Had my first crash - how do I minimise the cost?

Discussion in 'transport' started by Fez909, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Hire van for moving house.

    Drive to new housemate's old/current flat and she directs me to the underground car park. Long wheel base bigger than tranny van thing.

    "Will it fit?"
    "Yep", she says, then turns away to roll the shutters up.
    I drove forward slowly towards the shutters, then hear this awful crunching/scraping noise as I wedge myself between the floor/ceiling and the road underneath.

    I have excess insurance, and It's just about noticable from ground level (the medium sized wedge of missing van). I see a few potential options/scenarios:

    1) Pretend I didn't see it and hope they don't notice when I bring it back. Free, best option, slight moral quandry, thought not that slight.
    2) Admit to it and pay for the repairs (is this even possible, or do they just claim off their insurance?)
    3) Let them notice/admit to it, and claim off the insurance. This will mean paying the excess (she'll pay) and won't affect my personal car insurance/no claims.
    4) Let them notice/admit to it, and claim off both the hire car insurance and use the excess insurance to not pay out anything. Apparently this will cost me nothing, but my premium will rise. Potentially for the next five years.

    Best/cheapest option?
  2. jontz01

    jontz01 taking refuge in the loft

    8ball, gosub and Bahnhof Strasse like this.
  3. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Likely cost?

    I'd say it's a dinner plate sized dent.
  4. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Also "Let them notice" or "admit to it"
  5. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I guess option 1) is a sub-option of 2/3 if I go for "let them notice".
  6. jontz01

    jontz01 taking refuge in the loft

    If your housemate is paying the excess then just fess up and move on imo. Accidents happen, no biggie.
  7. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Well, it's no biggie for me, but it is for her.

    She's just quit her job and has gone back to uni so it's not like she's made of money right now.

    If paying my increased premium is cheaper than the repairs, then she should probably do that.

    If the repairs cost say £200, then that's probably the best option.

    But if they cost £1500 (the excess is about that I think), then she might be better off if I claim and she makes up the difference in my premium costs.
  8. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    For pretty much all hire places, any damage is charged at full excess cost. So if you signed the contract for 1500 and you put a little ding on it that would normally cause cost 150 to fix, you still pay 1500
  9. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Not IME. Some of them might block the entire excess amount on your credit card, but then release the difference once they've had a quote to repair the damage.
  10. ddraig

    ddraig dros ben llestri

    Mate did this when moving too! Parked it so damage wasn't obvious/that visible and got away with it
    As mentioned, they'll rinse you up either way so worth a go, option 1
    Fez909 and nogojones like this.
  11. Lupa

    Lupa I'm on my way from misery to happiness today

    Do you know anyone who could pop the dent out for you?
    A380 likes this.
  12. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    They won't actually repair it, at least not until resale. So I think joustmaster has it about right.
  13. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Who is your excess insurance with and why will it affect your personal car insurance policies? Lots of insurers count three years of claims, not five, FWIW.
  14. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    If they don’t notice it. Great. But think about the next person that hires it. Don’t notice it and then it does get noticed in return and they get the hefty bill for something they never did. You’d hate it if that happened to you, maybe I should start a new thread in a week. ;)
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  15. Mrs D

    Mrs D . Banned

    Sorry to break it to you, but most insurance for hire vans doesn’t cover roof damage, so don’t count on being able to claim anything. Excesses and excess insurance may be irrelevant.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    A380 likes this.
  16. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    In recent memory I've put a small nick in a tyre sidewall (excess £500, cost of tyre about £200) and scuffed a bumper (excess €1500, eventual cost of repair about €300). Both times I had the excess held, I have to get the repair bill from the hire company, I have separate insurance for hire cars which pays the bill for the damage and the excess is then released back to me.


    What is an ‘excess’ in car rental? - Rentalcars.com

    Though I'm certain there are plenty of less scrupulous hire companies out there.
    Fez909 likes this.
  17. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse In the AreA

    Frau Bahn scrapped the hire car against a cage at Rome Airport on Saturday, yesterday £177 appeared on my Amex, a neat €200, which happened to be the total excess.

    That’s crash #3 for her this year

    hash tag
    kebabking likes this.
  18. 2hats


    Got the smallest dint on the rear wing of a hire car in Naples earlier in the year (someone clearly opened a door on it in a car park). Got stung €500 but standalone excess cover (cost me £7) coughed for the lot.
    A380, SpookyFrank, MickiQ and 2 others like this.
  19. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    Righto, I worked in car hire for six years including a couple in the insurance division.

    Different car hire companies will have different ways of dealing with this sort of thing. Firstly who was it hired through?

    Vans are a pain for hire companies for this very reason. Loads of retail rentals for a day or two by people who aren't used to the size of the vehicle and they always get smashed up.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    kebabking, cupid_stunt and hash tag like this.
  20. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    Or Fez fesses up and pays the excess, the hire company don't bother repairing it, the next person doesn't spot it and gets charged as well.

    But I'm sure hire companies would never do anything like that :hmm:
    ddraig likes this.
  21. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    Hire companies are on very dodgy legal ground if they accept money for repairs and then don't repair it. It can be in lieu of repairs or justified through depreciation of an asset but this would have to be quantified and qualified.
  22. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    They are dodgy all round. I'd always take photos of the vehicle with the person insepcting it and have them note that I took photos of the vehicle when I collected it.
    neonwilderness likes this.
  23. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    Is the excess insurance with your own insurance company or the van hire insurance, if the latter I don't see why your personal premium would rise?
    I always take theirs on those occasions I hire a car and make sure I point this out to whoever is inspecting it when I hand it back.
    It adds a bit of cost but is worth it for the peace of mind.
    As for you I would go for 3) if your excess insurance is with your own company and 4) if it is with the van rental
  24. nogojones

    nogojones Well-Known Member


    Do you really need telling?
    ddraig likes this.
  25. moomoo

    moomoo Not so yummy mummy

    I don’t think they repair them even if they charge you. Every van I’ve ever hired has been full of dents and scratches.
  26. hash tag

    hash tag never too old

    I was going to say car hire companies all all very different the way they treat these things. One of the major companies tried to sting me for nearly a grand for a small scratch someone put on a car door once. Another tried to sting rellys for a tyre as they maintained that we had changed a tyre from premium brand to cheap brand on the car. When taking a car out, our local company just seem to brush scratches away when you point them out when hiring a car.
  27. hash tag

    hash tag never too old

    I reckons you were lucky to get away with £177. Most cars in Rome are scratched anyway!
    Me thinks Mrs BS needs to go on a driving course :D
    kebabking and cupid_stunt like this.
  28. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    I've rented a good number of cars and vans and never paid to reduce my excess. And I've been lucky.

    Occasionally they give me the upgrade to zero excess. It really changes the way I feel about the car. Like I could just mash it in to a fence, or drive it in to the sea.
  29. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    It's fucking expensive though and can double the cost of the hire. Anyone who hires cars should have one of these for about £40 a year. It means you have to have a fair bit available on a credit card because they block up to £2000 and have it away if you damage the vehicle but you then claim it back. Takes about 3 weeks. Better than getting ripped off by the hire companies though.
    neonwilderness likes this.
  30. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    I'd suggest you carefully read the small print before embarking on that course of action.

    We had exactly the same situation with one guy who thought it all hilarious. I guess he wasn't laughing as much when he failed to show up at court and we got an order on his house.
    kebabking likes this.

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