The worst car hire experience
It was in mid 2018, I was about to drive around west Java with my family. I found one good offer online, pretty good rate. Well that was supposed to be the first warning. Why would be the price just half cheaper than any other car hire? The operator (actually he was the boss, i didnt know that) replied me pretty quick saying yes he got the car available. I didnt book the car. So the next day I arrived on the airport in Bandung, tried few more options but all of them didnt reply at all. The only choice was to go for the cheap guy. He told me he cant come to the airport and i should take a cab, the ride would take around one hour, not a big deal.
Well, the 1 hour drive by cab was not a big deal for me. I was about to get a good deal, sure im was on my way to there. Came to the point he (the boss) sent me. Then he said its a bit more inside, some 5 more minutes from the main road. The place didnt look creepy, everywhere was a lot of people, everything was still ok.
Later on, I came to the place. The boss and his guy welcomed me without any smile, straight called me inside the filthy office. Now they told me that the cheap offer isnt valid anymore and they gonna charge me the standard rate, which is still not a bad deal, but well I got disapointed. I could simply take any other car rent on the airport for that rate. Ok, why not, Im here, lets get the car. The boss told me to show him my passport, my KTP (Indonesian ID), tax registration number, driving licence, the ID of my wife as well as proof of my address. All this process took around 1 hour inside the dark office without any airconditioning. I thought, okay i heard there is a lot of car thiefes inside this city, they should make sure who they gonna rent the car to. He wanted the phone number of my wife, just to call her and ask for matching details from our ID´s, well that didnt look very professional nor polite anymore. Alright man, just verify all my things and let me go, i cant stand this any longer. I was also asked to leave my passport and one more document there as a guarantee. Unbelievable.
After all my personal and family data (!!!) was verified, we went to get the car and get the payment done (they dont accept credit/debit cards). When we were near the car, writing down the contract, after my few questions, the boss suddenly told me the car has no insurance at all! Really?! What kind of car rental are you when you got no insurance? For this case, I always do the photo and video documentation of all sides of the car as a an evidence for any future evidence if needed. Whatever, he cant trick me that easily, I am already here, spent here 1 hour verificating my existence and now I just wanna get the car go continue my trip. I paid, did the contract and left. On the main road, I realised the car is in terrible condition. Suspension was done few years ago, all the bushes and drivetrain is a disaster and it is even dangerous. I dont think i can come back and ask for my money back, I will have to drive carefully.
During next 9 days I got used to such a car, even my own car is 10 years older, I can feel the big difference when someone takes care of car with heart and when someone is just using the car recklessly.
The last day I came to the airport, to return the car. When meeting, the stooge came to get the car. Immedietally I was told I must pay the missing car logo. Really, the part that has literally fell off during the driving, I had to pay because originally it was there on the first day. Yes it was missing, but after last 9 days of driving this hired car, I was pretty happy there were not another 10 parts that fell off during the trip. Okay, the stooge was right, the logo was missing, im gonna pay it. I was told the price that i straight knew is at least 5 times more expensive than the part really is! Also he told me I must pay the airport drop off charge, which no one ever told me before i would have to pay! Really?! Maaan, this seems to be the worst car rent ever! What if there is serious accident or even someone steal the car? I would be in serious trouble! While he was holding my passport and i had to go check-in, i decided to pay but i let them also know it was the worst experience with car rental ever. Absoulutely no politeness, customer service, advantages or benefits, nothing at all. Just get as much money as they can from you and dont ever serve you again. Thats what I think about such a crook business.
So make lets make it straight. What should you require when you are about to rent the car?
- Insurance (often Bali car rental insurance covers all damages that are above some certain amount. For example, first 200usd is paid by client but the rest that is above this is covered by insurance!
- No car deposit except the full payment for car hire. Some car rentals do require the credit card deposit of certain amount and tend to charge you hundreds of dollars weeks after you return the car because “you damaged the clutch”. I am talking about the big international car hires. Yes, even this happens and it happens often.
- Do not hand over your passport or anything else as deposit!
- Make the photos and videos of the car, make sure it is not at night and invisible.
- Search for reviews of your car rental (Google, Facebook etc.)
- The car delivery or pickup should be for free on the airport or in main tourist areas around the airport. If not, the extra charge for car hire delivery should be announced up front.