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Bad experiences with car rental companies? Don’t let them get to you!

Owning a car is no longer an ideal solution for many and its use is increasingly being addressed in the form of various carsharing, operating leases or rentals. This trend has also appealed to some of our clients and we bring you the story of one of them. If you also have a bad experience with a similar service, please contact us.

půjčení auta, driveto
4 minutes of reading

Mr Jiří has registered as a client of a carsharing company. However, he planned to rent a car for several weeks. His first surprise came when he read the handover report, which did not indicate that the vehicle was in good condition. The car had more than 80,000 km on the clock, was damaged in a number of places, and the interior of the car suggested that it was also past its best. Unfortunately, in the course of operation, it became apparent that the technical condition of the vehicle was consistent with its appearance. After only a month the car had to have brake pads replaced, the wipers rubbed, the infotainment stopped working and other faults appeared. Mr Jiří also found out that he had to undergo a technical check during the use of the car, which the company billed him for to his surprise. In the end, the car could not be used for several days during the rental period.

Tip: Do you want to lend a car to a friend, or do you need a vehicle for a weekend or longer? At first glance, a trivial situation, right? But a car rental contract carries risks that can cost you a lot of money and nerves. In our next article, we’ll reveal the most common mistakes our clients forget about when signing a contract.

On this occasion, it also turned out that the car had flat tyres. Surprisingly, the carsharing company refused the client’s request to replace them. However, according to the contacted tyre service, a vehicle with such tyres did not provide the necessary safety for road users and could endanger other road users.

Other technical faults befell Mr Jiří during the use of the vehicle: for example, when the sound system and its connection to his mobile phone stopped working. The service worker just shrugged his shoulders and said that the repair would be long, as it was a fundamental defect in the car.

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Our team of experienced attorneys will help you solve any legal issue. Within 24 hours we’ll evaluate your situation and suggest a step-by-step solution, including all costs. The price for this proposal is only CZK 690, and this is refunded to you when you order service from us.

Disappointment awaited the client even after the car was returned. Without any consultation, the company arbitrarily told him that it would charge him several weeks more for the sublease, which it justified on the grounds of allegedly necessary repairs to the car and the period during which it could no longer rent it. The car was not significantly damaged or crashed. Nevertheless, the repairs took more than two weeks. In other words, the company used the funds from the client’s deposit to repair the damaged car that it had originally leased to the client, and they added additional time to the lease period. This is definitely an “interesting” business model.

The whole thing could have happened because the technician refused to give Mr. Jiří a handover report with all the damages marked. Although he arrived almost three hours before closing time, he waited another hour for the technician. When he arrived, he was allegedly very busy with another situation and refused to give the client the said handover report. Please do not repeat this mistake and insist on a detailed handover report, otherwise you will not be surprised.

Following this, the company refused to refund his deposit and in addition demanded a further sum of almost 12,000 crowns for the said repairs. These included, among other things, the purchase and replacement of a flat tyre, a task that the client himself had requested many weeks earlier in order to feel safe in the car. The service provider also wanted to charge him for the provision of an MOT test, which was a step that was necessary from the point of view of the operation of the vehicle and should be provided primarily by the owner of the car, not by its temporary contractual user.

Mr Jiří offered to pay the rental fee for the car for ten days longer than the actual length. However, he refused to take into account the refundable security deposit and to pay additional money to repair the vehicle, which was already in a poor state of repair when the sublease began. We helped him draft a pre-suit notice, which ultimately contributed to a mutually acceptable settlement.

We therefore recommend the following:

  • Inspect the car thoroughly before taking possession.
  • Insist that all defects – even the slightest scratch or damage to the interior – be rectified before taking possession of the car.
  • Insist that you provide a service book showing any repairs that the car has undergone before you take delivery.
  • Take detailed photographic documentation of the car and enter everything in detail in the vehicle acceptance report.
  • Do not hand over the car unless the worker has issued you with a detailed handover report indicating all defects.
  • Take detailed documentation of the car.

If you have had a similarly bad experience with a car rental service, or are now directly “haggling” over the payment of certain amounts, please contact us. We will be happy to help you resolve this unpleasant situation.

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Our team of experienced attorneys will help you solve any legal issue. Within 24 hours we’ll evaluate your situation and suggest a step-by-step solution, including all costs. The price for this proposal is only CZK 690, and this is refunded to you when you order service from us.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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