The summer holidays are underway and it’s worth remembering that many of us apparently rent overpriced “death traps” from hire car companies in the Mediterranean, according to an AA report.
Badly damaged tyres, missing wheel nuts and leaking oil are just some of the alarming findings by the inspectors.
So remember to inspect the tyres, make sure there are no bits of the car hanging off and carry out other basic checks when you take possession of your hire car this year.
It will only take you a few minutes, but it could save you a lot of trouble, hassle and expense down the road.
The AA survey, which covered 60 car hire outlets in 12 resorts and seven countries, uncovered alarming problems not just relating to the vehicles themselves, but also with the paperwork.
Inspectors were twice overcharged on their credit cards. There were a number of other occasions when hidden costs were added to the bill, such as fuel.
Insurance cover was inadequate with holidaymakers finding they had to pay extra to cover themselves against the car being stolen, the inspectors found.
Some contracts were not translated into English, adding to the confusion faced by holidaymakers, according to the survey which was conducted in Greece, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
“Overall the quality of cars was not too bad,” said an AA spokesman. “But where they were bad they were really bad.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office