Damage Recovery Fee explained – Thrifty Australia


If you’re renting a car with Thrifty in Australia and want have a better grasp of the liabilities you may face as a driver, look no further.

We have thoroughly researched all of the fine print from Thrifty to put this article together for you. We outline below all of the details regarding their Damage Recovery Fee (DRF) that is applicable when renting a car with Thrifty for travel within Australia.

The information provided in this article is current as at 6 October 2014. It is important to note that car rental companies update their terms and conditions from time to time.

What is a Damage Recovery Fee (DRF)?

Also referred to as the Rental Vehicle Excess (RVE) or Damage Liability Fee (DLF), the Damage Recovery Fee is the value you will have to pay the rental vehicle company if damage occurs to the rental car while it is in your possession.

The DRF value varies depending on the type of vehicle that you hire, the car rental supplier that you hire your car from and the location that you collect your hire car from.

For Thrifty Australia, the “Damage Recovery Fee” as defined in their Terms and Conditions is: “the amount you have to pay for each separate instance of damage to or loss of our (Thrifty’s) vehicle, or for damage to other property, and for any associated costs, will be reduced automatically to a maximum level in respect of each separate instance.”

It is interesting to note that Thrifty’s Terms and Conditions state that the Damage Recovery Fee may be charged more than once if multiple incidents that cause damage occur to the rental car during a single hire period.

The Terms and Conditions available for viewing on the Thrifty website (Section 8) state that the DRF “applies in respect of each separate instance of damage to or loss of our (Thrifty’s) vehicle or for damage to other property and for any associated costs”.

“This may happen, for example, if during your rental period you are involved in an incident, which causes damage to the vehicle, and in a separate and unrelated incident, further or additional damage is caused to the vehicle. The Damage Recovery Fee would be payable in respect of both incidents.”

How much is the Damage Recovery Fee (DRF) when renting a car from Thrifty for travel in Australia?

The Damage Recovery Fee cost varies based on the type of car rented and also the pickup location that you collect your Thrifty rental car from.

After a thorough search of Thrifty’s website, details of the Damage Recovery Fee cost applicable for each car category could not be found.

The car category information has been obtained from Thrifty’s website. The information outlining the Damage Recovery Fee costs below has been obtained from Thrifty’s partner, VroomVroomVroom’s website and also confirmed by calling Thrifty’s Customer Service call centre.



Thrifty-Car-CategoriesBased on the information above, as at 6 October 2014, Thrifty’s Damage Recovery Fee (DRF) for cars being hired within Australia ranged between $4,000 and $5,500 (GST inclusive) + local depot surcharges (administration fees + premium location surcharge fee + credit card surcharges + single vehicle accident liability fee), where applicable.

So, Total Damage Recovery Fee (DRF) = DRF + GST + SVALF (if applicable) + Local Depot Surcharges.

What is a Premium Location Surcharge (PLS)?

 The Premium Location Surcharge is defined on Thrifty’s website as “applies to all Rentals collected from any of our Airport Locations. All goods and services purchased or supplied from an Airport incur an additional charge.”

 Thrifty also refer to the charge as an “Airport Recovery Fee”.


What is a Single Vehicle Accident Liability Fee?

The Thrifty Australia website defines a Single Vehicle Accident (SVA) as “an incident in which: (a) no other motor vehicle is involved (e.g. rollovers, collisions with animals, trees, pedestrians etc) (b) another motor vehicle is involved but: – (i) that other motor vehicle or its driver has not been identified to us; or (ii) at the time of the incident the other vehicle was stationary, parked or driving in reverse.”

The Single Vehicle Accident Liability Fee (SVALF) is a charge for damage incurred as a result of SVA’s. The fee is charged on top of the nominated Damage Recovery Fee (where the rental car hire is subject to both the DRF and SVALF).

The SVALF is not applicable for passenger rental where the hire car is sourced or collected from a metropolitan location or a location where metropolitan rates apply.

If your rental with Thrifty is subject to a SVALF, it will be stated on the first page of your rental agreement you receive when collecting your car.

To confirm whether a SVALF applies to your rental, check directly with Thrifty.

What are Administration Fees?

Fees associated with the administrative tasks completed supporting your rental car booking and journey. This may include fees for associated administrative efforts to process a damage claim or report should an incident occur while you are in possession of the hire car.

What are Credit Card Surcharges?

Thrifty’s website states that a surcharge of 1.5% will apply when paying by credit card. The 1.5% is calculated on the amount debited on your credit card.

How do I reduce my Damage Liability Fee when renting a car with Thrifty?

Visit our How to reduce or remove your Thrifty Damage Liability Fee article.

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