car rental the black sheep of the travel industry

Is car rental the black sheep of the travel industry?

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories about unwanted damage claims and charges after a rental car has been returned, or mysterious taxes that appear at the beginning of the rental from rental operators that are performing below industry standard. But are these nightmare stories standard across the industry? Let’s take a look.

Processing a vehicle damage claim

Some operators recently have been caught overcharging customers for the repair of their rental vehicle by falsifying repair costs chargeable to the customer and then repairing the damage at a cheaper price.

However the majority of the Australian rental industry does not condone this type of practice and although some have been caught otherwise and fined severely the majority including Redspot Car Rentals do the right thing by their customers, seeking out reputable repairers at best value prices and supplying customers an invoice which matches that of the repairer. (For more information please review our own damage repairing policy.)

Hidden fees and taxes

In 2009 the ACCC published the fair trading in the car rental sector document, which is a guide for all car rental operators to do the right thing by their customers. It talked about potential bad practices of which some rental car companies were advertising a lead in price that does not include all mandatory fees and charges (bait advertising). In other words, advertising a rental vehicle for $29 p/day and then charging on top airport fees, registration fees, GST, admin fees and the likes was deemed misleading and deceptive, and too right it is.

While some operators were caught and fined ignoring this simple ACCC request, the majority have done the right thing and are today quoting a rental car price you will expect to pay when you collect your car.

We’re at the airport?

In the Australian airport car rental sector there are two types of operators. ‘On-airport’ and ‘off-airport.’ The difference is simple, one operator has a desk or desks inside the airport terminal with its rental fleet in its own designated rental bays on airport turf, and the other does not, requiring either a shuttle bus, a meet and greet service or relies on the customer to make their own way to the rental car depot located off the airport precinct.

The problem is that some of the off airport car rental operators confuse the situation by deceiving customers and advertising that they are located at the airport in order to receive more sales. This leads to customers trying to find the non-existent rental desk and then ultimately having to travel off airport to collect and return their rental car, which can be an inconvenience if you’re in a rush.
As this practice is still happening today, the easiest way to check if your rental car operator has a desk inside the airport terminal is to simply visit the official airport website of which lists the on-airport car rental operators you can hire a car from in their terminals.

Redspot Car Rentals is an Australian owned and operated car rental company and has always took a stance to fight for the underdog, as it too is an underdog fighting against the big multinational car rental operators. We prefer being completely upfront and transparent with every aspect of our rental process, as well as before and after service in order to become your first choice next time you decide to rent a car.

Need a rental car?

If you are after a great deal on a rental car for your next holiday or business trip without the nightmare stories listed above, then we can help you. We have a new model fleet of vehicles to choose from, as well as being located inside most Australian airport terminals.

Book today and save.

published July 16, 2013

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