Jul 27, 2015

Posted by in Money Saving Tips, Trip Advice | 288 Comments

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7 car hire rip-offs and how to avoid them

Car hire

Exploration and discovery are yours for the taking when you hire a car on holiday. But without a little planning, you can end up paying way over the odds.

Protect yourself by getting to grips with the seven worst car hire rip-offs.


Rip-off #1: Sky-high excess costs

Car_BLog1_Image1

When you hire a car, insurance is included. But you may well find it comes with incredibly high excess charges – the amount you have to pay to cover the cost of an accident before the policy kicks in. This amount can be up to £2,000, in some cases – potentially leaving you well out of pocket if something goes wrong.

One way to get around the charge is to buy an excess waiver policy, which reduces the charge to zero or a small sum. But don’t wait until you get to the desk! Buy your waiver at home before you travel and you could pay around a mere £3 a day, compared with up to £20 if you don’t plan ahead.


Rip-off #2: The ‘full-empty’ fuel policy

Car_Blog1_Image 2

Being hit with a petrol bill before you’ve even got in the driving seat isn’t the best start to a holiday. But many car hire companies employ a so-called “full-empty policy”, which means you pay upfront for a tank of petrol and can return it empty.

But there are two drawbacks to such a policy. First, you’re likely to be charged an inflated price for the petrol. And, second, you may not use all the fuel you’ve paid for if you’re on a short trip or don’t end up driving much.

In some cases, you’ll be offered the right to a refund on unused fuel, but there’s still usually a service charge attached.

Look for car hire firms that allow you simply to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel it had when you picked it up.


Rip-off #3: The ‘upgrade’ option

Happy woman with blue car

When you arrive at the rental desk to pick up your pre-booked car, you may be told the company has run out of vehicles in the category you chose and be offered an upgrade – at a price.

Don’t fall for it. You should either be offered a higher-category car for no extra charge or a lesser one with the appropriate refund.

Make sure this is the case before you sign your contract and drive away.


Rip-off #4: Paying for extras you could bring yourself

Want to use sat-nav when driving abroad or think you’ll need a baby seat? Fine – but don’t fall into the trap of hiring them through your car rental company. It’ll be cheaper to bring your own.

If you’re travelling abroad, charter airlines such as Monarch don’t charge extra for you to bring pushchairs and car seats, while many sat-navs cover both the UK and Europe. If your sat-nav doesn’t extend beyond the UK, consider purchasing the additional software or download an app on your smartphone.

If all else fails – there’s always the option of a good old-fashioned map.


Rip-off #5: Buying at the desk

With so much to organise before a holiday, it’s easy to put off hiring a car until you arrive at your destination. But booking a vehicle in advance – and online – will save you a chunk of cash, leaving you more to spend on the good stuff.

What’s more, if you book at the destination airport, or other pick-up point such as in a city centre, you risk ending up with an unsuitable vehicle – when demand soars in peak season, for example.


Rip-off #6:  Unexpected charges when you get home

You expect to return from holiday with a lighter wallet – but it’s infuriating to find extra taken off your credit card for a bill you thought you’d squared.

The main reasons for car hire firms to charge more than you expected is when they claim you’ve damaged the vehicle in some way or that you returned it without the agreed amount of fuel.

To protect yourself, give the vehicle a full inspection both when you pick it up and when you return it and ask for a receipt stating it’s in good order with the required amount of petrol.


Rip-off #7: Hidden charges

Always read the small print of your car hire policy to check for any hidden charges or exclusions.

Some car hire companies, for example, charge extra if you’ve been driving for less than four years, while others charge more for including a second driver.

And others will levy an “admin” fee for theft or damage to the car – even if you’ve bought an excess waiver policy.

To put it in a nutshell: being thorough in your research when hiring a car is the way to get the best deal.

 

 

Please note: This is an updated version of a previously-published article.

  1. Barbara Egglesfield says:

    Is there any way to find out which car hire companies (at Malaga airport) do NOT charge extra for drivers over 70. Some do, many don’t, but there is no way of knowing this when booking via an agency such as DoYouSpain, AutoEurope etc. I believe Gold Car do not, but others do. Please advise.

    • Hi there

      Our car rental serach asks you to specify an age when you do your car hire comparison, so all the results we show will be valid for someone of that age and exclude any that do not.

      Try searching here to help you;

      http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/

      Let us know how you get on.

      Bob

      • Dear Bob – help please. Re the above point. I normally rent from DoYouSpain and the car normally comes through Goldcar in Denia.

        But although I always buy my own insurance which includes excess waiver policy they simply wont accept it and I am forced – if I wish to take the car – to pay their (returnable) fee of around 1200 euros.

        Is there any way round this?

        Many thanks

        • Hi Sue

          I think you are talking about the refundable deposit. Every rental company will take this, irrespective of whether you have a car rental excess policy. The way an excess policy works is that if there were any accidents and the excess is charged by the car rental company to you. You then claim that back from your insurance policy.

          I hope that this explains it for you.

          Kind regards

          Bob

          • Bernadette says:

            Hi Bob

            I have never hired a car but am considering it, but all the terminology is confusing. I would want to purchase the higher cover but am unsure if that plus car hire is all i need to pay on day of pick up? I see that they can ask for a excess payment? does that mean i will get asked for more money? These are they words ‘At the counter, the car hire company will block a deposit amount on your credit card. You could lose your whole deposit if the car is damaged or stolen, but as long as you have our Full Protection, we will refund you! How do i find out how much they mean by deposit?

            Thanks

            Bernadette

          • Hi Bernadette

            If you contact the company you are renting with they can tell your the deposit. It will vary by location and also the type of car you are renting.

            You then know how much they will authorise your card for.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • Mark Thomas says:

            Hi Bob,

            Just returned from Italy, hired a car which got a flat tyre – no Jack included, luckily we had roadside cover and were back on our way to the airport quite quickly. However, the engineer advised not to stop for petrol because he had been unable to balance tyre etc. We now have an invoice for new tyre 408 euros and refuelling costs of over 100 euros. We did purchase additional cover to find tyres not included – can we do anything? We paid for this with credit card and have already contacted them to say we are disputing and have contacted the hire company.

          • Hi Mark

            Who did you purchase the additional cover from? Was it from the rental company at the desk, a third party who you booked the rental with or with a standalone car hire excess company?

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • Car rental rip offs are not confined to foreign companies….but endemic in the UK as well. Greenmotion UK in Edinburgh lifted £325 from my credit card for tiny scratches to 2 nearside wheels. I could have touched them up with a lick of silver paint ….if I had noticed them. Of course this is exactly what these banditti will do….forget them buying new wheels.

          • Terry Hindle says:

            I hired a car via economy care hire (now zest car rental) in Ibiza in August and on return was informed that the operative dealing with me had “mistakenly” credited my credit card with the amount of the security deposit (600 euro). I was then asked for my card in order for the same amount to be withdrawn and told that these transactions would cancel each other out. When I returned to the UK I discovered the amount had been debited but never credited by K10. I am fighting this via nationwide disputes department and fully intend to trash the dodgy reputation of K10 and question why economy car hire (now ZEST car rental) would deal with such a dangerous outfit.

          • We’ve been billed by hertz in hungary 600 euros for so called dent in roof of all places. There was no one to check car back in and in spite of requesting photo proof they have just sent copies of agreement.watch these cowboys

    • Carl dalmas says:

      I hired a car from a avis at the airport in minorca
      When I arrived for a holiday
      Paid for it in cash euros, so I did not have a bill when I got back home
      I returned the in good order was waved on all OK
      To be hit with a £300 charge on my credit card for car hire rip off
      The gentlemen that paid the money to handed me the paperwork upside down at the counter while I had the family waiting and the kids and my hands full with luggage
      To find out i had no reciept when I got back to the UK to prove I had paid for it in Cash!

      • Colprimus says:

        You were actually just robbed…car hire firms never take cash payments, I rent all the time and never heard of it anyway… they don’t much like debit cards either

        • Why they dont like if hite using debit? card…

          • Hi Ed,

            Most car rental firms prefer credit cards simply because it is safer for them, both because without one you are a potential credit risk and because if a debit card account is empty, they may not be able to get any money out of it should you owe them.

            Thanks,
            Tom

  2. Kevin Clements says:

    Gold car in menorca charged us 40 euros because we returned the car sandy. What did they expect on a beach island!
    They are money grabbers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gold car are the worst rental company I have used. Their aggressive hard sell on the excess cover at Faro was unpleasant.

      • Hi there

        Thanks for the warning. Nobody needs to take excess cover from a car rental company. It is a choice. And you can always buy standalone cover which is perfectly valid whatever the car rental sales desk tell you.

        Kind regards

        Bob

        • Anonymous says:

          I am writing to complain about the service I received from SIXT when hiring a car in Iceland this weekend.
          I hired a car from SIXT over the weekend in Iceland, from you Keflavik branch and I was thoroughly disappointed and appalled with the service I received. On hiring the car I was assured from staff that you check the cars twice, before handing over the keys to customers. The car itself was fine all weekend and I returned it to you on time without incident on Sunday, I even had it all signed off by one of your staff members and was told to wait in the minivan on transfer to the airport.
          After five minutes, I was then called back and informed that your staff members had found an antenna in the boot which had been snapped off the vehicle, and also that I had to pay 50 euros to replace it, when I said that I had no idea how it came to be there, I was met with a derisive gaze, a raised eyebrow and a rude, insulting attitude from your staff. It was extremely insulting. When I protested further still – more blank stares, shoulder shrugs and a general poor attitude from your staff who said ‘…it was my responsibility to check the vehicle before I signed for it‘, from the same staff member who had missed the same missing antenna himself not five minutes before!!!!!!!
          I will be leaving the most negative review I can possibly muster on every single review, rating and car rental blog site I can find as I now consider it my duty to let the wider world know of what they are getting into when they rent a car for the weekend through SIXT.
          Prepare for an onslaught of single star ratings,

          • Hi there

            I am sorry to learn of your difficulties with Sixt.

            Did you book with Sixt after visiting TravelSupermarket.com? Or did you book directly with them. Do let me know and I can give you some advice.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • Hi there, just wondering if this is what you guys mean about “Excess”? I´m hiring a car via online in the US and it says the price includes this (among other things).

            Thanx

            Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) limits the driver’s liability in the event that the rental car is damaged, subject to the terms of the rental agreement.
            Rather than the full cost, the driver is generally only responsible for the first portion, known as their ‘excess’.
            This protection applies to all authorised drivers of the rental car.

          • Hi Luc

            On all rental agreements, when you pick the car up there will be an ‘excess’ to pay. Although you have collision damage waiver you would still be liable for the fist £xxx if there were to be any damage to the car, just as there is on car insurance policies at home. If you take out an excess policy here in the UK as per our article you can claim any excess you have to pay out to the car rental company.

            Hope that all makes sense to you now. Have a great trip.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • Fiona MacDonald says:

            Hi, I hired a car through easyCar in Crete. I had paid for a Hyundai i30 and had to collect it from a firm Caldera at the airport. The car was an old Astra (about 5/6 years old), with 115,000 miles on the clock and sweat stains on the seat. It was nearly midnight when I collected it… During the week returned to a car park to find someone had reversed into the bumper causing a small split of about 3 cms. I explained to the company what had happened and then a week later had £600 deducted from my account. A new Astra bumper I found here for between £100 and £120. Have I any redress at all or am I yet another victim? (Interesting to note that the mats inside the car had Sixt written on them; probably a car that had previously been scrapped by them, I would think).

          • Hi Fiona,

            Sorry to hear about your problems.

            Did you have a car hire excess insurance policy?

            Thanks

            Joey

        • The Goldcar XS hard sell is relentless and completely dishonest. I was told that the slightest additional scratch would be charged at 600 Euros and my UK bought insurance would not cover it…so I went outside to look at the car and it was wet! You can’t see most scratches on a wet car. I waited 10 minutes and the car started to dry revealing additional scratches around the wheel arches etc. I can only assume that these were going to be “found” when I returned the car at the end of the rental….I will never know as I walked away from the rental and made other arrangements….as did the next person in the queue….
          We have to take the power back by refusing to accept rip-offs…Goldcar wanted 100 euros for fuel (worth a maximum of 45 Euros) and 87 Euros for XS insurance.
          Most people cannot walk away from the deal on the day, so MS and other similar portals could help, by refusing to deal with companies known to be operating these scams.

          • I also ended up booking hire car – Gold car, when I booked holiday through Expedia. We also received the insurance hard sell, and they know that the majority cannot argue in Spanish!! We ended up paying for 6 days insurance (more than we pay at home for a year). I checked out their website on returning, and yes many complaints a nod bad reviews, all saying they have been scammed!!!
            I also think big companies like Expedia, should also be held accountable, as we booked the package inc car hire – they should only be connected to or recommend companies that have been checked. I no longer feel that I can trust Expedia either.

          • Hi Dawn

            Have you made a formal complaint to Expedia at all? You should also post a review online of your Goldcar experience to help others.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • J davies says:

            Goldcar are at it again-relentlessly. Hired 2 cars from faro airport in lest few dats and they were aggressively trying to sell excess insurance, and get quite narky when you don’t take it. I explained that we gave an independent policy. It’s not a great way to start a holiday. Surly I’ll tempered and greedy desk staff looking to rip you off. Shamefull!!. Avoid them like the plague, I’m dreading returning these cars in two weeks ……….

      • Dominic says:

        Wish I had read this.
        I took out excess cover in the uk but the sell at gold car was so convincing I am now €130 lighter than I needed to be.
        Also they say to bring the car back as close to empty as possible.
        Not sure whether to or not.

        • Hi Dominic

          Many car hire companies now operate a full to empty policy in places like Spain and Portugal, so if they advised empty then return it like to avoid losing out on money you have spent to refuel the car.

          Bob

          • Hi Bob,
            I can give you an update on the controversial Full-Empty fuel policy which has been prevalent in Spain for the past few years.
            It is now changing back, at least at Alicante airport rental desks, to give clients the option of Full-Full, or Full -empty.
            Naturally one pays less rent for the car if the Full- empty option , and conversely, a higher rent for the Full-full option.
            But, it is generally cheaper to,select full-full for both short and longer term rentals simply because we can always find fuel at a much lower price on the streets tHan the rental companies charge for their full tank,,if you ask for full-empty.
            Hope that makes sense!
            Happy motoring!
            Ray

          • Hi Ray

            This is superb news and would take it back to where it used to be when life was much simpler with car hire.

            Lets see what happens.

            Bob

          • By the way, a word of advice about these mysterious damages that seem to happen after we have left the rental car back with the rental agents.
            When you collect your rental car, respectable companies will give you two copies of a report sheet describing any body damage already present and the fuel level., both in English and in Spanish.
            Take few minutes to study this and to ascertain that nothing has been missed out. If it has then go back to the office and report this before you leave.
            If this is not possible then take several clear and date stamped digital photos to show what damage was already there and how much fuel was in the car, before you hit the road.
            This has already saved me lot of aggro twice at Alicante airport, and without which i undoubtedly would have had to cough up a lot of money.
            How do you think they can offer cars for as little as 3€ a day ?.? ,!!
            Ray

          • Hi there Ray

            Perfect advice here. I do this with every car rental I take and have even managed to rent cars at super low prices and by being assertive with the rental company have managed to ensure I pay nothing extra and have had no problems with damage etc.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • Carol Hooper says:

            NEVER USE GOLDCAR!!!!
            I have just returned from Italy and had hired a car with Goldcar through the booking agent Car del Mar.
            I had paid extra for the policy to reimburse the excess with Car del Mar but was told by Gold Car that this was worthless and I needed to take it up with Car del Mar. They said I had to take out their insurance for 160 euros for the week or block 1200 euros on my card in case there was an accident. They didn’t give me any documents showing the condition of the car on pick up or the amount of fuel that was in it.
            It was a full to full policy and they advised us to take it back full. We did, we filled it up the day before and only drove to the airport. They have charged me £43 since I got home. On the website it states that if you do not bring the car back full they will charge a 40 euros penalty. It is impossible to contact them to ask for a receipt, and I have tried all the ways listed on their website.
            I feel completely ripped off.

          • Hi Carol,

            Sorry to hear about this – did you book with Car del Mar through TravelSupermarket?

            Thanks,
            Tom

    • I’m sorry Kevin but people like you are very selfish and disrespectful.
      You rent a clean car and expect to get away by giving it back all messy. Cleaning has a cost, not only the products and machinery but also the labour. In case you have not noticed slavery is over.
      For those wondering, no I don’t work in a rent a car but I do travel and find it infuriating that people like Kevin belive to be lords who can get away with anything: giving in messy/dirty cars, smoking in non smoking rooms, leaving their rubbish in public transports, etc.
      Grow up. Rent a cars do not offer butler services.

  3. The car rental scams are there if you are trying to rent the car online. So these pointers certainly help in selecting the right rentals.

