A BRITISH holidaymaker has claimed a rental company at Alicante airport threatened withholding part of a €2,000 deposit if ‘sand’ was found in the car.
The saga began when a pre-booked hire car insurance through DoYouSpain.com was ‘not recognised’ upon the holidayer’s arrival at Alicante airport this month.
Paul Elston, 71, alleged staff at RecordGo asked him to either cough up a €2,000 deposit he could lose to ‘sand’ – or pay an extra €253 for 11 days insurance coverage with no deposit needed.
Elston’s ‘gut-feeling’ was that the company were out to ‘make money’ but with five restless children behind him he handed over the €253.
It came after Elston had booked a seven-seater through DoYouSpain.com for a holiday from July 25 to August 5.
He added to the original booking a €65,45 Zurich platinum insurance deal offered through the leading car hire comparison site.
But this was ‘not accepted’ at the RecordGo desk on arrival.
“We’re not massively out of pocket, but it’s the principle of paying twice for insurance,” Elston told the Olive Press.
“The employee had this ‘take it or leave it attitude’ despite the fact I’ve used RecordGo for the last eight years.”
Elston cautioned British holidaymakers that prior insurance taken out in the UK ‘may not be recognised’ in Spain.
A spokesperson for DoYouSpain.com said the company makes it ‘very clear’ pre-booked insurance schemes will still require a deposit upon arrival in Spain.
“I can understand it seems disingenuous, though we do put this information across on the website.
“That said, charging for sand is something we’ve never heard of.”
RecordGo and Zurich declined to comment.
It’s very simple. Buy a “hire car excess” insurance policy before your holiday. I pay less than £40 for a multitrip annual policy. In the event the hire company take any or all of your deposit, these policies will reimburse you. Always politely refuse to take out the hire car company’s “super duper platinum diamond all-purpose blah blah” overpriced cover…. this is where they make their money/commission so they’ll give you the hard sell. You are Not obliged to buy it…. All cars in Spain are already insured by law, not the driver like in UK so these cars already have insurance without being driven at all! Just be fastidious about checking for scrapes and scuffs before accepting the car, especially wheel rims and under the front skirt which is an often used sneaky spot they’ll get you for! Take lots of photos before and after hire to be able to verify that you left the car in good condition should you get a surprise a few days later when you get home. It’s like using Ryanair, it’s a pain and it’s a game but with a little effort you’ll save a packet. I got a brand new Fiat 500CC last year thru Doyouspain (who I always use) for €4.80 for a week… Yes honestly, for a week! It would have been €200 had I taken their insurance. Hope this helps… Oh, and Never Ever Ever Ever use Goldcar!