Are Budget Car Rental Ireland A Bunch of Gobshites Or Not? Time Will Tell.

When Peter Donegan, the gardener, hired a car from Budget Car Rental, he thought he was getting it for €34.

Why did he think that?

Well, it was because he believed this ad:

Euro €34.00

Price includes all compulsory Insurances, Government Tax, Unlimited Mileage and 24hr Breakdown cover.

Full Size 4 Door e.g. Toyota Avensis or similar

Please take a moment to read the Terms & Conditions of rental before making your booking.

Reasonable enough, you would have thought. What a good price for a 4-door Avensis!

But of course, that’s not what Peter ended up paying.

After he brought the car back, he discovered that the following additional charges would be applied:

€25 levy because they have to park the cars in the airport.

€10 levy for fuel.

Sundry insurance charges and tax.

Here’s the “estimated bill” he received.

Let’s have a look through it.

Quoted rate: €30, not the advertised €34, so that looks like a bit of good luck. But then you read down and you see that they’ve charged €22.03 surcharge for something called APT which stands for Airport.

Here’s what it says in the small print:

In common with many car rental companies a standard airport surcharge of EUR € 28.00 will apply to your rental when picking up from an airport location.

EXW, which stands for excess waiver is €11.50. I don’t know if Peter chose this optional extra or not, but he was charged for it.

Third party insurance 1 day, €3.52.

According to the small print,

The following insurances are included in your quotation:

  • Third Party Insurance: – covers against damage or injury to a third party.
  • Theft Protection: – covers against losses arising out of theft or attempted theft of the vehicle.
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): – this cover reduces your financial liability for damage caused to the vehicle from the full value of the vehicle to the value of the excess.

They estimated a cost of €75 for fuel.

So let’s look again at the breakdown, adding in the 13.5% tax.

tax total
rental 23.33 3.15 26.48
3rd party insurance 3.52
Sub total 30.00
Airport surcharge 22.03 2.97 25.00
Total 55.00
Excess waiver 11.50 1.55 13.05
Fuel 75.00

Now, let’s be kind and accept that some of these charges are estimated. Peter was in fact charged €10 for fuel, and according to Budget Car Rental, he accepted the excess waiver and signed for it. All well and good.

So let us look at the remaining items.

Rental including insurance is €30, and the compulsory airport surcharge is €25. Therefore, the very least Peter could possibly have paid for his car hire was €55. In spite of what the ad says, there is no possibility, ever, of getting an Avensis for €34.

Therefore the ad is misleading.

Peter wrote about this here, a full year ago. And then, a few days ago, he received a very intimidating call from somebody purporting to be a lawyer acting on behalf of Budget Car Rental. This individual gave Peter 48 hours to take down his post, causing him great worry and distress in the process. He wrote about it here.

I thought it would be a good idea to follow this up, because I hate bullshit legal threats, so I asked one of our people to write to Budget Car Rental, asking them for comment, and this morning they wrote back.

This is what they said:

Just to confirm that we are the Budget Licensee for Ireland we have NOT enlisted a solicitor or anybody else to force Mr Donegan to take down the blog. If possible, I would like to get the details of this person purporting to be a solicitor engaged by us.

Curiouser and curiouser.

You would have to ask yourself why a third party would take it on themselves to contact a blogger and threaten them with legal action for a post about a car rental company. Why would anyone do that?

It strikes me as bizarre, and if I were Peter, I’d be contacting this caller to demand evidence of their bona fides. I’d be naming them in public, and shaming them. I might even turn up on their doorstep. If the answers I received were not satisfactory, there might even be legal action.

By the way, Peter is a landscaper who strikes me as a thoroughly decent and honourable fellow. Why not call over to his website and have a look at the kind of services he offers? Who knows – you might even decide to hire him. He strikes me as the sort of man who would agree a price with you and stand over it.

Men like Peter don’t do small print. They look you in the eye as they shake your hand, and that’s why they’re so bewildered when they meet the likes of Budget Car Rentals.



Are Budget Car Rental Ireland A Bunch of Gobshites Or Not? Time Will Tell.

38 thoughts on “Are Budget Car Rental Ireland A Bunch of Gobshites Or Not? Time Will Tell.

