Car hire - big changes coming

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ebyard
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Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ebyard » Thu Jul 21, 2022 10:50 am

Hi All,

I thought I'd make you aware of some changes that appear to be coming to all Spanish car hire companies in the coming months. These changes seem to be aimed mainly towards Brits.

I am a regular user of Goldcar (the budget brand of Europcar/Interrent). I know some of the desk staff at Malaga quite well now, and they told me that:

As from 1st August, it will be compulsory to take out insurance with them - pushing the cost of a car rental up by ~100€ per week. This is because Brits have got excess cover, and - quite simply - they aren't making any money on the rentals.

Also it is now MANDATORY to use their own breakdown/assistance service, and not doing so is classed as breaking the contract and you will lose your full deposit.

In the meantime (until 1st Aug) you are now liable for the entire market value of the vehicle in case of an accident, and not just the deposit.

In addition to all this, if you damage the car and it needs to go to the workshop, they will charge you 40€/day with a MINIMUM of 10 days (=400€) fee for loss of revenue. This may even apply for minor damage which we all know they never fix anyway.

How is all this legal? Who knows - but I am now very tempted to buy a car and keep it here. I'm used to paying 300€ for 2 weeks hire, and when that rises to 550€+ it is time to find alternatives.

If anyone knows any different, please let me know, but Manuel at the counter was pretty sure that all hire firms will be doing likewise.

Saludos

ashtondav
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ashtondav » Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:23 pm

Well I’ve just tried to rent a goldcar car on doyouspain in August and there is not only no mention of this but it is still flogging it’s own excess insurance. I reckon Manuel was having a little joke. And if he wasn’t it’s a bloody outrageous change.

ebyard
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ebyard » Thu Jul 21, 2022 2:09 pm

I wish it was a joke - I'll upload a scan of the amended contact T&Cs. I have MoneySavingExpert on the case, too.

He might have meant that any bookings made after 1st Aug are affected; given that if you book now you would do so under current T&Cs. I don't think Goldcar are clever enough to run 2 sets of T&Cs side by side.

Let's see what they do on 1st Aug. Since I hadn't taken out their insurance, he was quite emphatic that I am responsible for the entire cost of the vehicle...

ashtondav
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ashtondav » Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:10 pm

Ok, I’d switch then. Spoken to malagacar.com and they have no plan to change their t&c.

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costakid
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby costakid » Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:50 pm

ebyard wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 2:09 pm
Let's see what they do on 1st Aug. Since I hadn't taken out their insurance, he was quite emphatic that I am responsible for the entire cost of the vehicle...
That wouldn’t be legal. If they try that people will cancel their card before reporting an issue to hire company and worry about it afterwards.

elusive
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby elusive » Thu Jul 21, 2022 5:53 pm

Goldcar have always been known as con artists who pressurise people to take their insurance. They are always warned about on review sites as a company you should avoid like the plague

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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Cádiz » Sat Jul 23, 2022 8:31 am

ebyard wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 10:50 am Hi All,



In addition to all this, if you damage the car and it needs to go to the workshop, they will charge you 40€/day with a MINIMUM of 10 days (=400€) fee for loss of revenue. This may even apply for minor damage which we all know they never fix anyway.

Saludos
If anyone is caught with this one, they will ask you to auhorize with PIN on credit card.

If a person does this the option of chargeback will not be an option, just refuse.

phototext
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby phototext » Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:07 pm

Goldcar are the worst. One guy been there 15 years always trying it on. I only go out of season so the rates historically have been looney cheap. Now I just use the premium services to get a better car with the better companies. Then Malaga car gave me an old car and screwed me too!

It’s gone from £77 for April pre covid to €680 this April but I’m not sure about buying a car yet. A banger brings other problems and cars are expensive in Spain unless you buy new then it’s a better deal than the uk. Once you factor in tax, itv, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and maybe taxis from the airport or parking then it’s a minimum of €2000 probably €3000 a year. A bmw cabriolet more like €10000. More hassle too.

This year is crazy but next year inflation will bite and people will have spent their covid savings. I don’t see rental rates going as cheap as they did but maybe lower than this year. For my 90 days an Ibiza for €30 a day or less is probably a good option.

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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Lavanda » Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:15 am

It cuts both ways. I have been hiring a car in the UK for several years now and have also thought it would have been cheaper to buy a car and keep it in my parent's empty garage. Then I thought of the MOT, tax and inevitable maintenance. Car hire prices have gone up by a third post-Covid and it really is getting ridiculous.

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Wicksey
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Wicksey » Wed Jul 27, 2022 3:58 pm

Our neighbours keep a car here (parked long term at the airport) and I think every time they come out it goes wrong, ends up in the garage and then they have to hire a car! They drove it over from Germany and reregistered it, but we usually think it just wasn't worth the expense.

Other friends bought a one year old car 20 years ago and it is garaged at their holiday house. We look after it, getting it serviced and ITVed, and it's done a very low mileage so does seem to be going OK for now. However, they still need to get here from the airport and tend to take the bus so we drop the car down to the bus station for them, and collect it after they have left. Without us, they'd be needing a taxi really, and also would have to do the maintenance themselves. Over the years though, it has had good use by the extended family that have come here in the past.