  4. Steve Dauwalder says:

    I get frustrated at car hire in Malaga having used almost 10 brokers/agents and 25 hire companies in 15 years they change their policies all the time. Who are they fooling – I’ve seen a weeks car hire as lie as €12 – it’s completely false and irrelevant and bordering in dishonest when they add a compulsory €19 refuelling charge and fuel at 10% above pump prices. These companies are Timewasters.

    The brokers/agents are part of the problem because they shouldn’t entertain hire contractors that have these policies. The hire companies don’t want to pay the brokers their commission on these extras – that’s what it’s all about. The prices they are quoting should be “bottom line” prices.

    The other scam is a daily charge for extra drivers – sometimes the extra driver charges work out more than hiring a 2nd car – it’s ridiculous as it takes just 02 minutes to enter the details of a 2nd I’d/licence and after all only one person can drive the car at any one time so there’s no extra insurance costs.

    Who are these companies trying to fool – what was wrong with the old fashioned way when you could place up to 2 drivers on the contract and return the tank as collected – it’s so simple and gains maximum trust between CUSTOMER and contractors – come on brokers please get together and start kicking these hire companies into touch – don’t use the co,ponies that have dicietful and to e wasting terns.

    • Hi Steve

      I have to agree with you that it was easier a few years back, however there are companies who still work like this today in most rental stations such as Avis for example.

      The car rental business in Spain is highly competitive with huge volumes of cars on offer. Since the economic downturn when business became very difficult for the suppliers, they started introducing these additional methods of driving up revenues after slashing prices to get any business at all. Many customers complain about the tactics these days and it is our single biggest source of complaints to us, even though we don’t facilitate the bookings themselves.

      It just remains that we have to be really savvy when booking and collecting our cars and to ensure we have stand aone car hire excess insurance as opposed to the rip off policies pushed on rental pick up.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Bob

    • Anonymous says:

      Try Malagacars next time, they do charge upfront for fuel though but everything is fine has used many times.

      • Headgazket says:

        I agree with anonymous. Have used Malagacar several times and they are always reliable, no hard sell or poor cars.

  5. Diane Gray says:

    Why is it that Malaga has such a bad reputatuion when hiring cars?

    I experienced all of the reported problems with Goldcar

    a) My name was on the booking document so they charged me as an additional driver even though I told them my husband was going to be the sole driver

    B) we were charged for a full tank of fuel (extra as it was diesel) telling us they would refund the fuel left.
    I have been told that they drop to the lowest point on gauge when making their calculation

    C) told them I didn’t want Insurance so was told a 900 euros charge would be necessary on my credit card refindable on inspection when returning car

    D) we were lucky?! we took an hour, the queue behind must have taken at leat 3 to 4 hours

    E) the marks already on the car weren’t logged by them. So expecting trouble when returning car

    • Thanks for contrunuting Diane.

      It just goes to show how important it is for travellers to be vigilant and to be extra careful when renting in Spain.

      Follow our tips and make it as stress free as you can.

      Let us know if your deposit was refunded?

      Kind regards

      Bob

    • Ian Johnston says:

      Anyone going to the Canaries look up Autoreisen.com. I use them every time (6 times a year at least). There is no messing about, before or after. Have recommended them to so many people and everyone happy. Ok, the cars may be 1 or 2 years old but who wants a brand new car to watch all the time in Spain!?

      • Thanks for the recommendation Ian.

        We have Auto Reisen on are online comparison so you can see how they fare cost wise vs the competition.

        Kind regards

        Bob

      • Tracy Marriott says:

        Autoreisen are brilliant use them always in Tenerife at least 20 times fantastic service.

  6. tony dodsworth says:

    Booked on line through Ryanair web site to collect a car at Perugia sir port,I had taken out the waver insurance prior to flying out. They use firefly my car was crap Over 160000 miles also a number of dents. Reception asked me to sign for the car as in good condition without seeing it? I insisted the receptionest come with me to check out the car and found several dents,no doubt I would have been charged for this. Also their web site gave the option of delivering back with a full tank, but when I returned they insisted I pay for the full tank and not as advertised. I tried to stand my ground but would not budge. It took me a few months and many emails before they paid up,so avoid firefly!!!

  7. Peter Hooker says:

    An additional Scam to the ‘Full – Empty’ Fuel Policy is that their charge for the ‘Full Tank’ is far greater than the capacity of the tank. This was tried on us in Minorca. We objected strongly and said that if they were going to try scams like that we would hold up the queue by reading ALL the small print. They eventually agreed that we should pay for what we used. It was fortunate the model of car was the same as my wife’s at home so we new exactly how much the tank held – even at their inflated prices, they were robbing us on volume…..

  8. Damien Kennedy says:

    Hello Everyone,
    I need some help. My wife and I are spending three months driving around Great Britain, arriving next month. I have asked for and received many quotes for hire . Our greatest difficulty is understanding what your car models are and how they would compare with models here in relation , particularly, to engine size and reliability. We have no idea about what mileage to expect compared to Australia . We have no idea what constitutes “similar” , as no body lists what they are. We have the car sizes more or less worked out and are confident with what taxes, charges, fees, tolls etc , we are obliged to pay or should have cover for. What we don’t want to spend three months driving around in our version of a gutless Holden Cruze . We don’t want to miss an excellent deal on something merely because we don’t know that the vehicle in question is actually a bloody good reliable car with a good powerful though very economical motor and is about the size of a Camry or Mazda 6. Is there someone who can help us weave our way through this abundance of irrelevant info to info which we need ?
    Regards,
    Damien Kennedy.

    • Hi there

      We’ve had a quick look at the cars you mention from Australia and we reckon you should be looking at intermediate orthe bigger standard size cars to give you what you need.

      These will include models such as the Mondeo, Insignia, Passat and Octavia.

      Most companies do not state the actual model until you click through to their websites; however our price comaprison service will steer you (excuse the pun) to your choices. Use the filters on the left hand side of the results to narrow down the car groups to what you need.

      http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/

      If you need anything more or any other advice then do send us your questions.

      Have a great trip to the UK. We look forward to showing you how fantastic our country is for visitors.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  9. Clive says:

    Always look for full/full fuel policy. Do your research and find a petrol station closest to the airport and fill up before retuning your vehicle. Book early, use a company that doesn’t charge cancellation fees up until a week or so before your holiday, this way you can keep looking for a better deal. If you find one e-mail your hire firm and cancel, although they will probably price match to keep your custom.
    Purchase excess insurance before you go, you will save money although they will still take your credit card details in the event of a claim, the insurance will reimburse you.
    I have a car booked for two weeks in July for £180 with full/full fuel policy so bargains are out there.
    Happy car renting.

  10. Julia Wood says:

    Just been reading about all the problems people have had with car rental companies. We have rented cars from various companies in Lanzarote over the years and have never had a problem. Maybe it’s because they get so many regular returning visitors that they can’t afford to indulge in all these scams or maybe we’ve just been lucky! We always take out insurance through insurance4carhire before we book so that we are covered for all eventualities but have never had to use it. On one occasion when we found marks on the car before we drove off the car hire rep came out to inspect the car and immediately altered the documents. The biggest problem we’ve had was in this country when we returned a car at an airport and there was no-one there to check it in/check the vehicle.

  11. patrick keating says:

    No one should upgrade the basic insurance provided by the rental company. Buy the web based Car4hire insurance at home before leaving: this will cover virtually everything not covered by the basic policy…….including roof and undercarriage damage.

    Patrick

  12. Martjc says:

    We travel twice/ three yearly to italy. We buy yearly insurance here in GB and fly to Trieste. We arrive with full tank and return with full tank. Never (yet) had a problem. Booked through rentalcar and auto- Europe . We do not book the biggest cars and have with rentalcar an extra driver at no added cost. Book early and get best deals. Not as expensive compared to other websites we’ve visited.

  13. Dave Brookes says:

    Check prices in Malaga. those who charge full to full for fuel are much more expensive than those who do full to empty and charge you for the fuel. All the full to full companies have done is add a heavy basic charge to make up for the profit thebe lost on charging inflated cost for fuel.!!! Can anyone recommend a Malaga car hire co? Dave

    • Hi Dave

      I have never had a problem with any of the companies I have used in Malaga, all found via our online search at TravelSupermarket. As long as you think you are going to do 500+ miles then you will get value from your paid for full tank and can therefore use any of the smaller companies as long as you follow our tips and advice for researching, booking and pick up. Many complain that waiting times at cheaper companies are longer e.g. Goldcar, however I have never experienced long waits.

      Have a good trip.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  14. Steve Fitzhenry says:

    All I would say IS DONT USE GOLDCAR

    • Wendy clapham says:

      Just returned from Crete where we had the most awful experience we have ever had in hiring a car. We booked the car online before going after looking on Travel Supermarket and finding a car through arguscarhire.com. They gave us a ‘voucher’ to give to our car rental which was Goldcar!!!! We also took out Damage Insurance and made sure we were hiring on a fuel policy of full to full. However, when we got to Goldcar we might as well have handed over a piece of toilet paper for all the voucher and insurance was worth. They insisted the fuel policy was not full to full, we had to take out extra damage insurance and pay up front for fuel. Before leaving the office (after almost an hour) we had paid them £120. Never again and won’t be recommending to friends or family.

      • Hi Wendy

        I am sorry to here that you had problems after booking a rental with a company found on our price comparison service.

        Have you made a formal complaint to Argus? If they provided information prior to picking up the car that it was full to full and you had to pay for a tank then they should refund you the cost of this minus the cost of filling up locally.

        If you had paid for a stand alone policy for excess then there is no need at all to pay for extra damage insurance on pick up whatever the sales people say. many of them use hard sell tactics telling people that the stand alone policy is not worth anything but this is untrue and a blatant lie. You should also raise this with Argus and ask them to resolve it with Goldcar.

        If you need any help or assistance on this do get back in touch and we will act on your behalf through our Customer Support team.

        Kind regards

        Bob

  15. Chris Owen says:

    I hired a car from Budget (via Expedia) last December in Gran Canaria and it turned out that Avis provided the car and told me that I had to bring the car back as close to empty as possible as I had already supposedly ‘accepted’ a re-fuelling charge when I booked it, even though I had done no such thing. My fiancé had the clever idea to take a photo of the fuel gauge when we got the car and then for us to refill the car (at half the cost of the potential charge) and take a photo when we returned it.
    So, even though I was charged the ‘refuelling charge’ on my credit card after finishing the car hire, I managed to provide both photos to Avis and they refunded the charge, as obviously they had not needed to refuel the car, so therefore there was no way that they could levy the charge (Expedia were particularly useless in handling this as they said that I needed to take this up with Avis, even though they were the ones who had taken my money for the original hire, which should have been with Budget).
    As we had queued for over 3 hours in Gran Canaria to pick up the keys for the car (because they didn’t have enough people or terminals) I wasn’t in any mood to argue with the Avis person about not signing the documents detailing the refuelling charge. We wished that we’d booked with Europcar as we had hired with them before in Portugal and didn’t have any of this hassle, and picked up the car within 10 minutes of arriving there. Suffice to say that I’ll never be hiring a car via Expedia again or using Budget/Avis if I can help it!

  16. Malcolm McNeill says:

    I have particular concerns around renting a child car seat, apart from the extravagant costs (about £10) per day there is the safety factor. The car rental companies will not install the seats for insurance purposes, therefore it’s up to you, presuming the seat that you hire is not damaged. Additionally I would worry about cleanliness also.

  17. Please be aware of the latest GOLDCAR fraud at Ciampino airport. DO NOT USE GOLDSTAR – THEY OPERATE LIKE CRIMINALS.
    When you return the car they delay as much as possible, so that you are rushing for your flight. Having you suitably “over a barrel” they point out tiny marks on the car – just some tiny wear and tear flecks that all cars have, and which weren’t significant enough to register on the documents when you signed the car out. Then they force you to sign the return documents noting the damage. Shortly after this they email you an invoice for several hundreds of pounds for a long list of serious dents, scratches etc that allegedly need to be repaired. This email is accompanied by a series of photographs… Some photos of your hire car’s registration plate, mixed in with photos of a different, badly damaged car of the same model and colour. And of course they help themselves to the invoiced amount from your credit card.
    You have been HAD by GOLDSTAR. Ricardo at the Ciampino office was busily up to this trick today.
    What a horrible scam for anyone to face at the end of their holiday.

    • Hi Ko

      Did this happen to you and how did you make your original booking? I would be interested to know more so that we can offer advice or help to other car renters at destinations across Europe.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • w cruikshank says:

        would,nt it be great if we started up a website about Alicante airport rentals and various other airports rentals every rental car on a database with reg number and damage every car has then you could look up the make and model and find out what damage to look out for ,if everyone got back from holiday filled in the details then print this off before you collect motor big ask right enough but it would stop them charging everyone for the same defects wonder what there repy would be to that

    • Chris Parsons says:

      Goldcar in Pisa were exactly the same. I am a regular hirer and it’s never the most straightforward process, but Goldcar are just aggressive bandits.

  18. Tony Wray says:

    Do not use Hertz or Budget or Dollar at Alicante airport either.

    We hired a car without the extra insurance (as I’ve never needed it in numerous visits to Spain in the last 10 years). Upon returning the car to the airport, the agent pointed out a 1cm pen mark/scratch on the bumper (amongst other larger scratches that they had already pre-registered) that was not identified on ‘their’ form. You could only see it from a certain direction and light behind and nigh on impossible in the dark airport parking. If I had seen it before renting, it would not have looked worth noting. It had clearly been there many months. They said it was my fault, which I disputed. They then proceeded to take £240 off my credit card. At best, it requires a touch up pen by whoever actually did the mark many months/years ago! Subsequent emails and requests for their lawyer details (to dispute the claim and increase their internal costs for abusing UK visitors!!!!) have fallen on deaf ears so far. A bunch of criminals!

    • Hi Tony

      I hope you have made a complaint to the car hire company since returning.

      It just goes to show how careful we all need to be these days with car rental to avoid any issues at all with our vehicles.

      Thanks for sharing the warning with us.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  19. Aidan Lehmon says:

    Thanks for your suggestions, these are really very helpful.

  20. Jackie says:

    Hi can you recommend a car hire company in Barcelona El prat airport it’s the first time we’ve hired a car in Spain and were not sure which company is best. We are traveling to salou. Thanks

    • Hi Jackie

      There are a range of companies on site at Barcelona including all of the big names. The companies we deal on our search are all ones that we trust to offer a good level of service, even when contracting their cars from local brands. The companies that are feted for their overall level of service to customers at the point of car pick up are the major international brands such as Avis, Hertz and Sixt, however these will tend to be more expensive than the lesser known local brands and the prices through online brokers.

      Check the best prices here;

      http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/

      Kind regards

      Bob

  21. Trevor Lewis says:

    I was unfortunate hire a car on line at Alicante A/P via Auto Europe which l have used twice a year for the last few years,I was informed I would have to purchase full cover insurance as I was 74yrs of age,I hire a car at the same venue in s Sept 2014 when I was also 74yrs old and no mention of extra insurance,I have since dicovered the maximum age had been reduced down to 70yrs between the two bookings,can anyone tell me why they ask for your age at the time of booking,I blame Auto Europe for no information on the age change, it cost another 215pounds including fuel on top of 145 pounds paid to Auto Europe for 3wks hire, ripped off good style

  22. David Gardner says:

    I have hired cars from Malaga airport several times and have just returned from there. I have always used DoYouSpain for comparisons. Their website is very helpful and allows confirmed bookings to be cancelled without charge.
    Your advice on full/empty fuel and buying CDW in the UK is sound financial sense.
    Being over 70 myself I have found no difficulty in checking eligibility as each car hire firms’ conditions are displayed by clicking on the “terms of use” line underneath each vehicle picture.

    • Hellehollis is amazing out of Malaga. Used them twice for extended rental and no rip offs or up charges. I do recommend undercarriage coverage as the underground parades are brutal.

  23. Veronica says:

    Some car rental companies extra charge for waiting time even if you made them to wait for 5 minutes they charge you for 10 minutes. I have faced this many times. There should be some rules and regulations for car rental companies.

  24. Jon Oldknow says:

    I hired a car through Discover car hire for my holiday to Faro. When I purchased the hire I included the additional excess protection waiver, to cover me against high excess payment should an incident occur. However, when I pick up the car at Faro airport, from Resolvcar, that there was an excess of 3000 Euro should I have an accident. I informed them that I had already paid Discover for the excess protection, but their response was that I had no cover in place. I tried to call Discover but as it was midnight I could not reach anyone. I was told by the agent that I could take the car but would have to agree to the excess or pay their excess protection of 15euros per day. As such I felt I had no option but to pay the additional charge, but I informed them that I would speak to discover in the morning to seek reimbursement.
    The following morning I contacted Discover who agreed that I had purchased their excess protection, but informed me that it only covered 1000euros. When I complained that I had been charged again by the hire company, to cover 3000euros, they stated that ” In order to get some profit everyone will use their skills to sell their super insurance” They then tried to tell me that as I could not afford the excess, I had chosen to pay the car hire company for their “super insurance” or “total relax” insurance, not an excess protection, but no mention was ever made about any super insurance. Their small print also states that the super insurance is 9 euros not the 15euros I was charged.
    I have told Discover that I only expect to pay for one excess protection policy and that that policy must cover all the excess charges applicable to the rental agreement. As such I expect a full refund of the duplicate policy charges. I await their response.
    In the meantime, I do wonder whether it is fraudulent to sell two policies for the same cover and then try to mis-represent it??? I am sure the insurance company would not want to pay out twice?

