The client understands and agrees to the following:
IdeaMerge LLC, and/or its affiliates ("IdeaMerge" or "we") provides its services subject to the following disclaimer.
IdeaMerge is a booking agency, an independent intermediate between the client (i.e. you the individual consumer) and the rental or lease company which administers the actual rental or lease and maintains the vehicle (which company is alternatively referred to hereinafter as the "vendor"). IdeaMerge represents many such vendors. IdeaMerge's primary function is to book rental cars, rental campervans, rental motorhomes and similar recreational vehicles and to book tax-free short-term French car leases. IdeaMerge exercises good faith and reasonable skill, care and diligence to ensure that proper arrangements have been made for your rental or lease.
IdeaMerge makes reasonable efforts to represent only reputable vendors. The vendors represented on IdeaMerge's website are believed to be reputable and engaged in the business that they purport. The inclusion or exclusion on the website of any company, person or entity, however, does not guarantee the suitability of their services, products or vehicles.
IdeaMerge makes every effort to keep the information on its site current and up to date, but cannot guarantee the site is free of errors or omissions. IdeaMerge retains the right to update or change the information on the site at any time.
The rates and other prices on the website apply to new bookings only; they do not apply retro-actively, i.e. to existing bookings.
The rates and other prices on the website are often heavily discounted. Occasionally a rate or other price may be displayed incorrectly due to an error or omission. If you send us a request with an incorrect rate or price, we will notify you of the correct rate or price as soon as possible and give you the option to proceed or not; i.e. you would be under no obligation to proceed. Likewise, however, we are not obliged to book an erroneously low cost.
The rental contract or lease contract is between the vendor and the client. That contract and any information presented by the vendor to the client govern the terms and conditions of the client's rental or lease and supersede all correspondence from IdeaMerge and all information on IdeaMerge's website.
However, we present to the client our own Particular Terms and Conditions and our own General Disclaimers and Notices as part of our order process and the client must agree to those Particular Terms and Conditions and General Disclaimers and Notices or else the client cannot submit the order. Our online order system also presents to the client a "general comments" field whereby the client can provide some comments with the order. Nothing the client submits in that field nor in any other field on that form nor in any correspondence with us hedges or otherwise diminishes the client's agreement to said Particular Terms and Conditions and General Disclaimers and Notices.
The special offers we promote are generally subject to the vehicle availability or other relevant availability allocated to the specials, usually by the vendors themselves.
IdeaMerge does not own, control, operate or manage the operations of any rental or lease company, rental or lease company contractor(s), roadside assistance company, campground or any other third party. IdeaMerge does not offer or provide roadside assistance. The rental or lease company is responsible for the condition and operability of the rental or lease vehicles; typically such company contracts from a third party any associated roadside assistance.
As such IdeaMerge, and its agents, shall not be liable for any negligence, omission, bankruptcy, breach of contract, misrepresentation, or similar act committed by a rental or lease company, its employees, agents, contractors or any other third party that causes any type of loss or injury to the client. These losses include physical or emotional injury, property damage, economic damage, and all other types of damage or loss.
Further, IdeaMerge is not liable for any loss or injury resulting from a vehicle substitution, such as a vehicle downgrade or upgrade, or other changes imposed by a rental or lease company.
Persons who operate or travel in motor vehicles do so at their own risk. This applies in all countries, including those where the client is not familiar with the local traffic laws, road signs, parking restrictions, driving practices or vehicles or does not speak and understand the local language. The client agrees to assume all risks directly or indirectly involved in such travel.*
As such, IdeaMerge does not warrant the safety of the client and is not liable for any loss or injury suffered by a client that is caused by the rental or lease vehicle, any collision or accident, any hotel, campground or similar accommodation, any third-party transportation or other service, any criminal act, any act of a governmental authority, any act of God or act beyond IdeaMerge's control. For any loss or injury caused by the circumstances described above, the client agrees to seek redress against a third party and not IdeaMerge.
The vehicle may be equipped with an electronic GPS positioning system. You agree that this equipment may be used to trace the vehicle, to find its exact position, and to shut down the vehicle, if necessary.
The vendor (again, the rental or lease company which administers the actual rental or lease and maintains the vehicle) may store the client's personal data. The vendor may forward these data, via appropriate authorities, to third parties with a justified interest, if the client actually behaves dishonestly regarding the rental or if the vendor has sufficient reason to believe such behavior will occur. For example, such transfer of client information may occur if the information provided by the client to complete the rental process is incorrect or misleading in essential points or if the vehicle is not returned within 24 hours of the expiry of the rental or lease period) or if claims have to be made in judicial proceedings or if cash checks presented by client are not honored or if the client fails to notify the vendor about a technical defect, road traffic offense or similar.
In extremely rare cases, IdeaMerge may ultimately need to use a different vendor than originally booked to provide a rental or lease. In such a case, IdeaMerge would of course attempt to offer to the client a rental or lease as similar as possible to the originally booked rental or lease and we would give the client the option to cancel the original booking without penalty; but if the client accepts the alternative rental or lease, the terms and conditions of or relevant to the new vendor would apply. By "extremely rare" we mean such event has happened only once during our first 17 years of operation. Rarer still is the possibility that no vendor will ultimately be able to offer a suitable such alternative rental or lease for a client (e.g. due to some unexpected and relatively late decimation of a rental fleet or due simply to human or systemic error), in which case the liability of IdeaMerge would be limited to a full refund of the amount actually paid by the client to IdeaMerge.
IdeaMerge strongly recommends the client purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance should be purchased from a reputable, specialist provider in the client's country of residence. Such insurance covers or helps cover the cost of having to cancel a trip.
IdeaMerge remains responsible for any negligent act of its own. Any claim against IdeaMerge must be filed in writing within 30 days after completion of the rental or lease period. The exclusive venue for any claim or action against IdeaMerge shall be Multnomah County, the State of Oregon, USA and shall be adjudicated under the jurisdiction and laws of Oregon, USA. The sole extent of IdeaMerge's liability shall not exceed the amount actually paid by the client to IdeaMerge. Claims against a rental or lease company or other third party may be subject to different rules.
