Motoring Discussion > Hire car companies Miscellaneous
Thread Author: VxFan Replies: 56

 Hire car companies - VxFan
Anyone else getting the run around at the moment?

I have to hire a car for work purposes on a monthly basis, and for the past few months the service has been dire by each and every one of them.

I specifically request an automatic because of a left leg problem that I am waiting an operation on, that keeps getting put back because of the mess the country is currently in.

The clowns at these hire car companies either deliver a manual because no auto's are available, or don't bother delivering a car at all. Their last excuse was that they had delivered my car to the wrong person and subsequently couldn't get hold of her to retrieve the keys back again. They only told me this 2 days after the hire should have taken place!!!!

Part of the problem appears to be the hire companies are struggling to get new fleet at the moment because of the computer chip shortage and the delay in building new cars.

And because the 2nd hand car market is at a premium right now, they're either offloading used fleet to make money, or if they lease their fleet, the lease companies are cashing in by doing the same thing.

Don't they realise that while making money now, could in the long term affect their business by peeing off their customers?

 Hire car companies - Zero
When covid hit, and the travel market collapsed/Second hand prices went skywards, they dumped a large proportion of an unused fleet into the market AND they cancelled pipeline orders.

Now they cant get new cars, because car makers cant make them because they also cancelled future components parts pipeline.

People have suddenly realised the supply pipeline is very intertwined and far too fragile.
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> The clowns at these hire car companies either deliver a manual because no auto's are
>> available, or don't bother delivering a car at all.

2 hours before the rental starts, Hertz phone to say that no automatics are available. I either accept a manual, or nothing. I have reluctantly accepted the manual car.

I unfortunately forgot to ask what car it was. They've only gone and delivered a Fiat 500!!!! Unbelievable.

Has anyone got any vaseline and a shoe horn to get my fat a*** into this matchbox?

One of my friends asked what am I going to wear on the other foot.
 Hire car companies - Clk Sec
>> One of my friends asked what am I going to wear on the other foot.

Nice one :-)
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> They've only gone and delivered a Fiat 500!!!!

I take it all back. Once I'd managed to squeeze myself inside and make myself reasonably comfortable, what a great little car to drive. It handles like a go-kart, and the 3 cylinder 999c hybrid engine once the elastic bands have been wound up was quite punchy, with a deep sounding exhaust note. Loads of toys too, climate control, cruise control, elecy windows and mirrors, sat nav, part leather seats.

I'm glad it had a glass roof though, otherwise it could have been claustrophobic inside.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
Funny you should say that...pal of mine is 6’+, big muscly lad who’s favourite rental car overseas is a Fiat 500.

My only experience of one is a 2 week Tenerife rental. The old engine, whatever it was, and not sufficient power to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

A neighbour has a 500 Abarth 695 Rivale. Sounds nice, goes like stink.
 Hire car companies - smokie
Wasn't a 500 XL was it?

I'm sure had one of those abroad a year or so back and was pleasantly surprised, but Googling indicates it may not even be released yet! It was deffo an XL version of a tiny car.

 Hire car companies - Manatee
>>Googling indicates it may not even be released yet!

I drove one in about 2017, so maybe you found something about a newer version.
 Hire car companies - Zero

There was a fiat 500L and a fiat 500X, they are due to be replaced by a single new version the XL.

Ask runfer, he has a fiat 500X (thinly disguised as a Jeep)
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> Wasn't a 500 XL was it?

No, it wasn't the one on steroids - lol.

According to a number plate search, it was the 3 door hatch Launch Edition MHEV.

 Hire car companies - DeeW
Have you looked at www.on.to ? Obviously only useful if you need a car for a month or more.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
Clearing out old paperwork this AM and I found a file of old rental bookings with the broker DoYouSpain....too painful to look at in detail, but from Alicante, with Firefly, I rented a new Seat Leon 1.0 TSI 115 for the period 11-25 May ( my usual two weeks).

Cost me €8.47. I jest not.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
And €2.47 for three days in Ibiza, a Citroen C3 in early March 2020, when we hopped on a €10 Ryanair from Valencia.

The world pre Covid !
 Hire car companies - Terry
I booked DoYouSpain for our last jaunt to Spain. Bit more than LL paid but still a reasonable price.