    • Hi Jon

      You have bought your rental car through a broker (Discover) who has placed the booking with a rental company called Resolvcar.

      Discover sell their own excess policy which can cover all companies they place their business with. However if you buy this from them that information is NOT passed onto the company who you pick the car up from as it is a separate policy to the one that Resolvcar (and any other companies they deal with).

      Having bought a policy already from Discover you should have rejected the policy being offered by Resolvcar, whatever tactics they had used to make you buy it (they are on targets to sell these policies to improve profitability). They are operating completely separate to each other so there is no fraud here and the policies they sell will be underwritten by different companies and sold at different prices with different cover.

      For you next rental I would recommend taking a policy from our partner icarhireinsurance who offer a zero excess and extensive cover that goes way over what is offered by the car rental companies and brokers and is usually far cheaper too. I would recommend that next time you need protection you take out one of their policies – you can get a quote here – http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/buying-car-hire-excess-insurance/

      Hope this makes things clearer for you.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Hi Bob,
        Thanks for your response. What I am struggling to understand is that I believe I have be sold two separate policies by two separate company’ s one to cover 1000eruos excess from the agent and one to cover 3000Euros from the car hire company. Both are for the same Vehicle and would cover the same incident. However, if there is an incident the policy with the 3000euros cover will pay out to complete the claim, leaving the 1000euro policy superfluous, so why would I need the policy?? I don’t. My other question is how can Discover sell me a policy as a full excess protection, when it does not actually cover the excess value of their contracted supplier?

        Thanks

        Jon

        • Hi Jon

          I do understand your frustration on this, however both companies are ones that we do not use in our price comparison so we cannot really comment on them.
          You would have to take up Discover Car Hire’s policy with them and I cannot speak for what they do or do not recommend.

          We recommend icarhireinsurance for its depth of cover, good prices and as a one stop solution that not only gives you excess cover for all levels of excess but also covers many items that are NOT covered by several stand alone policies as well as those sold by the car rental companies themselves, such as damage to the car underside and glass.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  25. Goldcar by CareHireLabs is the worst company i have never had ! They rent me a car 15 years old because i didn’t want to take an inssurance..

  26. Andrew Spooner says:

    I recently rented a car via rentalcars.com and paid £487.35. When I collected the car I paid an additional 300 Euros for extra insurance and added my wife’s name as a driver. Today I received a bill for £529.15 from Avis for additional taxes etc. I have told them that I only agreed at the airport to the 300 Euros. They have taken the payment from my credit card. This makes the hire over £1000 for 2 weeks. What can I do about getting this money back since they have taken it without my permission?

    • Hi Andrew

      I would need to see the rental agreement and the final bill to advise exactly what they have charged you for.

      However, your first thing should be to register your complaint with Avis. You can find details of how to do this here;

      http://www.avis.co.uk/contact-us/customer-services

      Be clear in your correspondence as to what you thought you had agreed to and what you are disputing from the car hire bill. They will acknowledge your complaint and will look to respond within 30 days.

      If you are still unhappy with their response you could consider charging back the transaction on your card. You need to contact your car issuer on this but should take advice before you do so as you could still end up liable for the amount charged.

      Let me know how you get on or if you need any more help.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  27. Bob – I work in the car rental industry in the UK and you continuously peddle these standalone excess covers. People on these forums should be aware of all the facts. No third party company offers the same comprehensive, hassle free excess waiver like is offered at the counter by rental companies. Please follow this link to an article on the matter from the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association – the industry trade body and regulator)

    http://www.bvrla.co.uk/news/press-release/excess-waiver-insurance-truth

    • Hi Mike

      Thanks for your comment.

      Whilst I totally understand your point and that of the link you provided, the excess waivers on offer from the car rental companies are expensive and offer less protection to vehicle renters. They usually exclude glass, tyres and vehicle undercarriage in my experience, three of the most common forms of damage. They are also hard sold in many of the most popular destinations for vehicle rental for Brits – Spain, Portugal and the USA, making the vehicle pick up process stressful.

      True it may be more work to make a claim, however having had to do this once I found it hassle free and easy as long as you followed the clear instructions.

      Having used standalone policies now for a number of years I am happy that I have enjoyed better protection, at a far lower cost and am happy to continue to endorse this form of protection as a viable alternative to consumers.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  28. There is one underlying factor here – the majority of complaints are about companies no one has ever heard of! Pay budget prices and you get budget service people!

    Using a reputable company, household name gives you a greater service level and a structured, transparent complaints procedure if things go wrong.

    And Bob, I’m sure you’re on commission from icarhireinsurance 😉

    • Hi Mike

      We work in a world where there is range of choice for people to rent their cars and we aim to show that range. Consumers should always consult reviews of companies if they are unfamiliar with them and then make their decision. I have had great service and rentals from both ‘cheap’ brands as well as the big names. I have also had horrendous experiences with both. And as many of the big names operate as franchises you are not always guaranteed the same level of service in all locations.

      As for icarhireinsurance, we work with them as a partner – so we will always promote them as appropriate. Other providers of car hire excess are available on the market for anyone who wishes to search for a comparison.

      Kind regards

      Bob

    • Chris Speedy says:

      “Using a reputable company, household name gives you a greater service level”
      What utter rot! In my experience (very painful) the big hire companies treat customers like dirt and are always looking for ways to rip them off. I have direct experience of their highway robber attitude and would particularly name Avis/Budget as one of the worst of a bad bunch.

  29. I’m looking for an Excess Waiver Policy but all the ones I find are only available to EU/USA residents. I live in Thailand and am planning to hire cars in New Zealand in the new year. Can you recommend anyone please?

  30. A very nice new scam:

    I rented a hire car from Maggiore in Cagliari / Sardinia. When we got the car, the usual paperwork was signed, damage assessed etc … when I asked for the key there was some confusion about where the key is. Their employee walked away to find a key from the office. So far so good. The car was already open – and I put the key in to start the car, all fine.

    Arriving at our destination I stopped the car, pulled the key off, unloaded the car. When I wanted to lock the car I noticed that the remote control of the key did not work. Only the mechanic lock was working. I was surprised, but did not give that much attention. After all the car was usable.

    Now comes the trick: when we returned the car, all was fine. A couple of days later I however received an additional invoice over 300 Euros saying:

    “You returned your car on X/X/X .. and we found out that the key did not work. As a result we charge you 300 Euros for a replacement key”

    I have done absolutely nothing wrong with their key – and this all is a clever scam. THey do own you as soon as they have your credit card details. So please be aware of the slightest detail when ever you rent a car. Take pictures of the car when you get it … and check the key :-) .. or best: do not rent a car at all. They are all a bunch of mafiosi.

  31. I have rented many cars form Malaga airport over the years and never had a problem. I do follow a few basic rules though. Most people on arrival are excited, tired and sometimes irritable at the long journey so tend to accept what ever the car hire company asks of them. My advice is double check exactly what the insurance covers, specially in regards to the excess amount. And if you do choose to accept the excess always check your vehicle for any damages before you drive away from the pick up point, if there are any damages make sure they are duly noted on your car hire contract, take photos as well with your mobile, that way there will be no nasty surprises when you drop off your car.

  32. Richard says:

    Thanks to all who have contributed on here. Reading through I have found this really useful and my heart goes out to everyone who has been victim of these ruthless people who frankly, have their customers over a barrel.
    On Thursday we fly to Majorca and collect our car at 1am from OK Car Rental. I have read some awful stories about them on TripAdvisor and am now doing some research on tricks and scams to try and avoid becoming a victim. (If only I had done this before I booked it.)
    I am trying to build some checklists I can use when…
    a) completing the paperwork.
    b) examining the car on collection.
    c) dropping the car off again.
    Hopefully that will cover as many bases as possible and maybe others should do this too. “Be prepared” is the old scouting motto. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Richard

      Ensure you do not sign for anything you do not need such as Personal Travel Insurance (if you have existing travel insurance cover including personal accident and liability you do not need it from a car rental provider).

      Car hire excess payments can be dealt with by taking out a policy here in the UK as per our article.

      Your checklist is a great idea so stick to it and don’t be rushed. Also take photos of the car fuel gauge and mileometer on pick up and drop off and also pictures of any damage as you collect the car.

      have a great trip.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Hi Bob,
        Just updating you on the car hire excess policies situation, after 2 recent trips.
        We bought extra insurance on the Holiday Autos website to reduce the excess to zero, but were told at the Goldcar desk that it was worthless. They would not accept it – they would not release the car unless we bought extra insurance at the desk. We queried whether we should buy the excess insurance actually on Goldcar website – no, they said, only at the desk on arrival. So, which is best now, …prebook the insurance at the risk of having to pay again at the desk, or leaving it until arrival (so you have no idea what you’ll be charged)?

  33. Hi

    I keep reading horror stories about renting cars at Pisa airport. The stories relate to the major car hire companies such as Avis and Hertz which is worrying. The main issue seems to be huge queues at the desk and also being told you have to purchase the insurance or they will not release the car. Any tips on how to deal with this and who would you recommend please?

    Thanks

    • Hi Lisa

      You do NOT have to take t6he car rental company’s excess waiver insurance or any other insurances’ from them in order to drive the car away and there are no laws that can stop them from doing that. Its all a sales gimmick. So stand your ground and be firm with them.

      Ensure you buy a standalone policy here in the UK to use and ensure you have a credit card with you at rental pick up which they may pre-authorise for the full excess – so you will need to ensure you have plenty of credit on your card. If they tell you that a stand alone policy is not recognised in Italy or accepted in Italy then again its just a sales ploy. Ignore them and stand your ground.

      Hope that helps.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  34. Hey Bob,

    I have rented a car from Enterprise, yesterday, on 23rd of octobrr, but did not bought the cdw from them. Just teh car 75eur, cdw was another 105…

    hiwever, i am looking to buy a insurance but I feel that I am a bit late on this, since i can see that it should have been purchased before pickuo the care from rental.

    Is there any solution, since i have the car since around 12hrs now, and i will keep it for 4more days.

    Location: Valencia, Spain

    Thank you,
    Oct

    • Hi there

      You cannot buy a standalone policy for a car once the car rental has commenced. You need to have completed that before you pick the vehicle up.

      You will need to take care to ensure you don’t have any problems with it I am afraid.

      Wishing you the best.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  35. I booked a car over the internet with ebookers, i rang the customer service to check everything was ok as its the first time ive ever booked a hire car he confirm it was all ok it was booked for 3 days at a cost of £97.00. When we arrived at the hire car company they said it had only been booked for 1 day when i rooted out the confirmation email it was for only one day, because of the confirmation i thought that i had to take it on the chin but then i found out the same thing happened to a relative and we are both down over £200 each is this worth persuing. Any advice will be welcomed as i dont want to spend time on this if there is no chance of recovering any money but really hate feeling like ive been ripped off !!!.
    Kind Regards

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment and sorry to hear about what happened.

      Just so I can understand and help, did you contact ebookers after receiving your confirmation email stating your booking was for one day to notify them of the mistake, and is this when they confirmed it was actually for three days? And did the same thing happen to your relative?

      Also, have you contacted ebookers’ customer services team since your return home to understand what went wrong https://faq.ebookers.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7091?

      Thank you,
      Cathy

  36. I incurred a very minor infraction in June 2015 in Italy – going into a restricted zone, mainly because the ( Italian ) drivers behind me wouldn’t let me reverse. My credit card was debited some £30 in November by the hire company for the cost of supplying the Italian authorities with my details. This seems excessive. And why does it take 5 months for this to be processed?

  37. Blake Anderson says:

    It just goes to show how careful we all need to be these days with car rental to avoid any issues at all with our vehicles.

  38. teddyklein says:

    Hi i need an advice pls. Last oct 2015 i hired a car to drive around italy. One night while there was heavy rains,fallen rocks suddenly hit d car. I couldn’t stop as there is on going cars behind us and opposite side. It is a one way road there. I tried to drive back to the hotel to check for damages and report d incident as the accident happened. Suddenly the car stopped in d middle of town centre very narrow road under very heavy rains. I struggled to contact using my mobile and payphone. Other restaurants refused to help us contact road assistance. It was nightmare. Sorted it in d end. Now d europcar is charging me almost 3000 euros for driving d car emptying the oil ignoring d car warning sign. Gosh it was an accident! No one wants to get stuck in d road where u can’t stop and ask for assistance notingthe very bad weather too and dark. Can anyone help me how to solve this. I am not going to pay for d accident and my insurance is fully comprehensive.

    • Hi there

      It sounds like you had a really awful time and it must have been very worrying at the time.

      Without knowing the full details of you rental and what happened it is hard for me to come down on either your side or the car rental company. When you pick a car up you sign to say you will adhere to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement and this will cover such items as accidents, incidents and breakdowns. I don’t have the details of your agreement or the timelines of what happened and when. I would go back to Europcar with a factual account of what happened and what you did/what Europcar did etc. Argue your case with them and see what the response is when it comes back.

      Once you have that reply you can take it from there. They will have taken your credit card at time of rental to pay for the deposit which they may have already charged to your card. You have the right to dispute that charge with your card issuer – you should contact them for details of how you do that. They will suspend the charge while investigating with Europcar, however this does not mean you will never have to pay it. it depends on the outcome of the investigation.

      Do let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  39. Ian Wilson says:

    Hi going to Malaga on 31st January. Can you please suggest a company that offers a zero excess policy

  40. enthusiastic says:

    Hello.This article was extremely interesting, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this subject last Wednesday.

  41. web design greenwich says:

    i would really like to use hydrogen fuel on my car, this fuel is definitely nonpolluting but is not yet really available”

  42. Calvario says:

    Got bad experience from our latest rent in Avis Portugal, felt into their trap so called Upgrade Cost. Strange thing, in the cost estimation we signed (when we collected the car), the ugrade cost shown as EUR123, but at the end we returned the car, they charged my credit card for EUR313!! Their calculation is so confusing!!! I suspected they grossed it up, as the different amount coincidentally is same as my prepaid voucher! Still trying to contact them in different depts, but so far they dont seem understand(or they dont care?

  43. Hi Bob I hired a car on line thinking it was from Europa cars but it was a sub let firm called easylet, I paid everything on line full cover the works ! I arrived a Gatwick at 23:30 went to collect the car from Europa cars office only to be told the car wasnt with them & I had to go off the airport site to pick it up, I got a bus to go pick up my car & found the office was in a hotel, spoke with the receptionist of the hotel who told me the car rental office was closed & I would have to stay in the hotel or get a taxi to my destination (Worthing). Any way I stayed in another hotel near by & went to pick the car up the next morning at 09:00 on the dot ! Morning” Iv come to pick my car up. Name? Mr Cris, sorry your car has gone” What?? You were more than 5 hour late he said! It a long story but they had given my car to someone else & told me I could have an up grade if I paid for fuel,put £1000 on my debt card & paid £70 levy ! I told him Iv already paid, but they had lose my details & he wanted me to pay again. I told them to stuff it & got the train. I wrote to them & explained if I did not receive a full refund of my car rental, hotel, train fair I would take them to court. They paid up with in the month of my letter. But my holiday was ruined & all my plans.

    • Hi Cris

      I’m sorry to hear that you had such problems with your car rental.

      Where did you find Europa cars as they are not a company we feature in our price comparison? They are not a name I am familiar with although I am aware of a company called Europcar and this does not sound like something that they would do?

      Who did you make your actual reservation with? What does it say on your paperwork. I can possibly give you some advice once you advise me further.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  44. andrew smith says:

    Goldcar rip off!

    After purchasing a hire car for £23 after the website quoted £18 but it wouldn’t process it online so I had to telephone. The agent then hard sold insurance at £8 per day (another £40). When I collected the cqar at Faro Golf#dcar said that insurance was not worth the paper it was written on and I had to pay another 80 euros for cover. When I returned the car no-one was there so I dropped the keys in the box. Upon returning to England I checked my email and I was charged 105 euros for not leaving the documents in the car. I was unaware I had to return the paperwork but they say it is in their T&C’s.

    I will never use a booking agent or Gold car again

    • Hi Andrew

      I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with your rental.

      Can you advise which company you booked online with please? Did you find that company through price comparison or by going direct to them?

      Kind regards

      Bob

  45. Someone who doesn’t sit in the business shouldn’t publish articles like this. Because of something like that customers go fully aggressive at counter staff who only do their job. You want to buy cheap waiver? That’s fine, remember one thing, most of those insurances are refundable waivers. You have to pay to the car hire first and then claim it back from your insurer or whoever you paid excess waiver to. Bear in mind it may take months. We have had customer who damaged the car in March and got money eventually back in October because the amount of paperwork your insurer needs is sometimes ridiculous.