  1. The PC world one is the business.I’m getting great mileage out of it.God bless Blitzen his little heart.One of the funniest people I have ever read about.
    Can’t wait to read Budget’s reply if’n when it arrives.

  2. Re the main post:

    Well done. There was a time when even (?) the mainstream media didn’t offer those they criticised a contemporaneous right of reply.

    I remember occasions when even Hibernia, which was the only real opposition/investigative press of its day, didn’t even bother to pick up the phone and confront its subjects with what it was about to publish and give them a chance to put their side, even if that were to be subsequently ignored by the publication.

    That got them into a lot of needless trouble and no doubt diminished their coffers.

    Play it slow, play it cool, then publish and be damned.

  3. This is very interesting. Budget Rent-A-Car is my favorite company to rent(hire) a car from. They are always friendly, easy to do business with and their prices are considerably lower than the other national companies.

  4. Bock – it sounds like misleading advertising at least. The sneaky airport charge is omitted from the sales blurb and buried in the fine print of the terms and conditions. Take the bastards on through consumer affairs, I’d say.


  5. huh??? am i missing something here? he has 48 hours to remove the post OR WHAT??? what do they think they POSSIBLY sue him for????

    good god just think if ryanair was to sue every single person who highlighted their misleading advertising in a blog post…. o__O

  6. There’s nothing they can sue him for. It’s the usual bullshit, attempting to frighten him.

    I have a standard two-word reply to such threats.

  7. doesn’t show up on the first 5 pages from google.FR with the words “Budget Car Rental” so if you’ll allow me;
    L’agence de location des voitures Budget Car Rental ont menacé un ancien client avec des pursuites judicier après qu’il a écrit un article sur le net criticant leur façon de opérer.

    That might help

  8. Twenty — You’re showing a new softer side since your career break. If you read it again, you’ll notice that David isn’t labelled as anything.

    You tend to use somewhat stronger language when labelling people.

  9. David O’Malley is looking like an arsehole, but maybe I‘m jumping the gun. Maybe David O’Malley is not actually an arsehole at all. Who knows?

    David O’ Malley may not be authorised/be the right person to respond to this. He’s the Office Manager of Budget. That might be a variety of things but their Sales and Marketing manager – who you’d imagine is the person who should be responding – is a different person in a different office and, as far as I can see, has had no correspondence with Peter at all.

    O’Malley *may* just be firefighting the only way he knows how – that’s not an excuse, or the right way at all, but you’re right – the need to engage properly is paramount. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  10. Don’t know if any of you noticed but the mention of tourists by P Donegan in his post resulted in the Tourist Board getting involved as Peter e mailed his stuff to Fáilte Ireland. My experience of that shower tells me that budget car hire have now a great ally so P Donegan had better watch what he does from here on in- I kid you not. The so called Irish Tourist Board has sweet fuck-all to do with tourists, little to do with tousism. As far as I can garner they exist to ensure that all and I mean ALL complaints are quashed, no matter the cost. Their usual route, as done here where they involved the Car Rental Council of Ireland who ever they are, probably the desk next-door, is to misdirect by sending your ‘concerns’ to various sundry others while not actually dealing with the subject matter at all, the purpose being to clog up your time with bundles of letters. Your entire effort, years later, grinds to a halt when you realise you’ve just being going round in circles, led there by experts in dross, ’till you just let it slide. After all there is no answer to an ineptitude that we have bank-rolled as tax payers by allowing quangos -(qu(asi)-a(utonomous) n(on-)g(overnmental) o(rganization) or qu(asi)-a(utonomous) n(ational) g(overnmental) o(rganization)) – in the first place. Budget car rentals have nothing to worry about. They’ll probably receive an award for exellence in business shortly from another tax funded quango!

  11. Thank you for your blog! You are my new hero. :)

    I too have had a disappointing experience with Budget Ireland and they are totally ignoring my emails. Inspired by you and Peter, I have set up a blog about it.

    Here is my blog if anyone is interested:

    If I am overstepping by posting this here please forgive me and delete this post.

    Thank you,

  12. Just a followup on my trouble with Budget. It is resolved so I have taken down my blog above. I will never do business with Budget again. Ever.

