Damaged windscreen during car hire - jake2
Hi. Can you help with some advice? For some fun this bank holiday weekend just gone & as a surprise on my wife's birthday I splashed out (for me) on hiring a Merc SLK 200 from one of the big-name hire companies. Of course, despite years of more downmarket but totally trouble-free car hire, the trade-up has landed me with a potentially nasty bill for a new windscreen after a stone kicked up on an A-road and left a 15cm crack on the drivers' side. The hire agreement has no latitude for no-fault windscreen/ tyre etc damage - unlike domestic policies - and there's a £700+ excess. The car hire company has informally quoted me £250-£300, compared to a windscreen repair company's £185 phone quote. Any experts prepared to suggest what the true figure is? Has anyone experienced this situation? Any words of wisdom much appreciated.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - Falkirk Bairn
Phone the windscreen company again and ask if they use genuine MB Glass.

Yes you might get away with the repair that way.

NO - you will have to cough up the full £££s as no MB gargae will sell a comparatively new car with a 3rd party glass in it.

It is highly unlikely the MB garage do their own glass repairs but they wil put on their mark-up for the job.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - Armitage Shanks {p}
When you picked it up did they offer you Super CDW? Ie, the chance to cover the £700 XS for say £15 a day? If not they should have, I think.. If you hire cars for more than 7 days a year, anywhere in Europe, you might like to look at www.insurance4hirecars.com (no connection other than as a user). They charge £55 a year for an unlimited number of days hire in a year and will cover the super CDW for which Hertz Avis etc will charge you about £6 a day. 2 weeks car hire in a year and you are in pocket..
Damaged windscreen during car hire - pafosman
Hi AS
Do you mean insurance4carhire? the link you gave does not connect but google threw this one up.

papho
Damaged windscreen during car hire - Armitage Shanks {p}
Papho - thanks! I was away from my home computer and trying to post from memory - bad idea. The name you have given is correct.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - rtj70
I'll get the excess for my accident in Italy back from Hertz via Holidayautos (£2.50/day) but I wish I knew about this before. Well I hope I do. Got rear ended on an Autostrada by an HGV. Thanks for the info.

Damaged windscreen during car hire - No FM2R
>>Has anyone experienced this situation

No, but a few thoughts...

Did they not offer you the "Collision Damage Waiver" (CDW, LDW, goodness knows what else its called). ? This would have reduced your excess from the nasty £700 level down to a more manageable level - £50 - £150 usually. They don't *have* to offer you that, but its usually in their guidelines that they should. Perhaps worth making a noise about along the lines of "I don't normally rent cars, I didn't know about this, if you had told me I would have taken it, this isn't fair, I'm going to make a big noise". etc. etc. You might get a compromise out of them.

What does Mercedes tell you is the cost of a replacement screen ? You should find this out no matter what. It might be that the rental company is being somewhat over cautious or even including admin charges. Check, if there's a discrepancy then I would add it to the whinge from the previous paragraph about how they were taking advantage of you. More shouting, more chance of compromise.

Remember, they're self-insured so there's only the cost of the windscreen involved in this. You haven't really got any grounds to have a op at the rental company, so customer care and complaints management are your only hopes with them.

One other thing, were any roadworks being done, resurfacing or anything similar you could have a go at the local council about ? If there is, make sure that you get receipts and documentation from the rental company for the windscreen replacement.

Other than that I'm afraid you're probably stuck with the bill. I'm really sorry about that, especially since it started out from such a nice idea. The only thing I can say is always check out insurance, excess and things like the CDW very carefully when renting a car. Even a car park scratch could have cost you that £700.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - jake2
Falkirk Bairn - thanks for the tip. I did consider sorting the repair myself but thought the risks (eg the hire agreement says - unsurprisingly - that the hire firm must agree to any 3rd party work on the car) outweighed the potential benefits, so the car went back to the hire company damaged & I confessed straight up. I got the quote from the windscreen people to keep an eye on whether I'm over-charged for the repair, but that's an interesting point about the likely requirement for genuine MB glass that the windscreen firm may well not use.

Armitage Shanks/ No FM2R - yes, I was offered the chance to reduce the excess for a daily charge. I can't exactly remember the latter, but it was something like £15 a day, but I do remember the reduction was to £350 or so - in other words, it may not have made any difference in this case, and at best would only have saved me somewhere in the region of £60. I turned it down because I was always under the impression that - like white goods' extended warranties - they're a rip-off. But on reflection I guess it's more about your judgement of risk, and perhaps for a more expensive car they ARE worth it. In any case, I wasn't really aware of self-insuring car hire & will certainly consider that from here on.

No FM2R - good advice to contact MB direct. Any discrepenacy between the actual cost of repairing the windscreen & what the hire car company charge me really goes to the heart of my concern. I'm aware that, even though it's "bad luck" & not an accident I (or anyone else) caused, I don't really have a leg to stand on in terms of the PRINCIPLE of having to pay out. It's the level of payout I'm concerned about. Office of Fair Trading consumer advice is pretty much on the same lines - if the hire company charge is out of synch with what appears to be the cost as quoted by at least 3 others, I can make a "reasonable offer" (that's the legal term, apparently), then consider legal action if they don't accept that. Anyway, that's some way off yet. Good advice too on roadworks etc, though unfortunately there weren't any in the area & the road was in pretty good condition, so I think that's a dead end.

Many thanks to all for such useful comments. Has cheered me up even if I'm still facing a wallet whack!
Damaged windscreen during car hire - henry k
At least they have not mentioned a charge for loss, to them, of a days hire while the screen is fixed.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - Armitage Shanks {p}
Not yet they haven't! Watch this space!
Damaged windscreen during car hire - Aprilia
Car hire is a bit of a minefield. I hire lots of cars, in the UK and abroad, and have signed up to insurance4carhire for several years - never had to make a claim yet. Be aware though, that most hire companies exclude glass, tyre and underbody damage. CDW reduces the liability from the full value of the car down to somewhere between £500-1000, depending on company. 'Super CDW' takes it down even further, to £0-300 typically.
Always check the car back in when somebody is at the rental station and try to get a signature. Check your CC bill when it comes in - this year one company tried to bill me for an extra day's rental and 21 litres of fuel - despite me not being in the country at the time. Got it sorted out. I get the impression that the rental station managers are all on a bonus scheme and push at the limits of what is honest business practise. You have the right to see the bill for the repaired item, I think.
Damaged windscreen during car hire - rtj70
My recent car accident (right off) in Italy with normal CDW would have come to ?800 excess and indeed that got billed to my credit card. Holiday Autos however had an agreement with Hertz Italy for ?600 because of pre-pay of hire and ?200 refunded. I am now waiting for Holiday Autos to reimburse the ?600 because I took out their additional excess cover for £2.50/day.

So far out of pocket for the hire (£200) and ?600 (Excess)... Didn't take the offer of another car with a big gash to the head and a neck-brace. Only had the hire car for 30-40 minutes!

So next time the equivalent of Super CDW is offered I might take it. In fact I did in Tuscany last year but it was almost as much as the car hire. But you never know when an HGV might hit you from behind on a "motorway".

But here was the new one for me... if you have an injury due to an accident (in Italy at least) then your holiday insurance probably does not cover it due to use of a motor vehicle. And personal insurance, at least with Hertz Italy, is another extra!
 

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