One of the biggest fears most customers have when hiring a car or van is that they will be stung with extra charges when they return the vehicle. It’s not unknown for rental firms to claim damage which a customer disputes.
In fairness, the blame can be on both sides. What’s needed is a solution that everyone can trust. This avoids disputes and helps cut costs and provide a speedy resolution in the event of a collision.
Solving the problem
The best way to solve an argument about a vehicle’s condition is often with a photo.
That’s why Cardiff-based Pronto Vehicle Rentals has recently invested in a number of systems aimed at providing photographic evidence that can be used to keep track of a vehicle’s condition and of any incidents in which it’s involved.
The firm’s three-pronged approach starts when a team member uses their tablet to take photos of all existing damage when checking out vehicles with a customer.
The second stage is that the firm’s yard is covered by high-definition CCTV cameras. These provide a video record of the vehicle’s appearance as it’s driven in and out, from several angles.
But the biggest change is that many of the firm’s cars, vans and motorhomes are now fitted with dashcams (dashboard cameras).
Managing Director Naunton Dickins says that these “protect both the business and the customer, they prove to be a saving grace in the event of a bump”.
The use of dashcams is certainly growing. I’d recommend one to anyone who does a lot of driving or who regularly drives in urban areas and on busy routes. By providing evidence of what happened in a collision, they can reduce or avoid costly insurance claims and provide valuable protection from fraud, such as ‘crash for cash’ frauds.
The Honest John website has a great starter guide to dashcams here.