Please review all other IdeaMerge notices and policies posted on the website; they govern a visit to our website. IdeaMerge retains the right to change its policies, disclaimers and conditions at any time.
If any of the above disclaimers, or part thereof, is deemed invalid or unenforceable, the invalid part shall be severed and shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any remaining disclaimers.
* For more information related to travel risks, please see the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) http://www.asirt.org.
In an effort to best represent our vendors and benefit our clients, IdeaMergepresents insurance information on its website. However, IdeaMerge does not offer or provide insurance. Rather, all insurance and insurance products are provided by the rental or lease company ("vendor") or their insurance company and all issues related thereto are decided by the vendor or their insurance company. You agree to hold IdeaMerge harmless for any damage or loss suffered by you, or anyone in your travel party, that relate to insurance in any way. Moreover, the terms and conditions of the insurance are subject to change without notice — although such changes are very rare. Regarding any insurance options, a client cannot change insurance options after the client signs the final rental contract upon the rental vehicle pick-up occasion.
In accordance with vehicle-rental industry standard, the rental or lease company's ("vendor's") terms and conditions and depot addresses are subject to change without notice. Likewise certain fees and taxes imposed by governments are subject to change (or imposition) without notice. Such occurrences are rare and the vendor is obligated to inform IdeaMerge in advance. IdeaMerge in turn endeavors to inform our affected clients about such changes as soon as possible.
It is not allowed to transport more people (including driver) in the vehicle than there are fitted seats/seatbelts in the vehicle.
4) Purpose of Vehicle Usage
You must inform IdeaMerge if you are using the vehicle for a purpose other than your own tourism or for a special purpose such as to support a business operation you own or are employed by or are affiliated with, to transport merchandise or professional supplies, to film a movie, to attend a rally or a multi-day festival (e.g. the Burning Man festival), to travel to a region known as inhospitable (e.g. Death Valley, Northern Canada, a war zone, etc).
5) Changing or Cancelling a Reservation
a) Changing Your Reservation. A request to change your reservation, such as adding an accessory or changing a travel date or city, must be authorized in advance by the vendor. The vendor may charge an invoice-change fee. Please do not expect to make changes when you pick up the vehicle or while traveling. Regarding any insurance options, a client certainly cannot change insurance options after the client signs the final rental contract upon the rental vehicle pick-up occasion.
b) Changes and Cancellation. If you reduce the number of rental days, the motorhome rental vendor may charge a cancellation fee on the days eliminated. If you change the pick-up or return location the motorhome rental vendor may consider it a cancellation and charge a fee. There are no refunds for early vehicle return of a motorhome rental and no refund for unused miles (or kilometers) that have been pre-paid.
c) Cancellation. If applicable, the vendor will charge a fee if you cancel your reservation. These fees are controlled and published by the vendors. We must pass these fees on to our clients. The corresponding, relevant IdeaMerge cancellation fee schedule reflects the particular vendor's cancellation fee schedule and is clearly presented by IdeaMerge during the online reservation process. On rare occasion, the vendor may offer to move your rental or lease to new dates and waive the cancellation fee. Such offer is not guaranteed. Again, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance (e.g. from a third-party insurance provider specializing in travel insurance) to address this and other risks. IdeaMerge exercises no control over the vendors' cancellation policies.
d) Pick-up Day Cancellation. If you refuse to accept the offered vehicle at the depot, the vendor may consider it a cancellation, impose a fee and deny a refund. These situations are rare and vendors normally try to avoid cancellation, by modifying the offered vehicle or offering a different vehicle.
e) No-Show. If you do not show up to pick-up the vehicle as booked, and if the vendor is not able to establish communication with or receive communication from you directly within 24-hours of the booked pick-up time or pick-up time window, the vendor may consider the booking cancelled and impose a fee and deny a refund.
f) Reasons for Cancelling or Changing. The vendors and hence IdeaMerge do not accept the following as grounds to waive a cancellation fee or grant a refund.
i) Medical reasons.
ii) Concern about client's ability to safely operate a roadworthy vehicle provided by the vendor.
iii) Flight cancellation due to any reason including those outside of the client's control.
iv) Acts of God that cause a rental to be delayed or cancelled, such as disease epidemic, fire, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disaster. Any other force majeure event, e.g. an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, that causes a rental to be delayed or cancelled, such as a labor interruption, civil strife, terrorist act, war, embargo, blockade, government-imposed travel restrictions or warnings.
v) Changes to the terms and conditions of the insurance, most notably the geographic domain in which the insurance is effective.
g) Cancellation of Pre-paid Optional Items. No refunds are given on pre-paid optional items if they are cancelled upon or after the pick-up occasion.
6) Security Deposit for a Vehicle Rental
This section does not apply to the tax-free, short-term European auto leases we sell.
The car or motorhome rental company requires a security deposit from you when you pick up the vehicle. IdeaMerge has no control over the deposit, its amount, the conditions of return, the vendor's method of charging, etc.
a) Amount. The amount of the deposit depends on the vendor, although normally it is equal to the vehicle's insurance deductible. Some vendors offer an insurance supplement that reduces the deductible and the security deposit.
b) Requirements. One valid credit card must be used to place the security deposit. The credit card's owner must be present at pick up, sign the rental contract and be a traveler in the vehicle. It is your responsibility to be sure the card has enough credit to suffice for the deposit. Debit cards, cash or travelers checks are typically not accepted for the security deposit. If you have any questions about your credit card you must ask IdeaMerge in advance. The credit card used to place the deposit may be different than the card used to pay IdeaMerge.
c) Payment. The security deposit is refundable, however the vendor will retain any amount owed for vehicle damage, cleaning expenses, late fees, traffic tickets, etc. Some vendors charge the security deposit to the card and, after return, credit the card for any deposit amount returned. (Typically these vendors do not apply the credit upon the return occasion but rather do so within about a month, this because they often need time to accurately determine the value of the damage.) Some vendors merely authorize the charge by making an imprint of the card and later charge the card for any amounts owed.
