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Hire Van damage - excessive charges for repair
Flatline
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 09:23
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Hi All,

Not sure if this is the right forum for this problem, but the minds on here have successfully helped me fight a PCN in the past, so I hope might be able to point me in the right direction.

I hired a Ford Transit van from Sixt rental on 1st September this year. I managed to put a dent in the side sliding door (totally my fault, nobody else involved, no other damage - I turned a corner in a petrol station too quickly and nudged a piece of static furniture)

I returned the van, reported the damage, and left it with them. My deposit was returned. I've now received letters by email stating that the damage has been made good to a total cost of £2,357.93. I didn't reduce the excess when I hired the van (thinking myself to be a 'careful driver'), so the cost to me is £1,075 (inc. 75 'admin' fee), payable within two weeks.

My query is around the cost of repair. They've made no attempt to reduce the costs - they've replaced the entire door (~1000) and repainted (~900). When I left the van, the door worked, there was a buckle in the door, but the paint was unmarked (see the photos they supplied, below)

So, my questions:
1. Can I challenge this cost?
2 What are my chances of success, and how far will I have to go? (do I risk higher costs)
3. Even if my challenge is successful, what are the chances of the cost dropping below my excess?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Correspondance below:







Report









Photos









And the additional photos (I reached my limit on the original post, so hopefully the URLs will work)

http://i65.tinypic.com/2s006mh.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/28gt6du.jpg

Again, any advice appreciated. Thanks!
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post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 09:23
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DancingDad
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 09:45
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I've just seen similar on a Picanto with a dented door.
Reasoning I had for new door over repair and fill was that labour times to massage out the dent and bring back to "new" condition would outweigh cost of door.
In that case, door was under 60 quid so believable as less then two hours labour.
Your door cost is more like 18 hours (at their labour cost) which to me seems excessive.

But you would need to argue, possibly against experts, that time to repair would have been significantly less, that repair would have brought condition back to "as before", that replacing the door was unnecessary and excessive. That repair would not negate any warrantees on the vehicle.
Even if successful, would not change rest of costs significantly, may not have needed the seals, maybe a little less paint, maybe more work blending in.
This against modern repair standards and practice that say replace, don't fix.
I reckon a 500 quid repair at a small independent body shop but Sixt will simply say it has to be an insurance, manufacturer approved shop to maintain warrantees. And they charge the earth, one reason why insurance costs are so high.
Sorry to say it but I reckon you are on a hiding to nothing.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 09:47
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cp8759
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 11:55
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You also have to consider, would a repaired door really be as good as a new door, i.e. indistinguishable? If not, then they can argue that a repaired door wouldn't put them back in the position they would have been in had the damage not occurred, and they are entitled to be returned to the position they would have been in but for the collision you caused.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Redivi
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 12:23
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It won't reduce the total below the excess but I'm surprised by the cost of the paint

Automotive two-pack paint will typically cost £50 / litre
£600+ is enough paint to give the entire van two coats

Didn't realise that Transits were made in Turkey


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Flatline
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 13:29
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Thanks all, it seems that the consensus is that I won't benefit from pursuing this, and that I'll have to take the hit. It's painful - especially considering the time I've previously spent (successfully) fighting a PCN for 1/10th of the cost, but I'm lucky enough that it's not financially crippling. The injustice burns, although I don't think it's even worth registering my concerns - I'm sure any response will simply annoy me further.

Do let me know if anyone else has any thoughts they want to throw in.

Thanks again.
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cp8759
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 13:56
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Just out of interest, how much would it have been to waive the excess? The one time I hired a car I was quoted £2 to waive a £50 excess, I didn't bother but if it had been an £1,000 excess I might have thought differently.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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stamfordman
post Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 14:17
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Are you sure they've actually done the replacement as quoted?
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Flatline
post Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:24
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 13:56) *
Just out of interest, how much would it have been to waive the excess? The one time I hired a car I was quoted £2 to waive a £50 excess, I didn't bother but if it had been an £1,000 excess I might have thought differently.

I'll have a look if I get time, although I can barely bring myself to - it'll just upset me. I'm fairly sure, though, that it would have been in double figures (20 quid, or so)...

QUOTE (stamfordman @ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 14:17) *
Are you sure they've actually done the replacement as quoted?

Not sure how I'd ever be able to tell - at least not without really diving into this, and I don't think it would be worth the effort...

Thanks all,

This post has been edited by Flatline: Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:26
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cp8759
post Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:53
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I dare say, for £20 it might have been worth it.

You can reasonably ask them for evidence that the work has been done / the money has been spent.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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DancingDad
post Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 14:48
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:53) *
...........You can reasonably ask them for evidence that the work has been done / the money has been spent.



Not sure it makes any difference?
They have given a settlement figure. You can query that figure but end of the day, that is what they say the cost is/will be to repair.
If they haven't repaired yet, the argument will simply be that they still have to and are going to.... to me the only discussion then is "tell me when repaired and I will pay"


Of course they may not repair, simply send out the van with dent and let it collect a few more before repairs, possibly double charging you and the next guy(s) for "new door"
That would IMO be actionable but getting evidence ???


We've done exactly that with the Picanto (DIL's)
Gave the guy a settlement figure, he's paid, we will wait till spring for repairs to be done, all ex insurance, all amicable.
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cp8759
post Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 15:16
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 14:48) *
Of course they may not repair, simply send out the van with dent and let it collect a few more before repairs, possibly double charging you and the next guy(s) for "new door"
That would IMO be actionable but getting evidence ???

