Hertz Australia: Well Worth Avoiding

May 13, 2010 — 71 Comments

Thinking of hiring a car with Hertz Australia?

Think wisely before doing so, because if you’re not careful you’ll end up with a $416 bill for repairs for the car you hired just as I have received in the post today.

Here’s the quick Hertz Australia car hire story. Back in April I spent two nights in Canberra. The Hertz Australia car was picked up from CBR airport in an outdoor car park with poor lighting, so a full and proper inspection of the car wasn’t possible. The next morning I noted the odd scratch and mark, but nothing I considered reporting; I don’t think I’ve ever had a spotless car except the time I hired a car with Thrifty which had all of 125kms on the clock.

Fast forward, and today I’ve received a bill from Hertz Australia for car damage to a front guard. I’m not even sure what part of the car a front guard is (bumper bar??.) Even better, the car was sent for assessment…wait for it…nearly a clear week after I allegedly damaged it. I’d find it difficult to believe that a car hire place would have sat a car around waiting for an assessment for a week without hiring it out again.

What’s more, the car was handed to a Hertz Australia employee at drop off, who I recall doing a (be it perhaps brief) visual check of the car. Nothing was mentioned at drop off, but apparently a week later the car is damaged and required paint, for what I presume is a $416 scratch.

I’ve hired cars on and off over the years in Australia and the United States; I’m by no means a frequent hirer of cars, but probably more regular than many people. In all that time I’ve never ONCE had a claim made against me for damage. Not once.

But here’s the big difference with Hertz Australia: other car rental places are very strict on inspections at pickup and drop off. Hertz Australia on the other hand, at least in Canberra, seem to take it all a bit too casually. My mistake was not putting that car in bright light before I drove it out of the airport. Next time I’ll have a camera and flashlight in hand and I won’t be leaving a carpark again until I’ve RETURNED the inspection report indicating every tinny little scratch.

I have no idea whether I have any right to appeal with Hertz Australia, and the letter delivered simply said that I’d done it and had been charged. I paid for extra insurance, can’t remember what the excess was, but that apparently counted for fuck all as well.

Moral is: I’ll never be hiring a car with Hertz Australia again, and I’d warn others to think twice given my experiences here.

71 responses to Hertz Australia: Well Worth Avoiding

  1. I actually had one of the better experiences with Hertz. I’ve rented one of their Mini’s. It only had few scratches which were accurately noted by a customer service guy. Once I brought it back, no asked me a single question, I’ve received a receipt as a confirmation that i brought the car back safe and sound and off to Brisbane. However, once I’ve found a cheaper price with Budget through http://www.bestcarrental.com.au and that was a bit of a nightmare, I picked the car up at night and didn’t notice a few small dints. Luckily Budget’s personnel was nice to me and didn’t charge for damage. But, yeah, be very careful when you rent a car!

  2. My husband travels to/fro Uk Perth and has been scammed by Hertz this year. returned car at night with no damage and nobody there to inspect. Hindsight – should have photographed thcar in the dark etc. Looked at credit card with several thousand $ damage charged. Total fiction (as in others on this list). Can you offer any advice about where he could go to pursue Hertz regarding this scam. Seems as though there is no way to fight this dishonest outfit. We have never had any problems with other major hire companies so did not feel the need to protect against dishonest practices such as this.

    ES

  3.  Hertz   company is no gud fucking worst service and staff ever

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  6. Hi,
    I had the similar experience this May 2011. Gold Coast Airport Hertz send a letter oversea to JAPAN (I am living in Tokyo), saying that I damaged A$828.08, the window crack at drivers side and the rear tire which needs change.
    I send the letter with jpg file and wrote that several reasons that the damage was not caused by me to the claim@hertz on 19th May 2011, but there is no reaction now. Are they ignoring my letter ? I cannot believe HERTZ Gold Coast Airport!

  7. We rented a car in Adelaide last August. Returned car all was fine. We recieved a letter about a month later telling us damgae was noticed and our credit card would be debited to the tune of $3500, which it was. Iasked to see copy of estimate and photo evidence, which they supplied. Only problem for them was that the estimate was dated a month before we hired the car. Even faced with this evidence I still had to wait for refund. I did nothing about it at the time, and was assured this was a totally isolted case. I have been watching these complaints and kept all correspondance. It would appear they can do exactly as they wish. If I get some encouragement I will give the story to one of the a current affair programme. In your case do as I did. Demand a copy of the estimate and photo evidence. Good Luck.  

