With the car rental firm Hertz, it all adds up

You’ve just made an online car rental booking with Hertz in Adelaide and you’re feeling pretty good: $35.20 a day isn’t too bad at all.
Then come assorted charges and GST which add $15.45 and that doesn’t make it nearly as good – bumping up by almost 50% the quoted basic charge.
But then, as you walk into the Hertz office to pick up your car, there’s a surprise that will make your hair stand on end. It goes like this.
If there is any damage to the car, we’ll charge you $6000, you’re told.
You’ll have to pay that no matter how the damage is done.
If you put the car into a car park and walk away from it and someone hits it, you’ll have to pay us $6000.

We’ll sort the details later, they tell you.
However, if you pay us $29 a day you won’t have to pay us anything for any damage.
Or $27 a day and there will be an excess of just $700.
All this is enshrined in a legalistically formulated pamphlet that takes you half an hour to read and digest.
So, suddenly the car you’re hiring is costing you $80 a day, not $35.
The insurance component of this deal is 15 times as much as my insurer, Elders, charges me for comprehensive cover of vehicles I own.
The 12 months premium for a Toyota Camry (the car we hired) would be $717.28 with a $400 excess.
That’s $1.97 a day, compared to Hertz’ $29, which is 1470% higher.
No doubt Hertz is on a nice little earner. Nothing draws your attention to this when you make an online booking.

Hertz did not respond to requests for comment from Alice Springs News Online.

PHOTO: A Hertz advert – their insurance premiums are no laughing matter.

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  1. Judy Barker
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Car hire fees: all the rental companies are tarred with the same brush. So much for truth in advertising. I have written to consumer affairs bodies several times on this particular issue, but apparently it is too hard to force all the rental companies to be honest and upfront.

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