Advice please - Van hire

I am about to hire a van for one or two days. I would like to not to have to argue the toss about paying for prior damage and all that shit. Has anyone advice? Should I avoid the big players?


Ive hired quite a few vans only used local companies. The vans have always been a bit beatup, never had a problem with questions over damage, mainly because I’ve never damaged any.

Make sure they walk around with you and mark any scuffs on the hire form before you drive off. Take pics on your phone as well.

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IME I don’t think the bigger operators are any worse than smaller. I walk round the vehicle taking photos of all the bodywork when you collect. Then you’ll have your own record of the condition at pickup.

If on your walk around you spot something not mentioned on the paperwork, make sure you ask them to add it on to the paperwork and that you get a photo of it.

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I had a problem with a local smaller outfit in that they claimed £25 for the tiniest chip in the windscreen upon return, so small it wouldn’t show on their video and not on the paperwork. this is run by a brother and sister and she is a hard faced bitch and then some

So I insisted on seeing the last three hire forms, and guess what, yes all 3 charged £25 for the ‘repair’, I looked at the bloke and said I think we all know what is going on here don’t we? Never used them again. Also a midday Friday to midday Monday hire they charge 4 full days.

Since I have used Empire and never had a problem, also midday Friday to midday Monday hire they only charge for 3 days.


Cheers for the advice -The idea of photos is sound plus if they try and charge me for something I think I didnt think I had caused ask to see the previous invoices for that van. Today I visited a local hire outfit had a chat - They looked OK so I have booked them.

@coco and I had a really terrible experience with Enterprise when doing a Scalford trip, over a chip that appeared on the windscreen. The guy that originally checked the vehicle wasn’t around when we went back and another bloke discovered it and it wasn’t written down on the exsisting damage description originally. He said that he would need to wait to clarify with the first chap, whether it was there or not and I am pretty sure that if we hadn’t firmly argued that it hadn’t happened while we were using the van, he would have tried it on and if iirc there was a £1000 excess. A couple of hours later, they let me know that the original guy knew it was there but forgot to put it on the sheet.
There is no way I would ever use them again, they treated us dreadfully and it was obviously something they would try on if they could. Avoid.


Quite, absolute cunts!


Yep Enterprise are scumbags. Used them to hire a van for our recent move. Picked it up in East London and dropped off in Dartford the next day. They went round it like Columbo trying to pin every little mark on me, even those recorded on the rental agreement. Insisted on ringing the other branch for clarification until I told them I was just going to report a fraudulent payment on my Visa card for a van rental, they were suddenly happy to sign it off as fine. Try it on rip off merchants. Was very impressed with the merc van though, better drive than some of their cars.


That is fraud / theft. Criminal.

pretty much every hire I do is Enterprise, and I have never had a problem with them. In fact there was a small bumper scrape I caused on a car I hired out of Penzance, that I held my hands up to, and they let me off.

Will be picking up a car from them tomorrow morning in Inverness. In recent times I have had Sixt and Hertz and the service has been poor.

The car I have in Germany is from Hertz. The car (ford c-max) is quite new and fine, but the purchase process was just awful - despite booking in advance there were all sorts of extras. Combination of Ryanair and Hertz, I imagine.

The only real upsides are that I had to justify the second driver fee so got pissed last night, and we now have to go to Belgium and Luxembourg to justify the cross border fee.

I much preferred hiring from my local company, St Albans van hire, where you get something with loads of dings in and they couldn’t give a shit.

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I’ve used smaller local companies and have never had an issue, they tend to be more weathered vans but only give a cursory check for major damage.

Difficult to prove.

Having worked in Car/Van Rental for a century, I can categorically state tha Car Rental companies are cunts. There’s not much money in the rental side but there is in damage fund recovery. Most companies don’t underwrite their cover. The money goes into a bank account built of deep pockets and their assessors seem to have very short arms.

All of the extras are bonus rated for the staff. They are not needed. Never, ever, EVER pay for added insurance. Always buy from third parties before you rent. I use AXA and had to claim for bogus damage on my last rental. The company wanted and took £400. AXA refunded it immediately, then set about suing the rental company for their money. Car rental companies will always capitulate when big insurance companies are involved.

The cost for cover ? One week’s cover for the price of a day’s cover from the rental company!


good advice - cos we hire maybe 5 or 6 times z year, I have an add-on to my own comp car insurance, which for the cost of one trip covers me for a year

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If I’m planning to rent a couple of times a year, I buy an annual policy. It costs about £50 and covers you for unlimited rentals up to a maximum of 30 days each rental. Fucking bargain.


Yeah I got that cover in advance, at least!

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We had a terrible experience with Enterprise when we were at RMAF iirc. I vowed never to use them again.