Whilst I have enjoyed good service from Direct Line Motor Insurance I would like to draw attention to the Car Hire service offered.
When my car recently went in for repair I was offered a hire car from Enterprise. Firstly a vehicle failed to materialise as the one I was due to be given was returned damaged. A vehicle was later delivered to my home. I checked around the car and aked if the tyres had been checked to which I was assured by the Enterprise representative that they had been. I asked him the recommended tyre pressure and he advised me to check the manual. He then left. I checked the manual and the tyres to find that they were overfilled by 10 pounds of air! 42 instead of 32. I deflated the tyres to the correct amount.
The following day on the car's first journey i had a puncture 3 miles from the start point. I called the car hire company who called the AA for me. The AA arrived an hour later and we found there was no replacemnet tyre. I then had to call the car hire HQ as the branch was by this time closed to find out where to get a new tyre. The AA man checked the tyre thoroughly and found a small but deep crack on the inside of the tyre which could've been caused by the puncture or by overfilling the tyre.
On taking the car to Kwick Fit I was informed by their staff that I should be aware that it was Enterprise policy to use economy tyres as replacements. These are not recommended by the manufacturer and indeed with one odd tyre would be putting passengers at risk. I informed Direct line by phone of this as it is also putting thier customers including myself at risk. I wanted to ensure that they are, as a reputable insurance company, aware of the potentially fatal risk facing clients using these cars. I have yet to receive a reply in writing and indeed Enterprise car hire have still to comment although they have confirmed that it remains company policy to use economy tyres.
Please can all Direct Line clients be advised to check hire vehicles tyres - both tyre pressure and types of tyre - before using Enterprise Car Hire. If tyres are mismatched as in this case or have been overfilled with air, clients should not be expected to risk thier lives and those of others by drivng these vehicles. A simple check is all that is needed and if everyone does this then the car hire companies will have to present clients with correctly maintained vehicles and the insurance company will potentially have fewer claims to address.