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Hire cars fare badly in Ireland

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Two of the worst holiday hotspots for travellers bumping their hire cars are Chile and Ireland, according to a recent study.

A survey of the top 20 worldwide holiday destinations by rental company CarDelMar places Chile at the top of the poll, with the highest percentage of returned damaged cars of 7.7%.

The South American country has more than 25 times the number of bumped and bashed vehicles than in the USA, the lowest at 0.3%.

Ireland ranks second, with 5.8% of cars returned in a damaged state, followed by Costa Rica (5.7%) and Mexico (5.6%).

Returned cars in Spain are largely scratch-free with 99.5% of cars returned in immaculate condition, giving the country 19th place.

Only 1% of cars are returned damaged in Great Britain, placing the UK 13th place in the survey.

Carsten Greiner, managing director of CarDelMar, said: "Drivers are always very quick to blame the driving conditions of another country or the habits of another nationality - and perhaps our survey proves that some countries are worse to drive in than others.

"It is interesting that such a diverse mix of countries - Chile, Ireland, Costa Rica, Mexico and Belgium - have topped the polls with a much greater percentage of returned vehicles with damages."

© The Press Association 2008