The hidden pitfall when you want to know how much it costs to rent a car

The hidden pitfall when you want to know how much it costs to rent a car

The vacation rental car has been ordered and paid for. But when Øystein Barstad arrived at the car rental company, the car was gone. It was rented by someone else who was driving the car.

Barstad did not notice any small detail in the car rental agreement. And there are probably many other people who don't know this either.

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We take it from the beginning.

Our Alicante holiday started off poorly

Øystein Barstad from Reinsvoll on Toten was heading to Alicante on a nine-day holiday at the end of April. Wanted to rent a car for the entire stay and found a good offer via a car rental arrangement website.

Briefly

  • Øystein Barstad lost the rental car he ordered and paid for when he arrived in Alicante late.
  • He didn't realize that the lease started at 10 a.m.
  • 00 on the day of arrival, so the car was rented to someone else.
  • Barstad ended up renting a car from another company at a higher price, losing NOK 5,000.
  • The Consumer Council recommends informing the car rental company if you notice you are running late.
  • – I looked for what I thought was a good offer, a Citroën C3 for just under NOK 2200 for the rental period. In addition, there was a deposit of €1,200 (NOK 14,100) for any damages.

    – However, I got no I have with me the small details that the rental agreement applies to as of 10.00 on the day of arrival. The plane landed on schedule, but six hours after the start of the car rental agreement. When I arrived at the rental car counter, the message was clear: My car was already rented because I arrived too late, he says in frustration.

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    Under the thousand mark


    Losing thousands of dollars

    Barstad says he was given a phone number to call, but never heard back.

    – Therefore I had to rent a car from another company, but unfortunately at a higher price. Here I paid 430 euros (5077 kroner) for the rental period. I tried to get a refund, but to no avail at first.

    He later tried to contact the brokerage agent who arranged a refund of NOK 1,300 of the rental amount.

    -But I still have NOK 5,000. “I can afford it, but it might be an idea to warn others about this,” Barstad says.

    – I feel stupid

    -I didn't realize you had to be there by the start of the lease. I thought I had rented and paid for the entire 24 hours when the agreement started. Now the owner can rent to others and get paid twice.

    -Do you feel cheated?

    -I really feel stupid because I didn't know that before I rented the car.

    Here they will track tourists

    Here they will track tourists


    Consumer Council advice

    Consumer law expert at the Consumer Council, Thomas Iversen, offers the following advice for those renting a car on holiday.

    -If you see that you are late, my advice is to notify the car rental company. In many cases, you will be able to receive the vehicle as agreed upon. In the terms and conditions of car rental companies, it is often specified that they cannot guarantee you a car if you are late for more than an hour.

    Iversen adds:

    – You may have to accept a different car type than the one you requested. By adding your flight number to the order, the company will also know if you will be delayed.

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    It is important to read the agreement

    Car rental is an area that is not yet subject to concrete consumer protection, which means that the agreement between you and the car rental company is much more important than anything else.

    Agreements that give the company the right to rent the car to others if it does not arrive on time are a good solution for the car rental company, but a bad solution for the consumer.

    – Can you use travel insurance if you are late?

    – If you are late and have to rent an expensive car elsewhere, you can check if your insurance covers any of the loss. Depending on the cause and duration of the delay, this is also a loss that can be covered by the airline in some cases, Iversen concludes.

    Hello, my name is Odd Roar Lange and I am a travel expert and journalist for DinSide and Dagbladet. Do you have advice about renting a car in Norway or abroad and want to tell your story on Norway's largest consumer website DinSide.no? Or do you have an experience, question or clever suggestion that others should hear about?

    Dalila Awolowo

    Dalila Awolowo

    "Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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