If the vendor does actually charge the security deposit upon the pick-up occasion, and if your credit card account settles in a currency different than the vendor's currency, and if indeed the vendor fully or partially credits the security deposit back to your card following the return occasion, please note that two different retail exchange rates will naturally be used by the credit card company (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, etc) to translate the vendor currency into your credit card account's currency: the exchange rate on the date the charge was made, and the exchange rate on the date the charge was fully or partially credited back. Naturally a retail exchange rate will used by the credit card company, because as a business they do not exchange currencies free of charge; that means the customer pays a small premium in his/her currency for a charged amount in a foreign currency, and likewise receives a bit less in his/her currency for a credited amount in a foreign currency. If when said credit is made to the customer's card the customer's currency is stronger versus the vendor's currency than it was when the charge was made, the customer will luckily recoup some of said retail differential and may even profit; but if it is weaker the customer will receive even less back in his/her currency than he/she otherwise would. The vendor (i.e. rental company) of course does not know what currency the customer's credit card settles in, and the vendor is of course not responsible for changes in exchange rates. The vendor in this case just charges or credits the customer's credit card in the currency the vendor operates in; and by the way, the vendor itself suffers merchant credit card transaction fees of about 2% on each charge and on each credit, higher if the card is from abroad, so please understand that these vendors must really have good reason for actually charging the security deposit rather than merely authorizing it. Moreover, the customer's credit card issuer (e.g. bank), in contrast to Visa or MasterCard (for instance), and specifically per the terms and conditions of the customer's credit card account, might charge a foreign currency transaction fee (e.g. 1–3%) or, more generally, a foreign transaction fee (similar percentage but attaching to all transactions outside the customer's country, regardless of currency). Many credit card issuers pointedly, i.e. as a matter of marketing, do not impose such fee, and you of course should prefer to use such card when abroad, regardless of what you are paying for. In this final respect please see the great opportunity for savings per each credit card transaction you make while abroad.
d) Cancellation. Failure to pay the security deposit will result in a cancellation of the reservation and no refund will be granted.
e) Reasoning. Paying the security deposit with a credit card is a motorhome and automobile rental industry standard. The vendor is entrusting property worth tens of thousands of US dollars and must take extra precautions. Vendors have found that a person who cannot present a valid credit card is a greater credit risk than one who can.
A car rental executive used the following analogy: "Let's say you're going to a wedding. You can rent a tuxedo with no questions asked. If you destroy the tuxedo you'll be responsible for a couple hundred dollars. However, a rental vehicle is worth 30,000 to 60,000. So it's a numbers game and we need to have some way of being sure that the risk is not higher than it needs to be when we rent a vehicle."
7) Vehicle Breakdown, Accident, Emergency, Malfunction of Facilities
Regarding breakdown, accident, emergency, and malfunction of facilities, the information provided by the vendor upon the pick-up occasion and/or provided in the vehicle and perhaps via phone and/or e-mail is of course your primary reference. Please take special note of that information. The vendor has probably contracted separate third party services to process breakdown (e.g. a roadside assistance service) and accident (e.g. an insurance company); carefully follow their instructions as well. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions of the vendor and of the relevant third-party services in these respects. Note that the terms "breakdown" and "roadside assistance" typically refer to vehicular breakdown (i.e. the ability of the vehicle to transport people) not to malfunction of one or more of the facilities of a vehicle (e.g. GPS system, media system, propane system, refrigerator, heater, etc). Also note that the protocols regarding breakdown are typically quite different than the protocols regarding accident; and the protocols regarding malfunction of facilities are different as well.
Unless we or the vendor explicitly state otherwise, the following are true.
In the case of a motorhome breakdown a replacement motorhome is not guaranteed but rather is subject to availability and other factors. Any refunds for consequent expenses are made by the rental company or their sub-contractors, not by IdeaMerge. There is no guarantee that expenses will be refunded. Normally hotel and transportation expenses are refunded; whereas meals, phone calls and other expenses are not.
Some of the rental and lease depots in Europe do not have an English-speaking employee. Most of the repair shops in Europe do not have an English-speaking employee. If the vehicle breaks down, you must call both the relevant breakdown service and the rental or lease company as soon as possible to ensure both parties have notice. Communication between the service and the rental or lease company cannot be guaranteed.
If your vehicle breaks down on a weekend, it will likely not be replaced or fixed until at least the following Monday. (In Europe especially, nearly all repair shops are closed on Sunday, and a majority are closed on Saturday as well.) Of course some such repairs require several days to complete.
Again, if you are involved in an accident of any sort, you should immediately report it to the local police. If you fail to call the police in such instance, or if in such instance you give false information to the police, or if you without justification leave the site of an accident, the insurance coverage may be void relative to that accident.
The vendor is not obligated to secure the repair of vehicle features not essential to travel and which might be present — such as air conditioning, plumbing, the refrigerator, stove, microwave, GPS navigation, radio, CD player, TV/VCR/DVD, other appliances, automatic step, slide-out functionality, awning, generator, cruise control, power windows, power locks, locks, backup camera, parking radar, blinds and propane gas units, among other such features. Which is to say, the client accepts the risk that such features might be inoperable during the rental. Naturally, however, in most cases such repairs are indeed effected with the assistance and, ultimately at least, with the funds of the vendor. In some cases a refund may be granted to the client if a vehicle feature that is more or less essential to using the vehicle as a motorhome becomes inoperable during the rental and cannot be repaired in a reasonable time during the rental — excluding relatively inessential features which might be present such as microwave, GPS navigation, radio, CD player, TV/VCR/DVD, awning, generator, cruise control, power windows, power locks, backup camera, parking radar, etc — but only inasmuch as the client informs the vendor of the problem in a timely manner (i.e. relative to when the problem becomes apparent); only insofar as a vendor is given the opportunity to fix a problem (i.e. is informed about the problem) can they fairly be asked to extend a refund for the problem.
