/ Hire Car Tyre Damage

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Tony Jones - on 13 Nov 2017
My ex, having had a catastrophic car failure on the day of my daughter's birthday, decided to rent a Ford Fiesta from Avis in Edinburgh for the weekend in order to ferry kid to a pre-arranged birthday treat.

Avis pointed out pre-existing damage to three alloy rims when the car was picked up however when the car was returned this morning they're insisting that there is damage to tyres that wasn't there before and have charged £321 for replacements. It looks to me that the tyre damage was caused when the rims were damaged. They're insistent that this is not the case. Link to photograph here: https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/Ec1a

I'd say they're trying it on but I'm not sure what recourse we have. Anybody have any experience of this kind of thing?



Dax H - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

So they are trying to say that she kerbed the car on multiple occasions in exactly the same location as the persons who did the original damage.
Fight it.
Next time photograph every bit of damage no matter how minor before accepting the car.
Tony Jones - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Dax H:

That's exactly what they seem to be saying.
wercat on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

seems like theirs is a Fraudulent claim that Trading standards should be aware of. Did you pay by credit card? When I was dealt with fraudulently by Kwikfit I contacted the card provider and there was an investigation and I got a refund
Trangia on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

This is exactly how Goldcar stitched me up in Spain and I had the cost of a new wheel and tire deducted from my credit card by them. I actually noticed it in daylight the day after I had picked the car up and told them. They asked me to bring the car back (waste of a day of my holiday), they inspected it and claimed that I had done it. I know very well that no way had I hit the kerb. I tried to appeal but they wouldn't have it and I was £300 odd out of pocket.

This is why I will never touch them again with a barge pole.

The lesson learnt is ALWAYS do a thorough inspection of the car before you accept it, and insist that any unrecorded damage is noted and signed for by them. Take photographs. Be doubly careful when collecting the car the dark.

Not much help to you in retrospect I know, but Avis have a good reputation, and from what your photo it's obvious that the damage to both wheel and tire occurred at the same time. Presumably you paid by Credit Card? If so I'd try and get the credit card company on your side. In my case I did and they did try on my behalf, but Goldcar insisted that as I had signed for the car with their damage list, not mine, they wouldn't refund me.

Fortunately I had also taken out annual excess insurance with insurance4car hire. I gave them full details and they re-imbursed me. I highly recommend them.
Trangia on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:
Incidentally the link to your photo set of the virus threat alarm on my anti virus. It's shown as an "unprotected sensitive document"! Thought you should know.
Post edited at 12:40
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deepsoup - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:
> It looks to me that the tyre damage was caused when the rims were damaged. They're insistent that this is not the case. Link to photograph here: https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/Ec1a

Wow. Note to self: don't use Avis. What a bunch of shysters. Best of luck fighting it.
MarkJH - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> I'd say they're trying it on but I'm not sure what recourse we have. Anybody have any experience of this kind of thing?

Agree with the other posters. In my experience, credit card companies are very good at this. In a similar situation, they raised a dispute immediately; suspended interest payments on the transaction and demanded proof from the hire car company. When the car company sent photographic evidence (similar to yours) I was given a chance to respond, and told them that it didn't prove what they said it proved. The dispute was settled in my favour and the transaction refunded.

The hire car company will keep on pestering you for the 'damage', but it puts you in a much stronger position if you have the money they want in your own account.
Bob Hughes - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

What kind of documentation do you and avis have to demonstrate the damage to the car at the time of pick-up? If its the typical drawing of a car with crosses marking where the damage is, then you can probably claim that the crosses aren't specific enough to prove that the damage was on the rim and not on the tyre.
Neil Williams - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
> Wow. Note to self: don't use Avis. What a bunch of shysters.

All the car hire companies are the same, without exception. Best thing is not to rent a car if it can be avoided e.g. by driving your own or use of public transport and taxis (probably not an option in this case though).
Post edited at 13:10
4
MG - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

> All the car hire companies are the same, without exception.

That's not really true. Some don't seem to care much at all about minor damage, while others are obsessive and others blatantly fraudulent, as here. I suspect it depends a lot on the franchise holder or even individual employees. My advice to the OP in future is to get the car hire insurance - it is cheap (£30-50/year) and will cover arguments such as the one he had.

I did rather enjoy in Baton Rouge waiting half an hour (I had time) as the attendant went other every cm of the car I was returning, finally triumphantly finding a minute scratch. I then pointed out I had taken the full cover they offered. He looked very crest-fallen.
spragglerocks on 13 Nov 2017
subtle on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> My ex, having had a catastrophic car failure on the day of my daughter's birthday, decided to rent a Ford Fiesta from Avis in Edinburgh for the weekend in order to ferry kid to a pre-arranged birthday treat.

She's your ex - why are you not snigering at her predicament?

14
Philip on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

One question for them would be how could the new tyre damage occur without corresponding alloy damage - there are no fresh marks.
Tony Jones - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to subtle:

> She's your ex - why are you not snigering at her predicament?

Subtle both by name and by nature, huh?