Unfortunately we contracted Covid 2 days before we were due to fly. Wanted to delay the car pick up by ~10 days and return on the original date.

Spent hours on the phone being continually told "your call is important to us - please hold". It clearly wasn't that important as they never answered.

Tried calling the actual rental company (DYS are just a booking portal). They are clearly under orders from DYS to make no changes without their confirmation.

Would I use them again - not a chance. Go with a company for which you have an address, email and working telephone.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
I always book with DYS using the ‘free cancellation’ and ‘Full to full fuel’ filters.

In all fairness to DYS I cba trying to change dates. I’d cancel and rebook....my repayment, made using my Revolut card, has without fail been made within 24/48 hours. And I’ve cancelled a lot of times to secure a cheaper price...it’s a 5 minute job in the pub.

I often book 8 weeks in advance, and if the price drop is sufficient to make it worth my while, make a new booking then cancel the original. Often one week before the rental dates, in low season, the base price was stupid cheap. They hope to make their money selling you their insurance and on charging for damage you didn’t spot on collection.
Last edited by: legacylad on Thu 10 Feb 22 at 08:51
 Hire car companies - smokie
"Would I use them again - not a chance. "

I'd recommended DYS to a mate who then chose to go with a "more reputable" company (= much more expensive - more than triple the cost IIRC) but ended up in a very similar situation to you.

He also had the same outcome as you.

I've used them many times and really only ever had an issue with them last time - when I picked up the car from Sixt they wanted another €200. Was resolved reasonably quickly after I got home by DYS. and I got a refund of the extra.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
oooooo Sixt. Never used them via DYS as they’ve never been cheap when I’ve looked.

I’ve used Record, Firefly, Wiber, OK Cars ( now okmobility) and a few others no longer listed by DYS.
 Hire car companies - smokie
Yep, their companies generally seem to be the smaller more local ones. Sixt is about the largest I've ever been put with, and Goldcar (renowned throughout the internet for their shoddy customer service) were the other.

For Portugal, they seem to have one set of companies, then at some stage they are all replaced with another set. Which, as you know, is why it is worth checking back to see if better deals are available. Goldcar and Sixt so far have been the only on-airport ones but the others aren't that far away, with a regular shuttle.
 Hire car companies - Terry
DYS - a learning experience - get a hire that can be cancelled and rebooked. Mine was non-refundable deal - hence cheap??

Wife wanted an on-airport collection - simpler than shuttle bus. DYS chosen rental company was about a half mile walk from the terminal to the end of an underground car park. On the way we passed Hertz, Avis, Sixt etc all of who would happily hire me a car for 2 or 3 times the price.

If I was just hiring for 2 or 3 days price would be less of an issue - but for 5 weeks the savings pay for quite a few bar and restaurant visits.
 Hire car companies - smokie
I booked a Seat Ibiza for 28 Feb to 8 April through them. It's from a company I've previously had - Autorent Rent A Car (nb not always rent a wreck!! Actually had nearly new from them before :-) )

Booked in June last year, total cost was €421.

That company not longer features as an option but the cheapest Ibiza today is €1061.

Back in July I booked 26 Sept to 5 Nov (using LLs trick of swapping cars after a week) for a total pf €576 - same now is €709.

And lastly Feb 27 2023 to 6 April booked last month for €433 - still the same price.

I always exclude their excess insurance as I have my own, and make sure the bookings have free cancellation.

I check prices every few months and re-make bookings as reqd.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
Way to go smokie.
A pal of mine is currently in Moraira, staying 88 days in a cheap winter rental.

He booked with Magnum Cars...€1k, inc their fully comp insurance, for the duration. He’s not a very confident driver and didn’t want the stress and hassle of driving to ALC every few weeks to swap the car, so for him it’s a good deal.

The car is an almost new Dacia Sandero.
 Hire car companies - Zero
>> Way to go smokie.
>> A pal of mine is currently in Moraira, staying 88 days in a cheap
>> winter rental.

Given the 90 day visa rule, I assume he is not planning to go back for a while? You know you get fined - IN CASH at the airport if you overstay?
Last edited by: Zero on Thu 10 Feb 22 at 12:46
 Hire car companies - legacylad
He’s fully aware...regretted not doing as I did....45 days late October to mid December 2021 and another 44 days 17/02 > 01/04/22. That allows me to return mid May for a few more weeks before it gets too warm for walking. And rental prices increase for summer.