8) Car and Motorhome Rental (not Lease) Exceptions and Exclusions
This section does not apply to the tax-free, short-term European auto leases we sell.
If you are involved in an accident of any sort, you should immediately report it to the local police. If you fail to call the police in such instance, or if in such instance you give false information to the police, or if you without justification leave the site of an accident, the insurance coverage may be void relative to that accident.
Unless we or the vendor explicitly state otherwise, the costs associated with the following damages to a rental car or rental motorhome — including towing, recovery, and salvage costs — or the costs associated with the following losses or with the following injuries to persons (whether occupants of the vehicle or not) are excepted or excluded from coverage by the insurance which is associated with the rental. These exceptions and exclusions are industry standards. In this following list the word "client" means not only every person who signs the vendor's rental contract but also, by association, that person's or those persons' travel partner(s) and guest(s) in the rental vehicle. Yet only persons whom the vendor lists on said rental contract and who sign and date it are authorized by the vendor to drive the rental vehicle.
9) Right of Refusal
The vendor always reserves the right to refuse any rental or lease at their discretion.
10) Return on Demand
The vendor may demand the return of the vehicle at any time and, if in the vendor's judgment such demand may not be complied with, or if there is any delay in compliance, the vendor may forthwith repossess the vehicle by use of any lawful means, without prior written warning to the client or to the client's credit card company or bank.
If the vendor's rental or lease agreement with the client contains any false statement provided by the client, or if the client omits to make known to the vendor any information concerning the client or the client's intentions regarding the vehicle that the client may reasonably be taken to know is material to the vendor when the vendor is considering renting the vehicle to the client, or if the clent is in breach of any provision of the rental or lease agreement, the vendor may forthwith repossess the vehicle by use of any lawful means, without prior warning to the client and terminate the rental or lease agreement.
The client shall permit the vendor or its insurers and their counsel to have the sole and exclusive conduct in the name and on behalf of the client, and the cost of the vendor or its insurers, of the defense of all lawsuits and proceedings that may be instituted against the client arising out of the client's use, possession, driving, parking, storage or transportation of the vehicle, and any counterclaim that may be made by the client in any such lawsuits and proceedings. The right of the vendor and its insurers to conduct the said lawsuits and proceedings shall include the sole and exclusive right to settle or abandon any such lawsuits or proceedings, and enter into binding agreement, or give good discharges, on behalf of the client for the purpose of entering into any settlement of, or abandoning, any such lawsuits or proceedings. The client shall co-operate fully with the vendor and its insurers in taking all steps and in providing and obtaining all information and evidence that may be deemed necessary or desirable by the vendor or its insurers for the purpose of the said lawsuits or proceedings and the conduct, settlement or abandonment thereof. By signing the rental contract with the vendor, the client irrevocably appoints the vendor, or its said insurers, to be the true and lawful attorneys of the client to execute all documents and do or omit to do all such acts and things as the said attorneys may consider to be necessary or desirable in the circumstances in order to give effect to the rights conferred by this clause on the vendor and its said insurers, and the power of attorney thus conferred is deemed to be coupled with an interest.
The client shall defend, indemnify and hold IdeaMerge and the vendor harmless from and against any and all losses, liabilities, damages, injuries, claims, demands, cost and expenses, arising out of or connected with the possession or use of the vehicle while the vehicle is in the client's possession, including but not limited to any and all claims or liabilities arising out of the abandonment, conversion, concealment or unauthorized sale of the vehicle by the client or the client's drivers, agents or employee, or confiscation or seizure of the vehicle by reason of any illegal or improper use of the vehicle.
14) Reviews, Comments, Communications and Other Content
Visitors may post reviews, comments, photos, questions and other information to our website. The content cannot be illegal, obscene, threatening, defamatory, infringing on any rights, injurious to a third party or contain software viruses. It cannot be political campaigning, commercial solicitation or any form of "spam." You may not use a false e-mail address, impersonate any person or entity, or otherwise mislead as to the origin of the content. IdeaMerge reserves the right to remove or edit such content.
If you do post content or submit material you grant IdeaMerge a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media. You grant IdeaMerge and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such content. You warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content that you post; that the content is accurate; that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity; and that you will indemnify IdeaMerge for all claims resulting from content you supply. IdeaMerge has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content. IdeaMerge takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content posted by you or any third party.
15) License and Site Access
IdeaMerge grants you a limited license to access and make personal use of this site with the exceptions below. Any unauthorized use terminates the license granted. The license does NOT grant the right to do the following except with express written consent of IdeaMerge:
a) sale or make commercial use of the site or its contents;
b) collect and use of any product listings, descriptions, or prices;
c) make any derivative use of this site or its contents;
d) download or copy of account information for the benefit of another merchant;
e) frame or utilize framing techniques to enclose any trademark, logo, or other proprietary information (including images, text, page layout, or form);
f) use any meta tags or any other "hidden text" utilizing IdeaMerge's name or trademarks; or
g) download (other than page caching) or modify any portion of the site.
You are also granted a revocable and nonexclusive right to create a hyperlink to the home page of IdeaMerge.com so long as the link does not portray IdeaMerge, or its products or services, in a false, misleading or offensive manner. You may not use any IdeaMerge logo or other proprietary graphic or trademark as part of the link without express written permission.
A. The Vehicle in General and Your Operation of It
1) Drive Carefully. You are responsible for any vehicle damage you cause, both wilful and by negligence. Be sure the vehicle is low enough to clear overhead obstacles and narrow enough for bridges and roads. Have a person assist you from outside when operating a motorhome in reverse.
2) Test Drive. Test drive the vehicle at and near the depot; if you notice anything unusual, especially regarding the accelerator or brakes or clutch, or see any warning lights on the dashboard, notify the depot immediately.
