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Two-thirds of drivers fail to check hire cars for damage before use

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Two thirds (63%) of drivers fail to check hire cars for damage before using them, research from iCarhireinsurance.com has found.

The Opinium survey, commissioned by the provider of standalone car hire excess insurance, quizzed more than 2,000 hire car drivers.

It also found that 21% have found pre-existing damage on a hire car which was not shown on a checkout sheet, although only 37% check a vehicle at pick up.

More than one in 10 claims to iCarhireinsurance are for damage to the tyres, windscreen or undercarriage of the vehicle, but only 21% take photographs of the hire car’s condition before driving off.

Twelve per cent have been told by a rental car representative that it was not necessary to note down minor damage on the check-out sheet, and 13% have returned a car without it being checked.

However, 75% of respondents think that for damage charges to be fair, rental companies should be required to get two quotes for the repair, with the same proportion agreeing that the repairs should be carried out.

Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO, of iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “It really is worth taking the time to have a thorough check over of a hire car before driving it away to ensure that every mark and scuff is documented on the checkout sheet.

“Small scratches may seem insignificant but could actually cost hundreds to repair. It also doesn’t take long to take a few photos at the start and end of the hire to stop any potential disputes.”

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