Book your hire car with Gomarbella & Spain now and Then

Monday, 29 November 2010

353 Car Rental Hire Reviews

Back in August my daughter hired a car from Cork Airport after using my Cartrawler car hire booking engine. We were pleased with the rental fee, it seemed reasonable for the height of summer. What a shock we got when the final amount was more than double what we expected!

If you read my earlier blog 353 Car Rental at Cork Airport Terminal it seems we did not pay enough attention to what was being signed for at the 353 Car Rental desk. As my daughter had mislaid the credit card she had used to book the car before flying to Cork, my wife used her card at the car rental desk to pay what she thought was the basic rental fee but actually turned out to be for other charges.

I wrote to 353 Car Rental customer service to ask for a breakdown of what had been signed for and a month later got the reply which I have set out below:

Dear Mr Drury, the breakdown is as follows:

Fuel - €66.00
Child Safety Seat - €45.40
Damage Excess insurance - €56.47
Glass Cover - €24.74
Transaction Processing Fee - €5.00
Vehicle Upgrade - €1.00
Total - €196.61

Attached you will find a copy of the rental invoice as requested. Kind regards,

Maria Reynolds
Customer Support
353 Car Rental
Phone: +353 21 4971641

Well the fuel charge is a little difficult to understand as the 353 Car Rental contract says the below about fuel charges:

Fuel Policy
Pick up full, return empty.
Your vehicle will be supplied with a full tank of fuel and must be returned empty. No refunds will be given for unused fuel. (Suppliers' fuel policies change from time to time, please confirm at rental counter). Fuel charges are payable at the rental desk unless otherwise stated in the top section of rate details.

My wife and daughter didn't question this charge when they collected the car. Were we paying in advance for the petrol? According to the contract the tank was supplied full. How could they know how much petrol we were going to use?

Insurance Charges
Here, we could have refused the insurance charges as we had taken out separate third party CDW insurance through Mondial Assistance but the girl at the desk didn't present this as an option and my wife and daughter didn't question her or tell her we already had extra Collision Damage Waiver insurance.

Moral of the Story
In brief, when you are booking your rental car through Gomarbella, take out the Mondial Assistance extra insurance, it is going to be cheaper than the insurance offered by your car hire company and this then gives you the luxury of standing back at the car hire desk and not atomatically ticking all the expensive insurance option boxes and signing the contract in a hurry just because there is a queue behind you.

You'll save a lot of money that way. Happy motoring and thank you again for booking your hire cars through Gomarbella!

P.S. The picture above shows the distance between Cork Airport Terminal building and the rental car parking area.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Marrakesh Airport Car Hire

We took off from Seville airport on Ryanair at 2.15pm last Friday and landed an hour later at Marrakesh airport in Morroco 2.15pm. This gave us an extra hour to find our way to the little village of Auorir just outside Agadir, 3 hours down the new motorway.

I had rented a car for the trip through the Gomarbella Cartrawler car hire and rental booking engine. The total cost for the 3 days rental from Marrakesh Airport was €103.67, which works out at only €31 euros per day, a lot cheaper than if I had taken our car across from Spain to Morroco on the ferry and driven all the way down to Agadir. Instead we had driven to Seville and left the car in the Seville Airport Parking

When I booked the car I took the Mondial Assistance Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance offered during the booking process. Three days cover cost me €16.50 and gave me the freedom to decide later if I wanted additional cover or not when I collected the hire car at my destination.

The Gomarbella car hire booking engine advises you that if you take out the Mondial CDW extra cover and choose not to take the additional insurance offered when collecting your car at different locations, you´ll have to produce a credit card with enough credit on it to cover the Collision Damage Waiver and/or Theft Waiver fees. I phoned the Location Auto offices in Marrakesh a couple of days before we flew to check the amount that would be blocked off during my three day car rental and was told in good English that I would need to have approximately €900 euros credit on my card.

My wife and I make a great travelling team and as she queued for dirhams at the bank next to the baggage retrieval belts I went through into the main arrivals hall to find our Location Auto representatives. I guessed from my excellent hire car booking rate that they wouldn't have an office in the main building and sure enough there were Brahim and Abdechahid waiting for me in front of the other Marrakesh Airport hire car offices with a sign reading "Michael Drury". You'll see them in the photo above completing the car hire contract formalities.

Our red Kia Picante was waiting for us in the main parking area, We checked on the car's exterior, minor scratches are not noted but a tiny notch in the windscreen (I would not have noticed it) and a deeper scratch on the rear bumper were registered on the contract form. I was shown that the spare tyre and lifting jack were in place. The tank was full of petrol and I was asked to return it full.

Of the @103.67 Marrakesh three day car rental fee, I had paid €24.58 when I booked so I paid the balance of €79.09 on the very fast portable Visa machine. Brahim then blocked 10 000 dirhams on my card for which I signed. This was made up of 5000 dirhams for CDW and 5000 Theft Waiver and was the €909 dirhams I mentioned earlier. If there had been a problem, Location Auto would have had immediate access to funds and Mondial Assistance would have repaid me later. If you have spare credit on your card, this option is a lot cheaper than being pressured into taking out additional insurance through your car rental company. I didn't need to take out any additional cover at the airport.

By the time we left the aiport it was 3.30pm and we had a 3 hour journey to get to Agadir and take the ring road around it during daylight.

Just out of interest, if you are travelling with a young family here are the charges for children's seats with Location Auto in Marrakesh.

120 MAD per day (€10) Booster seat.
120 MAD per day (€10) Child toddler seat.
120 MAD per day (€10) Infant child seat.

The car was in good condition and started at a touch. We needed water for the journey so we followed a "fixer" who seemed to have some association with Location Auto as he guided us out of Marrakesh Airport on his moped to a small grocery shop and then pointed us on our way to the N8 towards the coast and Agadir.

Getting out of Marrakesh airport onto the new motorway was
one thing, getting back to Marrakesh airport on our own was another story!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Seville Airport Parking

We went to Morocco for the weekend last Friday morning leaving from Sevilla Airport so the evening before I went out onto the terrace to check distances and times to the airport in Sevilla on my TomTom. The airport is exactly 265kms or 2 hours 27 minutes from Marbella.

We were flying Ryanair from Seville, landing at Marrakesh airport and then taking a hire car from Marrakesh Airport to drive about 200 kms down the new motorway south to a little village outside Agadir.

Our route to Seville Airport took us through the Cadíz province on the Los Barrios road. It's slightly longer distancewise than going through Ronda but it´s faster and much easier driving. I love that drive through Cadiz through the cork oaks and the rock covered hills which remind me of the granite kopjes in Rhodesia where I was born and grew up.

You'll see in the photo above that the airport has a great covered parking area, ideal for leaving a car during the hot Sevilla summers. I'll set out the charges for you below.

Seville Airport Parking Charges (2010)

0 - 30 minutes 0.027 cents per minute
30 - 60 minutes 0.025 cents per minute
61 + 0.022 cents per minute

Daily parking maximum up to 4 days, €14.65
Daily parking maximum from 5th day, €11.65

If I had been flying on my own and had had more time, I would have left the car on the outskirts of Sevilla and taken the Sevilla Airport bus which runs frequently every day between the city and the airportm just to see how it worked.

Leaving the car in the covered parking from Friday 12am to Monday 16.45. when we got back worked out at just over €50. There is a low cost longer term parking solution very near the airport which I'll use next time.