I am a regular visitor to Mallorca and user of many car hire firms. My very recent experience with a new off-airport company in Son Oms, has been my first experience of being scammed and I would love it if you ran a story on them and /or other car hire companies engaging in sharp practice.
I booked a cheap small car and collected on December 30th. I have my own excess insurance so declined their offer. I was surprised to be given an ‘upgrade’ and declined it, but they insisted claiming not to have any equivalents to my order. I thoroughly inspected the red Fiat 500 hybrid convertible, and took photos of un-noted damage.
Today I returned the car. The inspector went straight to the passenger door, opened it and pointed to a dent in the door frame that I had never noticed where, he said, someone had tried to force the door open. He found similar on the driver door. These dents are within the door recess and so not visible on pickup inspection unless you have opened the doors. To repair these two small dents they have charged me 1,000 Euros.
After the shock passed I am beginning to think this is a scam, especially reserved for those not taking their excess insurance. Nothing was left visible in the car and on the only day I parked in Palma a bag was left in the boot but not stolen. All other times it was parked in Puerto Soller, Soller, Deya and Valdemossa.
I think this damage would have been there on pick up. Like most people I look at the lower part of the car vulnerable to collisions and scratches not the upper part and certainly not in the door recesses. I don’t expect them to spend the 1,000 doing any repairs. Indeed, the inspector unwittingly told me I would probably find lots of other cars with such marks in his line of returned cars. All waiting to be re-rented without repair?