    “Full-empty” policy? First – our price is cheaper at the moment than the local garages, Second – customers are cheeky when they drive like 20 miles they do not bother filling the car up and then it hits next customer – We ask for fuel receipts if they drove less than 100 miles but they go aggressive when you ask for it. We do inform customer he will not get refund for unused fuel but we sell it on convenience, not price.

    “Upgrade Charge” – May agree with this one. Customer should not be charged if there is no car available in his group and he is getting higher one. What customers do not understand they cannot have Land Rover Discovery for the price of Fiat 500, if they want Land Rover they have to pay for it or wait for next available car. And that’s what they want because of your articles. If you are not in the car rental business you do not know how it works, we cannot simply “Build” you a car, people may have not returned cars at the time they meant to or other factors, if there is not car, do not shout at staff counter, it is not their fault!!!

    “Paying for extras” – Fully agree with this, prices to rent baby sits, sat nav etc. are too much. Again, don’t shout at poor counter staff, company sets prices, not them.

    “Unexpected charges” – I have had customers who demanded from me receipt for checking the car when it was 23:00 pitch black because of websites like yours. I would love to ask author of this article to come and check the car with me in situation like that 😉 Even the best torch is not going to help often because there may be a dent that you do not notice because you were flashing from the wrong angle.

    “Hidden Charges” are the best when customers come from USA. Ask your travel agent for taxes and other fees before you book a car abroad and don’t play “dumb” at the counter.

    Finally I have seen someone moaning they have been charged for extra cleaning. E.G. our cleaners are paid 7-8$ per car to be cleaned, they do not want to spend an hour on it for free, money goes to them. Imagine someone is waiting for a car because car hire is short of them and then you come back with a car that needs an hour job to clean, do not be selfish, think of others!!

    Of course these days everyone that wants some money from you is Evil, your just poor tourists who cannot read. In my career I have seen TWO people who read terms and conditions, charges written on the receipt before they signed it. Simple – you do not like it? Don’t sign and don’t take the car!

    • Hi there

      Thank you for your comments. Its great to hear what someone who claims to work for a car hire company thinks about the problems that customers see as a rip off. getting the view point from behind the rental desk is really important.

      I have worked in the travel industry for nearly thirty years now so I feel that the articles that we write do have credibility and substance to them, so I cannot accept your first sentence as valid. Our website is one of the largest suppliers of car hire rental leads to the UK market and we have a lot of feedback from car hire consumers.

      The articles that we write are often driven by comments to us about what customers see as something that is unfair or not right. The car hire industry could do a lot to make it a lot easier for customers to both book and pick up their car with ease and also to ensure that customers pay a fair price. Many of the so called ‘extras’ or ‘rip off charges’ have been driven out of an industry that suffers from over supply of vehicles in many locations for much of the trading year and so companies have driven the rental price down to the lowest possible rates just to get a booking. It is then that the add ons start to ratchet the price up. Many of those are aggressively sold and I experienced that myself.

      The fuel comment is valid. Before you lave the rental station ensure you completely understand the policy and what options you have for return. And if that includes receipts being produced then both sides should make that clear.

      Our advice about buying a stand alone policy to cover excess remains a good one., The partner we work with has an excellent track record, the product is not a rip off and their time taken to repay excess is good in the vast majority of cases. Not only have customers who chose icarhire insurance paid a lot less, they have received higher levels of cover than they would by paying to reduce the excess at the rental desk.

      If a car is not available for the time it has been booked why should a customer have to wait? The car hire company should give them whatever is available regardless of the group for no extra cost. Its not the customers’ fault that the car in their contract is not there. Its is a stock control issue by the car hire company. get that right with spare capacity and the vast majority of the time you would not have to hand the keys over for something completely different ion price and class.

      You are completely right that those picking up cars should be respectful to the car hire agents. Listen to what is being explained to you about the car and read the terms and conditions so that you know what the deal is. The car hire agents have a responsibility to fully explain the car and to indicate clearly where they are offering things like upgrades at additional cost or other extras and to be clear about the true cost of those before a customer accepts. However just as customers may fail to listen, there are also some agents who are paid by sales incentive schemes and hard sell to line their own pockets and not to satisfy the customer.

      Let’s hope that the industry can improves its image by improving the overall service on what for customers is seen as product fraught with possible traps to take more money off them.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  46. robert says:

    Well got caught by Green Motion at EMA 22/12/2015 raining when we checked the car slight mark on the drivers wheel side was pointed out to the employee yes general ware and tare was his reply.
    Made first mistake never checked to see if he had marked the sheet we did no more that 320 miles in 13 days yet as soon as we returned the car guess what new employee spotted the 1.5 mm mark with his razor sharp eyesight immediately.
    When we mentioned that it was noticed when we picked it up the answer came back isn’t on sheet and he had no right to generalise
    with damage for Gods sake damage you would need a magnifying glass to see it.
    My cars in Spain drive well over 200000 k in 10 years never a mark on the wheels yet 13 days and damage.
    I have access insurance and i think that maybe these people could be in on the scam as well.£220.00 to repair the wheel charged to my credit card.The cost to my friends garage would be £40.00 +vat per wheel maybe they get the £40 odd pounds back + a sweetener.
    Have mentioned this to the insurance Co up to now no reply.
    Green motion would keep well away and im surprised people still use them.

    • Hi Robert

      A salutary lesson for us all there. I am really anal about ensuring things are written down and will refuse to drive away even if they are resisting to werite things like that down.

      Will be interesting to see what the final outcome is.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • robert says:

        I will tell you what bob i know and you know what will happen they will just get away with it they just say the damage was there and that’s it.We has customers do not have a leg to stand on so i will say this its about time you or authority started to proceed these complaints through watch dog or similar.
        Its so upfront i cant believe they do it and get away with it.
        Have they no governing body or association that is monitoring this industry in the UK;

        regards bob

  47. Selphvy says:

    Hi Bob,

    could you be so kind to give us some advice on this.

    We rented a car last minute from this Car Rental Company called Jack Affordable Car Rental on 25th Dec 2015 for 3 days. Being new in Australia, the lady at the car rental did not tell us which petrol to put.

    I am not a driver myself and my friend does not frequently drive, both of us being from Singapore, are not really familiar with how Australia works. We put in the wrong fuel by mistake and also at that time there was no petrol attendants to help us.

    We drove this car 2km and 500metres uphill in which the car stopped halfway, and we were thinking what went wrong or could it be my friend’s poor driving skills. We insisted someone from the car company come over to help us out, finally 1hr later they came and part of the conversation came about putting in unleaded petrol that was when i realised we put in disel and was told this would not work.

    Hence the car got to be tolled away and I had a $2k AUD swiped off my card, saying we would know if any refunds would be given. This was purely and accident and we did not know that we put in wrong disel till he came by to check.

    The car company kept insisting it was our fault etc and after a wooha found all sort of excuses it being in holiday period that mechanic would not work.And subsquently sending us text to say the workshop got tripped and no power electricity for the mechanics to work!!!! We insisted she tell us where that workshop is she would not tel, later on she gave us the mechanic number that did not work and the mechanic did not pick up the phone at all through out our stay. We went on with this trama until the day when we returned to Sg “miraculously” the car got looked at on 3rd Jan and we got back the mechanic statement via email.

    Now we had friends in gold coast whom went to speak with 7 mechanics and make a list for us, and we found out we were very much over charged by 1200AUD – this usually cost around 300 to 500 AUD max and even at the spare parts shop the person verified that all the parts used could be most expensive ones.

    We went to the police did not work much for us as we did the mistake by putting in petrol.

    Where can we get help on to fight this back? As the charges were not reasonable and they play it on the fact that we were tourist and probably would return to country without being able to settle this.

    Are there any successful cases on getting the money back?

    Please advice the avenues to get this sorted

  48. Hi Bob, I haven’t hired a car before and have found this article extremely helpful. my husband and I are hoping to hire a car with additional driver. so far costs have ranged from £5 – £10 per day. Economy Car Hire include an additional driver for free. Have you heard of this company before?
    Mrs L.

    • Hi there

      I have heard of Economy car hire, we work with them on our website. if they are offering a free second driver then that sounds like a good deal to me, subject to any other charges that may be made. Do a comparison on the full and total price before making your decision.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  49. Mrs Andrea aspinwall says:

    Hi can you tell me if you have to pay for a deposit with affordable car hire in Florida as its says it will be based on one or more of the following categories such as, car group rental duration, fuel cost, years of driving & rental cost. I thought we had paid everything at the travel agents when we booked.it says $350 on arriving at the desk when we pick up. I’m over 24, we have bought premium insurance also. Could you please help me solve this. As will have to find more money if so. Thankyou

    • Hi Andrea

      As you have made your reservation through a travel agent you will need to speak to them to get this information as we cannot see any details of your booking.

      It is usual that you would leave a credit card number as a deposit when you pick up a car anywhere in the world. An amount is pre-authorised to it but not charged unless that is required on return of the vehicle.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  50. Enterprise car rental…..i paid the dartford toll charge in advance…enterprise are charging me with £70 admin fee for what ..i dont understand why could someone please help in what to do next thanks

  51. Andrew Battersby says:

    Rentalcars.com are running a scam where they do not pay your excess even though you have paid for insurance to cover it. Their excuse is that blame needs to be resolved so as to decide who pays out. But the consumer (me) took out the excess cover thinking I would reclaim excess – this isn’t true. Rentalcars.com STILL haven’t refunded my £1000 excess six months after an accident in a Keddy hire car. DO NOT BUY Rentalcars insurance it is a SCAM and if you have an accident you will be out of pocket by £1000. It may be cheaper but it is a false economy – pay the extra from you hire car provider or better still avoid rentalcars.com altogether. I am £1000 out of pocket and I bought FULL EXCESS PROTECTION and there is no argument about that fact, it is justify a stream of delaying tactics to AVOID REFUNDING THE MONEY. I am resorted to taking them to court to get it back.

    • Hi Andrew

      I’m sorry to learn that you have been having problems with a car rental you made.

      I can see from your comments that you have had some communication with Rentalcars. Was this via their UK customer contact in Manchester? Did you make you reservation via TravelSupermarket at all?

      If we can assist do let us know.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  52. John Boyle says:

    Bob

    can you help please. We have hired many cars in Spain over the last 12 years, however last year we fell foul of Dickmanns Car hire (through Do You Spain)in Alicante. They took (not blocked)a total of 1059 Euros from our credit card and we had to fight through our credit card company to get it returned. Even though they said the car was in perfect order when we handed it back. A bit nervous now about being stung again. We need a hire car in Alicante for 2 weeks this July and wondered if you could suggest an honest and reliable company that will only block the required deposit and not take it and delay returning. We have our own stand alone additional excess cover which we buy here in the UK and have done for many years.

    • Hi John

      I have never had any problems at Alicante with any of the companies based there. I used to travel regularly there due to family property in the area. On airport there are eight companies who have desks in the terminal itself and I have rented with all of them. These include Hertz, Avis and Sixt as well as Europcar, Enterprise, Cantauro, Record and Goldcar. When I booked I used to either book direct or via brokers such as Holiday Autos, Argus and Atlas Choice, checking they were all on airport.

      Try a comparison on our car hire engine and see how you get on. https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • dont use dickmanns, hard sell on insurance.keep stalling on refunding petrol and insurance.charged
        £50 for a fine we paid they did not have to supply any information.

  53. Mary Molloy says:

    I rented a car through economy rental the car was supplied by Dickmans at Alicante airport on Jan 14 2016 they took out €950 from my credit card as I had my own insurance. I didn’t receive it till March 14th two months later. I had to write many emails. Wouldn’t rent with them again.Mary

  54. tom burns says:

    About to hire a car for the first time many years. Hire will be from Paphos Airport in 3 weeks. Pussled why charges using brokers sites appear to be very much less (up to 50% less) than those on the suppliers own sites. Terms and conditions the same.
    Anyone aware of why this. I have phoned a broker but couldn’t get a direct reply.

    • Hi Tom

      The brokers sites use both the big names as well as locally based companies. Some of the brokers will tell you who your supplier is before you book and some will only tell you once the reservation is made.

      Brokers help car rental companies shift their stock in what is a very over supplied market at many times of the year. This allows them to maintain their higher prices on their own websites while still taking reservations through third party websites. Its normal practice in the car rental business.

      Ensure you have checked the same inclusions and exclusions on price before completing your booking so that you know you have a good deal.

      I use the brokers for the vast majority of my rentals as I know I am getting a better overall deal on my car hire. To date with over 30 years of renting I have yet to come across any problem with my car rentals. I always read all the details and follow the advice we give in our article.

      I hope that this is of help to you.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  55. tom burns says:

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly with such a full and helpfull reply.

    Regards

    Tom

  56. Stephen Rogers says:

    I hired a car in Northern Ireland two months ago and after returning it in good condition I was informed that there was a 2 inch paint scratch on the back bumper and will be charged over £500 to fix it. I did not cause this damage but I have no photographic evidence that the car was returned in good condition. Is I cancel my credit card can I stop this charge going through my account?

    • Hi Stephen

      When you returned the car was it signed in as being in a good condition by a member of staff? If it was then you should fight the car rental company on this it is clear that they cannot then prove this was done while you were in charge of the car.

      We always advise that you sign a car back and have it checked and signed off or if that is not possible take photos with a time and date stamp of all sides of the vehicle plus the mileometer and fuel gauge.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  57. Is damage refund insurance as offered by Ryanair the same as the full cover insurance that the car hire company will normally ask you to pay?

    • Hi Jane

      Its probably a similar product, however Ryanair use Axa to supply this cover and it is far more expensive than other products on the market.

      We partner with icarhireinsurance who offer better prices and a better level of cover. For instance Ryanair want £41.93 for a weeks cover in Malaga whereas our partner will only charge you £31.92 for a better product overall. You can check the price for your rental coverage here;

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

      and then buy your policy through the link.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  58. Lonnie says:

    I’m not sure it is good advise to push a insurance by your partnercompany, as declining the rentalcompanys insurance can make them cancel the rental car.
    I’ve been met with the answer: “But you don’t have to rent a car with us, we can just cancel it”.
    What to do then??

    • Hi Lonnie

      You are under no obligation at all to take insurance from any car hire company. Insurance products are optional. If you are met with this kind of attitude from rental staff then ask for the manager. We recommend taking a product from someone like our partner because it is more cost effective and gives better cover than arrangements offered by the rental companies. Do not be fooled by their hard sell.

      Kind regards

      Bob

    • Lonnie says:

      I know that the insurance your partner is offering is most likely a better option, but that doesn’t help when you can’t get a car.
      And if you get a car, they try to scam you for damage that you did not make to the car.
      I’m just baffled that there is no company trying to sell themselves on being “the nice guy”. They would, if they could manage it, make more money that they could ever dream of.
      This time we will be renting through an agency with offices in Denmark (where we live) and where my friend is working. For triple the price. Just to make sure. That sucks :(

      • Hi Lonnie

        Again it is illegal to refuse you the car if they are forcing you to buy something that is not compulsory and I refer you back to my original points on this.

        For damage I would always ensure that the car is checked back in and signed off as being returned with no problems and having that in writing. There is then no excuse for them to come back and claim for damage later. If worried take photos of the car.

        Having used car hire companies all over the world I have never had any problems (including Goldcar) such as the ones you describe while following the advise that we give. It does mean I have to be firm at times and be careful of what is happening on my rental, however this has not stopped me from renting vehicles and being able to do so without any major hassle. If you choose to pay more with the big brands such as Sixt and Avis for example you will get a generally high level of service and this is another way of trying to avoid problems due to the worldwide quality controls they have. However even these have many locations run by franchises which can result in issues despite the brand name promise.

        Regards

        Bob

  59. armani perez says:

    I have never tried hiring car but me and my family are planning to. Thanks for the great advice at least we won’t be any more clueless with the dos and donts!

  60. Mick & Pat. Sadler says:

    Hi Bob.
    We are in a dispute with Record Go car hire at Alicante Airport we hired a car late March 2016 for 17days ,on retuning home we were expecting a refund on petrol not used but instead we were charged £190 for automotive repair with no other explaation ,we finally had a reply after 5 emails as to what the charge was for. I have forgotten to mention we have our own insurance..They pointed out two items with photos ,both of which were noted on the damages section of the rental agreement I sent photos as proof which we had taken when we first saw the car we were surprised because it is normally of a better standard (we have used them a few times) They have got back this morning seeming to ignore our reply.refusing a refund saying we caused the damage .Could you give us any advice as to how to proceed(would it be worth telling them we are taking it higher ?if we could obtain the chairman CEOs details?).

    • Hi there

      I am assuming that you have already tried more than once to rectify this with them directly.

      Record are not a UK based company so my advice would be to go to your card company and charge the transaction back. This then puts the value of the transaction on hold while your credit card company disputes the validity of the charge using your evidence as the reason for the chargeback.