;-)
Ciro - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

I imagine posting that picture along with their claim that the damage was done seperately to their social media channels would result in a fairly quick resolution.
Tony Jones - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Ciro:

That is certainly an option.

I'm told that nothing was said this morning at the time the car was returned but that they called her ten minutes after she had left. My suspicion is that they thought that she would probably accept the damage however she returned immediately to Avis (which my spellchecker has just changed to Avoid for some reason) and asked to see the damage. The mechanic who brought the car back to the office seemed visibly nervous when showing her the tyres.

My somewhat cynical view is that they probably wouldn't have tried it on with a bloke but believed they'd get away with it in this case.

summo on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:
Had a similar problem with hertz. I wrote and emailed direct to head office. At the same time I put of feed out on their twitter/Facebook etc.. with all the car details asking if anyone else had already been billed for the same damage. Money refunded within 48hrs.

Also check the small print as some tyre damage is allowed, but it has to be measured at the time, the sheet marked properly etc..

Edit. If they've driven the car between, then I'd say they've accepted it and it's a 50/50 argument. Just go public quickly. The guy on the desk in the little office doesn't have much authority so escalate.
Post edited at 16:47
Tricky Dicky - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

I knew Goldcar were shysters, was hoping Avis might be a bit better, but apparently not...............
Dave Williams - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> Wow. Note to self: don't use Avis. What a bunch of shysters.

I once hired a Fiat Punto from Avis in Tunis airport. The (female) agent was really funny and she couldn't get over that a British person was hiring a car and was actually intending to drive on Tunisian roads. The whole business was conducted in a hilarious mixture of French and English. Quite a bit of what she said was lost on me as she was laughing and crying so much. Once the paperwork was completed, she barked orders to a gofer to go and get the car and bring it to the airport entrance.

When the car turned up it looked as if it had been in a war zone, as virtually every major panel was dented. Oh deary me I thought, I'd better get all the damage recorded on the hire form. When I returned to the office and said that the car's bodywork was in a real state, she was in hysterics again. She grabbed the form and proceeded to draw about 20 small crosses and one huge cross all over the outline of the car and then handed the form back to me. As I left the office she said "May the peace, mercy and the blessings of Allah be upon you. Bon chance mon ami! You will need it!!" As I walked out of the terminal, I could still hear her laughing in the office.

We drove out of the airport onto a three lane boulevard, creatively occupied by six lanes of inter-weaving grand taxis and other traffic .... After that we quickly got accustomed to the total anarchy that prevailed on the roads - vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road, driving in the dark with no lights, moped and scooters ridden by those with no love of life. Even motorway driving was highly eventful; having to do innumerable emergency stops in order to avoid herds of goats being herded across all 4 lanes.

Two weeks later when we took the car back, the same agent welcomed me with a beaming smile and said she was very happy that we had survived.

I've always hired cars from Avis ever since.

1
deepsoup - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Williams:
Great story. Ok, I'll make an exception for Tunis.
pneame on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Williams:

Brilliant. Quite a while ago I had my rental car whacked by an Italian army truck while I was in Courmayeur. Needless to say the truck was long gone when we got back to the car and I knew there was absolutely zero point in faffing around with police. I had that "credit card insurance" that you can get by paying with US credit cards. There was zero hassle when I returned the car with the passenger side door unable to open and the credit card company just paid up. I was a little out of pocket, but not by nearly as much as if I'd taken the car hire insurance in Geneva airport.

What was MUCH more annoying was that none of my three climbing companions ever coughed up a cent towards the cost of hiring a car in the first place. Still, they were entertaining company and we ate pretty well (it rained a good bit). "Climbing companions" is also a bit of a stretch in this case.

Dax H - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> I'm told that nothing was said this morning at the time the car was returned but that they called her ten minutes after she had left.

That's interesting, I have never hired a car but I have had vans and small truck's and in every case the same format has been followed.
On collection myself and the person handing it over do a damage check and any damage is documented.
I keep a copy and they keep a copy.
When the van is returned the 2 slips go back together, we both walk round the vehicle and the company rep signs the sheets to say the van was returned in the same condition as it went out.
If they signed the sheet to say it was okay then they must have damaged the tyres when they drive it round the back.

The first time I hired a van I missed a chunk of rubber missing from a tyre for a hour or so, when I noticed it I rang them and their answer was that I must have done it because I had signed for the condition. It was raining and early morning in winter and still dark.
So rather than go replace it at my cost as instructed I left it and when they came to collect it at the end of the hire period it just happened to be parked next to a high kerb with the damage at the bottom obscured from view.
The collection guy signed the van off as okay and I never heard anything back but I had my copy of the slip saying it was okay just in case.

Big Ger - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

> All the car hire companies are the same, without exception.

Totally disagree. We've rented vehicles on each of the 8 times we've returned to Blighty. Some have been anal beyond belief about minor damage, others, (Eurocar) let us get away with a shattered number plate.

