Stop the car hire rip-off in the Balearics
Dear Sir,
I read with interest your interview with the President of the Balearic association of Car rental Companies – AEVAB. I have been coming to Majorca three or four times a year since 2005 when the family purchased an apartment in Cala Ratjada. My two sons and daughter also visit at different times and I cannot recall the number of times we have hired cars for the duration of our stays but the costs must be many thousands of pounds.
I usually find a suitable car via Car trawler on the web and accept that I will be ripped off on the cost of a full tank of petrol but the latest con concerns insurance. I am 78-years of age and always have to declare this fact on the forms required before a car is located on the web. Some rentals companies refuse to supply because of my age so my choice is limited. However, once the deal is struck with Car Trawler I am supplied with “Your Car Rental Provider Rental Conditions”. Under ‘Insurance Coverage’ I am advised that the charges include for CDW but Glass/Tyre will be additional and I will be responsible for undercarriage. ‘Senior Drivers Age:71 to 79 years Charge includes 21% Tax. Excess 300 EUR’
I booked two separate cars in February this year. One for 15 days from 22 April 2014 and the other for 29 days from 3 June.
For the booking with a car hire company in April I had to make a deposit on my credit of €600.00 in case of accident which would be refunded on the return of the car in good condition.
With regard to the June booking with a car hire company I was advised at the desk that I would have to pay an additional insurance of €120 because of my age. I pointed out that the terms and conditions supplied to me when I made the contract stated that I would have to make a deposit of €300, refundable on the return of the car in good condition. I told the young lady that I had a separate insurance in the UK covering any damage and that I would pay for any damage and reclaim when I got home. I was advised that this was unacceptable and that their terms and conditions had been changed in January and that Car Trawler should have advised me accordingly. The net result was take it or leave it. No payment no car!!
Naturally, I shall pursue the matter with Car Trawler when I return home but what a con. The full tank of petrol for a Ford Focus amounted to €94 – what a joke. I really cannot understand why these Companies make life so frustrating for visitors as there are so many other areas in the world that we can visit without being ripped off.
I have to say that as much as my wife, family and I love coming to the island we have decided to sell up. It is not only the cost of car hire but for example a round of golf or annual membership of any golf club is also becoming silly. Great shame but perhaps Ramon Reus might take note about car hire scams.
Kindest regards
David W. Cook