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  9. I hired a Toyota Corolla a few years back from this company.  During the visual inspection i noticed the front bumper had a few broken clips and was hanging off on one side.  The Hertz employee gave it a bump with his thigh to clip it back on. 
    I made him list it as a defect on the defect notice, which he reluctantly added.  I returned the car in Adelaide with no new defects.   
     
    Imagine my suprise some 7months later when i had $760 charged to my credit card.  No letter, no call, just this charge by Hertz Australia. 
     
    I eventually got through on the phone (they are virtually uncontactable and hide all their contact details)  to be told by a very rude woman that i must have damaged the car. 
     
    It took quite a bit of questioning to ascertain just what i had damaged and was told it was the front bumper.   I then made her check the condition report for which i still had a copy.  She then admitted the damage was listed and that i would get a refund. 
     
    No apology, nothing. 
     
    This is one of the worst companies i have ever used.  I wrote a letter of compaint to the only email address listed.  I never got a response. 
    I will never hire with them again. 
     
    My advice is list every defect.  Keep your condition report for a long time. 

  10. Hi Duncan

    This is uncanny. This is precisely what happened to us. Returned the car last week at Coolangatta Airport in exactly the condition I got it in, no damage.  Was a new car so I was extra careful while driving / parking etc.  There was no one from Hertz there to inspect the car on return. One week later I get a letter in the mail stating that I had damaged the front bumper and the repair cost of ..wait for this…$416  has been charged to my card !

    Called up the Manager at Coolongatta, she wasn’t very helpful. No explanation why they didn’t call me on the mobile straightaway about the issue (I was at the Airport waiting for my plane for a while). Lady in the Claims department was a little bit more helpful. She has asked me to respond in writing saying I dispute the charge. 

    Let’s see where this ends up. Obviously it is now my word against Hertz…I do intend to take it all the way. If required go to Consumer Affairs.  …Next time I will remember to take a photo / video to prove that there’s been no damage.

  11. I hired a car from Perth airport for 5 days, no damage nothing all the time. and now, back in Spore, got a credit bill for AUD$3707 for my 5 days of car rental. I called them  5 times and sent and re sent email, got pushed around, ignored, What elase can i do, ???

    Very upset, and stressed.
    monicapkw@hotmail.com

  12. Same thing has happened to our employees they pay for hire cars on their credit cards and then are reimbursed.  First instance early March 2012 in Perth Hertz guy looked around car when it was returned, said it was right to go then employee finds an extra $700 excess for rear tail light and bumper bar dent which would have been very obvious at 10.00 am, repairs came to $701 (coincidence) have sent numerous e-mails finally got a call from Hertz Claims who said a Vehicle Report Claim was given to the driver at the time.  Untrue it was e-mailed 2 weeks later.  Hertz Claims virtually said bad luck.  Still ongoing.  Now on we have another one this time in Darwin same thing employee again has credit card charges for an extra $700 excess apparently the whole right hand side of the car was damaged.  Car was returned in the morning on 2/5/12.  Going by alot of the comments there seems to be a pattern in all of this.  I think Hertz needs to undertake an investigation. 

  13. Agree completely.  Don’t use Hertz.  Charged over $3,600 for a car returned after a one day hire when the person who inspected it passed it as ok.  It was returned in exactly the same condition as hired, with damage on all four sides, all marked on the rental agreement.  No communication from Hertz, only found out when I got the credit card statement.  It is a scam.  

  14. Mate I seriously and totally agree with you. I had a very similar experience with Hertz Australia in Melbourne.. See below

