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Sixt damage - excessive repair charges

Sixt damage - excessive repair charges

Old Oct 27, 15, 4:06 am
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Thumbs down Sixt damage - excessive repair charges

What happened:
I rented a BMW Z4.

When I returned the car there was some "new" damage to the front bumper. It was only visible at the station, after I washed the car myself before returning it.

The front bumper had lots of previous damages, several bigger scratches on top and on the bottom part.
Sixt then send me a repair estimate made up by a contractor company.
Not an actual repair bill.
Apparently they do their repair estimates purely based on pictures.

When I looked at it, it was almost the same amount as the excess with the loss damage waiver, around Euro 1050.-. A bit fishy...

A quick call to a BMW dealer / repair shop made it clear that replacing the whole thing was about Euro 520.- incl. work.

So I asked Sixt to
a. provide me with a list of previous repair bills to the previous renters.
They don`t do that.
b. explain to me why the repair amount is almost equal to the excess.
They don`t do that.

Now they send me a final note before taking legal steps against me.

I am actually looking forward to that as I not only have an insurance for such issues, called Rechtschutzversicherung, but also it will force Sixt to disclose their practices to the court.
My insurance and the lawyer assigned are quite willing to take this up to the european courts. Maybe that will change their practice in the (not so) distant future.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 5:02 am
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Am i right to assume the pick up and drop off stations are not the same?
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Old Oct 27, 15, 5:09 am
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No, the same station for pick-up and drop-off
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Old Oct 27, 15, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by SwissCircle View Post
No, the same station for pick-up and drop-off
Wow...then go all out!
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Old Oct 30, 15, 3:08 am
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I am already collecting as many stories from this and other forums regarding these practices, and there are loads of those.
That will be no fun for Sixt, if they decide to go forward.
Guess they tried to f... with the wrong one.
As I have worked for Sixt I have internal knowledge and documentations about these proceedings too...
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Old Oct 30, 15, 3:43 am
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So have I, albeit in the lowest of all functions during Uni. Still enough to gain an insight or two
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Old Oct 31, 15, 8:34 am
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You are certainly not alone. I do believe it has in part been driven/enabled by

a) Demand for pristine, new, low mileage cars
b) Demand for low prices
c) Contracts that protect the hire companies very heavily.
d) People not reading contracts and continuing to hire (therefore agreeing with them)

We can't the issue of fraud (allegedly) in isolation; there are obviously strong factors forcing stations to boost revenue in this way.

EDIT: regarding the fees charged: where does it state in the contract that the amount they may charge has anything to do with what BMW charges? It most certainly also includes clauses for loss of use (at a rate they decide?). The contract really is a blank cheque as far as the company is concerned. Is this not purely a contractual dispute?
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Old Nov 1, 15, 1:58 am
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The issue is, that the repair estimates are being made up by one company, just based on pictures.
Actual repairs of such scratches or minor dents are NEVER being made. There is usually never a loss of use for the rental company.
There are many cases when all those charges were made up, but would not be proven by the rental company when requested by an insurer (via Amex etc.).
That`s fraud.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 3:06 am
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I'm not really not defending the car hire companies but re-read the contract. Where does it state that repairs will actually be made? Or that a proper process will happen to assess the extent of the repairs? Or that they are obligated to provide a full quote of the repairs? Or their loss of use rate? They will argue loss in value when they hand the cars back to the lease company.

The credit and companies help only because of clout (they want happy customers), not because they assessed breach of contract or fraud

It is the contracts that need to change. This is not a new issue and even if you win a court battle, it will have little affect on future business practices.

Refusing to hire because you disagree with unfair contract terms in my opinion is much more powerful.

I also recommend, although ridiculous that it needs to exist, so called "excess insurance". It's available in the UK but I'm unsure if it exists elsewhere. It costs around 40 per annum and covers up to around 1-3000
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Old Nov 1, 15, 3:44 am
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I am covered via several credit cards in regards to excess.
The issue at hand is that they make up a repair estimate and do not do the repairs.
They do not provide several estimates.
Loss of value and fictional repair estimates are not the same.
Their practice of this is against German law. The car was rented in Germany I should add.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 7:00 am
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Sixt damage - excessive repair charges

Are they require to make repairs? The damage has already been done in the form of loss of value to the vehicle.

Impression I get as a foreigner after speaking to a German colleague is that after an accident you get reimbursed for the "full retail" labor/parts rate from an estimate and whether you make the actual repairs or what the actual cost of the repairs are irrelevant and pocket the difference.

In the US, the insurer will give you a check for their estimate and whether you carry out the actual repairs is also irrelevant.

I would guess that for most renters that if their insurance over the bloated estimates, no one will bother questioning the practice.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
I would guess that for most renters that if their insurance over the bloated estimates, no one will bother questioning the practice.
And that`s not right. I / my lawyers intend to fight exactly that practice.
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Old Dec 21, 15, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by SwissCircle View Post
And that`s not right. I / my lawyers intend to fight exactly that practice.

hello SwissCricle,

They are trying to do the same with me, how you are getting on with your case?

Have you got any advise to give me?

They are trying to charge me for a scratch which i've never done...
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Old Dec 22, 15, 4:46 am
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I guess one of the real issues is that when you pick up the car it is absolutely impossible to spot all previous damages. Just last week I picked up a car in MUc and it was dark in the garage and the small car (Audi A4) was parked between two big SUVs. Hard enough to get in the car, impossible to do a thorough inspection of it like they do for the return. Even if you find some scratches, hard to get somebody to them sign off.

To avoid any issues I always opt for the 0,00€ excess extra insurance and that way I never have a problem but that raises the average price by a good amount of money which wouldn't be necessary if they would be fair.

Some smaller dents and scratches are normal wear of a car and should be covered by the normal rental price.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 5:51 am
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Hello SwissCircle,
I have a similar case with SIXT Germany.I returned the car to the sixt rental spot , the employee checked and assured me that there was nothing new at my car and after 10 days they sent me a report for damages, claiming that were done by me.
I will write a new post about it as the situation is very annoying and the company's behavior substantiates purposedly fraud.
Send me a pm if you want details in advance of my post.
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