3) Traffic Violations. You must report and perhaps turn in to the rental or lease company any parking, toll-road or other tickets you knowingly receive during your rental or lease. You of course, not the rental or lease company, are responsible for paying for these tickets. Given the increased use of automated cameras and the like to detect such violations, there is a considerable and increasing chance that you will be issued such ticket without knowing it has been issued. Such tickets are sometimes delivered to the rental or lease company, which company would then rightly hold you responsible for paying the fine. Increasingly though, especially as nations are more able and willing to share information, such tickets are successfully delivered directly to the customer by the municipality or other issuing entity. Cash-strapped municipalities and other governments are more motivated and enabled than ever before to successfully obtain revenue by way of issuing such tickets. To our knowledge these government entities are not targeting particular groups such as foreign motorists. However, the fact is that foreign motorists — especially those operating rental or lease vehicles — tend to assume that they are significantly immune to suffering the consequences of violating traffic rules or regulations. That assumption used to be rather well founded but it no longer is.
4) Vehicle Damage. Motorhomes tend to be more expensive to repair than cars, chiefly because the pieces involved — e.g. side panels, windshield, etc — are larger. Thus even surface marks, scratches, and windshield chips cost more. As with car rentals, such damages are not considered normal wear and tear. Your security deposit will be debited for vehicle damage. However, depending on logistics and the severity of damage, a damaged rental vehicle might not be repaired for some time after the rental. In fact the vendor (rental company) is not even obligated to get the damages repaired; as owners or leasers of the vehicle, they might choose to sell the vehicle as-is and thus absorb by way of a lower sale price the cost of damages. Hence it is the industry standard that qualified mechanics employed at or by the vendor estimate the cost of damages and that the vendor charge for damages based on those estimates. Generally vendors try to let cosmetic damages accumulate to a sort of optimal point relative to aesthetic sensibilities, demand for the vehicle, the number of parts (e.g. side panels) involved, and the value of the damages. By thus bundling damages they spread the risk, resulting in increased vehicle availability and an insurance deductible/excess which is lower than it otherwise would be. Regardless of whether a repair or subset of repairs is outsourced or done in-house or whether a repair or set of repairs is never actually made but rather the vehicle is sold as-is, the crux of the matter consists of a description of the damages that occurred during the rental and the monetary cost associated with those damages and devolving onto the rental company (one way or another), which costs are of course passed on to the rental customer (subject to the terms of the rental contact, e.g. insurance deductible/excess) and then perhaps onto the rental customer's own insurance company (subject to the terms of that auto or travel insurance contract). As such, damage invoices produced by the rental company (rather than by a third party repair shop) are to be considered sufficient for a customer's insurance company's needs.
5) Problems. You must report any motor or equipment problem, however minor, to the vendor immediately. The vendor must have an opportunity to fix the problem and keep the vehicle safe. You cannot claim, and may be responsible for, damages resulting from unreported vehicle problems.
6) Mobile Phone. Carry a mobile phone with you in case of emergency and confirm with your service provider that you can call toll-free and over-seas phone numbers. Please give IdeaMerge the number so we or the vendor can contact you if necessary.
B. The Vehicle Details
1) Specific Model. The vendors try to provide the model requested but they cannot guarantee a certain vehicle model or layout. For the same price, the vendor reserves the right to substitute a vehicle from the same, an equivalent, or a higher-rated or larger group of vehicles (yet still appropriate to your driver's license and party), according to the vendor's system of grouping vehicles. Any higher third-party costs associated with a larger vehicle — such as campground fees, tolls, and fueling costs — are to be borne by the customer. Moreover, neither the vendor nor IdeaMerge is liable for any loss or injury resulting from a vehicle substitution or associated with the vehicle's size.
2) Vehicle Specifications. In accord with the Specific Model advisory above, all floor plans, images, and most measurements and specifications should be considered approximate, not guaranteed and subject to change at any time without notice. They are intended as a guide only. Regarding any maximum vehicle age indicated, that information pertains to the vehicle we initially book for the customer and likewise to the essence of the fleet the supplier is determined to maintain; it is possible, however, the supplier will suffer losses to their fleet that will require them to replenish the fleet temporarily with one or more vehicles that are significantly older than indicated; and as such a customer might receive such an older vehicle as a substitute, for which substitution there is typically no refund.
3) Beds. IdeaMerge is not responsible if any beds in the vehicle are too small or otherwise unsuitable for the passengers. Our website presents the number of sleeping places in each motorhome and the dimensions of each bed. The bed dimensions are on the vehicle specifications page. The information we present is identical to the information we receive from the vendor. Be advised the vendors report that the dimensions of the beds should be considered approximate and might differ slightly from the actual bed size. Nevertheless, we urge you to study the bed sizes and characteristics very carefully to be sure they are suitable for the occupants who will use them. Likewise, if we present multiple models categorized in the same vehicle group you have ordered, you should study the beds of those models, because if you are given a different model than the one you ordered, it will most likely come from that same vehicle group if not from a group of larger vehicles. Please inform IdeaMerge if you have any doubts in this respect or require any kind of special sleeping arrangement.
4) Air Conditioning. The type of air conditioning, if any, described per vehicle is typically consistent across the aforementioned particular group of vehicles to which that vehicle is assigned by the vendor and is typically present on any equivalent or higher-rated group of vehicles; however it is possible that exceptions to this rule exist or will occur, in which case it is the responsibility of the vendor and the client to negotiate an agreement regarding the equivalency of any substitute vehicle. With respect to roof air conditioning (i.e. generated by A/C current via the public electrical grid or a generator), note that it is typically not present on all vehicles in a vendor's fleet and that such air conditioning is typically capable of cooling the vehicle interior by no more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (6.67 degrees Celsius) relative to the outside air temperature.
5) Manual Transmission. If you have booked a manual transmission vehicle, you must be proficient at operating a manual transmission before you pick up. If you cannot operate the transmission correctly, the vendor might refuse to deliver the vehicle. There are no refunds in these cases. Almost all the motorhomes and campervans available for rental in Europe have a manual transmission rather than an automatic transmission.
