I have the same problem. I was in Milan in October 2010. I got a car from Auto Europa Sicily by car company. It was Nissan Micra 1.2. 7 days car haven't got any damages and problems. We was in many cities in Italy, about 2000 km was done for 1 week. After we gave car back (I gave keys in office to a man, he said “nothing needed more”. We don't checked car, it was 2 hours on parking when we waited for office opening) and when we arrive to our home country I checked internet bank and saw that there were charged 860 EUR more (first 1200 eur charging was still there, not unblocked).
I called to Auto Europe and they said that car was damaged and this 860 EUR deposit is for repairing. After 2 weeks they unblocked money but not all, minus 380 eur for mirror repair. Also I find real prices for repair. They prices are fake. Mirror cost is only 80 eur in Italy not 180 Eur like they send me some fake papers. You can see them in attachment.
So I recommend to all people, if you get car in this company you need full insurance + photo car when you gave it back + check car with office man so they can't charge you more and damage car after you gave it back like it was with my car. Better to get car from Avis, Hertz, Europcar and pay more. It will be your mistake if you want lower cost for car hire in Italy. They are SCAMmers, they will fraud your credit card and charge from it without your knowing.
ROME - LEONARDO DI VINCI AIRPORT -- When traveling to Rome Italy recently my sister and I had a very bad experience with Auto Europa at the Leonardo da Vinci Airport. The reservations were booked through Expedia and under Thrifty Car Rental. Upon checking in we were told that the reservations were with Auto Europa which is affiliated with Thrifty. We were told to proceed to the garage to pick up the vehicle. We went to the service booth to check in and were told the car was parked in a certain location and they were rude and did not retrieve the car for us. No one inspected the car with us and signed off on it for any prior damages.
Upon leaving, I noticed the indicator light on the SUV was on for the back latch door not being closed. I remember I had to slam it several times before it would lock. It was overcast and dark in the garage, and the car was black. We noticed when we got to our destination the next day that there was a dent where the back door latch was located and that was why we had trouble closing it.
Upon leaving the same airport that we originated from, again, no service agent and we used the drop box and indicated the problem with the back latch door on the SUV we rented. When my sister received the bill from American Express there were several additional charges unauthorized on her credit card from Auto Europa amounting to $3000. She was not contacted by Auto Europa about the addition charges. She is in dispute with the credit card company and the charges were reduced to $1000, which still is not the original agreed upon charges. I think this company is a scam artist and I would not recommend using this company to anyone in the future.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, MICHIGAN -- AUTO EUROPE STOLE OUR MONEY! We reserved a car through their website and this was the only email we ever received… “Thank you for your internet request. Please note that your car is not yet confirmed. As your reservation is considered last minute, we need to verify availability with our supplier. We will notify you once the reservation is confirmed. If our supplier cannot confirm your request, we will look into all other available options and contact you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you! We are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for your convenience.”
They never provided us a car and THEY CHARGED US ANYWAY!!! Their customer service told us "you are not getting your money back, I am doing more that I should by even telling you this much." They are liars and thieves!
PORTLAND, MAINE -- I went online to rent a car. I wrote down four quotes from Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo, and Dollar. All of these quotes were within $75 of each other. I 'discovered' Auto Europe online. I explored its rates and found them to be significantly less than all of the others. I began the process of completing a rental (charge card to be charged upon finishing… unlike the others). I went to the final step to see if any 'hidden' fees appeared. They did not. At the very last step, before completing the process, I called the number I found online (see above) from my home telephone, which is **.
I asked the agent why Auto Europe's cost was so much less than the others. It had raised a red flag for me. I was told that by renting through AE I avoided paying several of the "fees and miscellaneous charges" because AE's contract with the auto renters specifically excluded those fees and charges.
I asked for further clarification on this matter as it seemed strange to me that if this was true, I had not heard of AE previous to this occasion. I was assured that I had nothing to worry about, and that I would in fact be paying the significantly lower total amount. The agent then added something to the effect of, "If this does not prove to be true, call me back and we'll make it right." He then went on to give me his name and extension.
I completed the rental online. My charge card was charged the agreed upon rate 48 hours later. Upon renting at the airport I was charged an additional $161.07 by Hertz, the actual Car Rental company. The agent at their desk put in considerable time and effort to try to 'solve' the issues I raised, but in the end could not find a way to avoid making the charges. She advised me to call Auto Europe after the trip.
I called Auto Europe Customer Service this morning. I was told to try to dig up the name and number of the agent I'd contacted originally. I did. I sent it and a long explanation to them via email. After a Class A Runaround, I was offered a $25 discount off my next rental with them. If I had not been so angry, I'd have laughed out loud. In the end I asked why anyone should bother to rent through them and there was no answer. It cost me a great deal of time and effort, and an extra $15 (their cost exceeded the cost of a direct Hertz rental by this amount).
Beware! These guys will rip you off. They have incompetent billing practices. Their website will quote one price and then one week before you leave on vacation they will contact you with additional fees. By this time it is too late to find anything else so you eat the extra cost. I booked a vacation to Turkey and two days before the trip they contacted me saying that it would be an additional 250 euros for additional car drop off fees. Couldn't find anything else on such short term notice and had to pay.
I came back from vacation and went to a dinner party and met a couple who were going to Croatia the following week and they told me the same story about booking through Auto Europe. An agent had contacted them the week before saying that there were additional fees. The couple tried to book something else but everything was already sold out. Beware!