    Thank you,

  13. I recently hired a car through the internet prior to arriving at Dublin airport. My friend and i were treated dreadfully. After initial hassle got to my hired car the gear knob fell off. Took it back to Joe McCann in their rental cabin who told me a 60yr old lady that it would screw back on. I informed him I did not hire a car to do running repairs I wanted another car or my money back he told me to Alter my attitude. I did in the end get another car when I returned it to Dublin Airport Ii was refunded my petrol allowance in euros despite having paid in sterling. I also made a complaint to a supervisor – Joe McCann was present as I walked away he was talking with the supervisor and laughing. Do you think my complaint was taken seriously – i feel I was paid lip service. I have written a letter of complaint but so far have had not response. I will not let this matter rest.

  14. P.S. a Crappy porn site not worth a visit. I suspect this Rammstein thing is also a nazi. It should be put down!

  15. As corporate lawyers we do a lot of business in the USA and in our experience if you rent your car off the airport the rates are 40% less expensive— shuttle buses take you to the off site car rentals locations— also if you have car insurance for your own car then that will cover all rentals.

    Of course if it is client business related they will pay for limos and airport rental cars as a business expense,

    In NY, Boston, DC.LA or SF as the it makes more sense to get trains and cabs for personal travel as the parking fees at premium hotels are much more than the daily rate for the rental car.

  16. budget are a rip off…. airport location charge what a load of bollock i will never book with them again… mind the small print 28euros on top when you collect your car……

  17. Gobshites they are. I was effectively defrauded at the rental desk by a Gobshite by the name of Derek. I declined the extra cover to reduce the excess – but he charged me for it anyway. He also gleefully lied to me that if I so much as scratched the car they would take 1200 EURO from me. Funny too that they did all the deposits and refunds in pounds – even though they quoted in Euro …

    I’d say they are a cowboy operation flying so close to the wind of illegality – that sooner or later the cops will come knocking.

  18. June 2012 had a bad experience with Budget. I tried to deny the extra insurance as I had confirmed that my MasterCard would cover. I was lied to and told it would not. Then then attempted to charge 4000 euro to card and when I stopped them and stated I would rent with another agency, I was told I would be charged a cancellation fee. So I found myself forced to take their insurance which more than doubled the cost of the rental. I contacted the main office when I left the counter and then again 3 days later and I was not contacted until exactly 2 hours after I returned the car which was a week later. They did not respond for a week. Said they were sorry for just addressing the issue, horrible service. They refused any fix.

  19. What’s wrong with applying some good old-fashioned contract law here? Offer + Acceptance = Agreement. Agreement + Consideration = Contract. They offered the car to him for E34 for the day. he accepted. Consideration passed therefore a contract was formed.
    He should stop the credit card payment, send them a draft for E34 and let them take him to court.It’ll only be the small claims court, he can represent himself, and if he wins he can charge for the loss of his day off landscaping, plus his expenses.

  20. Budget Ireland at Cork Airport employees need retraining in customer service and ethics.
    If I had not paid careful attention to my invoice on return of their car, I would have been charged Euro 963.25 for “alleged” damage repairs & a full tank of petrol even though the car was returned with a full tank.
    To the credit of their Roscommon office staff, the excess charge was credited to my account, but it took considerable effort on my part to make them see the error.
    Not great business practices on Budget,ie part.
    Renting a car should not require such after sale diligence to get grossly incorrect errors reversed. needs to look at it’s internal processes or they risk losing business and failing, due to customers staying away due to such horrible experiences like ours., remember there are social media and travel advisor sites that will receive negative comments that will trash your business.

  21. A couple of years ago I used them at Knock and I will never EVER rent a car from ANYONE ever again
    The price of this ‘collision damage waver’ (or pay huge deposit) is thrown at you when you show up at the desk and you have all your suitcases with you.It is implied that the price on booking via the internet before you travel is the price you will pay. But it’s not. Secondly, if you are coming from another country with a different currency, be careful that if you let them touch your credit card (I wouldn’t let them near my credit car – and heaven help you if you have contactless payment cards – don’t go near their kiosk). Check the currency with which the transaction is being debited. They try and get you to pay it in a currency other that euro which costs you more rather than just paying in euro.
    Just glad there was no damage on the car or flies on the windscreen would have to pay for a respray probably. Pretty pathetic way to run a business really.

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