In the customer service department at Avis (and I’m sure throughout the car hire industry), one of the most contentious issues for our customers is damage. It’s a subject that everybody has strong opinions about and it’s not hard to see why. Any car owner will tell you that the price of repairing damage can be expensive.
We want to be transparent about what we do. So, to ensure that you are as informed as possible when hiring with Avis, here’s our process in the UK for deciding whether damage is chargeable.
When you pick up the car any existing damage will be clearly marked on your rental agreement. You will be asked to sign the rental agreement so that both parties agree that the damage noted is a fair reflection of the actual damage on the vehicle. Please ensure you check the car for damage before you leave the rental station. If it’s dark or raining, we also allow you to contact us at the next possible opportunity (usually before midday the next day) to inform us of existing damage.
When you return the car, our agents check it over, either while you’re there with our rapid return devices or at the first possible opportunity. It is a common misconception that car hire companies will try to get away with charging you for every little nick. This is not the case and we do not charge for what we consider to be general ‘wear and tear’. It’s understandable that a car can pick up small scuffs and dents throughout its life and we will not pass the cost of repairing these on to you. Our guidelines for non-chargeable damage are very clear and include:
- Scratches less than 25mm (1inch) not penetrating the surface, or light scratches that can be polished out
- Dents less than 25mm (1inch) diameter without paint cracking or flaking
- Stone chips less than 25mm (1inch) without denting
- Wheel or wheel-trim scuffs without cracking or gouging
- Interior stains or marks that can be cleaned or polished out
If damage is found that is larger than the above, we charge according to a list of prices agreed by the manufacturers and Avis. Even in the case of major damage, we will only charge up to the excess, except in rare cases where the car has been mis-used. You can reduce the excess by taking Premier Cover (or similar product in other countries) which is available at the rental counter.
At Avis, we constantly review our processes to make sure they are fair for both you and us. We’d also welcome your feedback to help us improve even further