09 Mar 2015

A question about : Practical Car/Van Rental Caerphilly -AVOID !!!

Hired a mini-bus yesterday to take my son and some of his friends to Snowdome in Tamworth for his birthday.

Mini-bus we had from these people was a complete shed. Never hired a vehicle in such a bad state or repair.

Battery flat twice. Took ages to jump start it - we missed our first booking at snowdome. Cost me Ј40 to pay again. Then had to jump start it again to come home.

Took ages to get the bonnet open. Bonnet release had snapped. Had to phone hire company for them to tell me about the temporary cable tie on the front I had to pull to open the bonnet.

Heaters stuck on hot. It was warm yesterday and the kids were boiling in the bus - had to drive with the windows open.

Worse thing is the company did not give a toss at all. All they did was argue that there was nothing wrong with their bus as if I was making it up !!!

Took it back this morning and complained again. No use at all - they pretty much said they dont give a toss !!!!

Avoid these cowboys at all cost !!!!

Best answers:

  • I did hear they were closing down, then seemed to have a new lease of life.
    They advertise regularly in the Caerphilly Campaign newspaper, maybe worth a phone call to the Campaign explaining your experience as I know they also do a lot of promotions with them.
    Sadly have heard them same before about this place.
  • Used to be called Caerphilly Commercials apparently before changing to Practical.
    Completely useless...
  • Isn't Practical Car/Van hire a franchise organisation? if so, this caerphilly branch must be causing dreadful problems for other franchisee's.
    It may be worth speaking to another branch of Practical to see if they can give you the name of the best person to complain to in the main company.
  • any websites to find cheap van rental?
  • We used a good one in Taffs Well, didn't seem too bad pricewise. Think it was 123 Van hire - something like that!
  • Update
    Complained in writing to the Caerphilly branch but they didnt even bother to reply to me.
    Sent copy of complaint to head office who contacted me and promised to investigate.
    They've recently contacted me and got a part refund of Ј44. Not great but something.
    However, they did try to make out I was lying about some of the complaints I had raised with the branch. I'm guessing they were just passing on what the branch said.
    They also mentioned that they were not happy about my comments on the internet - meaning here I presume - before this matter was sorted .
    Sorry, Practical, I did try and sort this out first (With the branch), I only commented after they ignored my complaint and I was forced to contact head office.
    However, since I'm also free to express my opinion as I choose to services I've paid for, then I will say this.
    Practical head office did make an attempt to sort the issue out it must be said. I'm hoping, therefore, that other Practical franchises are better than this, but, personally, I will certainly not entertain the idea of doing business with Practical Caerphilly ever again, and would certainly advise anyone else to do the same.
    In my opinion, poor vehicles, poor service, bad attitude, and dont deal with complaints...
  • For top tips and advice when hiring a van visit Van hire Guide
  • Bump...
    Bad service deserves bad publicity...
  • Ebbe -Vale is a good place to hire vans and Lutons i hired a Luton there and it cost me Ј50 a day about 3 years ago its on the road from Beaufort to Ebbe-Vale and they have a small cars sales in front , sorry i cant remember the name but you cant miss it as its right after the traffic narrowing signs.
  • We always use Cwmbran Van Hire, while a bit further to go from our end, we've used them for two van hires and a few minbus runs and they've always been amazing. Plus they don't need a huge credit card deposit.
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  • I have also had very very bad service from practical van hire, this time in Harrogate. I called them to hire a short wheel based van (transit type vehicle). When we picked it up there were dents, scratches and gouges all over the van. When we drove it the intermittent wiper didn't work, the interior lights on the dashboard area controlling the fan and air flow didn't work, the exhaust sounded as if it was blowing badly under load, either that or the engine was misfiring. To cap it all the next morning when I checked the tyres in my opinion three out of the four were under the legal tread limit. That's a Ј2500 fine and NINE points on my license if I had been stopped by police. Unfortunately for the first time in my life I lost a key......... Yep the van key. I rang the Harrogate depot and asked if I could pick up a spare key or master key just so that I could return the van to them, guess what " we don't have another key for that van" ! I was totally flabbergasted. I rang and rang them trying to sort the problem out but all I got was " unless you find the key we will have to get the locks boys out, that's Ј100 call out and Ј100 per key". I wanted to clear out the last of the items still in the van before they took it but the next evening unknown to me or my family they took the van without even contacting us or knocking at the door. I called them and tried to sort out the situation as well as mentioning the state of the tyres but all I got was "What's the tyres got to do with the key?" In my opinion this could have resulted in a severe accident, as the van wasn't legally fit to be hired out. We took a video of the van including registration number, tyres and paintwork as well as photos for our own protection. We are now apparently looking at a very expensive outcome but I am thinking of fighting this as the van wasn't fit for hire or purpose. The customer service has been non existent and they have never contacted me, it is always me who has to get in touch. If I could get the head office email address I would send a formal complaint demanding our money back. I know that losing the key (which had no fob or any other ID attached to it) was my fault, but we should never have been allowed to use that shed of a van.
    I am very upset and angry that this could have resulted in the loss of my licence or worse major injury due to illegal tyres. Any suggestions anyone?
  • Another vote for Practical then LOL. Seems that a lot of the franchises are the same then and willing to rent out substandard vehicles.
  • I can only concur with everyone else who has posted negative reviews of Practical Car and Van Rentals.
    The vehicles at the WYCOMBE Branch (off Lincoln Rd) are poorly maintained and the staff are unhelpful, verging on aggressive.
    AVOID at all cost!
  • Hello. I work for Practical Car & Van Rental, head office, and I have applied to MSE to become the official Company Representative going forward. We do take our reputation very seriously and if a franchisee doesn't uphold our standards, we take the appropriate action, even if this means terminating the franchise.
    In response to the comments posted, we would like to advise that the Caerphilly franchise has been terminated since 2010.
    If anyone has any issues with another Practical franchisee, please PM me in the meantime and I will do my best to deal with it. Thank you. Kelly
  • We hired a Sprinter van from a local Practical franchise, in fact on two occasions. First time van was over 10 years old, beat up and knackered, second time van was over 12 years old and just as bad. OK the rates were cheap but I wouldn't want to use these two knackered vans for a long distance.