Clearing up rental car confusion

RACQ has urged motorists to take steps to protect themselves from dodgy hire companies who attempt to overcharge.

Fairfax newspapers this week reported hire car companies had been accused of charging customers for damage they did not cause, before they then failed to repair the damage and repeated the process with the next customer.

RACQ’s Steve Spalding assured motorists there were simple things they could do to make sure they avoided unfair treatment.

“Most reputable hire companies have very strict processes, but motorists should always take precautions  to protect themselves,” Mr Spalding said.

“Firstly, know what you’re signing up for and be clear on the terms on the rental contract.

“Know in advance exactly how much you’ll pay if you have a crash, puncture a tyre, or chip a windscreen. Consider taking out additional damage cover to reduce your liability if this were to occur.

“It’s also important to have a good look over the vehicle, with someone from the hire company, before accepting responsibility for it. If you see any damage point it out to the company representative, note it on the hire sheet and take photos.

“If you do cause any damage to the vehicle, notify the hire company straight away.

“Importantly, when you return the vehicle, make sure someone from the hire company inspects it with you so all parties are aware of the condition of the vehicle as it left your possession.”