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Car Hire Horror Story

Nov 29, 2007
Recently I was unfortunate enough to have a small accident in my car and the assessor said it was going to take 3 days to fix it.

Now I have driven a few million miles in my time and had been pretty accident free throughout so this accident was a bit of a blow to my driving esteem but a week that started out badly was only ever going to get worse.

The car I had been unlucky enough to have the accident in was a Porsche 911 which unfortunately had a massive excess payment, the damage was painful but not as painful as the insurance excess combined with the loss of the no claims bonus.

Over the next few days I had to make an important journey or two, a courtesy car was out of the question due to my not using my insurance to claim and so the option was a hire car for a short period of time, I dropped my car into the garage and picked up my nice little Focus hire car which was brand new.

Next morning I set off early for a business meeting, as I left the house quietly at 5am I saw there had been a hard frost, I realised that I didn't have any de icer as it was in the other car along with the scraper so all I had with an edge was my credit card, rather than risk this I decided to sit in the car and wait for the engine to warm.

Several minutes later I could finally see and left on my journey, by 6.30 am the light was just starting to show and I was deep into rural British Countryside, the road was quiet and threaded through farmland with hedging on each side and the verge was quite high.

Because of the frost I was taking the Focus steadily round the bends and as I approached yet another apex I caught a shadow in my peripheral vision.

Before I could stop the shadow leaped across from the high bank and landed square on the bonnet of the Focus with an almighty thump, I hit the brakes and skidded into the bank and the shadow was flung across the road.

I quickly realised it was a Deer and not a small one at that, as an animal lover I was quickly out of the car but before I could reach it the Deer was up and off down the road.

It ran full pelt for 50 metres at which point it leapt through a gap in the hedge and sped off across the field seemingly none the worse for wear. I walked back to the car as I needed to move it quickly off the bend as the road was slippery and the bend was blind.

About 100 metres on I stopped at a field gate entrance, looking out of the windscreen I was aware of the mud on the bonnet and decided I had better stop for a minute and see what the damage was.

I was amazed, I had a broken nearside headlight where I had hit the bank, there was damage to the front grill and to my horror a series of large dents and depressions on the bonnet.

One in particular was huge and as I stood staring in disbelief at the destruction I could hear a voice in my head, it was the car hire rep and he was saying, are you sure you do not want the extra collision damage waiver Sir, it is very good value for that much protection.

As decisions go that was not one of my best and it quickly became apparent that neither was another recent decision one of my best. My head was quickly doing the arithmetic and it did not take long to realise that the sum of the parts was now far more than the sum of using the insurance at the beginning.

To make matters worse the cost of not having the extra car hire cover was going to hurt as well.

In a rather depressed state I went to the meeting and drove straight home, getting home I realised that I had to clamber in through a window because my house key was with the Porsche keys.

After passing polite conversation with inquisitive neighbours I finally I sat down with a coffee and rang my repair man. I said, Hi Robert, you are never going to believe this but... I began.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has driven many miles and often hired cars but never could he imagine that dismissing the collision waiver would haunt him like this. Car Hire should be taken with the collision damage waiver. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk
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