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Driving through Italy, you have an accident in your rented car. Although your insurance is fully comprehensive, you are charged for the repairs. Are you entitled to a refund?

Xn January 2003 I had an accident in a rented car while driving in snowy conditions near Chiavenna in Italy. An oncoming snowplough was taking up most of the road, and I successfully avoided a collision’but then hit some safety barriers at the roadside. No other cars were present at the time, and the snowplough did not stop. After continuing to Milan airport,

I returned the vehicle to the rental company, Italy by Car, and a representative confirmed that as I had paid for additional insurance cover there would be no extra costs to pay. Two months later, a charge for £3,016 was made on my credit card for repairs to the car. Will you investigate this?

The booking for this hire car was initially made with Atlas Voyages, a travel agent in Gaillac, France, which then placed it with a car-rental broker, Holiday Autos France. The broker in turn passed the booking on to a Palermo-based supplier, Italy by Car, which is part of Thrifty Car Rental. Following the accident, a legal representative of Italy by Car/Thrifty informed Sir Anthony that because no other vehicle had been involved in the accident, the limitation of liability afforded by his purchase of additional collision damage reduction’ at the time of pick-up did not apply. The

representative stated that the charges for damages conformed to the conditions of the rental contract he had signed, and alleged that what happened was caused by your negligence’.

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