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How much to repair this (pictures inside)

Hello,

Couple weeks ago I rented a Volkwagen Polo in Slovenia for a couple days and when I returned the car, there was nobody at the office and I let the car there in the hotel parking as asked to. When I got back a received a juicy 550 euro ($700) bill saying that I dented the bumper.

Here are pictures of the bumper. How much would you say it costs to repair that? Is there estimate wrong?

Thank you!

Difficult to tell from the photos, but that looks like a few scratches only, typical of what you get when parallel parking on a busy street.

My cars usually get that a few months after I buy them. After 5 years they are horrible looking.

Chalk that up to poorly designed bumpers.

As to the cost, I’d refuse to pay. Tell them to look up the definition of “bumper”, ie, designed to bump objects like other cars. If the bumper gets scratched, that is a design problem, not your problem.

b

Here is a photo re the above post, my 10 year old car. Typical of cars that park on the street. This particular car (VW Passat) makes the problem worse with black plastic bumpers with silver paint over, so the scratches show up due to the contrasting colors.

b

You have three options. Contest it, which most likely means travelling back to Slovenia or finding someone to contest for you in Slovenia, pay it, or ignore it and hope they don’t seek to collect it. Did you use a credit card? Many times they can help.

Yes I used a credit card to pay and it is already billed, so I don’t have much choice to pay it at the moment. I just received a response from them and they told me that they will get a real estimate for the repair at would be the amount I would have to pay.

According to their damage chart, a dent in the bumper is 400 euro + 50 euro administration fee + 22% taxes. On the other end, a scratch is 170 euro + 50 + taxes.

The person asked me if this was an acceptable solution or if I have any other suggestion, which seriously I don’t know what to respond right now as I really don’t know if it’s a fair deal.

Call your credit card and explain the situation. Many have rental car benefits that cover just this type of situation, and they have better resources to settle this out.

Even if the credit card is billed, you can call your credit card company and dispute the charge. They will remove the charge until it gets resolved.

b

You may have to write to the credit card company in order to protect your rights. Some card plans require a request in writing.

Next time you rent a car, especially in a foreign country, you might want to buy the comprehensive insurance most rental agencies offer…Cheaper than new bumpers…

Well the unanswered question is did you damage the bumper while you were driving it? If you did, then try and negotiate the lowest amount. If the damage happened after you returned the car, too bad for them, it was in their custody and care when you dropped it off. Not your problem that they didn’t have anyone there. Then contest the charge in writing to Visa/MC saying you did not cause the damage and see how that goes.

I don’t know about rental agencies in foreign countries, but I had a similar problem with one national rental company here in the U.S. The first incident with the company occurred when my wife had had rotator cuff surgery and was restricted to local driving. She had to make a recruiting trip for the university where we were employed, so I drove her to her destination 350 miles away in our own car and rented a car to get back home. I noticed a dent in the front fender of the car before I made the trip back home. When I drove back a couple of days later, the renal company wanted to charge me for the dent. I was able to prove from my contract that I was not responsible and that the dent was there when I checked the car out. That ended the argument. The next incident with this company occurred when our university rented a car from this company to drive to an airport 60 miles away. The university had a deal whereby the car could be picked up locally and turned in at the airport. Another vehicle was made available for the return trip. It was raining when my wife picked up the car and didn’t see a long scratch in the door. When she turned the car in at the airport, the agent who checked in the car accused her of causing the damage. My wife said that he could take it up with the university and suddenly his tune changed and nothing was ever heard about it again. The third incident happened when my wife and I were on a vacation and rented a car from this company. I was told that I could rent the car in the city where we were vacationing and drop it off at the airport 20 miles out of town. When we picked up the car, I noticed a scratch in a wheel cover and asked the agent to note that. She said not to worry about it as the company knew the wheel cover was damaged. When we turned the car in at the airport, I was going to be charged for a new wheel cover and was assessed for a drop-off fee since I had not returned it to the original location. Fortunately, I had taken out insurance so the rental company could fight with its insurance company. When I got back home, I sent an e-mail to the rental company and did receive a call. I did get the drop-off fee taken off my account.
From these experiences, I learned to only rent cars from the two big companies. My AAA discount makes the prices competitive with the smaller companies.