    Do NOT RENT WITH HERTZ Car Rental – Windscreen DamageHi Guys/Girls, As part of my insurance with agreement with AAMI I get a rental car when my car is at repair. When I picked up my rental from Hertz/Franklin Street, Melbourne yesterday, I asked the gentlemen that I wanted to go over the car for any more scratches (5 scratches recorded/existing on the rental agreement. He said all scratches are recorded and you may go now). Trusting this Hertz employee I started to drive to my work. As soon as I got into traffic I noticed there was a small chip on the windscreen. Thinking this was a windscreen Thrifty has repaired, I tried calling them about 5 times through my 30 minute trip to work and then another 6 times during the day. The staff at Franklin St did not pick up the phone and the message said they were busy and call back again later (These called are recorded on my telephone account for future reference). I finally got hold of Hertz this morning and the lady who answered said bring the car in and they will swap it for another. When I drove in at lunch time, the Gentlemen looked at the car and said I was the one cause this damage and I will have to pay for the windscreen of $350. Now AAMI who have a partnership with Hertz also took the Thrifty side and said I am will have to pay the excess. I am totally pissed off with Hertz and AAMI for their unprofessional manner. My future business will not be with both companies.I found out it cost $195 for a Toyota Corolla to get its windscreen replaced.I am sure Hertz have cameras in their underground parking in Franklin Street to go through the footage and see the damage when I left the Hertz office yesterday morning!!!!!I intent to take this all the way.Please inspect your rental car before you drive away. Don’t depend on the quality of checks by the Hertz employees!!!http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1964618&p=-1&#bottomPS

  15. I am not surprised about this story. Hertz is lacking all ethics! My story is somewhat different, but really my experience is not really different. Hertz simply lacks common ethical standards. It comes up with excuses that are laughable in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. But they simply deny, change their story- It is simply unbelievable. Below is an abbreviated version of my ongoing dispute with Hertz :

    We had the unfortunate experience of having our 3 month old car damaged when a client of this company backed into the car in a parking lot while both my husband and I were sitting in our car. After a reporting the incident to the police and our insurer, I immediately contacted Hertz to make them aware of the incident.

    I also thought that since they are a car rental company and our policy did not have an option for a replacement car while our car might need repairs and since one of their clients damaged our car, it might be taken on as a matter of good public relations and our potential as future paying customers to provide us with a car. To cut a long story somewhat shorter – over a period of weeks and months during which I had contact with the company their attitude and conduct towards me switched from extremely rude, then apologetic, then back to rude again. It ranged from “Yes, we are aware of your problem but we forgot to raise a file” to complete denial.

    Apparently after several weeks their Malaysian client who had hired a car from Hertz in Canberra after entering Australia had returned the car in Melbourne evidently without damage, though Hertz admitted that ther client had the rental car repaired at her own cost. By the way, Hertz rented the car to this person without her having the appropriate licence to drive, ie she only had an untranslated Malaysian licence.
    Hertz, after having had contact with me on numerous occasions, now claimed that they did not know that a third party had been involved in relation to the damage to their car and point blank refused to engage any further claiming that Hertz had not known about me even though the Hertz people I had dealt with know me by name and are in possession of the police report with all the details.

    Ethics quite obviously is not one the rules of conduct Herta engages in. Beware in dealing with this company. and if you are, like me, a completely innocent injured party of this company beware even more. Hertz self insures with very high excess to their customers. Quite clearly it seems it was cheaper for their Malaysian client to pay for the damage to the Hertz car herself rather than lose the excess. As for me, they told me to pursue their client (in Malaysia) for damage to my car myself.

    Never ever will I have anything to do with this company!

  16. Angry customer March 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    My kids left dea psp console in a rental and apparently dey z nothing was found and dey cnt du anyfng abt it..dnt rent with hertz,theyre thieves:)

  17. just read your blog – pity I didn’t before renting from Hertz . Similar experience . charged $454 for a scratch on front bumper which none of the 4 passengers can recall happening . Impossible to communicate with this company , and certainly will never use them again.

  18. I read most of the posts below. I wish I had read earlier and not hire Hetz rental car. There was a slight scratch on the front of the car and immediately they charged $3182 for excess. Is Hertz a rental car company or out to extort money through accident excess? I bet the same car is rented to the next patron as its only a mnor scratch. Isnt there a ‘wear & tear’ clause where they should not charge for minor scratch. In Thailand, the rental car company told me not to worry if slight scratch. But major damage must charge. This makes more senses.

