I rented a car a couple of weeks ago in Penang from a reasonably popular local rental agency (Big Thumb Car Rental). I'd hired from them twice before in 2015. I lived in Asia for years and have extensive driving experience there, and have owned a few cars in Asia myself. I rented the car for a week and spent most of the time about 1 hour inland from Penang out in the kampung, driving mostly between my hotel and a relatives house. Practically no opportunity for damage. When they delivered the car to my hotel we made note of several scratches in various locations. They surprised me by taking several photos around the car themselves...never saw any car rental agency do this before anywhere but thought it not a bad idea. I should mention that upon checkout they took a MYR 500 cash deposit from me. Upon returning the car to the Penang airport they told me there were two new scratches on the right front bumper about 6 inches below an existing large scratch of exactly the same length and parallel orientation. They then produced the photos they took on checkout which did NOT show the two allegedly "new" scratches. I'm absolutely certain I did not cause these new scratches. A lengthy argument ensued. After threatening to call the police and get my highly-placed relatives involved they reluctantly relented after I suggested they might have Photoshopped the two scratches out of the pictures they took. Perhaps I touched on the nature of their scam....Photoshopping damage out of pictures THEY took is very easily done. I got my 500 MYR cash deposit back and caught my flight.
Next time I'll take MY OWN photos.
So much fraud these days concerning minor damage on rental cars. I had a similar experience a few years ago at the Budget rental outlet at Heathrow.Edited: 3:29 am, February 15, 2016