The starting point is a company has no higher status in law than you or me. If they claim it's going to cost such and such an amount, they should have no problems providing evidence that the work has been done. If they can't present any evidence (receipts etc...), how can they support their assertion for the value of the alleged loss?

If one of their vans hit my car and I made a claim, even if they agreed hands down that they were liable, I'm sure they would ask for proof of repairs from a VAT registered garage, photos of the repaired vehicle etc. There's no reason for the OP not to do the same, and the reason for doing this is exactly what you point out, for all we know they might charge the next guy for a "new door".

Ultimately they are entitled to be put back in the position they would have been had the accident not occurred, what they are not entitled to is a cash windfall. Of course, any party is entitled to negotiate a cash settlement, but that is not what they are seeking in this instance, they're looking to have their loss made good. They are entitled to that but not a penny more. In the circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable to ask for evidence of the monetary value of the loss.

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 14:48) *
We've done exactly that with the Picanto (DIL's)
Gave the guy a settlement figure, he's paid, we will wait till spring for repairs to be done, all ex insurance, all amicable.

Providing the insurance companies were informed you are well within your rights to do that, but I suspect the figure might be less than the cost of getting everything done immediately. Of course you never know, Sixt might come back saying "You know what, pay us £500 and we'll call it quits" but I think it's unlikely.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Sparxy
post Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 23:57
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QUOTE (Flatline @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:24) *
I'll have a look if I get time, although I can barely bring myself to - it'll just upset me. I'm fairly sure, though, that it would have been in double figures (20 quid, or so)...


For future reference, there are insurance companies to "insure" excesses on hire vehicles. I paid £10 for a 3 day car hire, which was much less than the £60/day excess waiver Enterprise wanted, and they agreed to reimburse all the excesses payable in full within 30 days (plus other things like windscreen repair/replacement, tyres, wheels, etc). A credit card makes this much easier as it wouldn't come out of your bank balance in that time.

This post has been edited by Sparxy: Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 23:57
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Tancred
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 01:28
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 13:56) *
Just out of interest, how much would it have been to waive the excess? The one time I hired a car I was quoted £2 to waive a £50 excess, I didn't bother but if it had been an £1,000 excess I might have thought differently.


Last time I hired a car the hire cost was £60 and the cost for reducing the excess from £1000 to 0 was another £60 although they offered it for £20 on the day. I bought it through a third party company for £15.

To the OP, I don't know if the BVRLA have any teeth to deal with hire companies but it may be worth finding out what their damage state matrix suggests for this type of repair.
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big_mac
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 12:52
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QUOTE (Tancred @ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 01:28) *
Last time I hired a car the hire cost was £60 and the cost for reducing the excess from £1000 to 0 was another £60 although they offered it for £20 on the day. I bought it through a third party company for £15.

It's different for vans, third party insurance is much more expensive (£10-£15 per day) and typically still has a £100-£200 excess.

On a typical £1000 excess, the standard rate for the waiver is around £20-£25 a day - but vans will also still have a an excess. (They can do deals on this, it's a huge profit for them anyway).

Hire companies do like to make a profit out of repairs, but proving it isn't going to be easy.
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/03/custom...r-hire-repairs/
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Redivi
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 14:34
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There's something to be said, if you damage a vehicle in this fashion, for leaving a small inconspicuous sticker on the inside of the door and asking to inspect the van after receiving the repair bill

If the sticker hasn't vanished, an explanation will be needed

This post has been edited by Redivi: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 14:35
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glasgow_bhoy
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 18:40
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£55 for the Sixt decal is seriously ripping it. I order vehicle graphics regularly and for a logo that size I pay £14 (cost price). Fitting would take less than 20 minutes- so if the vehicles already in the bodyshop thats less than 4TU's on the Audatex system.

The Transit door is also a lot more than what Ford dealers sell them for I think.

Nothing that will help get you below £1k though so whats the point...

Did they tell you about the £75 admin fee when they went over the excess with you when picking up the vehicle? I've never been told about the admin fee- just the excess itself.

This post has been edited by glasgow_bhoy: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 18:41
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The Slithy Tove
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 20:59
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QUOTE (glasgow_bhoy @ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 18:40) *
Did they tell you about the £75 admin fee when they went over the excess with you when picking up the vehicle? I've never been told about the admin fee- just the excess itself.

I hired a car through Sixt recently. They do say there will be an admin fee if you have to make a claim. They don't say what that admin fee is, though, which could be an avenue to pursue. They know what it is up front, they should tell you.

And like others, I took out the vehicle excess insurance via a third party, which is much cheaper than the rental company's rip-off insurance.
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hcandersen
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 22:19
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And the age of the vehicle is?

A 3-yr old vehicle can be made good as....a 3-yr old vehicle, not a new one. Their losses are the reduction in end of life value plus the effect of the damage on their ability to hire the vehicle.
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axeman
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 22:42
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:53) *
I dare say, for £20 it might have been worth it.

You can reasonably ask them for evidence that the work has been done / the money has been spent.


the report says it was "a desktop report" no-one actually went to look at the dent, robbers !!!


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cp8759
post Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 23:14
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QUOTE (axeman @ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 22:42) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 13:53) *
I dare say, for £20 it might have been worth it.

You can reasonably ask them for evidence that the work has been done / the money has been spent.


the report says it was "a desktop report" no-one actually went to look at the dent, robbers !!!

Irrelevant, you're still reasonably entitled to evidence of the monetary value of the loss. You're under no obligation to just take their word for it.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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