Riordan names hire car company in Parliament

March 6, 2019

Member for Polwarth, Richard Riordan MP has today named a car hire company in Parliament that refuses to pay for costs from an accident incurred by an international driver. A Sydney-based hire car company operating in Melbourne hired a car to an Indonesian national who smashed into a local Polwarth man within hours into a driving trip into country Victoria.

“There’s a real concern in my Polwarth communities about the lack of regulation and care taken when hiring cars in Victoria,” Mr Riordan said in Parliament today. “The reported accident rate for international drivers taking the Great Ocean Road region is in excess of 20%.

“Currently hire car companies take no responsibility for the cars they rent to people who are visiting our State and iconic Great Ocean Road for a short stay. It is now reported that the Victorian tax payer is being ripped off potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid traffic infringement notices.

“Cars are being hired to large family groups who are being pulled over on a regular basis by police with too many people in the car, and in one case four children who should have been in child restraints were found to be ‘freewheeling around the inside of the car’.

“Due to the process for issuing fines and infringements the overwhelming majority of visitors have left the country before any fine recovery can be made.

“In an alarming new development, hire car companies are now refusing to pay out on insurance claims for accidents their cars have caused.

“In a T-boning accident that involved local Polwarth resident Mr Pat Breen, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company based in Sydney said they were not responsible for costs incurred by Mr Breen, and instead referred him to a driver whose address is in Indonesia. Claims Manager Karen Shaddock has been repeatedly asked to comment and respond to claims that her car rental company is letting cars driven by international tourists drive around uninsured.

“More worryingly when Mr Breen approached Roads Minister, her office referred him to a local Legal Aid provider,” Mr Riordan said.

Mr Riordan told the Minister that “this is no way to run a safe road network, and having hire car companies not taking responsibility for the accidents their cars cause is no way to promote or support a tourism industry.”