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Topic # 112528 11-Dec-2012 20:01 Send private message

I was provided a rental car by my insurance company after my own car broke down more than 100km from home.

The insurance company arranged for me to collect a rental car from a place in Wanaka.

The car was a Subaru wagon which was in OK condition, it had some prior damage to the front spoiler but other than that appeared fine.

I had the vehicle for three days and returned it today.

When I collected the car there was no inspection done nor anything done when I returned it despite me parking it 3 metres from the office.

Four hours after I dropped it off I got a txt from the rental agent telling me the car had a cracked windscreen on the drivers side and they were getting quotes for me to pay for it. Glass cover is not covered by the insurance apparently.

I am certain the vehicle had no crack in the windscreen when I took it back, especially on the drivers side as I would have noticed it.

I replied that the vehicle was not damaged when I returned it and have left it at that for now, apparently they are going to contact me in the morning.

Thoughts?

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  Reply # 730785 11-Dec-2012 20:16 Send private message

Depends on the rental contract.

IMO they will need to prove the car wasn't damaged before you took it. They are normally checked out and back in and a condition assessment is completed. If the company didn't do this, then it is their word against yours.

Despite that process I always whip of my phone and snap a few pics before I drive away, and again when I drop it off...cause I am paranoid about being blamed for something.




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  Reply # 730786 11-Dec-2012 20:20 Send private message

I'd get it all in writing. I'd make my case (in writing) that when it was handed back it was fine.

if they didn't get you to sign it over then too bad for them.

If they get jiggy get legal advice - Citizens Advice Bureaux have numbers for lawyers who will advise you directly for nothing.

Typically once you've quoted the legal position to them they back off.

Good luck!

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  Reply # 730793 11-Dec-2012 20:30 Send private message

Maybe worth a call to your insurance company, especially if they had arranged the car. The glass may be covered by them.



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  Reply # 730799 11-Dec-2012 20:41 Send private message

kiwiharry: Maybe worth a call to your insurance company, especially if they had arranged the car. The glass may be covered by them.


Thought about that but checked the policy wording, nothing about rental vehicles being covered.

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  Reply # 730820 11-Dec-2012 21:21 Send private message

This is the third time I have the same story about people dropping a rental car off and getting pinged for damage after they have left within a month, the other two were with Avis, and both in the South Island.

Tourist trap?

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  Reply # 730822 11-Dec-2012 21:26 Send private message

I'm getting a rental car in Australia. Makes you not want to even bother. Guess I will take photos of the whole thing before driving off.

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  Reply # 730824 11-Dec-2012 21:27 Send private message

mattRSK: I'm getting a rental car in Australia. Makes you not want to even bother. Guess I will take photos of the whole thing before driving off.


Just insist on someone coming out and verifying there is no damage.

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  Reply # 730849 11-Dec-2012 21:52 Send private message

kiwitrc: Just insist on someone coming out and verifying there is no damage.


This is a good idea. Normally the paperwork will have a diagram of the car with any pre-existing damage shown.

I hire rental cars often (last one was on Friday in Wellington) and (touch wood) am yet to have an issue.




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  Reply # 730867 11-Dec-2012 22:01 Send private message

nate:
kiwitrc: Just insist on someone coming out and verifying there is no damage.


This is a good idea. Normally the paperwork will have a diagram of the car with any pre-existing damage shown.


This is standard practice in my experience. Before you drive away you should always check the vehicle to ensure that any pre-existing damage is noted on the rental contract. 

The complication in this case is that it's not so much a dispute about whether any damage was pre-existing, but rather whether any damage actually existed at all upon return. It would be hard not to notice if you chipped or cracked the windscreen considering that it takes a fair amount of impact for this to happen. 

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  Reply # 730889 11-Dec-2012 22:07 Send private message

If they failed to inspect on return and you can say with a clear conscience there was no crack in the windscreen, I can't see them having a legal comeback as they cannot prove it happened in your care.



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  Reply # 730906 11-Dec-2012 22:16 Send private message

I will ask for a pic of the damage in the morning. Like I have already mentioned I fail to see how I didn't see a crack on the drivers side of the window.

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  Reply # 730978 11-Dec-2012 23:34 Send private message

I got stung for a windscreen from a rental car company.... but the crack definitely happened when I was driving it (damn you tourist bus for throwing up a rock off the road into my path). cost a small fortune - about $400 for the replacement screen. That was still less than what their exorbitant insurance charges would have cost me for the couple of weeks of rental.

I couldn't cover it on my own car insurance for which glass cover is free - its not transferrable to another vehicle.

I also looked for within-NZ travel insurance before I went - there isn't a lot available. Policies that cover you overseas for rental car excessive excesses are easy to find, but not for within NZ(*).


(*) or maybe I just didn't look hard enough




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  Reply # 730983 11-Dec-2012 23:42 Send private message

marmel: I will ask for a pic of the damage in the morning. Like I have already mentioned I fail to see how I didn't see a crack on the drivers side of the window.


if it started out as a small crack, you might not have noticed it.  A small crack can suddenly turn into one that runs the entire height or width of the windscreen when the glass heats or cools.  I watched a 4mm chip turn into a 1m crack overnight in Te Anau.  Unfortunately the only guy who did chip repairs was out of town that night.

Side note: Te Anau was the only place where I really heard people complaining about "aucklanders".  They (4 different people at different times!) tried to tell me that it was my fault that their petrol costs so much as they were paying for all of aucklands roads.  Given there are about 1000 people in te anau and 1000km of roads leading in and out of the town i'd say that it probably works out the other way around...




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