Capital Car Hire crooks?

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Car Rental News - 05/10/2007


More than 30 angry customers have found their car hire company bankrupt

A car rental company based in Edinburgh appears to have gone out of business. Investigators looking into the company's alleged failure to refund a customer's deposit uncovered the fact.

The investigation into Capital Car Hire was being conducted by trading standards officers after complaints reached their office that customer's money was being mishandled.

When investigators arrived at the car hire firms' business officers at Bankhead Crossway South in Sighthill, they found the windows shuttered. No one answered the phone. Further investigations revealed that the company had been ejected from the premises by the landlord.

Council chiefs, acting on several angry complaints by customers, have been warming the company since March that its directors could face charges and even prison time.

In fact, David Simm, the 40-year-old director of Capital Car Hire has already been sentenced to two months in jail last month. He was charged with assault after he drove his car at a man. Brian Farrell, the main attacked, had no choice but to jump over a wall in order to avoid Simm's car.

One customer visited the Sighthill office earlier in the week to get her £500 deposit returned. Instead of finding satisfaction, she found a group of American tourists outside waiting to pick up vehicles they had booked for their holiday with the company.

"I was waiting months to recover my deposit and eventually decided to visit their premises," she said. "I found it locked up and shuttered and a crowd of upset tourists from America outside. They said they had booked a vehicle, paid for it, then turned up to find the place closed with no signs of life."

Another customer, Jennifer Hargreaves, rented a car from Low Cost Cars in October last year. She used her credit card to pay for the £119 rental. In June she discovered that two additional transactions of £219 each had been billed to her by Sim Associates Edinburgh, a company which trades under the name of Capital Car Hire. After several phone calls, she managed to recover about half the cost charged.

The company remains under investigation, however more than 30 angry customers remain unsatisfied. There has been no comment released from Capital Car Hire.

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