What appears to have become a common occurrence of late is holidaymakers renting vehicles abroad and then receiving fines through the post, weeks or sometimes months after your return, rather than a legitimate ‘on the spot’ fine by a police officer. In light of this, tourists have become new prey for foreign countries whereby they get caught out by speed cameras and other minor traffic offenses and are finding themselves faced with hefty fines.
If you intend to hire out a car for your holiday abroad this year, then there are a few things to be aware of so you can make sure you don’t get ripped off!
• Each rental company deals with offences differently. The country you committed the offence in can also change the way the fine is dealt with, so you should first of all try and find out as much information as you can about the policies in place.
• In certain countries, if the offence was committed in a rental car then the rental company can simply pass your details on to the authorities to by-pass receiving the fine themselves.
• You will find that in the majority of countries, the police will not be able to chase payments beyond the international boundaries so the fine will automatically stay with the rental company you hired from. If this is the case, you will find the rental company will continually chase you for payment – especially if it’s a large fine!
• Remember your rights! Know that you should be informed promptly in a language you understand and you should have adequate time and the right facilities for the preparation of your defence.
• If the issue persists once you have challenged it, contact the authorities of the country and inform them that you wish to appeal and are prepared to attend court if necessary. You should ask for written confirmation plus a full reimbursement of your travel costs if you are found not guilty.
• If you don’t pay the fine there could be a number of things happen. If you hired from a large, corporate, international rental company or the fine was a significant cost, then you could incur more problems and an increased fine. On the other hand, if you have gone with a small, local rental company and the fine is for a minor incident then the fine could be forgotten about with just a ban from using the company again and postal requests for the payment.
• The policy of the company and the country will be documented somewhere in the terms and conditions when you rent the car. It’s always worth keeping hold of these documents and reading every page from cover to cover (including the small print!) to make sure you know where you stand before you even get in the car.
So, now you know of the pitfalls to be aware of so you can avoid encountering any trouble or grievances along the way! But more importantly, you can now go ahead and rent vehicles abroad time and time again for your future holidays and not be put off by a bad experience!
If you’re looking for a trusted company to rent a vehicle from in the UK, then please get in touch with Caversham Vehicle Hire today. Based in the Reading and Newbury areas, we offer a wide range of vehicles and leases from small car hires for the weekend, to long term truck hire. Simply give us a call for more information and advice.