6) Vehicle Key. There is one key for all vehicle doors. If the key is lost, or a lock damaged, you will have to pay for new locks.
7) Fueling the Vehicle. Engine fuel costs are the client's responsibility. Any indication we or the vendor make regarding fuel consumption is not guaranteed. Be careful to put the correct fuel in the vehicle. For example, in Europe a diesel fuel pump nozzle is considerably wider than either a leaded gasoline pump nozzle or the even smaller unleaded gasoline pump nozzle and indeed will not fit into either such tank. Consequently a gasoline nozzle will fit into a diesel tank. Therefore, be careful not to put gasoline into a diesel tank. Even a liter of gasoline added to the tank of a modern diesel vehicle can cause irreversible damage to the injection pump and other components due to its relatively low lubricity. A green pump delivers unleaded gasoline or else diesel, a blue leaded gasoline. Diesel pumps are sometimes colored black, sometimes green. Diesel pumps are chiefly signified linguistically, either with the very word diesel or with one of the equivalents: gas-oil, gaz-oil, gasolio, gasóleo, dieselolie, mazot, motorina, or nafta. Make sure you do not mistakenly pull up to a truck diesel pump. The size of the nozzles for the truck pumps versus the car/motorhome pumps is different. A truck fuel nozzle is too big to fit into a car or motorhome's diesel fuel pipe, and the flow rate is much greater. By the way, LPG (i.e. propane) pumps similarly occupy their own island.
C. Picking Up
1) Procedure. The depot explains how the vehicle and its equipment function. The pick-up procedure takes about one hour. Ask questions to resolve any doubts. Refuse to be rushed.
2) Inspection. Carefully inspect the vehicle's surface. Point out any marks, scratches, etc., to the depot staff. Take time-stamped photos of the vehicle including the roof, or video tape the inspection, so nothing is missed. The depot records vehicle damage on a damage checklist that you will have to sign.
3) Interior. Examine the vehicle's interior to be sure it's clean, all appliances function, all cabinets and windows close properly, etc. The toilet cassette should be cleaned everyday it is used.
4) Insurance. Examine the insurance documentation provided upon the pick-up occasion by the vendor. The terms and conditions of the insurance are subject to change between the time you booked the rental or lease and the pick-up occasion. Again, insurance changes are outside the control of IdeaMerge. Take special note of the geographic domain in which the insurance is effective.
5) Security Deposit. For car and motorhome rentals, you must place a security deposit with a valid credit card in the name of a person who is at the depot and traveling in the vehicle.
6) Depot Parking and storage. At some motorhome rental depots parking is permitted. You must ask in advance. Some motorhome rental depots allow you to store personal items while you are traveling.
7) Changes. Please do not expect to make changes to the booking when you pick up the vehicle or while traveling.
D. Accessories and Equipment
1) Accessories. Make sure all of your requested accessories are included. Check them at the depot to be sure they are in satisfactory condition and tell the staff if you have questions or doubts.
2) Child Safety Seats. The client acknowledges that a child safety car seat is designed for use in a motor vehicle, but not necessarily in recreational motor vehicles, and its use will help reduce the risk of some types of injuries to the user in the event of a motor vehicle collision, accident or impact but recognizes that serious injury or death can result from both low and high speed collisions, accidents, or impacts, even when a child safety seat is used. THE CLIENT FREELY ACCEPTS AND FULLY ASSUMES ALL RISKS, DANGERS AND HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF A CHILD SAFETY CAR SEAT IN THE RENTAL OR LEASE VEHICLE, whether or not that seat has been provided by the vendor. The client waives ANY AND ALL CLAIMS that the client has or may in the future have against the vendor or IdeaMerge, and against the directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (all of whom are hereinafter collectively referred to as "the Releasees") of those companies and TO RELEASE THE RELEASEES from any and all liability for any loss, damage, expense or injury including death that the client may suffer, or that any child of the client or any child that the client is guardian or host of, may suffer, resulting from or arising out of any aspect of the use of the child safety car seat, DUE TO ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE, BREACH OF CONTRACT OR BREACH OF WARRANTY ON THE PART OF THE RELEASEES in respect of the design, selection, installation, maintenance or adjustment of the child safety car seat, or in respect of the provision of or the failure to provide any warnings, directions, instructions or guidance as to the use of the child safety car seat.
Regarding travel in a transfer shuttle (e.g. taxi, van, bus) included or specifically booked as an aspect of a vehicle rental or lease, parents or guardians are responsible to provide according to the applicable laws a child safety seat or child booster seat. This responsibility remains even if the vendor (e.g. RV rental company) offers such child safety items for hire and you the client have booked one or more of those items for the rental; in such case the client should specifically determine, days before the pick-up date, whether the hired safety seat(s) or equivalent such safety seat(s) will be present in the shuttle as well.
3) Equipment. Make sure all vehicle equipment is included and in satisfactory condition, such as the hose, cleaning supplies, etc.
4) Features. Ask how all features work, especially the awning (if present). You will be charged for damage to a vehicle feature. Some features, such as the awning and bike rack, are not guaranteed, because the vehicle might be delivered directly from the factory with no time for installation.
5) GPS Units. Test the GPS unit (if present) to be sure it works correctly. Neither the vendor nor IdeaMerge is responsible for any GPS navigation inaccuracies, imprecisions, ambiguities, errors, malfunctions, or updates. Note: it might be less expensive and more effective for you to buy a GPS navigation device before your trip, load it with the appropriate software, and program it with points of interest. Special navigation software for large vehicles (motorhomes, trucks) is now on the market, from the likes of Magellan and Rand McNally.
6) Manuals. Check whether the vehicle manual is in the vehicle and in a language you can understand.
7) Maps and Guides. Please bring a road map and at least two campground guides with you (if you plan to camp), either in book or software form. Be sure they are up to date, as such information changes frequently. Do not rely on the vendor's maps and guides (if present), as they might not be satisfactory.
8) LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for heating and cooking (alias "campinggaz" or "propane"). Upon the rental pick-up occasion, make sure the LPG heating/cooking gas cylinders (also referred to as bottles) that are provided in the rental vehicle are sufficiently full. Most motorhome rental vehicles in Europe are provided with one such cylinder completely full and another partially full. Also on the pick-up occasion, ask for appropriate LPG connectors/adapters for each country you plan to visit. Nevertheless, before crossing any national border in Europe, again make sure the LPG cylinders are sufficiently full. Indeed before crossing a national border in Europe, you should at least consider exchanging your cylinders for full ones even if your cylinders are not yet empty, and likewise you should at least consider buying extra cylinders to augment your supply. Many European, Scandinavian, British and Irish rental motorhomes employ LPG cylinders which are meant to be exchanged by the customer (rather than refilled on the spot by the customer or by a retail operation), the customer paying only for the LPG not the cylinder (bottle) itself as well. The refilling of such cylinders by consumers or retail businesses is prohibited in the UK and in many continental European countries because it is a dangerous process and one which can easily be performed improperly. Notoriously, however, the type of exchangeable cylinders tend to vary by country within Europe. Therefore when outside the country in which you picked up the vehicle, you very well might not be able to exchange the cylinders provided by the motorhome rental company. Instead, inasmuch as your LPG cylinders are depleted, you might need to buy an exchangeable cylinder locally (in which case you'd also have to place a deposit on the exchangeable cylinder, because it remains the property of the gas company).
If you are touring multiple countries on the European continent, we recommend that you obtain a Campinggaz (that's the brand name) cylinder, just in case, because it is so widely available (i.e. for exchange) in continental Europe.
Continental European exchangeable cylinders are not typically available on the UK or Irish markets; and there is no adapter on the general market which interfaces continental heating and cooking systems to the "Calor" gas exchangeable cylinders standard in the UK and Ireland. So indeed you might need to bring extra, full exchangeable cylinders if you are crossing to the UK or Ireland for an extended tour. UK and Irish vendors supply the standard Calor gas exchangeable cylinders for travel in the UK and Ireland. When a client is traveling from the UK or Ireland to Europe, the vendor typically supplies the client with continental "Campinggaz" (formerly Camping Gaz) exchangeable cylinders and/or an adapter that interfaces the Campinggaz exchangeable cylinders to UK heating and cooking systems. Campinggaz is relatively expensive but it is available all over Europe; whereas Calor gas cylinders are not available outside the UK.
New cylinders, whether Campinggaz or not, are often sold at campgrounds, outdoor recreation stores, hardware stores, home improvement stores (e.g. "OBI" in Italy), or fuel stations (e.g. in Spain the ideal is "Cepsa", otherwise "Repsol"). You would also buy (hopefully at same store) an adapter/tap that will connect this type of cylinder to the motorhome system, and perhaps (if the vehicle does not have a remote, wall-mounted regulator, which nearly all post-2004 motorhomes do have) a regulator as well (although adjustable ones are sometimes available that preclude the need for a separate adapter). Costs vary by country. Cylinders cost EUR 40 to EUR 75 or so. The deposit required per cylinder is about EUR 20. Adapters and regulators cost only about EUR 10. You can look on campground noticeboards for used cylinders for sale for maybe EUR 10.
In rural Spain, bottled gas is the most common form of cooking. Therefore adapters/taps are readily available in most larger supermarkets there. Cylinders (butane or propane) can be exchanged and adapters/taps bought in most Ferreterias (i.e. hardware stores, ironmongeries) in Spain. Often it is possible to buy an empty cylinder from a "flea market" in Spain and then simply exchange it at a store and pay for a full one. The Spanish fuel stations Cepsa and Repsol sell new gas cylinders. Repsol is more prevalent but they tend to require from the buyer a proof of Spanish address and/or they might insist on an expensive inspection of your vehicle before consenting to sell you a gas cylinder.
With respect to LPG cylinders that are meant to be refilled by customers or retail operations rather than exchanged, various connectors might be needed to re-fill the cylinders because the LPG dispenser nozzles at fuel stations tend to vary from country to country.
Three different dispenser connectors are used in Europe: the Dutch Bayonet, the Claw or Italian Dish, and the ACME thread.
The following articles are helpful:
1) Time/Place. You are obliged to return the vehicle to the scheduled depot or location. There is an hourly charge for late return, and the time window for return is probably far less than 24 hours. Contact the depot if you cannot return on time. Any costs incurred as a result of a subsequent hirer or any other person making claims against the rental company on the grounds that a vehicle was supplied late must be borne by you.
2) Inspection. The depot will thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any vehicle damage. If the damage is not already marked on the damage checklist you will be held responsible.
3) Condition. Return with the vehicle's interior thoroughly clean (vacuumed and swept) and the waste tanks and toilet emptied and cleaned or you will be charged a substantial fee. Cleaning at the depot is not allowed. You will also be responsible for any claim made by a subsequent client because of their pick-up delay.
4) Traffic Violations. You must report and perhaps turn in to the rental or lease company any parking, toll-road or other tickets you knowingly received during your rental or lease. You of course, not the rental or lease company, are responsible for paying for these tickets And as described above, you are also responsible for any such tickets that you unknowingly were issued during your rental or lease.
F. Travel and Camping
1) You should tell IdeaMerge in advance and the depot on pick-up day, the following:
a) All the countries you plan to visit.
b) If you plan to use the vehicle for a special purpose such as to carry supplies, on a movie set, to attend the Burning Man festival, to travel to a region known as inhospitable (e.g. Death Valley, Northern Canada, a war zone), etc.
c) f you plan to take the vehicle to any especially inhospitable areas
d) If you plan to take the vehicle on a ferry. You should contact the ferry company in advance to be sure you have all required vehicle documents to board.
2) Campsites. Camp at designated campsites. Camping on private property without permission is illegal and can be dangerous. Likewise, camping in public areas, on the roadside, etc., can be illegal or dangerous or both. Research campsites in advance and arrive early so you have time to set up before your neighbors go to bed.
