The Four £500 Scratches the Client Didn’t Cause

London Gatwick Airport

Our blood boils and we want to spit like rattlesnakes as the evidence stacks up against questionable use of rental vehicle damage waivers. Take the case of Sandeep Sandhu and Green Motions car rental at Gatwick Airport. We quote the following verbatim courtesy of The Telegraph in the UK.


Read Sandeep Sandhu’s Complaint in Full


“In June I hired a car from Green Motion at Gatwick Airport which I had booked through Holiday Autos. The VW Polo cost £69.70 for the 10-day rental. The low rate included all the usual insurances though the mileage limit was only 95 miles a day. In addition to this I would have to pay 25p a mile. That was fine by me, as I was only using the car to visit relatives.

When I returned the car, the rental agent started examining it microscopically. He came up with four new “scratches” which in my view were marks that any car would have from, say, wiping it with a cloth containing some dust particles. They were all very fine single scratches. As I had only driven up the motorway and along London streets, this “damage” could not have been done during my rental.

I had not purchased Green Motion’s expensive top-up insurance, so I was liable for the damage excess of £1,205 which had been authorised against my credit card. The agent said the repair cost would be £974. I contested this but got nowhere. As I had a flight to catch back to India with my family, I had to pay and move on.

I feel I have been roundly cheated and wonder what I can do now?”


The Telegraph’s Assessment of the Fairness of the Treatment Meted Out


The Telegraph’s adviser Gill Charlton commented: “Green Motion’s charge matrix for a scratch is £194.40 for one under four inches and £390 for a larger one. This appears unreasonably expensive, especially as it covers any scratch, however slight.

When Mr Sandhu contacted me on June 27, I had just received a communication from Holiday Autos to say that it had decided to remove Green Motion UK’s franchises from its search results “in reaction to a spike in customer complaints in UK locations”. The firm’s spokesperson said it would be working with Green Motion UK to “align its level of service” with that it expects its customers to experience.

This robust action by Holiday Autos is to be applauded. Such a stance by an online car rental agent worried about its own reputation is just what the car rental industry needs to improve standards. It is high time that agents started refusing to deal with franchises which think they can get away with charging ridiculous amounts for hairline scratches that may well be pre-existing, and simply not spotted by the renter on pickup.”


Bonzah Rental car Insurance Provides this Information in Good Faith


Bonzah rental car insurance provides this information in good faith and in the interests of fair play for all concerned. We wish we could say this was an isolated incident. As a gesture of goodwill, Green Motion Gatwick subsequently gave Mr Sandhu a full refund. 

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London Gatwick Airport: Chris Sampson BY CC 2.0

Link to The Telegraph Article