Extra! Extra! Read All About it... Actually we’d rather you didn’t which is why we put the extra costs in the fine print


Does a budget deal end up costing me more than the major players these guys are meant to be undercutting ?! I recently rented a car for a week in London. Using the magic of the internet I found a car rental from a hotel near Heathrow airport at a significant discount to the normal agencies. It was so cheap I was half expecting a pony and trap. I should have smelled a rat when I picked up the car. There was a near forensic search for scratches dings and dents. And it was raining. I just wanted the car, signed and jumped in. On returning the car the inspecting agent swore blind a tiny blemish caused by a minor stone chip or possibly a large wasp entitled them to deduct £220 from my deposit; making the car more expensive than it’s major brand competitors, most of whom would see a minute stone chip as normal wear and tear and not subject to a ludicrous additional cost. It will cost zip to repair. Car is black. A touch up pen. 15 seconds. Moaning in the cab that drove me to the terminal (another extra cost as the supposed shuttle bus was less regular than a 12 year old’s brushing his teeth). “Happens all the time mate. They seem to find dings on practically each return. Every punter I collect complains.  Not as cheap as you think, should take a taxi...” This has made me wonder if this nano nitpicking can be countered. The car was empty when I collected it and I was told there was a like for like policy but I returned it half full. Can I drain the excess fuel please? I want a refund for the microns of cotton rubbed off my trousers by the rough seat upholstery and a new set of soles for my shoes having scuffed against the pedals. Oh....and the £1,200  deposit they forced me to make because I declined to take out their sky high insurance ( the standard hefty extra hidden cost) is meant to be back in three working days.  But if it takes three weeks, you think I get interest? Pah, as likely as a tap dancing oyster! And no I am not irresponsible. I have a global rental car policy that pays ALL INSURANCE CLAIMS on rental cars for a premium of under £100 a year. This gnat scratch will be my first claim. I bet when I mention the name of the rental company they will be excluded from my renewal!

...and another thing

Of course we get clobbered with hidden extras all the time

On budget airlines, I pay for luggage,  a drink, a botulism burger, even pay to sit together with my wife… add it all up and I might as well fly a national carrier.

A favourite fiddle is the airport that isn’t there. Ryan Air are experts at this with dozens of airports pretending to be in one city when actually in an other. Their Milan airport is in Bergamo, a town nearly a time zone away from Milan. Of course London Gatwick is like saying New York, Pennsylvania, or London Luton, Los Angeles, Nevada.

Then there are fuel surplus fees ( anyone get a rebate when global fuel prices collapsed a couple of years ago) and my tip top favorite, being changed £40 to print up an actual airline ticket I have bought!

...and another thing

Then of course sex can come with hidden extras. Whether it’s the clap or other more surprising extras.

One night stand to man in bed:

“Great sex. Does it bother you I used to be Christian”?

“Of course not,”

“Thank you. I am so much happier being Christine”!

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