  19. Frustrated law student May 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Hi, I have had a similar traumatic experience happen to me in the last few days. Although these comments are 4-3 years old, I hope someone can give me some general advice! Exactly 29 days ago, I rented a car from Hertz Australia. The rental car was provided free of charge by the third party liable for damaging my personal vehicle (just a small bump in the back) except for a $200.00 bond charged to my credit card. I had the car for two days. In that time, I was so cautious I remained at home and did not drive to my university and missed classes. I wanted to avoid any more accidents with other drivers! The car was returned in the same condition as it was when I had picked it up. A Hertz employee and I scrupulously

    checked over the vehicle and confirmed all was 100% undamaged! It was daylight and in a well-lit garage. My $200.00 bond was returned to me TWO WEEKS after returning the vehicle. 27 days later my credit card was charged was $500. I contacted the bank only to find Hertz had taken money. I contacted Hertz and was greeted by a rude Manager who stated ‘ Finally you have made contact with me, I see I had to take $500 in order to get your attention’. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me she had left several voice mails on my phone, (including home phone and mobile) and had attempted making contact dozens of times. I had not received one missed call or voice mail from the time I dropped the car off to the date I made contact with Hertz. My Iphone, like many other Gen-Y’ers is an extension of my arm- I would’ve seen a missed call or answered the phone. I told her this to which she replied ‘No I called you, the money has been charged’. I demanded that she allow me to dispute the claim and call my insurance company. My insurance company has since made contact with Hertz accounts manager to which I am waiting for a reply. In the meantime, Hertz manager contacted me (for once!) and stated the quote for the car has come in (it hadn’t even been quoted for damage yet!?) and the damage was to the value of $415!! To which she has sent no photos of the damage, she says she has in her possession and will not send because she ‘doesn’t need to’ . I made note of the following to her ‘Under consumer laws, reasonable notice and an itemised bill is necessary prior to billing someone’ she stated an invoice will be sent shortly, AFTER the charge had gone through. I also took note of the onerous clauses in the Hertz contract, after reading the entire thing- Clause 11(d) of the contract states that Hertz may take money from you, DESPITE checking the car within 28 days of dropping it off!!! They charged me on the 27th day, to which the money went through on the 28th day….Hello pre-determined fraud! This fact, along with the copious amounts of complaints I have read on this blog and Google, signify Hertz Australia as a fradulent company, ripping innocent people off purely because their ‘Contract says so”! BUT Consumer Laws state otherwise! Has anyone else been successful in their attempts to take back the money which was fraudulently taken from them??? Currently, my insurance company and my bank are disputing this? I am willing and able to take this to VCAT and Consumer Affairs. Any success stories?

  20. Thank you all so much for your posts. I rented a car from hertz in Sydney and ws involved in an accident. I was hit from behind on a freeway and sandwiched between the bumper bar and the ambulance in front of me. This happened on a friday afternoon and they have then said as I am not at fault I would not havqe to pay the $4000 excess but then later was told this was not the case. I have rung a solicitor, stopped my card as they still have $200 of mine and I am receiving late night texts from ‘Steve who told me that the excess would not apply to me as I was the victim of an accident and not at fault. His texts messages ‘have always been late at night and he is somehow associated with the licencee of this branch. This was my first major accident in 27 years; neither of them was I at fault. He has threatened to attend my ageing parents address with the police…all at 11pm. They and everyone I know is aware of this. Even the ambo officer is stunned. I am disgusted, furious and beyond stunned myself. I have waited all week for an incident report or call from them. Nothing. Just late night abusive texts last night saying he is going to report the car stolen. If it was not for all your posts on here, twitter and social media then they would no doubt have charged me the $4000 excess that they have charged so many other people. After reading all of these complaints I put a stop and dispute in with my bank. I have called the branch, Head Office to find out who they are insured with…everything. Not one email or report. Just late night threat. I also spoke to DFAT and they suggested writing to them first before they have an officer investigate. What if I was in hospital. Thank God we are all walked away. The car has not been paid for two days but they have $200 deposit of mine. Why cant they use that? I have emailed them suggesting this. In my extensive week of research I also learned about the Europcar Aus case recently where they were sued. My first call in the morning will be to a solicitor. I am slightly injured but fine, struggling to drive the car I am still paying for and making calls to them and everyone I can to find what their game is. I can not wait to take action regarding this. I go to bed at 9:30 and last night was up till 3am because of threatening texts from Steve (no surname known by Hertz) threatening to report the car stolen; demading the address of the car and insisting that no one drive it. No one has driven it. I have barely driven it since the accident as my wrists are a little tender. Two days overdue fee….Use the $200 you still have of mine and email me the report I asked for! Beyond furious at them. I think a class action suit against Hertz in not very far away indeed. Please feel free to contact me if you have had similar experiences. I am a very thorough researcher and networker and I hate bullies. Even corporate ones.

  21. excuse typos…very angry still

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