I have heard tales from non residencia home owning friends in Spain that currently you can overstay and the authorities don’t know, or care. Passports are still being stamped, not scanned, and friends of mine who fly out for 3 weeks, return home for ten days, and have been doing since last summer, are well in excess of the 90/180 day ruling. They’ve more stamps than the local post office, and until scanning is introduced then Spanish border control require a calculator and calendar to work out whether you’ve overstayed or not.

I flew home with friends on the 9/12/21 and they had definitely overstayed the 90 day rule and fully expected no action to be taken...that will change in May when computer scanning of passports is introduced. So I am told on good authority by someone who works in the Spanish travel industry.

Do you personally know someone who has been fined when exiting Spain, be it by sea or air ?
 Hire car companies - Zero
I know someone who was marched to Cite de Europe shopping centre to withdraw cash to pay his over stay fine at Calais. The cash point in the terminal was broken.
 Hire car companies - PeterS
>> I know someone who was marched to Cite de Europe shopping centre to withdraw cash
>> to pay his over stay fine at Calais. The cash point in the terminal was
>> broken.
>>

The last time I was taken to a cash machine in Cite de Europe by a French policeman, to pay an on-the-spot speeding fine (actually they just kept my passport and sent me off there) they declined to give me a receipt….
 Hire car companies - smokie
I heard that the "visa for a fiver" isn't quite as straightforward as it sounds but I can't remember any detail.
 Hire car companies - sooty123
I'm not surprised to hear LL that the Spanish border control is fairly relaxed. I read the other day on the BBC that head of tourism in the canaries (i think) was asking for relaxed vaccine requirements for children over 12. Apparently bookings are much lower from the uk and people are switching to Greece and Turkey.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
Went out yesterday in my friends long term rental from Magnum...€1k for 85 days.
An old model Dacia Sandero ( not the Stepway). Truly truly awful....I appreciate they are dirt cheap to buy, but getting back into another pals Fiesta rental it’s like chalk & cheese.
The ( old model) Sandero has no air con, and the manually adjusted door mirrors are a novelty. Despite low miles it crashes over speed humps even at low speed, and apart from its low purchase price has zero plus points. Although it didn’t break down on the 10 mile journey.

The Fiesta meanwhile, despite being a few years old, is brilliant. Quiet on the motorway, rides well, accelerates ok and surprisingly has heated seats ( useful to warm you up as we got literally soaked to the skin mountain walking on Saturday) and both heated steering wheel and windscreen.

Whenever I get to drive a rental Fiesta it’s a bonus. Especially on the mountain roads in the hinterland of the northern Costa Blanca.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
Seriously thinking of dumping the Focus Active Estate and bringing some driving enjoyment back into my life with a Fiesta ST.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
I return from Spain April Fuels Day after 44 days away....as usual I’ll be returning early May for 3 weeks....the end of our Spring walking programme.

Had a quick look at car hire prices on DYS....cheapest for 17 days, full to full fuel and free cancellation was €625 for a Fiat 500.

3 years ago, same time, I paid €63 for 15 days.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
And today’s star (rental) prize was a Factory fresh Pug 208 GT. 8 speed auto, half leather, 17” rims and the 130 version.
Two touch screens, so a steep learning curve configuring the basics in the multi storey at ALC. A major hiccup with the rental , which I hope doesn’t come back to bite me, but nice to be driving an auto again. Goes well enough. Lots & lots of toys but no time to check them out.... I dislike the safety feature, whatever it is, that ‘tugs’ the steering wheel if you veer off. I like the 360 camera, decent headlights, lack of wind noise at motorway speeds, and excellent 8 speed auto box.

No time to play with radio etc as I’m off into the mountains early tomorrow .

17 days to enjoy the little Pug. Bet it’s not as much fun as my B211 UCP 1.6 Gti.
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> I dislike the safety feature, whatever it is, that ‘tugs’ the steering wheel if you veer off.

Lane departure warning. First thing I switch off when getting a car that has it. Whereas most cars have a button on the dash to disable it, the VW system is buried in a menu accessed via the steering wheel controls. A right PITA as it defaults to on the next time the key is turned.
 Hire car companies - smokie
I wasn't keen at first but I'm used to it now, and as a safety aid I may as well leave it on.
 Hire car companies - Zero
>> is buried in a menu accessed via the steering wheel controls. A right PITA as
>> it defaults to on the next time the key is turned.