I think it depends on how much time you/friends/family are going to be spending here as to whether it is worth the hassle and expense of running it. Having said that, hiring a car is hassle and expense, so you just need to do the sums!

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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ashtondav » Fri Jul 29, 2022 6:14 pm

Car hire prices will drop like a stone once car production ramps up. At present you can sell a one year old car for more than a new one. There are still major component shortages. Probably 2024 til it returns to 2019 levels.

Pamela1
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:09 pm

Carhire prices are bound to drop eventually...A recession is coming, plus lost count of how many non resident home owners have bought their own.. What comes around goes around, just a matter of time..

anyroads
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby anyroads » Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:58 pm

Its everywhere...

I have been invited to a wedding in Ireland in October.

I have booked a flight. I have also booked a flight to Spain for later October. Both flights together, for my wife and I return, are less than what I have been quoted for five day car hire in Ireland.

anyroads

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costakid
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby costakid » Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:48 pm

This year I drove over in May and will drive back in October. Taxed, mot tested and insured so totally legal. The cost of the journey both ways will be around £1200 but thats much cheaper than hiring as our 5 weeks summer holiday alone would be around £800.

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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Jul 31, 2022 12:33 am

In the UK, SORN can solve the road tax problem and I have an insurer that allows me to suspend insurance when my cars are SORNed (I continue to pay, but receive a payment back when I reactivate a car). In Spain, no such thing as SORN but a small hatchback is ~€60/yr unlike the £20/month road tax in the UK. If thinking of a UK car to keep instead of hiring, a pre-2017 diesel with <120g CO2 is £30 for the whole year so that negates the (very minor) hassle of doing SORN.

I regularly hired in Malaga during school holidays and noticed during the 2010s that the "cheap" companies got more and more ridiculous and they particularly enjoyed holding you over a barrel as your flight departs in two hours. Firefly made a fuss about a missing aerial that was never there in the first place. I offered to pay it on my debit card but they insisted I sign the form that I'd been a naughty person. €18 aerial, €85 administration fee. I switched to Alamo/Enterprise who aren't cheap but don't play that game - still use them if I go somewhere other than Malaga or my UK home city.

Now I'm out here more regularly, the ~€2500 I spent for my ES car has more than paid for itself. Even with the insurance, routine maintenance and the ITV is almost always a pass or some easy fix. Parking is a military operation the day before I leave (someone exits the communal park and I'm in like Flint) and the roof has terrible sunburn, but I'd still get €1600-1800 if I sold it.

ebyard
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby ebyard » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:15 pm

Quick update; I have the MoneySavingExpert team on the case. They approached Goldcar with the T&Cs that I sent a copy of, who flatly denied what their salesman said.

MSE didn't quite tell them the full story (on purpose) so they're going back to them as it *may* be that Goldcar are doing their usual high-pressure sales routine, which is illegal in Spain. I'll keep this thread updated.

Anyway, I have been looking at some econobox cars around the 3000€ mark, which, used for 12 weeks a year, will hopefully work out if not cheaper, then less hassle. I don't care if it gets scratched/dented too much, and a mechanically simple/reliable car should last a while. We have underground parking so easy to store, and pretty secure.

The ITV test looks like a joke given the state of many cars on Spanish roads - am I right in saying it is easier than a UK MOT ?

Saludos
Ed

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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Lavanda » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:09 pm

"am I right in saying it is easier than a UK MOT ? "

Depends where you have it done. One place, where we regularly go, is an official Junta place and they are quite laid back. The other place, which is nearer to us, is privately owned but licensed by the Junta. They test everything imaginable.
Last edited by Lavanda on Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

markwilding
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby markwilding » Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:25 pm

I wouldn’t say it’s that easy. My first car I bought when I came to Spain, which I passed on to my son, failed 4 times even after doing the work on it so in the end we gave up and bought a new one. We got more than it was worth from the government scheme to get old cars off the road.

elusive
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby elusive » Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:57 pm

The ITV seems pretty vigorous. Its a process you actively take part in rather than in the uk where you just hand the car over.you also have to go to a official independent ITV station (like in N.Ireland) unlike the uk where your local garage would either do it or take it to a mates who was licenced to test. This alway gave concerns about cars not passing so garages could make some extra money by doing the "repairs" it also concerns me how easy it is to get a fake MOT certificate seeing as the amount of cars i know of just in my street that have/had them.

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Wicksey
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Re: Car hire - big changes coming

Postby Wicksey » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:32 am

The ITV stations are few and far between, quite a difference to the UK. Once the Algarrobo one had some sort of problem and the outskirts of Malaga is the next nearest one to us in Torrox. We pay our garage man to do pre-ITV checks and he takes our cars plus a friend's car we look after that is over 20 years old now. For us it's worth it as we've never had a car fail in all the years we've used him. I'd say it was a better system here as with the sticker in the windscreen it's easy to see that the car has a valid ITV.


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