      Your only other option would be to instigate legal proceedings in Spain against them.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Mick & Pat. Sadler says:

        Hi Bob,
        Thank you for your input.
        I am pleased to say I have been refunded the full amount.
        I did contact my credit card supplier who were willing to take up the case for us if I got no joy from RecordGo.
        It is my belief that the rental agreement damages section was not up to date,so I would advise anyone to check the car yourself against the agreement and take photos.
        They have also offered us a discount for the next time I hire from them.
        Good result.
        Michael Sadler

        • Hi Michael

          I am really pleased that we have helped you here to get a result. Fantastic news and just shows that they were wrong in the first place.

          Persistence pays off indeed.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  61. Simon Finch says:

    Firefly Alicante are scamming customers into paying an extra 40 euro per booking if they arrive at the rental desk after midnight. They are claiming this is their ‘Out of Hours Pick up fee’.
    The policy per their website is as follows.
    Out of Hours Pick-Up

    If your flight arrives late, out of hours pick-up is available if you show at the counter no later than 90 minutes after Rental Office closing hours and have provided your flight details. An additional service fee will apply as follows: 40.00-€

    I arrived at around 10 past midnight to find myself in the Firefly queue which was at least 2 hours long. I was finally served after 2am and was told I had to pay this fee. I don’t understand how they can charge this fee given that 1)the Alicante Rental Office closing hours as per their own website is 2am. 2) I was caught in a 2 hour queue of Fireflys own making due to lack of desk staff. I arrived at the desk 90 mins after midnight because they can’t cope with the volume of customers.

    Surely this is pure robbery and shows a total lack of respect for customers who have had to stand in a queue for a longer period than the actual flight!

  62. We used vehicle-rent.com to rent our car.
    We were led to believe that what we were quoted was the final price.
    The final fee came to double what we were quoted.

    I am still waiting for their response.
    Absolute scam. DON’T use them.

    Faye

  63. James says:

    Bob
    I always hire my cars through Auto Europe with Goldcar. I normally take the super cover which gives you zero access. Now it is nearly impossible to get zero access. Except with Interrent which is not a bad deal but is not cheap I also always book a second driver. The question is why does Goldcar insist on taking 1200 Euros from your credit card for the two week duration. They as you know are a hard company to deal with at the best of times. Essentially I prefer no hassle rental and zero access
    Any advice

  64. Steve Smith says:

    I’ve just returned from Malaga. Booked with firefly via rentacars.com. Paid for collision damage waver online, completed all driver details too, to save time on collection. Waited over 2 hours at the airport. Big long line of customers all being told similar stories. CDW with online provider had £1000 excess. Most customers, me included, persuaded to cancel cover with online company (over the phone) and take out firefly cover with no excess.
    How can this be avoided in future? Will a personal CDW policy provide enough cover with little excess payment? Have had a similar experience in Malaga before with Goldcar saying my own cover did not include being rescued if a tow vehicle was neccessary. Seems there’s always a scam at Malaga!

    • Hi Steve

      Did you book direct with firefly online or through a broker? CDW is generally included within the prices quoted, however the excess reduction is a separate charge for which brokers often have a policy, as do firefly themselves and of course third party standalone companies.

      Kind regards

      Bob

    • I’m having trouble finding a carhire company in Italy that won’t put a hold on a credit card. I’m prepared to buy their extra insurance but finding it very difficult to find out if they still hold an amount on my card. Renting from Bergamo if that’s any use!

      • Hi Mel

        I don’t know of any company that will no pre-authorise a credit card for the deposit. It is normal accepted practice for car rental companies.

        Have you spoken to your card issuer to extend your credit limit to accommodate the pre-authorisation?

        Kind regards

        Bob

  65. David Bowyet says:

    Hi Bob,
    I am on a short break in NIreland and pre booked a hire car for my arrival yesterday including insurance, when l arrived at the airport car hire desk l was immediately “unsold” a top of the range car which l didn’t really want but agreed as was told it was a real bargain at only 5 pounds a day, at the end of the transaction l was asked to pay more insurance costs and a £360 charge to a credit card, when l explained that l did not have a credit card l was informed l can use my debit card and the money will not come out of my account, eventually got on my way and later the same morning went to use my debit card to purchase some items in a shop to have my card declined due to lack of funds, when l checked with the bank l was informed the hire car had lifted the money,(£360) leaving me in a extremely embarrassing position. I am now in a position with no funds and a car that l can not really use as l have no funds to fill the car with fuel or visit anywhere, when l immediately returned to the hire car company who said l should have been informed that the money would be taken out of my account and that there was nothing they could do and would not even take the car back off me.
    Have l any redress on this situation

    • Hi David,

      I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. Who did you book your car hire with online?

      Were you upsold a different car type due to your original car not being available or were you just tempted by a top-of-the-range vehicle?

      Re the debit card charge, you shouldn’t have been told incorrect information about the money being taken off your card. We usually recommend paying this deposit with a credit card but you should have been informed properly on what would happen by the sales rep at the time. Did you make a complaint about this specifically? If not, I’d complain to one of the managers at the rental company and, if this doesn’t help, make a formal complaint in writing when you return home.

      You will also have signed some T&Cs when you picked the vehicle up. Do these mention deposits and what the terms are with a debit card? It’s worth checking this so you know where you stand legally when making the complaint.

      I hope you managed to enjoy the rest of your trip.

      Thank you,
      Cathy

  66. Trevor O'Farrell says:

    Dear Bob,

    I booked a manual gear change car with Enterprise/alamo at Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, France. However, on arrival I was told that the only vehicle available for me (and partner was automatic) Neither of us had ever driven an automatic and as we had specifically pre chosen Manual we declined the vehicle and were forced to go elsewhere (SIXT)to rent.
    Auto-Europe have reimbursed me the voucher value but nor the difference that I was forced to pay from their non compliance. I have submitted the following letter to them and would like your vew on its chances of success. Many thanks in advance;
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing as the person seeking compensation to his bank account regarding the contractual malpractice of Enterprise/Alamo at Toulouse Blagnac airport.

    Firstly I must thank you for your admission of contractual non compliance by way of the voucher value refund of £246.42 to my bank account.

    However, your failure to secure reimbursement for me for with regard to the excess money that I was forced to pay due to the incompetence of your sub contracted party (Enterprise/Alamo), leaves me no alternative but to advise you of the following;

    I booked to hire a manual gear change car with you to be picked up at Blagnac Airport Toulouse France on Sunday March 24th 2016. When I arrived to pick up the car I was told that the car that I had hired was not available and the only alternative was an automatic gear change vehicle. As neither driver had ever driven an automatic this was not satisfactory and probably dangerous. Why bother to offer the choice of Manual or automatic gear changes on your contracts if your practice is to disregard the customer’s right to choose the vehicle that they wish to hire from you?

    I complained immediately to your representative but the matter was not resolved to my satisfaction.

    It was an express term of the contract between us that I would be provided with a Manual Gear Change vehicle] on Sunday March 24th 2016. Your failure to provide this constitutes a breach of that contract. This caused considerable disappointment and inconvenience and I had to hire an alternative car.

    As the company was unable to furnish the car as described on the Auto Europe voucher and due to the time and prior arranged appointments elsewhere, we were forced to rent from SIXT car hire at the next desk. (SIXT Payment/Contract has been previously scanned and attached). The car was exactly the same class of vehicle as was to have been rented from Enterprise, a manual gear change VW Polo. As this was a last minute booking, the price of 650.09 Euros (£516.45) was premium and cost some £270.03 more than the original Auto Europe quote of £246.42
    Despite the provable great inconvenience caused by Auto Europe’s contracted partner, Alamo/Enterprise’s (Blagnac airport) lack of competence and the less than glorious start to our French holiday. I am only requesting the compensation of £516.45 being the difference between my original purchase from Auto Europe and the hire fee that I was forced to pay due to the voiding of the contract by Enterprise. This is clearly indicated on Enterprise’s Client Incident form;

    ‘In the event that a customer choses(sic) to rent a vehicle from another car rental company due to the inability to fulfil a reservation , Enterprise will assume the cost based on the same length of car class, length of rental and insurance already booked. No additional coverage ou(sic) upgrades will be paid’.

    I am entitled to compensation for the consequences of your breach of contract. As I experienced a net loss of £270.03 , I look to you to pay me £270.03 in compensation, calculated on the basis of the incurred expense of hiring an alternative car.

    I look forward to receiving your proposals for reparation within the next 14 days.

    If I do not hear from you with a satisfactory response to this letter within 14 days then I will proceed to start legal action against you in accordance with the civil procedure pre action protocol.

    Yours faithfully,

    • Hi Trevor,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that your car hire didn’t go smoothly.

      To help you, please can I double check whether you spoke to Auto Europe’s customer services team before sending the letter and provided them with all of the relevant information?

      In cases like this, Auto Europe will approach the car rental supplier to apply for the additional cost. In order to do this, they will require the full invoice of the rental you had to purchase when you arrived – have you also supplied this information? I’d keep a copy of this for your records too as well as a note of who you have spoken to and when.

      The car rental supplier will then accept or decline the request from Auto Europe.

      If you haven’t already, it’s worth contacting the customer services team so they can let you know the status of your request and whether they need anything else from you.

      Let us know how you get on.

      Good luck,

      Cathy

  67. Kavi Joshi says:

    Thanks for giving these tips……….its really helpful

  68. D Parker says:

    Dear Bob,

    I have recently return from a short break in Majorca. Prior to leaving I investigated options on car rental deals and came across Rentalcars.com (TravelJigsaw Limited trading as Rentalcars.com)

    I booked the vehicle that I required and paid what I thought was a fair and competitive price. The collection of the vehicle was through Hertz and to my amazement I was asked to take out their insurance protection as the ‘Full Protection’ that I had taken out and paid for with Rentalcars.com wasn’t recognised or seen as valid by Hertz.

    Later that day at the first opportunity I rang Rentalcars.com after trying to resolve the issue online. I was told by the operator that there was nothing that she could do over the phone and it had to be resolved online. Having explained that I had struggled to do this online due to the poor quality and responsiveness of their website I gave up and waited to come home to resolve. When I was on the phone I asked that my complaint be looked and a note made of the conversation.

    On returning to the UK I finally made the complaint on what is a fairly crude website which is geared up for reporting and claiming accidents rather than customer queries or complaints.

    To this day I still have not had a response regarding my complaint, what option do I have, can I ask my credit card company to refund?

    Mr D Parker

    • Hi there

      You should make a formal written complaint to them in order to prompt an official response rather than just verbal. Do it to the Manchester address (Travel Jigsaw)

      http://www.rentalcars.com/en/contact/

      If this does not produce the desired result you can consider card charge back with your card issuer, however this is no guarantee that you will recover the money. Speak to the card issuer first before going this route.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  69. Maurice says:

    My company recently rented a van from a local company in London. My employee had an accident with it. The excess was doubled from £500 to £1000 because we failed to report it whithin 2 hours of the accident. The money was promptly taken from the crddit card

  70. Peter Murphy says:

    Just about to book car hire for lanzarote and I have identified a company that are offering full insurance cover for an extra $5 per day. Will I still need to leave a deposit or an amount blocked off my credit card . Doyouspain is the company and Goldcar the insurance co. I have read mixed reviews on both s

    • Hi Peter

      You will always need to leave a credit card for a deposit even if you reduce the excess to zero. many items are not included in the excess reduction from the rental companies such as windscreen, tyres and car undercarriage.

      Our partner offers a standalone policy at lower prices AND includes the items that the rental desks exclude.

      See more here;

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • We bought our own excess insurance before hiring with goldcar. They tried very hard to sell us their extra insurance but we kept on saying no. At this point they said we’d have to leave either a cash deposit or have our debit card debited £950 to cover the deposit. They refused to take a credit card. We reluctantly handed over a debit card, they then said it had been declined by the bank, so we have in and bought their insurance. We called the bank a little later and there was no record of any declined transactions

        • Hi Sue

          This to me sounds like sharp practice and is completely incorrect. They have no right to refuse leaving a deposit on a credit card and to indicate that a card has been declined when no transaction attempt has been made. When a card is declined a receipt is driven out of the card machine with void transaction on it.

          Where were you renting the vehicle from and how did you make your reservation? Was it direct with Goldcar of through a third party company? Did you originally complete a price comparison online with TravelSupermarket to find the price?

          Kind regards

          Bob

          Kind regards

          Bob

  71. Hi Bob,

    I’ve just booked a flight to Faro and have been looking at car rental. At first all the deals seem cheap e.g. £35 for 4 days. Then when I click on the terms and conditions it turns out that they charge 33 cent for every kilometre you drive once you go over 35 kilometres per day. Have you heard of this kind of policy? I am completely new to car rental but given I have already booked my accomodation which is about 90km from the airport, I am a bit shocked. I wonder if you are aware if there are other options out there? Admittedly I haven’t looked through travelsupermarket yet…

    Thanks,

    Jo

    • Hi Jo

      Where are you looking for prices? The prices that we show on the TravelSupermarket price comparison for Faro all include unlimited mileage as standard so I’m unsure what you are looking at for mileage rates.

      Complete a search here and you can free yourself of this kind of limitation.

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/portugal/algarve/faro/

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Thanks Bob. I can’t remember where I was looking but I clicked on a link that said ‘Ts & Cs’ and that was what it said. Anyway,now all I can see when I browse is ‘unlimited mileage’ so maybe I dreamt it!

        Cheers

        Jo

      • Hi Bob,
        I’ve just been looking on travelsupermarket and have noticed that all the deals come with ‘Collision damage waiver’ included for free. Does this mean I am covered whatever happens or will the rental company attempt to sell me extra insurance when I pick up the car and if so, should I buy it?
        Many thanks for your help,
        Jo

        • Hi Jo

          CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) is your third party cover if you have an accident with someone else. You will have an excess to pay on this. This is when the desks try to sell you their excess reduction where you can reduce the excess you pay from anything up to €2000 down to zero.

          The policies they sell you are over priced and do not give you full cover, which is why we promote and sell a UK issued stand alone policy. They are cheaper and have far better cover giving you peace of mind against high bills. You still pay out the excess to the car rental company if there is damage and then claim it back off this policy. I can vouch for it personally as being a good deal and a good service.

          https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

          Hope that clears things up for you.

          Bob

          • We took out our damage waiver insurance when we booked our car on line through an agent on line. The agent booked us to AVIS in Faro.
            They tried to sell us their damage waiver, implying it was more comprehensive than ours.
            We collected the car, did the usual checks. On returning the car the guy checking looked around the car then said ‘oh dear what has happened to the door lock’? When picked up the car it was opened with the central locking key fob – a very rude assistant insisted it was checked when we picked it up, which it was not. He then said well you have damage waiver so they will pay. We have been charged £300. Although we will claim I am certain this is a scam – if we had their damage waiver I don’t think this would be the case

  72. Justin Shiels says:

    Do not rent from Goldcar Malta. We rented a car on April 9th and paid 1350 Euros deposit. The Goldcar contract states that it can take up to 30 days after return of the car to get the deposit back. It is now 42 days since we returned the car on April 21st, with no damage and we have still not got our deposit back. We have emailed 3 times with only one reply to the first email. We have also phoned and have been cut off. Their contract also states that they will ‘resolve any controversies in a friendly manner’. They are certainly not doing this. I have given a one star rating so that I can post this review – I would prefer to give no stars at all.

  73. Do not use Ryanair rental car service!

    Me and my husband used Ryanair car hire service to rent a car in Spain as we booked Ryanair flight. We choose a Budget car as it allowed us to drop the car in a different location and completed the booking paying the whole car rental fee plus insurance fee with a debit card. When we arrived to the airport at 21:00 Budget did not release the car we booked as we had 2 visa debit cards. Instead they required 2 credit cards. We explained that we have sufficient funds in the card to block for deposit which is in fact 10 times more than an ordinary credit card but this was still not accepted. We previously used our debit cards to rent a car with several big companies such as Enterprise, Europcar and Avis in the UK and in Europe and never came across anything similar before.

    We asked Budget to change our booking to another car but they declined this request and then we asked for our booking to be cancelled but they said they cannot cancel this as it was booked through a third agent, CarTrawler. Throughout the booking process Ryanair website did not alert us that we are actually booking with a third agent and more importantly it did not alert us that we required 2 credit cards before the booking was complete and the payment was made. In fact I used my usual debit card to make the whole rental car and insurance fee payment and there was no mention of a credit card requirement. We needed to rent a car from the same airport as all our holiday plans were dependent on this and we rented a car using the same debit card with another big company, Europcar, without any issues.

    This shows the lack of transparency in services Ryanair provides that results losing money or suffering avoidable aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience, the lack of transparency regarding services provided, giving wrong/misleading information and/or deliberately withholding important information from customers that could avoid problems and it shows the lack of professionalism and respect towards customers.

    This type of vital information should be given before the booking process is complete and the payment is taken. We thought booking a car with Ryanair would be easy and convenient as we are travelling with Ryanair but overall it caused so many issues in a country which we don’t reside in and don’t even use their language. This was no minor inconvenience. Its not fair to start your holiday with such an experience. Don’t rent a car with Ryanair. They are working with this scam CarTrawler.

    • Hi there

      I’m sorry that you had problems with your rental.

