Car Rental Consumers Must Beware of ‘Unfair Wear & Tear’ Charges Says

Leading internet car hire comparison website warns consumers renting cars to report any vehicle ‘wear and tear’ issues to the rental company as soon as possible. Mechanical problems with the brakes and clutch as well as tyre or windscreen damage are common troubles – but aren’t always the responsibility of the customer.

Consumers repeatedly report instances of being charged by their car hire company for damage to the clutch upon return of the vehicle. The issue is that the clutch damage could have occurred earlier, so unless the consumer reports specific issues like a weak clutch to the office they can be made to pay on the back end.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of, says: “Checking your rental car over with company representative before driving away is essential to avoid paying for damages you didn’t cause at the end of your rental. But some problems can’t be seen or felt until the car is in motion like a weak clutch or brakes. It’s important that you talk to the car hire company the minute you notice any mechanical trouble with the car, even the smallest things. Our goal is to help consumers avoid having to pay up for mechanical damage they probably weren’t responsible for with these tips.” Top Tips to Avoid ‘Unfair Wear & Tear’ Charges –

1)    Research the most comprehensive insurance cover that includes common trouble spots like windscreen or tyre damage and purchase it.

2)    Before driving your rental off the lot make a thorough inspection with an office staff and write down any cosmetic or mechanical damage.

3)    Things like soft brakes or a slipping clutch won’t be noticed until the car is moving, so check for these mechanical issues during the first few minutes of driving and return to the rental lot is anything seems wrong.

4)    While driving your hire car keep an eye on the engine for any new trouble spots and contact the rental office immediately to make a report of the problem. Never wait until you drop off the vehicle to mention damages.

5)    To avoid getting stuck with charges over disputed damage to the rental keep a detailed log of all communication with the rental office, including emails, texts and phone calls.

Gareth adds: “Of course, car hire companies provide regular maintenance on the cars but eventually components like brake shoes and clutches fail. By staying in front of these common mechanical troubles you can protect yourself from being charged over things that were going to break down anyway. To help with this always look over the insurance cover carefully and make sure that common items like windscreen and tyre damage is included. If not, purchase extra coverage that handles these issues.”, the award winning internet site, compares dozens of cheap car hire offers from leading rental companies such as Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, and has managed more than 650,000 car rental transactions to date.  They provide car hire in Portugal, including popular locations like car hire in Faro, France, Spain and more than 15,000 other locations worldwide. For more information visit

About was launched in February 2003 and grew to become one of the UK’s leading online car hire companies by 2006.

In 2007 the company re-launched its site to create the first major online price comparator in the travel industry. Using the latest technology the site now searches up to 50 different car hire websites, providing an impartial comparison of the best prices available in over 15,000 locations.

Websites searched include Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Ebookers, Hertz, Holiday Autos, Opodo, Sixt and Thrifty, with the site quickly comparing prices and allowing customers to refine their search by car type.

The site also features over 5,000 pages of travel information in a mini-guide format.

In 2008 was voted Best Car Hire Website in the Travolution Awards, and in 2010 it was Highly Commended in the Best Meta-search/Price Comparison category. To book or for further information visit

Media Contact
Rachel Builder & Jenny White
T: 01625 511966
F: 01625 511967

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