Car Hire at Gatwick

Dear Editor,

I write to express great concern regarding Car Hire in the UK, especially Gatwick.

Many of us expats & other Nationalities require this service, however, after my experience, still ongoing! I wish to warn others to be particularly alert, both upon collection of their hire car & when returning same, especially to the huge car-parks at Gatwick (& others, I suspect), where there is no agent to inspect the vehicle & most importantly, to sign it off.

In Feb 2011, I booked a car with CARHIRE UK paying with a Visa card, this included a £600.0 vehicle excess deposit & £70.0 as a fuel deposit & I am certain I included a damage waiver!

I collected this car on the 29th of March, but failed to check it thoroughly. Big mistake! The car was returned, absolutely pristine & with a full tank of fuel on the 12th April. Upon return to Spain, after a few weeks I contacted CARHIRE UK asking about my excess & fuel deposits which hadn’t been returned! I was told this was due shortly. Well, here we are, nine months on & I still don’t have my money!

& here’s the Rub!, after I, my Bank & the Visa Card people having been in continuous contact with CARHIRE UK, I am now told on the 10th of October, that I am in forfeit of my excess deposit because the car was, allegedly, returned damaged. Apparently, I was informed of this minor detail in May, but this isn’t the case & subsequently, a further letter explaining the forfeiture has also failed to turn up! Surprise, surprise!

Clearly, by returning a hire car to an unmanned car park, one is at the mercy of God & good neighbours. I suspect I am far from being the only ‘mug’ to be ‘screwed’ in this fashion. Rest assured, this isn’t over yet…

John Wright. Cotobro.

(News/Readers letter: car hire at UK airports)

  1 comment for “Car Hire at Gatwick

  1. Roger Cook
    December 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    When I travel to the UK to visit family I usually fly into Gatwick and always hire a car but never with a national company but from a small independant car hire firm which meets you at the airport on your arrival and return and the cars are FULLY comprehensively insured. There is one I personally recommend which I will inform to anybody who wishes to contact me.

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