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Time for a rant: car rental charges
David Jenkins - 13/3/18 at 09:47 AM

I will be getting a new car in the next few weeks, and off to Inverness a few weeks after: the new one will be an EV (Nissan Leaf) and I don't want to attempt such a long journey until I get experience in charging it at public charging points. So I looked into hiring a car for 12 days... and have come to the conclusion that the hire companies modelled their pricing schemes on Ryanair!

You enter the dates on their website, look at the choices and think "that price is not too bad". Pick a car costing around 300, hit 'next' and the optional extras appear; the standard excess is around 1000 but you can pay 100 to reduce it to 350 or 150 to reduce it to zero, a second driver is another 120, rescue services around 65+, etc., etc. Picking a reasonable selection bumps the price up to more than 550.

Now I can get around some of these charges: there are several reputable companies that will cover the excess for far less (I found one that will cover everything for 39 a year!), and I can probably get personal cover on my existing rescue services for not much money, but the whole aspect of sneaky add-on charges really rankles.

Compare this with a car company I usually deal with when I go to Sydney NSW, called 'No Birds' (actually Bayswater Car Rental - it's a long story). For a start, the price per day is cheap for reasonable 5-door saloon at A$25 per day, even cheaper if you accept a daily mileage limit, or even cheaper if you're happy to drive an older car (maybe only 2 or 3 years old). Second, the fee for an extra driver is A$5 per day, capped to A$25 per hire - about 16. For about A$10 per day you can reduce your excess to zero, and even that charge is capped to A$70 per hire. Finally the deposit is only a fraction of the amount charged by the big hire companies. This is in one of the most expensive cities in the world, with the cost of living on a par with London. The downside is that they only hire out 4 or 5 models of Toyota, they're all white, and all have a small yellow chevron sticker with 'No Birds' on each front door. I can live with those limitations considering the low cost.

Good old "Rip Off Britain"...


[Edited on 13/3/18 by David Jenkins]


Stevie_P - 13/3/18 at 10:16 AM

Pretty sure when I was looking at a Nissan Leaf they were giving you access to an ICE car for two weeks every year for three years.
This was for a new car though.

I agree that the extras are crazy on hire cars / vans.

You can get separate excess insurance which is much cheaper than using the hire company. Oops just read the fullo post and you mention this..

Hope that helps

Steve

[Edited on 13/3/18 by Stevie_P]


David Jenkins - 13/3/18 at 10:41 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Stevie_P
Pretty sure when I was looking at a Nissan Leaf they were giving you access to an ICE car for two weeks every year for three years.



This is true... but it's a bit cheeky to ask when it's only 2 weeks after collection!
(but I intend to ask anyway)


Stevie_P - 13/3/18 at 10:47 AM

I wouldn't class it as cheeky at all.
If it's not in the T & C that you need to wait X number of weeks before you go for the ICE then I'd say go for it.

I take it it's the Gen2 Leaf?

Very tempted myself to be honest but the prices are a little on the high side still for my liking.
You'll have to report back on what you think.

Steve


SJ - 13/3/18 at 11:58 AM

For 550 you could buy another car and tax/insure it for a month!


David Jenkins - 13/3/18 at 12:22 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Stevie_P
I wouldn't class it as cheeky at all.
If it's not in the T & C that you need to wait X number of weeks before you go for the ICE then I'd say go for it.

I take it it's the Gen2 Leaf?

Very tempted myself to be honest but the prices andare a little on the high side still for my liking.
You'll have to report back on what you think.

Steve


It's the new 2018 model - 40kW battery and a realistic range of just over 150 miles. Yes, a bit expensive, but it's a lovely car to drive, and comes with a host of gadgets . I almost went for a Hyundai plug-in hybrid but, after thinking about it, realised that (1) it costs the same, (2) I'd still have all the servicing costs of a standard car, plus the extras for the electrics and (3) I'd have to wait up to 6 months for it to be delivered (10 months for the all-electric Ioniq). Servicing on the Leaf is around 110 for a normal annual service, and 170 for the more involved one every 2 years. Hell of a lot cheaper than I was paying previously.

I had a few reasons for changing: my current car is diesel, the pressures on diesel are starting to build, and are only going to get worse. But the main reason is that I do only 2 or 3 long journeys every year - most of my driving is to and from town, or maybe days out to local cities like Norwich or Cambridge. These are easily within range of the Leaf without having to charge when I get there. In the future, when I have more confidence and experience, I'll be able to do most of the long journeys in this car.

The main challenge is the one that's coming up in a few weeks; I live just south of Ipswich and my brother lives near Nairn in Scotland, which is roughly 600 miles. Doable in an EV with an overnight stop and a bit of planning, but a step too far just now.

[Edited on 13/3/18 by David Jenkins]


Stevie_P - 13/3/18 at 02:55 PM

You're pretty much identical to me. Very few long journeys. Even then most of the time we take the other half's 1L Ecoboost Focus as taking my RX8 would use twice as much petrol.....