You could tell them that you will pay the rental charge only, or if they wish to bill you for the “damage”, that you will contest the entire rental charge on your card, at which point they will have to wait quite some time for their money, if they manage to even get it at all.

The rental companies I’ve had cars from don’t even notice damage that small.

I guess anytime you rent something like this can happen. If you think maybe the car was dented during the time you were using it, but maybe you didn’t notice, probably the best thing is to pay up, but try to negotiate a lower fee. $700 is not out of line to repair this kind of damage however, especially since it appears it needs some paint re-work.

To dispute such a claim with much chance of success in court l you’d have to have an independent observer say they inspected the car at the time it was dropped off, and there was no damage at that time. Plus you’d probably also have to have photos. I presume you have neither.

I think the best course of action is to contact both your credit card company and your own auto insurance company. They may have a policy to cover or partially cover this situation, reducing your out of pocket expense. The credit card company also has a dispute policy, so ask them if this applies. In the event they try to charge you the 500 euros to your credit card, the credit card company wont pay them until the dispute is settled. Try to prevent them from getting your money in the first place is what I’m saying. They might just give up after a while.

Once they get your money, you’ll have a much tougher challenge to get it back. The downside of not paying is it will probably affect your credit rating and you may not be able to rent cars for some time in the future. And they might sell the debt to a collection agency and you’ll be getting a lot of phone calls at all hours of the day and night demanding payment.

I always have my cellphone with me and always do a walk around taking a few pictures to avoid this nonsense. I rented a box van in August to move my daughter into an off campus apartment and took pictures of the outside and also the mileage in/out and documenting my gas fill-up. Worth a thousand words. Personally I would have the credit card company refuse to pay or stop payment and challenge the rental company on this, it looks like a scam. The obvious question . . . Did you do the damage? Rocketman

Dispute the charge and don’t pay it! WTH they gonna do–extradite you to Slovenia?


Do you really think the rental company will pursue an intercontinental case to get a piddling $700?

Just a clarification. You need to pay what is on your CC bill. When you dispute a charge, it is taken off your bill until it is settled, then either added back on or never added back. You can’t just not pay the bill.

Dispute the charge and don't pay it! WTH they gonna do--extradite you to Slovenia?

It’s quite possible mathg15 lives in Slovenia. Where do you hail from mathg15?

Sorry, I presumed on a .com site, derived from a US-aired car show, that posters are (North) Americans, unless stated otherwise.

Its just best to do it on the up and up-that’s what credit cards for. I don’t know what the laws in Slovenia are but its quite possible they are not as lenient to debtors as in the US. I’d hate to have a warrant put on me and end up under arrest going back there. Just sayin’ do it right and above board. Its not fun to get arrested in a foreign country where you don’t speak their language and they don’t provide you with a lawyer. Look at that poor Marine still in Mexico for nothing more than taking a wrong turn with some guns in his trunk. I used to have guns in my trunk all the time. Just make sure its properly taken care of is all.

Just updating this thread with what’s going on and answer a few questions.

First, yes I am from north america (canada), that’s why I’m posting this stuff here. As for the damage, I can’t say if I was the one denting the car, or if it happened in the 2 days between the car was left at the hotel and the time they inspected it.

After discussing with them for a while, they told me they would evaluate the damage with the garage and charge me only the real fees. After a couple days of waiting, I finally got the bill, which was 285 euros instead of 400 euros + taxes. The slight problem is, the bill they sent me is for repairing a rear bumper of an Opel Corsa, which obviously was not the car I was driving nor the damage I had done.

That’s where I am right now!

The real question is, does anyone know or could evaluate how much would that kind of damage really costs? I know it’s not easy telling from pictures, I’m just wondering if they will send me a real price or some BS again.

Thanks!