      The T’s and C’s you will have accepted online with Ryanair do state that its a service provided by CarTrawler, however you do need to read those to be able to see that. However you will have ticked that you have so legally Ryanair are covered. They also state you will need a credit card when collecting.

      It is fairly normal practice to need a credit card when collecting a rental vehicle and I am surprised that you have managed to ba able to drive one away before now.

      You should make a formal complaint to Ryanair/Car Trawler to point out the lack of clarity.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  74. Hi Bob, we rented a car in Portugal last week and a local resident span out of control and hit us. We called the police and they came to the scene, and also asked us to make a statement at the station which we did. The other motorist accepted liability completely. The hire car company have kept out £1,300 excess that was being held and advised us that we need to pursue this claim against the other driver to get this back. We have no idea how to do this? Are there companies that specialise in taking this action for you? Thanks

    • Hi there Dan

      Sorry to hear that and hope no-one was injured. Can you tell me which company you had picked the car rental up from please?

      I am assuming that you did not have a stand alone policy for excess reduction in place? Therefore your best option is to consult a local solicitor and ask for their advice on how to proceed against the third party to recover your loss.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  75. Jason Moore says:

    Dear Bob
    We have booked a car two weeks ago for the collection on 20/06/16 through DYS wth PULSAR do you have any idea how to contact them? We have tried telephone and email with no reply. Our concerns are we booked to collect the car from Alicante airport at 21.00pm, once we paid we got our confirmation through stating we have to meet the PULSAR agent at the airport shuttle stop to take us a short distance to collect the car. We are a family of 5 with the youngest only 3 months, all we want from DYS or PULSAR to confirmation that the agent will be there as our accommodation is 45 minute drive from the airport. We just don’t want to be left stranded.

    • Hi there

      I don not know who DYS is, however I would assume you have had some form of confirmation from them including contact details. Is DYS Do You Spain?

      My advice would be to contact them or instead go direct to Pulsar in Alicante. You can find their contact details here;

      http://www.pulsarcarhire.com/oficinas

      You should then be able to confirm the arrangements that you need.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  76. We received the following advice from a traveller this week direct to our email. We present the comments anonymously for readers’ interest.

    ……………………………………………………..

    “I have been a regular visitor to Spain for over 20 years, using car hire without material problems – until this year. I have been twice in the last 2 months with problems both times. Both appear to be related to our declining to take out expensive excess insurance from the company.

    “1. We hired a car from Dickmanns, Alicate Airport and had to pay a deposit of €950, as we had our own excess insurance. There is a notice in their office warning repayment may take up to 28 days from end of car hire. We have used Dickmanns before and repayment has always been fairly prompt and less than 28 days. This time it took over 5 weeks, without explanation, meaning it crossed credit card monthly statements and could have incurred interest charges. In my professional experience, such delays often are a symptom of a company with cash flow problems and are therefore high risk. No way round this other than buy expensive insurance or use a different company.

    “2. We hired a Fiat Doble from Solmar at Alicante Airport. Another company we have used before without problem. They pushed very hard for us to buy insurance but again we refused and they pointed out a notice warning it would take 30 minutes to return the car. When we did .return it they very quickly identified a scratch on the underneath of the front bumper and charged me over €200. The Doble has a high ground clearance and it would have been very difficult to damage it in this way. At the same time, another Brit was returning his car and they inspected the underneath with a mirror, finding another scratch and charging over €300. Like me, that gentleman was adamant he hadn’t caused the hidden damage but couldn’t prove it. If you are hiring a car in Spain, check it very, very carefully including the underside.

    “Hire rates are very low at the moment and it looks as if these companies are seeking to maximise income in other ways.

    “Be warned!”

  77. HI all,

    I am just looking to hire a car and find it strange that Discover Car Hire has the best offer but when tried to call any of the numbers in all countries, no response.

    http://www.discovercarhire.com/contact-us.html

    Is this a scam web site or a real agency?

    Thanks

  78. Rajiv says:

    Hi

    I am from India , looking to rent a car in Germany from 25/6 to 28/6 , which seems to be the most honest company in Germany?

    Does paying for Super cover refundable excess that covers all insurance ensure that anything that may be charged will be surely refunded?

    can I buy the insurance policy seperately ? just for 3 days

    what are these cleaning charges …?

    any hidden charges which I should be careful about?

    please guide a first timer

    thanks

    Rajiv

    • Hi Rajiv

      You can do a search on TravelSupermarket to compare car hire in Germany.

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/

      We feature both airport pick ups and downtown locations and all companies offer an excellent service. Just find the price that is right for you and then click through to the company to make your reservation and check the small print.

      If you buy super cover excess from a car rental company you will not be generally covered for damage to tyres, glass and the underside of the car. You can get better cover by buying a standalone policy on a daily rate and the price is also far cheaper. You can buy that here;

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

      Cleaning charges are applied if you don’t return the car in a decent condition of cleanliness, Remove your own litter from the car and if the car has got muddy then give it a car wash.

      The other main charge is to understand the fuel situation, whether you pick up the car full and then fill it up yourself when returning or you pick up full and pay for a full tank of fuel on collection of the keys. Most short rentals will be the former.

      Finally ensure you check out the driving rules in Germany and avoid speed penalties and traffic offences. Read more here;

      http://www.rac.co.uk/drive/travel/country/germany

      Kind regards

      Bob

  79. Ewan Scott says:

    Hi Bob wondering if you would have any advice for us here, we had a terrible experience picking up our reserved car with budget at Marseille today. We reserved the car online with a cost of £215 including excess cover (also with budget and full comp). Because of previous experiences with hidden charges at car hire firms on arrival, I also emailed their customer services before arriving to check that this quote would account for the total hire cost, which they confirmed for me. On arriving today we were instead charged over £500 with the car agent refusing to honour our reserve price. On questioning this the agent at first said that he did not know why the price was more but that we must have got it wrong. When I produced our quote from budget and their email he then said our price was inflated by £300 to cover theft excess on the vehicle as the insurance apparently only covered the collision excess. When we requested to remove this cover for theft excess the agent then told us that the theft excess also covered any/all damage to the car and if we removed the £300 cover any minor blemish would be charged at 800 euros. As it was a Sunday and there was no public transport to our destination we were forced to accept but needless to say we are very distressed at being charged so much over the odds for seemingly no inexplicable reason, I am concerned that we have been a victim of fraudulent charges by this branch. My only recourse is by email to their customer services as there seems to be no answer his their telephone services. Is there anything else you would recommend we do to try and recoup our costs here, or any governing body you know of who regulates this industry whom we could contract to pursue our issue? Thank you gor any help you can give us.

    • Hi Ewan

      I am sorry to hear this. Did you reserve the car for payment at the desk or did you complete the purchase online and pay back in the UK before you travelled?

      Can you also confirm if you booked via our price comparison service or just direct with Budget?

      Thanks

      Bob

      • Ewan Scott says:

        Hi Bob thank you for your reply, we reserved the car online for payment on arrival as I couldn’t see an option for payment in advance with budget (with other companies I had always taken the advance payment option to avoid situations like this). We booked direct through budget as on the day it was slightly cheaper that on here!

        • Hi Ewan

          This is probably where things have gone wrong.

          When you pay on arrival the desks will have a really good go at charging for a wide range of items that you may or may not want. When you pre-pay you not only guarantee the rate you are booking you also have a clear list of what is included and excluded from the price. Most rates sold in the UK on a pre-pay basis are inclusive of all compulsory charges with the exception of fuel and so make it easier on car pick up and with less chance of being confused or conned into taking something you don’t need.

          My advice now is to contact Budget here in the UK and make a very strong and formal complaint to the company. I’m assuming that you used the UK website. ou can find there contact details here;

          http://www.budget.co.uk/contact-budget.html

          Ask them to honour the original price and its inclusions and to refund your card as appropriate and see what the response is.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  80. Dave Greenwood says:

    hi Bob
    im going to Malaga for a week with family, looking and reading all problems with car hire in spain. could you give me the best and safest way to hire a car for the week.
    kind regards
    Dave

    • Hi Dave

      I would do a search on TravelSupermarket for your car hire needs.

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/spain/costa-del-sol/malaga/

      Pick you deal and click through to the company to make your booking. All of the companies we use are reputable, however you must be aware that many are agents for local companies and they should disclose all charges before you make your payment. rates we quote include ALL compulsory charges. however you need to be aware of whether fuel is included in the cost or not.

      You should ignore any attempt to reduce the excess you would pay on the car as part of the purchase. Instead buy a standalone policy here;

      https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

      This is cheaper than with the rental companies and gives you far better cover.

      You should also follow all of the tips we have in our article you have commented on.

      If you have any queries or need any further help then please do let me know.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  81. Chandi says:

    I was scammed by Gold Car in Italy. Can you advise me what I can do about it?

    My voucher said it would be 107 plus 85 for returning it to a different airport. The amount turned out to be 398 Euro, which comes to 100 euro A DAY!!! Holy crap! Earlier on the same trip I’d rented a car from a different company, also for 4 days, and it came to 44 a day. I was expecting only the 107 plus 85 which would have made is 48 a day. Even the fee for dropping at a different place I’ve not been charged before but I thought maybe it was because they keep their prices low. What a joke. Now what do I do? I’ve paid it. Any advice about how to file a compliant?

    • Hi Chandi

      You don’t say what the additional amount between €192 and the €398 is for.

      Can you tell me what the additional charges are from your invoice please and we can then give you some advice.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  82. David Caress says:

    Hi Bob

    I originally made a booking to hire a Seat Leon out of Malaga Airport with Avis between Sat 18 June 2016 to Sat 25 June 2016. The original booking was for a Seat Leon manual.

    On arrival my party decided on upgrading the car and having attended the desk and speaking with their operative the car hire was upgraded to an Audi A4 Tdi 150 Stronic..

    The cost of the original booking was €151.76 with the upgrade at €532.70 (total hire cost for the Audi in the sum of €684.46. At the time of making the upgrade I was advised that this was a good deal and upon this I made the upgrade as my decision was based on what the operative had advised me.

    Having had the opportunity to access the internet later I checked the Avis website for a similar booking for the same car between Saturday 25 June to Sat 2 July 2016. This is the same period of 7 days as the original booking.

    To my total surprise the cost of the hire for an Audi is quoted at £237 or €303.31. This is €381.15 less then what I have had to pay for the same car when I completed my upgrade.

    I do understand that there was a charge of €66.84 for fuel up front included in this figure (another rip off but what was expected).

    Have you come across such a disparity in hire prices when upgrading at the airport desk before and is there a way of me getting the €314.31 back? I had paid on my credit card so may approach them if Avis do no respond to an e-mail that I have sent them.

    Regards

    David

    • Hi David

      The airport desk prices are totally different to those online and reflect supply and demand on the day.

      We would always recommend that you book the car group that you want online and with a pre-paid voucher rather than a reserve now and pay later price whish is usually higher. Many car rental pick up desks are franchises as opposed to owned by the rental companies and they are free to set prices locally.

      You will have no right of recourse to your credit card company as you agreed the price at the desk and were happy to pay that upgrade.

      I would contact Avis customer services and address the matter to them. Their details are here;

      http://www.avis.co.uk/contact-us/customer-services

      Kind regards

      Bob

  83. Dr L Stiore says:

    I placed an order for a car in Venice airport for a SUV or Jeep Renegade as it was shown on their website (CarTrawler.com), paid in advance and took a full comprehensive cover to ensure no extra costs should the worst happen.All of this was confirmed back to me. On my arrival i was told that first of all the never had an SUV in stock and their order was for a completely different group of car NON SUV. The car i received was a Renault Captur. In addition the car was substantially damaged through out the left hand side of the car..The body work was bend inwards all along. I told the car company and they reported that to me..However i asked for a different car and was denied one as they did not have any other in the same group..I was left with little options as it was late in the night, to have to accept an unwanted car, damaged and not big enough from the one i required.I also could not cancel the order as this was prepaid without refund or high penalty. On our return from a 14days travel (drove approx 4200KM) I wrote an email to the agency (Cartrawler.com) who was friendly enough NOT to reply..I sent the email various time attaching picture of the document received in terms of the car hire, no Response. I sent another email requesting a reply within a time frame of 7 working days, still waiting.. I am now left not knowing what more to do..Can You or anyone help? The company car i was issued with was GOLDCAR, whom of course were very surprised to read that i ordered an Renegade or similar SUV as stated on the reservation. And the reservation was made well in advance..with over 30 days from collection.

    • Hi Dr Stiore

      I’m sorry to hear of the problems you had.

      Can you confirm if you made the reservation after doing a price comparison on TravelSupermarket.com with either Argus or Holiday Autos? car Trawler is the owner of those consumer brands as well as providing a car rental solution for many airlines and other travel companies.

      I can then help you more.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  84. Roger Lumm says:

    I hired A car through do you spain with gold car in june 2016.After returning home i had 50 euros taken on my credit card for a late return 14.30 when I booked the car all my flight times and hire times were entered the price was based on this.I have tried to contact do you spain without success what can i do now Roger Lumm

    • Hi Roger

      Was the rental through Do You Spain with another actual rental company? Please confirm that.

      If you have tried several times to get an answer from them, you could contact your card company and charge back this amount. Speak to them first and explain the situation and take it from there. You will need to provide proof that you were not late returning per your contract in order for them to investigate with the car rental company.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Roger Lumm says:

        How can I get proof of original booking which was done via internet? This was booked with do you spain, who do not respond to any messages.

        • Hi Roger

          Did you get an email from them on confirming? Perhaps you have deleted it or it is in your junk. Your email provider may be able to help you retrieve it.

          Otherwise you need to keep trying to contact DoYouSpain to resolve it as we don’t have a commercial relationship with them.

          http://www.doyouspain.com/support/support.aspx?idioma=ENI would give them a couple of emails they can contact you on in case their emails are being blocked by your email service. They do not have a telephone number.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  85. Hello, I used Goldcar Rentals recently and it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made. Had to pay extra there for their insurance or costs plus full tank of fuel, which I payed for. My worry is now, after coming home and reading reviews some people get charged extras once they are back home and I do not want this to happen from my account when I know there is no reason it should, can you contact your bank and ask them to block any future payments to a certain company if they try to take anything? thanks

    • Hi Bob

      To my knowledge I don’t believe you can block payments to an individual supplier and Goldcar will have taken a credit card pre-authorisation deposit on your card at point of pick up.

      Give your card issuer a call to check with them and to see if any further amounts have come from your card. If you are in d9ispute on these you can then charge those back to the credit card issuer.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  86. Nicola says:

    Hi,
    I have rented a car through Centuro using my debit card as I have no credit card. I was given the option to upgrade my insurance policy so that I don’t have to pay a €900 deposit. I have done this, but am still concerned that they will expect a huge deposit upon collection.
    Do you know whether this would be the case?
    Thanks

    • Hi Nicola

      You should check with them before you travel. Mist companies require a deposit which covers everything from fuel and cleaning of the vehicle as well as you being late returning and of course damage. the deposit is usually taken in the form of a pre-authorisation on a credit card.

      As I don’t know where you are renting I cannot give you their contact details, however contact them ahead to verify what you need.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  87. mairead says:

    Hi

    I rented a car from Budget/Avis June 16 and just received a letter indicating, one month later, that I have a parking fine. Budget/Avis related my personal details to Glasgow Council and charged me £30 for “admin”fees which they have deducted from my debit card. I suppose my question is can they hold my card indefinitely and use my card details to debit my account? The traffic offence is being disputed.

    • Hi Mairead

      Under the terms and conditions of the rental agreement they will be able to supply your car details to anyone chasing for parking and other traffic violations while the car was in your name. For this they charge and admin fee and are within their rights to charge your card for this per the contract. Your other option it to cancel the card and have a new one issued.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  88. Bajul Shah says:

    Hi have had a really poor experience in Malaga this time at the hands of Inter rent / Europcar. Returned the car and was informed that the lock on the passenger door was not working as the key was not turning. I had used the key fob instead of the lock all week and did not think to check this detail when I picked up the car earlier in the week. As I had excess cover taken separately from Europcar they insisted that I pay up front for that damage plus an admin charge otherwise I would not be able to claim back on my excess policy. If I did not pay there and then there would be ‘consequences’ as ‘Madrid’ would get involved and the charge would be higher and for some unspecified reason I would not be able to claim. My wife was with me and insisted we should not pay up and let the ‘consequences’ happen. Am waiting for the credit card statement to see whether the official cost will be higher. Any suggestions on whether I have a legitimate case to dispute this?

    • Hi Bajul

      If you used the electronic lock for opening and closing the vehicle all week and not the key, then it would be hard to even know there was a problem with the door lock for a manual entry to the car.

      However how are you able to prove that the damage did not occur while the car was in your control. It is normal for any damage to the car to be paid for when you return the car or once the damage is discovered up to the value of the excess even if you have taken out a separate excess reduction policy. You should now make a claim for the bill you have been paid from your standalone policy.

