A cautionary tale on upgrades



With international rentals, especially in Europe and the USA, clients are routinely offered an upgrade at the counter on the vehicle class they have booked. Please extend a cautionary advice to your clients to be very careful about accepting an upgrade unless they are absolutely sure no cost is involved!

Circumstances may arise whereby a supplier has to offer a different class of vehicle to one which was initially confirmed for purely operational reasons; this is classed as an involuntary upgrade and is free of charge to the driver

Any charges incurred as a result of a voluntary upgrade will be additional to what has already been paid to CHB and will be charged to the client's credit card. If your clients accept ‘CUSTOMER CHOICE’ on a rental agreement, and sign for the upgrade, there is nothing CHB can do post-rental to reverse the charges. The driver has accepted a voluntary upgrade and unfortunately no refunds are possible.


Advise your clients about security deposits

Even though rentals are pre-paid, suppliers will ask for a security deposit at the counter. Advise your clients that they will need sufficient funds on their credit card to cover the excess amount, a tank of fuel, any extras payable at the counter (GPS, child seats, one-way fees etc) and VAT, IN LOCAL CURRENCY!! Deposits are refunded within a week of the return of the vehicle back into the client's credit card.

Top Up Cover

One optional extra which may well be considered by drivers, is the option to purchase top-up cover at the counter, in those instances where the package does not include zero excess. Most of the larger suppliers offer top-up cover, and this should be factored into holiday budgets also. The cost of the top-up cover on an average rental is, more often than not, far less than the liability of a high excess.

For example, in those European markets where we do not offer full excess cover (e.g. EUROPCAR in the UK), clients can purchase Medium Protection or Premium Protection at the counter. Each option offers different levels of protection and reduction of excess amounts. For more information, consult this link: 


MEDIUM PROTECTION (reduces excess to £450) = £19.00 (excl VAT) per day – remember these amounts are not refundable
PREMIUM PROTECTION (reduces excess to £0) = £23.00 (excl VAT) per day – remember these amounts are not refundable

Both Alamo and Enterprise offer top-up cover. One good thing about top-up cover, is that in addition to reducing the excess liability, it will reduce the amount the supplier will hold on the credit card also.


Tyre and Windscreen Waivers

Tyre and windscreen damage is usually excluded from CDW. TWW can often be purchased at the counter at nominal cost to the driver. CHB INCLUDE TWW with Europcar, Tempest and First Car Rental in SA.

Hints and Tips for Drivers

Attached is a two-page document that you may wish to include with your CHB vouchers OR copy onto your own letterhead if needs be. These sorts of things form the majority of post-rental queries that we see coming through our Customer Care Desk. Forewarned is forearmed as they say!