4) Storage. Use collapsible luggage that can be stored in the motorhome easily and without taking up much space.
5) Winter Travel. Inasmuch as the ambient temperatures of the low-altitude regions near the depot are expected to be below the freezing point during your rental, the motorhome's heating system might not be capable of keeping the motorhome's water system from freezing during your rental, even if the water system features its own anti-freeze system. In such case the vendor reserves the right to deliver the vehicle to you with its water/waste system drained, meaning the sink, the shower and the toilet could not be used. If you re-hydrate the water system during the rental and return the vehicle as such, the vendor might charge a fee. In contrast, if such low temperatures will or may be encountered only at higher altitudes or otherwise sporadically during your rental duration the vehicle will be delivered to you with its water/waste system hydrated. Of course upon the pick-up occasion the vendor can provide instruction regarding the draining and rehydration of that system. Regardless, in all cases the client is responsible for any damage to the water/waste system due to freezing.
6) Snow tires. Where and when road or weather conditions, and perhaps laws or ordinances or such, dictate the wise or requisite use of specific tires or specifically embellished tires (e.g. tires fitted with snow chains or socks), it is the driver's responsibility to abstain from driving until such tires are installed on his or her vehicle. It is nevertheless the client's responsibility to return the vehicle with the initial (i.e. original) set of tires installed or co-present; otherwise the client will be billed for those initial tires. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden, for example, have laws which dictate the use of winter tires. It is the client's responsibility to research and understand such laws in relation to his or her rental and itinerary. You can study the UK Automobile Assocation website to learn more about winter tire requirements and other compulsory equipment per European country. Regarding snow chains, it is vital that you check and if necessary maintain the tension of the chains frequently, and certainly after every short journey. Also, with the chains fitted do not drive faster than about 35 miles per hour (60 km/h).
7) Tires on French short-term, tax-free car leases. Unless we or the vendor explicitly state otherwise, the tires included with a French short-term, tax-free car lease are multi-season tires. By "multi-season" we mean tires that are not specifically designed for muddy and snowy conditions (which tires bear the code "M+S") or for snowy conditions in particular (which tires bear the international symbol of a snowflake); i.e they are not — we repeat, not — the sort of tires which are colloquially referred to as "winter tires" or "snow tires". Rather, multi-season tires are the sort of tires standardly delivered on new cars.
G. Breakdown, Accident, Emergency, Malfunction of Facilities
1) In case of breakdown, accident, emergency, or malfunction of facilities, carefully follow the relevant instructions the vendor has provided (upon the pick-up occasion and within the vehicle and perhaps via phone and/or e-mail). The vendor has probably contracted separate third party services to process breakdown (e.g. a roadside assistance service) and accident (e.g. an insurance company); carefully follow their instructions as well. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions of the vendor and of the relevant third-party services in these respects. Note that the terms "breakdown" and "roadside assistance" typically refer to vehicular breakdown (i.e. the ability of the vehicle to transport people) not to malfunction of one or more of the facilities of a vehicle (e.g. GPS system, media system, propane system, refrigerator, heater, etc). Also note that the protocols regarding breakdown are typically quite different than the protocols regarding accident; and the protocols regarding malfunction of facilities are different as well.
2) You may also contact IdeaMerge. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST), i.e. regular weekday business hours on the West Coast of the USA. If you call us outside those hours, you are welcome to leave a voicemail. We check our e-mail and voicemail both during and outside of the business hours posted above.
Your IP Address
Each time you visit the IdeaMerge website (site) our web server collects your IP address. Your IP address may be used to gather broad demographic information and to help diagnose problems with our servers, to administer the site, and to better serve you and other users. We do not send your IP address to any unauthorized or unrelated third party.
Information We Collect
How We Use That Information
We use that information to reserve your rental or lease vehicle and to contact you for reservation-related matters such as the confirmation, booking changes and similar matters. We share that information with the vendor inasmuch as it is necessary to facilitate the rental or lease. By booking with IdeaMerge you authorize that sharing of your information. Likewise we use your personal information to process financial transactions. We process credit card transactions via an online payment gateway, a credit card processing company, and our merchant bank. Those payment processing companies are authorized to use your information to facilitate the processing of the financial transaction according to the contract we have with each. The vendor and the other companies mentioned above have their own privacy policies. IdeaMerge exercises no control over the privacy policies of other companies.
What We Do Not Do With Your Information
We do not sell, rent or otherwise disclose your personal information to any unauthorized third party without your consent. The only exception is if the disclosure of the information is required by law.
Our Security Precautions
Our website employs security measures to guard against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information you send us.
We use a 256-bit digital SSL connection (Secure Socket Layer) to secure all online orders. This encryption technology ensures that your information cannot be viewed or intercepted by third parties during the order transfer process, thus rendering an online order even safer than an order made verbally over the telephone. Of course if you do wish to transfer personal information or credit card details to us via telephone, you are welcome to.
GoDaddy, a recognized independent internet security certifier, regularly tests whether our online connection is in fact secure. They also test whether this site links you directly to our company, as we promise.
You can click on the GoDaddy logo below to view our SecureTrust certification.
The site contains links to other websites. Most of the links are to companies that operate in a related business or industry. These links are provided solely to direct a user to information on topics that may be helpful in using our services. IdeaMerge is not responsible for the practices employed by the companies operating these linked websites. Browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites that have a link to the IdeaMerge website, are subject to that website's rules and policies.
Spam is unsolicited e-mail sent indiscriminately to various mailing lists, individuals or groups. IdeaMerge does not send or participate in the sending of spam e-mail, and we strictly prohibit the use of our website as a means to distribute, circulate or deliver spam. We do not allow any third party to gather or acquire any information about our clients, including client e-mail addresses or any other personal information, for the purpose of spamming. Unauthorized use of IdeaMerge's website in connection to sending unsolicited e-mails or spam is a violation of this policy and may result in civil, criminal, or administrative penalties against the sender and those assisting.
You can also send postal mail to: IdeaMerge LLC, 2868 North Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97217 USA.