      What I don’t understand is why there was talk about Madrid and consequences and I would make a formal complaint to Interrent/Europcar about that as it sounds very unusual to me.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  89. Debbie Ford says:

    Please could someone help us. We are still waiting for 950 euros deposit refund since returning our hire car to Dickmanns at Alicante airport. We returned the car on the 8th June 2016 but they just keep telling me “its being processed”. I am so upset and cannot afford for that money to be lost as my father in law paid it on his credit card. What can I do? Is there an ombudsman at all? Only is it after have I read all of the appalling reviews for this company……..

    • Hi Debbie

      If you are getting nowhere with Dickmanns, I would suggest that you go to the credit card company and ask them to charge this amount back, assuming that you do not owe Dickmanns anything for damage, fuel or other charges. Alternatively if you booked this via a third party company, you could contact them and ask them for assistance with Dickmanns.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  90. Hi can anyone help , I have looked through the comments in this page and they are all very helpful , I am looking at hiring a car from Luton airport and have booked a flight from Ireland to Luton through Ryan air , I have received an email from Ryan air advising of cheaper car hire , I have found a deal with a company called firefly , the car hire is very cheap and it says collision waiver included in the price but we need to pay an extra £29 for damage cover ? I am so confused and really don’t want to get ripped off when we get the car , could anyone advise what it is I will be covered for ? Many thanks

    • Hi Kelly,

      Did you find the deal with Firefly directly from the email you received from Ryanair? According to Firefly’s locations page they do not have any offices in the UK: https://global.fireflycarrental.com/locations.html – I am also unable to see any option on their website to pick up a car in the UK.

      However, for all rental agreements, when you pick up the car there will still be an ‘excess’ to pay – when you have collision waiver damage you will still be liable for the first £XXX if any damage occurs to the case. If you take out an excess policy here in the UK as per our article, you can then claim back any excess that you need to pay out to the car hire company.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  91. Kristyn Smith says:

    Looking for some help . . . when I go the US version of a car hire website (Budget, Avis, Enterprise) the total price for car hire in Great Britain is MUCH lower than the price being offered on the UK version of the website. I am an American renting in the UK. Am I missing something? I am afraid if I book on the American website there is a catch that I am overlooking. I plan to prepay to secure the best rate.

    Thanks,
    Kristyn

    • Hi Kristyn,

      Could you give me an example of where you have seen this occurring?

      I can’t see any reason why there would be any difference in the service provided whether you book using a US or UK website, but as always you should check the terms and conditions of the agreement very carefully to ensure you’re not surprised by any fees or charges.

      Follow our car hire tips for more information on how to avoid getting ripped off when hiring a car: http://www.travelsupermarket.com/blog/7-car-hire-ripoffs-avoid/

      Thanks,
      Tom

  92. serena says:

    Hi ,

    Looking for some help please, i want to hire a car in Protaras in September for 9 days, when i go to book it gives me an option to take out their excess of £495!can this be done cheaper by getting my own? and also is a refundable deposit required on all cars? what rough price is it normally?
    i have never hired abroad before or infact anywhere and just dont want to be ripped off or end up losing alot of money

    Many thanks

  93. Kathleen says:

    I rented a car from Budget at the Burlington VT airport with my airline Mastercard points. It was allegedly completely paid for, but surprise! Nearly $52.00 in airport fees, “concession” fees and state taxes. Disgusting.

  94. Hi
    Advise please.
    Travelling with a baby and hiring a car from Mallorca. Record is coming up favorable (full-full fuel, full insurance etc). Any opinions on their car seats – charged at 6 euros per day?
    We could take our own but concerned about damage and all the baggage we’re already taking.
    Really don’t want a “nasty” car seat. If pre-booked can you decline it? Can you hire a seat from another company? Would they rent a seat to someone if you don’t hire the car from them?
    Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Lyn,

      I believe you should be able to cancel a pre-booked child seat, although I would contact Record first to confirm this as there’s nothing in their terms and conditions about it. I’m not sure if you can hire a car seat alone from a car rental company and my gut feel is probably not, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt to check with another firm.

      Some airlines allow you to take child car seats as checked baggage for free, or with the baby in them in the cabin – on bmibaby flights, for instance, child car seats can be used for infants between the ages of six months and three years, and Easyjet’s policy can be seen here: http://www.easyjet.com/en/help/preparing-to-fly/childrens-baggage

      Alternatively you could use a service such as this one (although we do not necessarily endorse or recommend them) – according to their website they will deliver and collect a baby seat at the airport for €45 with a hire cost of €24.99 a week: http://www.babyequipmenthiremajorca.co.uk/p.html

      There may also be a similar service operating in the airport itself.

      If you’re in any doubt however and want peace of mind, I would suggest taking your own car seat if you can deal with the extra baggage.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  95. Lucy Carroll says:

    Hi there, some advice please! I have decided to take out excess waiver policy so that I do not get charge for the extra insurance by car hire companies – and also to always request full to full (only use companies that provide this option). But, previously at airports you get offered the expensive insurance as the alternative to having 1200 euros blocked on your card. So if i take out that insurance myself, rather than through them, do i still have to have the 1200 euros blocked on my card?

    • Hi Lucy,

      I’m afraid every rental company will take a refundable deposit, irrespective of whether you have a car rental excess policy.

      The way an excess policy works is that if there were any accidents and the excess is charged by the car rental company to you, then you claim that back from your insurance policy.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  96. We have rented a small car monthly for nearly 10months in Malaga, until we find a car to buy that we like. We have always gone through Doyouspain. I can recommend; Firefly – slow pick up times though, Click – very reliable, Record – also very good. BUT steer clear of DelPaso. After renting 4 months continuously we returned a car only to be told that it was damaged! Two 2cm scratches had appeared over the right back wing..but on closer inspection it seemed they were superficial and old. Full of black grease and dirt,and not new in any way. But the girl who inspected the car was new and wrote down every thing she could see. So they decided 3060 Euros was the price for repair. They returned only 640 euros to our credit card. BUT, they wasn’t expecting our next move. I actually managed to find the name of the managing director here in Málaga of DelPaso, and when I wrote them a stinking report on both their homepage blog and their FB page he asked to see me. He warned me if I didn’t remove the complaints along with the complaint form which I had filled in and had the copies ready to hand over to the Junta of Andalucia he would sue me and call the Civil Guard. So I told him to go ahead, because the only way I would do that is if we got our money refunded. After 2 hours in his office with me not budging, as I new I wasn’t in the wrong, he refunded my money plus the rental car we had booked that they wouldn’t let us take. I took back my complaint and returned the forms. BUT, I run them down rotten whenever I can, they are just looking desperately to claim for anything they can when you return a car. I still have their list of charges, they actually want 250€ for a wing mirror, on a Fiat Panda!!! So if anyone rents from Malaga steer clear of DelPaso!!!

  97. Hi Fellow Travellers
    My partner and I are on a long retirement voyage around the world and currently in Germany. We travel on board our sailing Yacht Gratis. When we reach a destination we usually hire a car or sometimes a scooter We have rented from just about all major rentals and some minor ones and we usually rent for 3-4 weeks at a time and up 6-8 times a year. For the first time ever we subjected to an attempted rip off !
    We book on line through various well known online booking agents this time we used Expedia.The booking was for a THRIFTY car delivered in Berlin by HERTZ for a 3 week rental. We arrived at the Hertz counter and the staff member looked at the deal and said yes but you know that you must take our insurance with this rental? I responded with the contract papers which clearly stated that the total and full amount to be paid at the desk was $348.43
    (Here’s a copy,)
    “Price summary; You will pay EUR$348.43 at pickup. Unless otherwise specified, rates are quoted in USD. The total price includes all mandatory taxes and fees.Rental fees are due at pickup.”

    I told Hertz that this was nonsense and that i have my own insurance They responded that they would NOT rent the car if I did not take their insurance. I asked how much? they replied EUR $390 !!!!. I told them where they could stick the car. Beware of HERTZ/THRIFTY. I have asked Expedia to comment have not heard back as yet.

    • Hi Bob,

      Scare tactics such as this are frustratingly common, although I’ve not heard of it with Hertz or Thrifty before.

      The rental firm will need a deposit, because they will use that to pay for any damage which you can then claim back from your insurance company, but as long as you have the proper cover there’s no reason why you would specifically need to use their insurance.

      Good on you for sticking to your guns and for following it up – let us know what Expedia’s response is.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  98. Sonny Naidoo says:

    Hi, I have also been conned by the famous “GOLD CAR`S”, they are the same as a No Frills Airline, who charges you for printing your own boarding pass.
    I have used DoYouSpain agents for many years, but they also on the gravy train.
    Recently I they gave a rental Co, called “Record Rent A Car”another lot of scammers, avoid them.I returned my car full as chosen, on the 28th.May, & I am still waiting for my 49 Euro refund for the fuel.
    They do not check the car or fuel tank on return, as the car goes to their depot for that /damage etc.They would not even sign my contract to say yes I have returned the car, they also took a further 200 euro as I was over 70 years old, had I known that prior I would not have used them, this was in Alicante.so be warned. I found that almost all the car rental firms are there to rip you off,
    the worst one`s are the Spanish, they confuse you with the broken English. Happy motoring, one day will find a HONEST rental Car Co.(in my dreams???)

    • Hi Sonny,

      Really sorry to hear about the issues you’ve had, and thanks for sharing your advice.

      You should post a review somewhere online of your Goldcar experience to help others and hopefully this will prompt changes there.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  99. Adrian says:

    Help, please! I’ve just returned from a holiday to Mallorca and got my final car-hire rental invoice. I see they’ve taken an extra £399 for ‘accepted services’ – windscreen protection, roadside assistance, etc. I was never specifically asked if I wanted these or told I would be agreeing to them by initialling them, but to my horror, now I’ve got my reading glasses on, I see I initialled acceptance of these. I already have excess waiver insurance etc so didn’t want/need any of these services. Is there any hope of getting this amount back? I’m heartbroken.
    At the time it was late, I didn’t have my glasses and because the amount of these extra services is very similar to the amount of my car hire, this is what I thought I was signing for.

    • Hi Adrian,

      I’m really sorry to hear this, what a horrible surprise.

      Unfortunately a signed contract is a legally enforceable agreement that can usually only be challenged in court, but if you were to take legal action against them – claiming that you were not properly made aware of what you were signing – there is a possibility that the sale can be reversed. Is it a UK company or Spanish? If they’re Spanish this route may be more difficult.

      It may be worth talking to a legal expert to see if you have a case and whether it would be worth the hassle in the long run.

      However, before doing this, I would suggest contacting the company in question though to explain what happened – if you’re lucky they may be prepared to reverse the charge.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  100. Hired car through Ryanair and bought all their recommended insurance. At Faro airport the car company refused to accept the insurance and insisted we bought theirs.
    Emailed and got an response (after chasing) from cartrawler agents for Ryanair with further email not responded to
    Good trips with Ryanair otherwise but feel ripped off over this.

    • Hi there,

      Sorry to hear this. Have you tried contacting Ryanair’s customer service department directly (not through CarTrawler)?

      You can fill in their online complaint form here: https://contactform.ryanair.com/

      I would suggest selecting ‘Complaint’ then ‘Other’ from the list on the left.

      Alternatively, give them a ring on 0871 246 0000. Bear in mind however that this is not a freephone number.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  101. Lorraine Thompson says:

    Do Not ever ever ever use Dickmans Car Hire Alicante, find my review plus lots more on Trust Pilot, we would all give no stars if that were possible. They have kept so many 900+ deposits and do not answer emails, they are so full of rubbish and they are advertising under false pretences. They are a bunch of SCAM artists.

    • Anita says:

      Exactly the same happened with us with Dickmans also with Firefly.we booked both through Doyouspain who are now ignoring all my emails.
      I have contacted credit card but don’t know who else to contact as they all seem to be con artist and thieves

  102. Graham says:

    I recently went to Murcia in Spain and pre-booked my hire car with Do You Spain, as I have done on several occasions.

    The local company was Solmar and I have since read negative reports about them.

    This is another!

    Solmar picked us up from the airport with no fuss, leading us away from the queues at the car hire desks and took us to their office about 5 minute’s drive away.

    Once there, after completing some basic details, I was asked to choose between either the basic insurance or the all-inclusive one.

    I had received several emails from Do You Spain, offering me their excess insurance for £45 and telling me that I could end up paying over £90 locally if I opted for the local firm’s insurance.

    I hadn’t taken up that offer, as I already had an annual excess policy, so I told the woman that I did not need insurance; 3 or four times.

    In the end, she told me that I could not have the car unless I chose one of the insurance options.

    As it was now 9:30 at night and I still had a couple of hours to drive, I selected the all-inclusive one, which was actually cheaper at 120 euros.

    When we got home, I filled out a form on the Do You Spain website, which told me during busy periods, it might take a few weeks to get back to me.

    When, after 3 weeks, I hadn’t heard anything, I emailed them a reminder.

    They came back and basically removed themselves from the situation, saying that there had been some confusion and advising me to be careful in future.

    This is not good enough. I was blackmailed by Solmar into taking out insurance that I did not either want or need.

    And Do You Spain did nothing.

    I wonder if it would have happened had I taken out Do You Spain’s insurance cover? Hmmm

    Give them both a wide berth!

  103. Joanne Dawson says:

    We arrived in Palma to pick up our pre ordered hire cars from Centauro. We were charged 44euros for the pre booked baby seat and they wanted to charge us 112 euros for two booster seats, luckily we found some news ones in the shop up the road for 10 euros each. Our cars booked through holidayextras.com by our travel agent Thomas Cook included loss damage waiver/theft waiver/pai/unlimited mileage and breakdown assistance. The gentleman who served us at Centauro took a look at our paperwork and told us we weren’t fully covered and strongly pressurised us into paying 304euros for their smart insurance in total for the two cars. We said no at first but with three tired children accompanying us and the desk clerk kept saying we would be liable for 1000’s of pounds for the slightest scratch we relented and paid in the end. Feel ripped off, wasn’t a great start to the holiday. Have been trying to query this with the companies but not having much response so far. It just feels like a horrible corrupt business.

    • Hi Joanne,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your problem with Centauro. This sounds like a case of hard-sell scare tactics that some desk staff use on holidaymakers in order to get commission. Unfortunately, as you took out the policy Centauro are unlikely to admit to any wrong-doing on their part.

      I think it is still worth contacting Centauro and making a formal complaint to them. You can also leave a review about their experience on their site and any others that may host their service (TripAdvisor etc).

      If you have contacted holidayextras.co.uk and Thomas Cook, I would still chase them up again – I have attached their customer service links below.

      https://www.thomascook.com/customer-services/
      http://www.holidayextras.co.uk/faq/i-have-a-complaint-who-do-i-contact.html

      I hope this helps,

      Joey

  104. Paul Birkett says:

    Before a recent trip to Malta I prebooked and prepaid for Avis car hire using some British Airways Avios points, car pickup at the airport. The Avis-branded documentation sent through clearly stated ‘half a tank of fuel is automatically added to all rentals’, so I assumed we’d therefore prepaid for a half tank of fuel and would be OK returning the car with only a quarter of a tank used. However the local operator had a full-full policy which seems to conflict with the Avis policy and which was on their own documentation, so I had to pay for the tank to be filled up and pay their refuelling charge too (what a rip-off that is). Despite showing them the Avis documentation, the Avis desk staff at the airport said we couldn’t possibly have prepaid for a half tank of Maltese fuel when we were in the UK and the price of the fuel and make, model and engine size of the hire car was not known at that time. My point therefore is that the wording on the Avis documentation is not only misleading but is plain wrong.

  105. Anonymous says:

    I am currently at Lake garda and have hired a car through Goldcar. Very agressive sales on extra cover. Apparently if I don’t take then the car is “mine”. So if it breaks down I have to pay for the grua to collect it! Surely that is down to them and they should maintain their cars. We hired a little lancia for £60 per week and they asked for €184 not for insurance but for them to own responsibility for the car.

    • That is not correct. By law, Breakdown cover in Spain is normally included in the Spanish Car Insurance relating to the vehicle. If what the car hire company say is true then they are breaking the law, but I am sure they are not. I have been through this before (Gold Car) and I have challenged them and they had to back off. They are just telling lies to frighten you into taking their insurance.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Hy,
    I have a question if you rent a car without reservation in another country,at the desk and they take more than agreed ,the rental was 200 euro for 5days+ deposit 200 and at the end instead of refund they charge with 200 more.
    How you need to deal with them.

    • Hi,

      So you were charged 600 euros in total when you only expected to pay 200 (the original fee)?

      If you have been charged more than you expected you should get in touch with the company who you rented the car with and query the charges.

      Thanks,

      Joey

  107. I had fallen for the ‘upgrade’ option at Bari airport in August.
    I booked through Rentalcars including full cover. Got to Bari with my Rentalcars voucher to be told that we could be upgraded yadda yadda for what seemed like a small cost. It was VERY difficult to hear in the airport and the woman behind the desk didn’t speak the best English (although way better than my Italian)
    The new upgraded car had a sat nav built in and we had already booked one so the woman said that we wouldn’t be charged for the Sat Nav separately and with the cost of the Sat Nav, it was actually marginally cheaper to upgrade than pay extra for a Sat Nav.

