuse the rented one was superior and was programmed to the return address. Big deal! they didn’t want to refund me saying I’d signed for it until I accused them of fraud and refused to leave. They then gave in.

    On another occasion they sold me a full tank of petrol and said I could return it empty – I did – literally (though not particularly on purpose) – (it was part electric and the battery expired as I was parking) and then they wanted to charge me a garage call out fee saying it was not the idea to return it completely empty? Go figure.

    I could go on but the thing is to stand your ground no matter how tired you are, as that’s what they rely on to extract the extra from you.

    However, as pointed out, when self insuring they will reserve the excess on your card but it’s usually released immediately you return the car. Having said that it’s still a good idea to never just drop and go but go inside and have them close off the rental and refund the excess to avoid having to argue through a foreign call centre when you’re back home.



    The issue I have with the car hire insurance is not whether I am insured or not, but in the event of an accident/claim, which will be less of a hassle.

    When I last hired a car in Barcelona, I arranged everything through a broker in the UK (including insurance). However, Avis made me feel doubtful of the validity of the insurance by asking (sorry demanding) a deposit on my credit card & confirming any damage would have to be paid for and it was my responsibility to make a claim on the insurance.

    HOWEVER in the event of me buying their insurance, no deposit and in the event of a claim, Hertz would sort everything out and I would not be required to pay for any damage/repair.

    My thought process actually favoured insurances being sold by the Avis and co, despite them being slightly more expensive.

    1. No deposit on my credit card
    2. Any damage / accidents – basically, “not a problem sir”…

    Whilst I am confident, especially from the posters comments on here, that third party insurance policies are fine and they will pay up – it seems to me, by paying direct with the provider (Avis & others) you are also buying the added benefit of hassle free claims..



    Hi Martin,

    Yes, paying direct is more convenient. However, I have about 60 days car rental a year so even €10 per day is significantly more expensive than an annual policy at £75, or Amex.

    I have claimed on insurance4carhire and, although I was 2 months late doing it, there was no hassle, and an immediate and full payment.

    Like LP I always try to return and get a print out or invoice, but even that is not final. I had an experience last year, Europcar I think, where I had a print out but the final invoice was higher. I was told that the print out was not final. Grrr!


    Tom Otley


    I use Avis all the time. I always mistrust anything they say or do! Better the devil you know.
    I take their basic insurance and have an annual policy with insuranceforcarhire.com. I have had to use them twice in the last two years. When provided with the necessary paperwork they are excellent in setting the claim and resolving issues. It’s a Brit company with normal phone numbers. Worth every penny!



    I always use my Amex Platinum card for car hire and always get the “are you really sure you want to be exposed to a cost of XXXXXX” etc etc. It’s a veiled threat wrapped up in a velvet glove. I also periodically check with Amex there has been no change in the Insurance policies. I used to be Hertz Gold Card and when I changed my profile to “decline insurances” car hire fees when booked through my gold card online went up by 3 or 4 time!!s. Needless to say if I booked Hertz, I tend to use Avis, I do so as a guest, get ‘normal rates’ and still pay by Amex. Bottom line: all of the car hire companies will deceive you if they can. As other posters have said on similar threads it is worth taking pictures both pre and post hire to thwart any spurious after return charges.

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