I had an extended (4 day) test drive of the old 30KwH leaf and really enjoyed it. Normally I'm seething when stuck in traffic as I'm burning so much fuel but with an EV you're using nothing so I was strangely much more relaxed about it.
Yes modern cars have start / stop tech for this but the REx doesn't.

Even though the old leaf really didn't do anything for me looks wise I was up for getting one but the dealer didn't seem interested in selling me one full stop never mind doing a deal.

I can certainly see my next car being an EV though I may dip my toe in the water with something cheaper such as a zoe (with battery lease) but that will bring its own issues.

Still tempted by the new leaf mind

Steve


miskit - 13/3/18 at 03:23 PM

If you think that's expensive you should see the insurance rip off called K***ertons. When you have a not your fault accident your insurance company uses these guys to "manage the claim" - but their real business is hire cars... at 120 -500 a day (Plus delivery, extras and VAT) a day depending on the "class" of car you are driving. "Don't worry take as long as you like to find a new car sir"... So you get a very nice shiny car for a few weeks and the 3rd party insurance co gets a bill for thousands on top of what might be a 500 fix. - Which of course pushes up everyone's premiums Their reported T/O was 93million !
Only slightly OT rant sorry..


russbost - 14/3/18 at 01:07 PM

Hertz offer a 1000 excess which for the sum of a mere 250, they will reduce to a 500 excess!!!

Which means that if you have an accident or any claim at all it's going to cost you 750 either way!! To be better off you'd need to have a claim of over 1000 every other time you hired a car from them.

The best deal by far is to get one of the policies, preferably annual, that covers for all the bits & pieces they want to add on, as said you can get cover for less than 50 a year. However, DON'T tell the hire co. that you have that cover, my son was scammed when renting a car in Norway last year with Hertz - they asked if he wanted the extra cover & he said no as he already had it, they then asked for details of the policy which he supplied, when the car was returned there was no one available to inspect as it was after hours. They subsequently said that there were scratches to the door mirror & top of door - damage 1000, he had pictures of the car both b4 & after & strangely no scratches could be seen, but didn't bother to fight it as he had the other insurance cover he just passed it on to them & I believe they paid up, if you google Hertz this scam comes up regularly!!!

You tend to think that when dealing with mainstream names like Hertz or Avis, they wouldn't indulge in this sort of thing - apparently not the case! Bunch of thieving crooks


BenB - 14/3/18 at 01:36 PM

Yup. Insure4carhire (or whatever its called). I've had that the last few years. The hire companies look very upset when they don't hard-sell the upgrade..... Other trick with car hire is avoid like the plague any full2empty type shenanigans. I fell for that once. Had to pay up front an additional fee for the fuel, the cost per litre was obscene and it took real effort to use it all up (to avoid giving them the petrol they'd made me pay for). I'm surprised hire companies do Full2Empty- I don't normally abuse hire cars too much but on that occasion I got to know the cars rev limiter quite well and would deliberately drive around reving the nuts of the car just to waste fuel. Also of course not very green.....


David Jenkins - 14/3/18 at 02:32 PM

Hmm - it looks like we need an equivalent to "No Birds" in this country. Just someone to give the big names some decent competition and maybe scare them into being a bit more competitive.

Mind you, the big names are just as expensive in Sydney and Perth, where No Birds run their business... maybe they would have to get bigger to 'encourage' the others.


steve m - 14/3/18 at 03:11 PM

Im not to concerned with any of the rants said above, as I work for a "Accident management company" and I love it
I get to drive anything from a Nissan Micra to a Bentley continental on a daily basis

Morally the business is very wrong, and no doubt will be stopped, but only when Insurers see the light and give you like for like cars when you have a non fault accident, as for my non fault accident when my car was rammed by an arsehole in a jeep, in a car park while we were shopping, we got a Chevrolet spark, nice ! no it wasn't, it could of fitted in the glove box it was so small

But my main concern is That David, a long time friend of nearly 20 years has bought a Nissan Leaf ??????

The world has gone barmy, and my friendship with David, has waned slightly



steve


mcerd1 - 14/3/18 at 03:16 PM

quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
Hmm - it looks like we need an equivalent to "No Birds" in this country. Just someone to give the big names some decent competition and maybe scare them into being a bit more competitive.

Mind you, the big names are just as expensive in Sydney and Perth, where No Birds run their business... maybe they would have to get bigger to 'encourage' the others.


you need to find a decent smaller hire company - they sometimes offer much better deals for hires longer than a few days

we use these guys at work www.mcnicollselfdrive.co.uk/ not much cheaper normally, but we insure the cars on the company policy not the car hire one which gets rid of the whole insurance excess and multi driver issue the big names aren't normally interested in those kind of deals....


David Jenkins - 14/3/18 at 07:59 PM

quote:
Originally posted by steve m
But my main concern is That David, a long time friend of nearly 20 years has bought a Nissan Leaf ??????

The world has gone barmy, and my friendship with David, has waned slightly

steve




My only redeeming feature is that I've still got the Locost for hooning around!