DoYouSpain.com – zero insurance excess completely misleading!!! Learn from my experience!
I hired a car from Malaga airport for two weeks via this outfit in May 2013. The rental company that actually supplied the car was RecordGo.
Firstly, the good points: the hire charge I got via DoYouSpain was very good - £108 (128 Euro) for a Nissan Note for 2 weeks. The car was in good condition and performed well, and the RecordGo staff were good to deal with.
But, despite DoYouSpain prominently advertising “No Insurance Excess”, once I received the booking voucher for RecordGo it advised that there would be an excess of 500 Euro (about £420) for damage to glass, underside and due to ‘negligence’ - which I could avoid if I paid an additional insurance charge of 14 Euro per day (£11.75) making a total of about £165 - so much for my ‘good deal’! . Too late to find an alternative I’d decided to accept the risk. Actually, when collecting the car RecordGo advised that the excess waiver charge would be around 9 Euro per day, capped at 92 Euro (£77). But they also had a longer list of damage types / causes for which I would be liable – but I decided to risk it and so left a credit card ‘pre-authorisation’ for 500 Euro.
First day of our holiday we returned to the car in a supermarket car park to find that someone had driven into the side of the car and someone had deliberately scratched the tail gate with a key or similar over an area of 6 – 8 inches square.
No witnesses or cameras, but I decided to report it to the local Police (who were very pleasant and helpful despite me not speaking Spanish and them no English…). I got a report – although they’d initially indicated that in the absence of any evidence of the perpetrator there was nothing they could do. Incidentally, I tried to ring the number RecordGo supplied to report an accident but it didn’t connect. The Police also tried and failed…….
On returning the car at the end of the holiday I was asked whether it was OK, so I explained about the incident and provided a copy of the Police report. The RecordGo representative dealing with returned cars said it was the decision of a another department, but she expected it to be viewed as vandalism and that at least some of my excess would be forfeit. But there was no formal inspection of the car, no confirmation of the extent of the damage and she couldn’t tell me how much of the 500 Euro would be charged or when, although she suggested 2 – 3 weeks. She agreed that any accident involving another driver would be covered by the main insurance collision damage waiver (i.e. no excess liability), even if that driver was uninsured, but a vehicle collision to a parked car when the other driver cannot be identified wouldn’t. I had a plane to catch, so I couldn’t see what more I could do.
There is a happy ending……..after two weeks nothing had been charged to my credit card, so I rang the bank (Santander) and explained that I disputed this potential charge because I didn’t agree that damage caused by a collision with another (unidentified) vehicle should be excluded from what the insurance covered and that it was unacceptable that I didn’t know how much I could be charged or when. I was told that the charge couldn’t be blocked and that Santander’s dispute procedure could not start until the my account was actually charged. But I could cancel my card and get a new one, and this would effectively block the charge. So I did. And a month on I’ve paid nothing. Perhaps RecordGo decided not to invoke the excess charge for some reason.
And I can confirm other feedback about DoYouSpain – once they’ve got your money they’re not interested. I contacted them about this matter, received an automated message saying I’d get a response and heard nothing more….
Lessons: (1) Ignore DoYouSpain’s claim of Zero Insurance excess – find out ahead of time what excess the actual Car Hire company will impose, and for what, and decide if you’re willing to pay the waiver charge or look for a better ‘all-in’ deal - if you can find one (2) if you do take the risk and the car suffers damage you may be able to cancel your credit card before the excess charge hits (although I’m not condoning this as a means of dodging charges that you’re properly responsible for).