Its to stop people turning it off.


At the end of the day having it on is not an issue, and "hating it - looking out for it to turn it off" is just a luddite knee jerk reaction.
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 11 May 22 at 09:19
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich

>> At the end of the day having it on is not an issue, and "hating
>> it - looking out for it to turn it off" is just a luddite knee
>> jerk reaction.
>>

I agree. It’s an improvement in road safety. Who would not wish that it was fitted to a vehicle approaching you at 60.mph whose driver has nodded off and is drifting towards you. I expect it will become mandatory on all vehicle in a few years.
 Hire car companies - Rudedog
50:50 on this.... with the VW setup you should be able to turn it off with just two presses of a button combination as a fix and has been raised several times on the Mk8 GTi forum.

On my Mk7.5 it's not on all the time, I can see it helping on the motorway but it's not good along country roads or narrow villages when the system picks up only one side of the road and tries to push you into the middle of the road with cars coming at you... or if you find a nice bit of road to exploit your cars potential.

 Hire car companies - Manatee

>> I agree. It’s an improvement in road safety. Who would not wish that it was
>> fitted to a vehicle approaching you at 60.mph whose driver has nodded off and is
>> drifting towards you. I expect it will become mandatory on all vehicle in a few
>> years.

Head-ons are nasty and a system that might prevent them is certainly a good idea. But it hasn't happened to me or anyone I know and the near misses I've had have generally been related to somebody's optimistic overtaking attempt, so I'm pleased not to have had 50 years of the car trying to steer itself.

Many of the white lines round here are worn away in any case, and the edges of the minor roads are in such bad condition that I default to driving up the middle and moving over when a vehicle approaches. I use the available road when I can so I'm always crossing lane markings.

ASC, ABS and EBA are the best things since sliced bread. They work like a charm and are undetectable until they are needed. Lane keeping would be OK if the same could be said, but a safety system that intrudes constantly to prevent a 1 in 1,000 years event needs some development as far as I'm concerned.

N. Ludd.

Apropos hire car companies, I hired a Luton van for a couple of days about a month ago from Enterprise. The extended mirrors on a Transit are great for looking in but very large and sticky-out and I had a glancing encounter with someone going the other way, breaking the lens on the side repeater which would have been better positioned somewhere other than the extremity of the mirror housing.

They kept my £200 deposit. I've just got £110 back, after a charge of £40 for repairs and a £50 fee, which I think is OK. It would have been even better had I remembered to take out an annual CDW as I usually do when I hire a vehicle.

It's possible I suppose that had the Transit had lane-keeping it might have tugged the wheel a bit and saved me £90. It was brand new too, surprised it wasn't fitted.
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich
Approx 25% of fatal accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
 Hire car companies - Manatee
>> Approx 25% of fatal accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

Interesting, I didn't know that So what we need is a system for waking drivers up. Actually I think that has been invented, and it sounds a lot more use than lane-keeping. It might also wake up sleeping drivers in their own lanes, who are about to rear-end a queue.
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich
>> >> Approx 25% of fatal accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
It might also wake up sleeping drivers in their own lanes, who are
>> about to rear-end a queue.
>>
It might. Probably best to have AEB.
 Hire car companies - Kevin
>Approx 25% of fatal accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

And what percentage of that 25% are head-ons?
Last edited by: Kevin on Wed 11 May 22 at 11:33
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich
Why does it matter? Whether it’s the driver or a third party who dies they’re still an unnecessary death that could possibly havebeen avoided.
 Hire car companies - Kevin
It doesn't other than interest.
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> ASC, ABS and EBA are the best things since sliced bread. They work like a
>> charm and are undetectable until they are needed. Lane keeping would be OK if the
>> same could be said, but a safety system that intrudes constantly to prevent a 1
>> in 1,000 years event needs some development as far as I'm concerned.

Wot he said. N. Ludd's cousin.

I for one don't like to have a fight with the steering wheel when overtaking someone and forgetting to indicate first (which I believe cancels the lane departure feature). If there is no around other than you and the vehicle you're overtaking, who cares if you indicate or not?
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich
I would have thought that a signal to the vehicle you are about to overtake would be useful no?