All our excess was covered by renting them on a credit card which provides excess cover.
garycrocker - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:
I presume they will just take the damages out of your credit card otherwise you could not pay and let them prove it in court.
garycrocker - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
A few years back we hired a VW Caddy type car from Europcar whilst in Spain. We had a 13km drive on very rough tracks to get to our villa and the car took a real beating. We even ended up driving along a dried up river bed when our way back to the main road was blocked by an overturned tipper lorry and we were on our way to the airport. I did stop and pressure wash the car as it was very dusty but Europcar barely looked at the thing and we had no problems at all.
Blue Straggler - on 13 Nov 2017
to whomever made reference to sheets of paper with vague crosses - Hertz do photos now and it seems really good. I currently have a Hertz rental car with 8k on the clock and when I picked it up it already had a library of photos of minor damage. 9 or 10 pics of rim and wing and tyre and sill and boot trim scuffs. I was quite impressed. They are phasing this in - they were doing it in Ireland last year and it has now reached England. I rent from Hertz 12-15 times per year and have found them very good. Even recently when I ******* some ***** on one of their cars and got in a bit of a panic, they didn't say anything or charge anything despite the ****** being fairly clear to anyone doing an actual inspection.

Many threads on here about Goldstar over the years. Have not had an issue with Enterprise in UK or Eurocar or Hertz on the continent yet.

I tend to stick with Hertz though.

overall I am aware of the various rackets but I have a feeling that it's all getting "cleaned up" now.

yorkshire_lad2 on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

As the consumer gets wiser, the rental company agents get more creative

first it was the "scratch on the front wrong" that wasn't there before: "repair" cost: £400: So we all learnt to take photos before and after.
then it was the "compulsory super-expensive bolt-on top-up insurance at the rental desk. So we all learnt to take out icarhireinsurance annual policies
then it's the "free" upgrade which turns out not to be so free after all (when you're in a hurry to get to check-in)

What will it be next....
Blue Straggler - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:
DOn't take this the wrong way, it's not really directed at you and nor do I doubt any of the horror stories I've heard about hire car ripoffs but it just struck me that I've never had to submit a photo of existing damage. I've only once had to pay up to a hire company, and that was in 1998 for wing damage that I definitely caused. It hurt at the time, and it was disproportionate, and I am sure they didn't even fix the damage, but it was all in the contract.

Have I just been exceptionally lucky in 19 years of (only occasionally, but right now frequently) hiring cars?
Post edited at 23:47
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Neil Williams - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

FWIW it's a bit hard to say one chain is OK and the other not because they (like hotels, which even within chains can vary massively) are generally franchised.
Big Ger - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

> FWIW it's a bit hard to say one chain is OK and the other not because they (like hotels, which even within chains can vary massively) are generally franchised.

Who said;

> All the car hire companies are the same, without exception.
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peppermill - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

I've had this before but it seems to depend on the country more than the company. I dropped a car back at Munich airport and the attendants essentially went over it with a microscope and billed me for minor scratches (I had external insurance). Th usual attitude is Spain is a shrug and launch the keys in a bucket regardless of of what state you hand the car back.
krikoman - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Incidentally the link to your photo set of the virus threat alarm on my anti virus. It's shown as an "unprotected sensitive document"! Thought you should know.

Me too, are you using AVG?
Jim C - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> Wow. Note to self: don't use Avis. What a bunch of shysters. Best of luck fighting it.

Bad publicity is probably the best defence for this kind of sharp practice.

Avis are to be avoided , duly noted.
( but I will also ensure I take detailed photos and video of any hire vehicle from any firm)
Rigid Raider - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

We had a bad experience with Budget at Palma; they added all kinds of charges we didn't want and we are still fighting them through ECRCS. Fingers crossed for a small moral victory at least.
Tony Jones - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to krikoman:

> Me too, are you using AVG?

Sorry about that folks. I just googled a photo-hosting website to upload the image to and used the first one I came across.
Tony Jones - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to garycrocker:

> I presume they will just take the damages out of your credit card otherwise you could not pay and let them prove it in court.

I've been informed that it's a 'pending transcaction' and until Avis actually take the funds the credit card company can't do anything. Incidentally, the Avis customer service (if that's what they call it) person that my ex spoke to has been told that if there is no resolution by tea time it'll be all over social media.
krikoman - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

No worries.

I wonder if this is some sort of scam which hits and hopefully, from their point of view, will stop people taking out their own insurance, rather than take theirs. The more claims they have to pay the less likely they are to offer good rates etc.

I once got charged for a hire company to supply my details to the police, in Italy, they charge you just for having to give details! The car was in Slovenia at the time, I got the money back eventually.
rogersavery - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:
We once hire a car in South Africa - we added a few scratches and dents, so we expecting a bill when we dropped it back.

We parked up and walked into the car hire office and we were told that they were really busy at the moment, but they handed us a clipboard with all the paper work on it and told us to wait by the vehicle so it could be inspected.

One of the sheets on the clipboard was the original damage sheet for the vehicle when we hire it. So whilst we waited, we added the damage we had done to the sheet and we passed final inspection without any issues!

*for legal reasons - this is a completely made up store that never happened
Post edited at 14:50
Trangia on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to krikoman:

> Me too, are you using AVG?

No, Avast.

Great to know that it works!
garycrocker - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

Let's hope that message gets to the correct person.

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