PORTLAND, MASSACHUSETTS -- DO NOT BOOK!!! They would not honor the booking and would not refund when we showed up and the car agency ran out of cars!!! I couldn't believe it. I have been talking to customer service for two months now and they refuse to help. They give me the runaround and are really smug about it on the phone. I never knew they had so many complaints until I got burned by them and goggled Auto Europe online.
We paid for a car rental in full via credit card on their website. We went to pick up the car at exact location specified. When we got there, the car agency had given our car away because they said it was 3 hours after the reservation time. This is undisputed by Auto Europe. They were unable to give us another car. We have a copy of all the terms and conditions and voucher. Nowhere does it state that if you are late by 3 hours, they can charge you 100% and not give you a car. Sometimes planes are late and they never called even though they had our phone number. We had to rent another car at our own expense from Hertz.
We also spoke to the manager at Europcar at the airport and they said they have spoken to Auto Europe on our behalf and is not charging Auto Europe for the non rental. They apologized to us for the mistake but Auto Europe is still refusing to refund our money. We were left stranded with no car. We are out of the money as well. There are no written terms and conditions that would allow for them to not provide us with a car. They are going against a written contract. We showed up and found out they gave away our car after 3 hours because Auto Europe works with agencies that all have different rules but can't state them clearly on their website.
Most and I think all car rental companies hold a car for you for at least 24 hours if you pre-paid for a car. This is what Europcar and Hertz told us. This is against all terms and conditions on Auto Europe website and on our contract. In fact, if you go to their website, it does not say anywhere that if you are late by 3 hours, they can cancel your reservation and charge you 100%. But that is what they did. I still can't believe it and everyone at Auto Europe gives us the run around. I really think they don't care at all.
Never rent with Auto Europe in your life. I paid the voucher to rent a car with Auto Europe. Then, I pick up the car at Dollar Los Angeles. They took my credit card, according to them, to place a hold on it, in case we do not return the car. Then, they try to convince you to upgrade your car and rent a GPS. We decline everything. When we returned the car and came back home, I noticed we have been charge twice for the same rental car. Once from Auto Europe and once from Dollar. I contact Auto Europe and Dollar to solve the misunderstanding.
To my surprise, Auto Europe reply a couple of weeks later saying that Dollar has billed us for the following: "$55.92 USD - Personal protection plan; $47.92 USD - Roadsafe; $36.77 USD - Prepaid fuel; $9.78 USD - State tax billed on above items; $15.62 USD - Airport surcharge billed on above items; $1.19 USD - Tourism surcharge billed on above items."
We already had an insurance with Auto Europe and we never agree or talk about any other insurance with Dollar. As far as I understood, everything, including the fuel, was already paid with the Auto Europe voucher. No extra charges are mentioned anywhere. Auto Europe fail to take any responsibility for the service they provide, or at least, clearly inform the customer of extra expensive charges, like taxes. As a reservation company, they do not protect the customer and they deal with dishonest companies like Dollar, and agree to support this kind of frauds.
I just regret I did not have a look at the forums before to check the reviews from Dollar and Auto Europe, as I now see there are much worse cases than mine. There was not any misunderstanding, this is an scam, even if legal. And it is not fair, that the customer does not know in advance how much he is going to have to pay for what it should be a straight forward car rental. It is pathetic how little protected the customer is in this kind of situations.
MADRID -- We rented with auto Europe at the Madrid Spain airport May-June 2015. They gave us a car with bald tires, bad engine, and later we found engine empty of oil. We tried to get them to give us another vehicle and they refused saying they didn't have any other. Bald tires put our lives in danger. Engine dies several times in heavy traffic where we were almost hit several times and persons yelled and screamed at us. We complained with the Auto Europe Headquarters and they just gave us the standard sorry but refused to compensate us for such dangerous, unsafe and rude behavior we experienced at the Madrid Airport. The Madrid personnel barely spoke English. They just wanted to push us out the gate with this unsafe and dangerous vehicle. The whole company only cares about money not customer service. The Madrid personnel very prejudice towards this American and Asian looking wife. We were treated terrible. First time we ever used Auto Europe. Worst treatment we have received in Europe in 35 years. Don't let cheap rates endanger your live. They do not care. They only care about getting their money.
WORLD WIDE -- I wish I had checked this site before "reserving" a Mercedes E Class for a day trip in Croatia. I went through the hassle of arranging a luxury car for my family to make a four hour trip between cities. Instead of a luxury Mercedes Benz, we ended up with the most economy of cars called a "Spoga Rapid". No idea what this car was but it was missing a hubcap and had no upgrades. We had no choice though, we had to get to our destination. By the way, there was no discount given. I paid almost $400 for this piece of you-know-what for less than 24 hours.
Don't use Auto Europe!!! I rented a car through this company to be picked up in Budapest and delivered back in Berlin. They quoted the price, I accepted, charged my credit card and I never received the voucher. So, I accessed their website and could print the voucher, which seemed everything was OK.
When arriving in Budapest, the company which I would pick up the car said I needed to pay an extra fee for returning the car, which I was never informed. I called Auto Europe and they said this information was at the voucher, which wasn't. I even scanned the voucher and sent to them. Then, they called me and said they tried to contact me through e-mail and telephone, which I could not find anything. I asked them to send me again the e-mail they said they sent but they never did.
So, the result was that I had to pay for it and they said they could not do anything. The problem was mine. So, don't trust their prices and hire directly with the companies who are lending the cars. This is safe and there is no mystery. An intermediary will make their fee. They just don't show you full value so that you think it is cheaper and rent the car through them. Stay away from this company!!