    Obviously I have now been charged for what looks like the entire rental cost by Budget as well as by Rentalcars……Budget have charged just under £100 more. I have been in touch with Rentalcars and they have so far refunded the cost of their full excess cover but that’s it….. They haven’t provided me with a full breakdown of what Budget have charged me for despite having been in touch with them. So, what the hell have Rentalcars actually charged me for if Budget have charged the whole amount?!

    • Hi Sarah,

      So you booked and paid for the original car with Rentalcars online and then were charged by the pickup desk again after the holiday?

      If that is the case then something has gone wrong. You will need to get a breakdown from each company to see exactly what they have charged you for.

      Any upgrade costs should be charged on top of your original fee: is the fee charged to you by budget more than you were quoted when you picked up the car?

      Thanks,

      Joey

  108. Larry Bloch says:

    Turisprime in Lisbon is another predatory rip-off rental company.

    I chose them because of price and they seemed to have goo enough reviews.

    At the desk, they had a really hard sell to upgrade the car. We kept saying no, and she kept insisting until we agreed as much to move on as anything. They were very slow with the customer in front of us and we were getting anxious.

    As we were late, I didn’t personally check the damage report – we just signed and drove off. BIG MISTAKE.

    When we returned they claimed we had put a scratch in one of the rims – just a bit of the powder coat that was chipped. They charged us EUR250 for the “damage”. And showed us their charge sheet.

    What I noticed is that the fees for scratches on the rims of the upgrade car were EUR100 more expensive for the car they insisted on upgrading us to (as were all the charges for damage).

    And I guarantee 100% I did not put the chip in the rim – I’ve very careful with that and in 100’s of car rentals worldwide over 40 years I have never had a single charge for damage before.

    BEWARE OF TURISPRIME. PICK A DIFFERENT COMPANY.

  109. Hired car through Expedia in Bologna airport went to maggiore desk to pick up car,was asked for all appropriate documents I took out insurance in UK showed clerk my insurance documents was told a charge would be made on my credit card for €1800 I told him I only have a £1000 limit he said if you don’t take out our insurance you cannot have the car I was with my 15 month old son and wife we had a journey of 180miles to my wife’s family home so had no option but to purchase insurance at €20 a day charged me €280 have been in touch with Expedia and they replied it states a fee will be charged if you don’t take out insurance but doesn’t give any figures

    • Hi Gerry,

      This seems to be a common occurrence at some car hire rental outlets. In Expedia’s Ts and Cs you can find this section:

      An excess amount may be applicable in the event of theft or damage to the hire car. This will vary depending on the Supplier and country of rental. Purchase of an optional insurance locally (called super CDW or super TP) will remove/reduce the excess applicable. The Customer acknowledges that in no event shall Expedia, Inc. and/or Suppliers including Expedia Travel be liable for such excess or provision of additional insurance as detailed or otherwise.

      What this is saying is that to cover the excess fees that may be incurred if something happens to the vehicle, you may be prompted to buy optional (important word!) insurance at the rental desk. You are under no obligation to buy any extra insurance at the desk, but some of these places make money by scaring frazzled holidaymakers into giving in to their demands. If you have planned ahead and organised your own car hire excess insurance, then you do not need to purchase the hire company’s extra insurance.

      However, if you do decline their insurance then it’s common practice for them to require you to leave your credit card details as a deposit, which they appear to have done in your case – although €1,800 seems like an extremely high amount to me!

      It’s probably worth explaining all this to Expedia and seeing if you can get a goodwill full or partial refund on the €280 that you were forced to pay as a result of not being able to use your credit card due to the limit, and finding out from Expedia or the car hire firm itself why the amount was so high in this case.

      If it’s possible to raise the credit limit on your card then that will also help you to avoid this problem in future.

      Thanks,
      Tom

      • Thanks tom I did contact Expedia and there response was very negative so I have to put this down to experience.Just a sideline 5 of us travelled to Bologna in May this year and booked with Rental cars to hire a medium sized car they charged me €300 on my credit card which is another reason I am so angry anyway cheers Gerry

  110. Alan Foster says:

    Sadly, I doubt if there is any way to avoid a car hire rip-off (apart from not renting one). If one scam gets a little exposure then another pops up and there is not a lot of point in pushing the company or legal case unless you can afford the time and costs for the hell of it. Thankfully, I’ve had ‘standard’ treatment in most cases and always had the excess insurance arranged in advance. When I’ve needed it (20% of my car hires over a number of years) it’s a faff to claim but it does come through, eventually. My two most annoying experiences were simply offensive – you know they’re lying, they know they’re lying but they also know your advance cover will pay out and if you raise it with the excess cover company (usually AXA) you get the shrug and also the threat that they might not pay out if they agree you’ve been scammed. A rock and a hard place indeed!My contributions to the tales of woe? 1. Hired from Europcar/Budget in Syracuse, Sicily on a really wet day. Photos of the car just showed reflections but I couldn’t see a thing wrong. Returned to Catania airport and, you guessed it, a tiny dent (and I mean tiny – less than an inch, hardly a mm. deep) had now appeared on a sunny dry day. Had I clunked anything? No. Was it there already? Who knows? Had anyone clunked me (with a feather!)? How do I know? I refused to sign any acceptance forms but, there you go, it makes no difference. 2. The second instance really puzzles me. I hired in Madeira and the car wasn’t ready (Budget – for the last ever time). Got a taxi to the hotel and the car was delivered to the hotel the following evening. It could only be described as the most clapped-out, dirty and under-powered (for Madeira!) Fiat I’d ever seen. Refusing to take it made no difference and I eventually used it for a couple of days and then returned it. It had been hired through the airline – Jet2 – and this is what puzzled me. This pathertic service surely affects their image and reputation (even though we know it’s a separate business deal with a supplier that they take no involvement with in a practical sense) but would they see that? I don’t know as they didn’t reply to my e-mails and letters alerting them? Baffling!

  111. Mariann says:

    I rented a car online from Economycarrentals to pick up from Faro airport and drive over to Spain for one week this October. The car was fantastic value, for a week under £35 plus cross border card. I didn’t take their insurance, instead I bought an excess waiver insurance for under £3/day. At the airport, I took the shuttle provided by Drive on Holidays, which dealt with all administration.
    At collection I needed to leave a deposit of around £1100 on my credit card. However, their card reader showed that my credit card was declined. They tried two different machines, all together four times. As they would not accept debit card and I didn’t have another credit card, I was forced to take out an insurance to the value of 94.50 euros.
    That evening I called my bank to enquire what happened (my card has never been refused before) and they told me that they never received a request and that my card was not refused.
    Of course, my travel insurance does not cover for such a loss.

    I have an uncomfortable feeling that I was fooled to take out an insurance policy that I did not need but I had no choice in this matter.
    Is there any point even to try to reason with this company? At the end of the day they haven’t requested this money from my bank whether this be by human- or mechanical error.

  112. John Phillips says:

    Want to rent a car at Bilbao airport but don’t have a credit card only a debit card . Any advise really insurance and can you recommend a car hire company

    • Hi John,

      It’s possible to hire a car without a credit card, but not as easy. I would confirm that the company you choose to use definitely does accept debit cards – Sixt, for example, claim that they do on their website and are an established brand – but check the conditions first: https://www.sixt.co.uk/rental-services/payment-methods/

      They appear to have a desk at Bilbao Airport, but unfortunately we can’t recommend any particular company – however, do a search online for reviews which should help you find a reputable firm.

      The reason that car rental firms prefer credit cards is simply because it is safer for them, both because without one you are a potential credit risk and because if a debit card account is empty, they may not be able to get any money out of it should you owe them.

      You can usually use a debit card with any firm, but it will be a more complicated process and you may face obstacles such as a credit check, proof of insurance, or a need to prove that you have enough available cash in your account. It’s also advisable to bring plenty of extra identification with you.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  113. Hi! I would like to mention Goldcar in Barcelona. They are thiefs.
    We pay for unlimitted mileage but after we come back to Canada they charged us additional 800 Euro for mileage exccess. Although we bought the full package. And phisically could not drive extra 5,800 km for 2 weeks staying in Spain. One week we sprent in Alicante not driving anywhere. Please people do not ever use this company!!!!!!!!!

  114. Had a quote from sixt for £59.96 for 3 days in Northern Ireland. Had to add a couple of hours last minute which meant I had to pay an extra day, which was no problem (another £20ish I would have through) only to get a price for £161.68 emailed to me following the call. I called to cancel and said I would wait until the original time, only to be told I couldn’t and I had to take the higher rate. They charged me £40 per day instead of £20, even for the days I already had booked at the lower rate?
    I was then told that I had to take a compulsory windscreen cover as I was paying on my debit card – surely this is not correct?

    • Hi Jon,

      The first issue – raising the price from £20 per day to £40 per day – certainly seems unreasonable, especially as they wouldn’t let you go back to the original quote. Did they give you any reason?

      I would recommend contacting them through as many channels here as possible (Email, Twitter, Facebook), until you get either a satisfactory response or an apology/compensation: https://www.sixt.co.uk/contacts/contact-details/

      The debit card issue comes up often, unfortunately – the firm’s position is that without a credit card you are a potential credit risk and if a debit card account is empty, they may not be able to get any money should you owe them.

      As such, most companies require the large deposit that a credit card is able to provide – without this, they usually require you to take out their excess insurance, which is almost always much more expensive than excess insurance you would be able to get yourself.

      If you have a credit card then it always works out better to pay using that and then organise your own car hire excess insurance cover – you can find out more about that here: https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/car-hire/excess-insurance/

      Thanks,
      Tom

      • I was able to prove I had more than sufficient funds in the account, and they could have held those funds while I had the car, as they did the smaller £100 deposit. I therefore feel it was unjust to provide me a service for not having access to a credit card. I have put a complaint in on the website above and look forward to their reply. I will try and not post on social media as may have just been an error with that specific employee (benefit of the doubt!)

        • Hi Jon,

          That’s true – hopefully they’ll get back to you with a good response and you won’t have to take it any further. Let us know how you get on!

          Thanks,
          Tom

  115. Steve says:

    Hi, Hired a car through Expedia with Sixty in Faro. I didn’t take any other options with them as it said insurance included, I did however take out an annual excess insurance prior to leaving. I bumped the vehicle and was billed 500 euro as told didn’t have an insurance policy. Am I right in thinking the insurance is with Expedia and can I reclaim via my excess insurance? Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Steve,

      Who did you take your excess policy out with? This is who you should claim with.

      Did you keep all the documents relating to the car hire and the accident?

      Thanks,

      Joey

  116. Business Loans says:

    I am continually looking online for tips that can aid me. Thx!

  117. Island says:

    Rented a car back in July from Budget at Prague Airport.

    They charged me 150 Euro for refuel.

    The approved credit card guarrantee at renting the car is at their disposal.

    They charged me without knowing extra 700 Euro from my credit card after two months, once asked why, they are claiming that I had an accident.

  118. Michael says:

    Hi,

    We just hired a car from Avis at Heathrow, after nearly 24 hrs travel from California. It was after dark, and we got in the car and drove it to the exit gate from the lot where I signed the damage form; the agent said the car was undamaged, without actually inspecting it. When we stopped for tea about two hours down the road, we noticed that there is a pretty hefty scrape on the rear drivers side above the wheel, paint missing, obvious damage. There’s no way this happened after we picked up the car. Anything I can do, or am I stuck with this, having signed off on the car as undamaged (without actually inspecting it, unfortunately).

    Thanks,

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      I would take a picture of the scratch immediately and try to appeal to Avis’s better nature – and if you’re lucky the damage might be something that they were aware of already.

      To be honest though, having signed for the car as being undamaged doesn’t leave you in a great position and they’d be within their rights to charge you I’m afraid.

      Thanks,
      Tom

      • Michael says:

        Yes, I thought you’d say something like that! I’m a very experienced car renter and traveler and know better. I almost always check for damage, at least cursory examination. Just got caught out by the 24hrs no sleep (plus two previous days of little!) and being in a foreign country. Also, the person getting my signature for the damage report said the car was undamaged, and I took her word for it. My mistake again.
        Thanks for the response; it helps a bit, anyway.
        Michael

        • No problem – sorry I couldn’t be more help! It’s well worth contacting Avis to explain anyway, as you never know…

          Thanks,
          Tom

  119. Well said, you must have to spend some time for reading your car rental papers before hiring because there are some cheaters in the market. They use to take the advantage of your hurries.

  120. Jan van Schaik says:

    It is a common Business model for local car rental agencies. In Portugal I had similar experiences with Turisprime and SADO Rent (out of 10’s of Rentals).
    These small local companies lease cars from bigger companies for the season. Than they sell their offer at very low Prices through international tour Operators/Brokers. On the rental itseld they cannot earn Money (can be as low as €15/day). Upon Arrival they will offer your their expensive excess insurance (€20/day). Either wou buy this insurance or they will find whatever wear & tear you may not have even noticed during check-in and make you pay hundreds of Euros for “damage payments”. Turisprime among others are friendly enough to remind you that this is the deal: We did recommend you to buy our insurance. Than evidently they refuse to show old rental Report.

  121. Hi everyone,

    My husband and I had the most amazing trip to Norway over Christmas but it all went down in flames when we arrived home and found a letter from the car hire company stating we have damaged their car and now they are asking for compensation. We were shocked as we never damaged it. Furthermore we asked the Hertz employee to do a joint inspection of the car, and sign documents to say we returned it but he casually told us it was not necessary and we will receive the receipt via email. We were careless (by not taking pictures ourselves of the car)and now they are cashing in on it. Anyway, my husband developed this very basic website where people can share the details of the car the rented and their experiences. This way, customers can check online and see if the car they rented has been involved in accidents and if the car companies are charging innocent customers multiple times for the same damages.

    If you ever had any bad experiences please share them on our website. (The name of the website will be changed and we Are still working on it)

    Thank you and safe travels ☺☺☺

    http://stevengroom.wixsite.com/damageclaims

  122. stuart foster says:

    I am a regular hirer of cars in Spain and Italy. I usually buy the rental agent’s (not hire company) extra insurance that covers excess, wheel/tyre damage, glass breakage, roof, underside etc. I have heard that it is possible to purchase an annual policy in UK for a one off fee (circa £30) that will cover all this for as many European rentals as desired. has anyone heard of this and can advise where I can get this product?

  123. Paisley Park says:

    I recently hired from Goldcar in Tenerife South Airport. Despite being told the office was in the airport I was redirected to their portakabin on the car park some 300 metres away.
    I had prepaid for the car in the UK & taken out a separate excess insurance policy in the UK and didn’t need any extra insurance from Goldcar. Despite this the staff insisited on a 240euro policy which I refused and thgis was then reduced to 169Euro. I again refused as I already had adequate insurance.
    I eventually gou the vehicle which had one damage mark on the sheet but on inspection it had at least 10 more marks which I pointed out to the staff. They amended the sheet and I drove away after taking some photos of the marks on the car.
    I only used the car to and from the airport (wish I’d taken a taxi) and filled it up with petrol on the return journey.
    I had the car checked over and signed off as ok but the girl still took a couple of pictures of marks already on the vehicle when I collected it!
    Needles to say they invoiced me 400 Euros for the 2 marks she photographed and charged my credit card immediately. I am disputing this claim but just want to warn others that Goldcar work this scam nearly every time you hire a car and don’t take their insurance! BEWARE

  124. Ian norton says:

    Hi

    I have just booked a hire car via Holiday Autos for Cape Town for 21 days in March. Prior to booking they advised I will have to cover a refundable security deposit of app 250.00 pounds but because the hire period is longer than 10 days they will actually take the money off my card. I was ok with that but having booked they have now advised that i need need to have sufficient funds to cover the excess – approx 750 pounds. I an now concerned that they will apply the 10 day rule and take that amount off my credit card as well so in total 1000 pounds, which will a have serious impact on my holiday spends. IF I take out an excess insurance policy does that mean I won’t need to pay the 750 upfront?

    • Hi Ian,

      If you do not get a company’s excess insurance, then the amount of the excess (often a four-figure sum) will be blocked off on your credit card as a security deposit against the possibility of any damage – you would have to pay this in the event of an accident, and would then claim it back from whoever you got excess insurance from.

      This isn’t actually taken off your card, but is ‘blocked’ or ‘reserved’ out of your credit limit. This works out fine if you have enough credit for your trip, but as you’re aware, any attempts to use the card that take you over your limit would be blocked by your credit card issuer.

      If you go for the company’s Collision Damage Waiver, this should reduce the amount of excess you would need to pay, so they shouldn’t need to block off so much.

      You will almost certainly pay more up front (as it’s always cheaper to get your own excess insurance) but it could avoid the issue you’re concerned about – it’s best to talk to the rental company in question to see what you can do to avoid having the full amount blocked off on your card.

      More generally, another option to keep a second credit card purely for use in this situation – you may never need to use it, but when the money is blocked off your credit limit for that card, you can still use your main credit card with no concerns.

      Thanks,
      Tom

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