Anyone renting from Hertz @ MAN - be very careful! This location has third party contractors "between the customer and the car" as I was told. Synopisis: Rented LHR, returned MAN. Used Gold service at LHR for pickup, therefore did not interact with staff. There were assorted small marks on the vehicle including scratches on rims. Not all were marked on VCR - previously at LHR when I've interacted with staff, I have pointed out concerns like this and I have been assured that such marks were not reportable.... and indeed, they have not been at LHR (or EDI)... until I returned the LHR rental to MAN last week. When I returned at MAN the contract agent used the 10mm wheel mark gauge and 25mm body and determined that two of the wheels had marks. Because these did not appear on the LHR VCR that was in the car when I picked it up, I was told these would be assessed for damage by the third-party assessor. I complained to three Hertz staff, one male manager inside, and two female managers including C. the fleet manager that these marks were not on VCR but had not been a problem previously at LHR. I received some platitudes including a statement about "errors can happen" and "we will be using vehicle cameras at all locations soon" - that may be so and will be better, but meantime, we have this very problematic situation. We were then offered an SUV, which had a VCR inside it. After this rather unpleasant surprise, we were determined to document the condition exhaustively. We did so. Now look at this scratch on the vehicle door - which exceeded 200mm in length! It was NOT MARKED on the VCR! I insisted that manager C. add this to the VCR and pointed out the outrageous inconsistency. She was standing directly beside this non-recorded scratch!! She consented to noting this, but without appreciating the clear liability this action represents. There were two other marks on this vehicle that exceeded the VCR threshold but were not marked on this VCR. We insisted they were added too. We again pointed out to C. - and to another manager who arrived just before we left. I challenged both of them on the inconsistency between their renting and return condition evaluations, and I did not receive a satisfactory answer. Think about what this means for a moment. They rent without inspecting and documenting with the same "care" that they use when return is performed. Even if this is not deliberate, this systematically guarantees revenue for them, if they are able to levy "damage assessments" on some proportion of customers. But if it's being in any way condoned or encouraged, it's clear fraud. My companion recommended a followup. Had we not moved this vehicle one inch, and simply turned it back immediately, on the spot, we WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSESSED THE DAMAGES BY THE SAME AGENT WHO GAUGED THE LHR CAR an hour before! This, in spite of their own VCR not documenting these damages..... This is unacceptable to say the least. We didn't have time to do this, because we'd already been at this location for 1hr 45mins during which time other rather suspicious things had happened. But had we done this, and been reported for damage assessment, I would have called Manchester police on the spot and reported Hertz MAN for suspected fraud. Lots of scope for investigation in such a case. For instance I would request MAN police audit and investigate the contractor and Hertz accounts and determine the scope of financial interest. I would request an audit of net damage assessments per vehicle/rental at this location and compare it with averages/other UK locations. Some of you will know, I'm not a guy who has any tolerance for rental car scams and I will not stand for this ripoff. I remember the FL rental car scams of the late 90s and the involvement of the SAG's office in actioning rental car companies. This situation smells very similar to that one (third party contractors with incentive for financial gain fraudulently assessing damages on return until actioned by SAG). I have: a. Complained to Hertz via the online form. b. Emailed Hertz execs, those whose emails I can guess c. Poster a warning here. d. Dispute charges for these marks on the wheels. I informed all of the MAN Hertz staff I talked to that I would follow steps a. b. and c. above. The next steps are: e. Complain to BVRLA mediator f. Complaint to Competition and Markets Authority - who have been examining practices in this sector for some time. g. Involve trading standards officers in MAN to conduct an audit on procedures and to interview consumers who have experienced this problem themselves. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM POTENTIAL RENTAL CAR RIPOFF HERE! Some suggestions for action: 1. Avoid this location if you can. Always the best solution when scams are a possibility! 2. If you must rent/return here, document every scratch and mark on the vehicle photographically. Exhaustively. 3. If the staff do not use the 10mm and 25mm gauges on check out, insist that they do! Protect yourself from this notorious rental car scam. Note any inconsistencies like the one above, if scratches exceed their own thresholds and are not listed on the VCR at pickup. This evidence will support regulatory investigation/legal action. 4. If you're renting elsewhere and returning to MAN (also potentially GLA), make sure you don't take a car from the Gold bay without exhaustively documenting the marks per (2) and (3) above. BTW I saw something similar happening at GLA, which is also disturbing although it did not involve me. It seems GLA also uses contractors "between the customer and the cars." No doubt you can see that there is another nasty undercurrent to this. It's happening at an airport location where many customers are pressed for departure time and therefore will not have time to follow up/complain/document in this way. Luckily for us, we were not using air travel that day and had sufficient time at least to initiate the complaints and collect evidence. Not enough to conduct the followup suggested by my passenger - too bad because for sure that would have ensured immediate management attention and a real investigation. I will say, Hertz ops at LHR and EDI have been very good. Maybe because they employ Hertz staff to manage fleet, returns etc. I have had no such problems with numerous vehicles rented and returned to these locations... nor @ contract locations such as MEX, SSA, GIG, GRU, LIM, FCO, MXP and many others worldwide. MAN was a horrible experience. My worst in some years of renting. It is very damaging to the Hertz brand, but - at best - inadequate oversight brings these problems on. It might be worse than just poor oversight, given the circumstancial evidence and previous form in other cases. Renters, you have been warned! Hertz management, take this seriously and clean this problem up, now. Your company is responsible for these activities and will be held to account. I'm going to have this investigated one way or another. This will not go away or be brushed under the carpet.