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Car rental 'damage' scam

I worked for a car rental company at Dublin Airport and recently they've taken a new approach to minor scratches on the car - they charge €100-300 for them.
When tourists (rarely businessmen , as they know this scam) pick up their car they'll check around it for damage but might overlook a minor scratch as being insignificant - WRONG , insist that the depot agent marks up, and SIGNS the scratches you've noted ( because it's in the contract they've given you that it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to point out ANY minor damage ) before driving out of the lot !
I saw one particular car (of the many it's probably happened to ) that they charged tourists TWICE for the same scratches ! The return car checkers are on a commission for any damage they note, and then they pass it over to these two suited 'damage assesors' who emerge from a side office to say that as they've a hold of €1500 on your credit card they can let it take its course with the insurance OR , 'If you pay us €300 now we'll release your credit card bond' - some customers have called their bluff and these 'assessors' back off, but most who are in a hurry to catch a flight pay up and leave Ireland with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Posted by
11503 posts

Thanks bren, a good warning for anywhere !

Posted by
32110 posts


Thanks for the warning! I have to wonder if unscrupulous rental agencies in other countries will decide to start scamming customers like this. It's discouraging to see rental firms victimizing their customers in this way, but I'm not surprised.

Posted by
1064 posts

The high deductible insurance is also a scam, at least part of the time. Companies can claim up to the deductible, say 300 euros in the case of a family member of mine, knowing that customers will be unable to contest it and they don't have to worry about the insurance provider doing so.

Posted by
4535 posts

This sort of thing has been going on by unscrupulous rental agencies for a long time. While not foolproof, it is always a good idea to take photos of the entire car exterior before you leave the lot. And I find that while overpriced and a profit maker, the CDW is a good deal with foreign travel to avoid any hassles if you do cause the damage and avoid the scams mentioned here.