And be honest,it’s hardly a fight is it? Slight positive pressure will overrule the nudge by the car..


 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> I would have thought that a signal to the vehicle you are about to overtake would be useful no?

Depends whether they look in their mirror or not. From my experience most people don't.

>> And be honest,it’s hardly a fight is it? Slight positive pressure will overrule the nudge
>> by the car..

I find it disconcerting that a robot is trying to take control of the steering wheel and is too dumb to realise I am overtaking something and want to change the position of the vehicle.
 Hire car companies - CGNorwich


"Depends whether they look in their mirror or not. From my experience most people don't."

Perhaps not but hardly an excuse for not signalling. I tibia the rule is always signal if a signal could be of benefit to other road users

"I find it disconcerting that a robot is trying to take control of the steering wheel and is too dumb to realise I am overtaking something and want to change the position of the vehicle."

You soon get understand as to when the system will operate. Its not random.
Last edited by: CGNorwich on Wed 11 May 22 at 14:44
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> You soon get understand as to when the system will operate. Its not random.

I take it you've not experienced the roads of Oxfordshire that would put cart tracks to shame?
 Hire car companies - zippy
>> I find it disconcerting that a robot is trying to take control of the steering
>> wheel and is too dumb to realise I am overtaking something and want to change
>> the position of the vehicle.
>>

This is a case of the user not knowing how the machine operates and having spent a small fortune on said machine, one would have thought that he would have RTFM, so that he knows to use the indicators to tell the robot not to activate LKA! :-)

Perhaps the user should have purchased a BMW as no doubt their software does not rely on indicators being used but senses the thoughts of the user.
 Hire car companies - VxFan
>> and having spent a small fortune on said machine

Never had it on any of my own cars, just all the different hire cars I drive. Some manufacturers systems are worse than others. Bit like electronic hand brakes. Some cars operate seamlessly, whereas others feel like you've filled up with kangaroo juice.
 Hire car companies - Manatee
I do indicate before overtaking, but not before straightening bends a bit or catching a better view into a left hander, which I do all the time.

Just making conversation, it's a sterile argument and it looks as if it's here to stay.
 Hire car companies - Zero

>> I for one don't like to have a fight with the steering wheel when overtaking

Its a gentle tug, fight it most certainly isnt, (tho watch out if Boeing starts to build cars, then you'll have something to worry about)
 Hire car companies - Zero
>
>> the other way, breaking the lens on the side repeater which would have been better
>> positioned somewhere other than the extremity of the mirror housing.

I agree, I mean why on earth would you put it in the most all round visible place.
 Hire car companies - Rudedog
On some of the loan cars I've had it certainly doesn't like you going around a line of parked cars without it trying to pull you over left towards the cars.

I suspect there are different levels of 'pulling' maybe depending on the manufacture.

Not pleasant if you like to drive.

 Hire car companies - Crankcase
Had to fight with mine on the M25 today. After an overtake I wanted to pull back in to the left, but the overtakee suddenly decided to accelerate, so he was now in my nearside blind spot.

Lights went off in my nearside mirror and the wheel tightened sufficiently to stop me driving into him. For which I was grateful.

Dunno if I could have forced it but you can't say I wasn't warned.
 Hire car companies - BiggerBadderDave
"I suspect there are different levels of 'pulling'..."

A two-pinter is my comfort zone.
 Hire car companies - legacylad
The ‘ lane departure warning’ switch is very obvious in the 208 now I’ve found it ! Right in front of my nose.
Also discovered that if you indicate it doesn’t ‘tug’ unless it’s my imagination. I can fully appreciate its usefulness on multi lane , heavily trafficked roads.
On the undulating N332 coast road there are lots of 3 lane sections, a slow uphill lane plus an overtaking lane. Lightly trafficked I’ve always used all the road to smooth my journey as I did yesterday after picking up my rental. It was the tugging at the wheel which disconcerted me as I crossed and recrossed lanes regularly without indicating.

On mountain roads, with long clear sight lines, and a solid or broken white, I often drive straddling the line for short distances. I’m in the mountains again Friday so I’ll turn it on and see the result.

I’m still impressed with the 8 speed auto box ...dash display tells you what gear you’re in ( shorts and polo in my case). Next to play with are the flappy paddles when the auto box is in manual mode. It’s all good clean fun.

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