This company sells an excess refund product with illegal terms and conditions, forcing customers to commit a crime in order to process a claim. Their terms and conditions are a contradiction of the Road traffic act and are a violation the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. They are not authorized to sell insurance but advertise their products as if they are an insurance product when they are nothing more than a con. In this market I suggest that all readers look further down internet search results, and save yourself having to file a county court claim.
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.
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 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).
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.
Auto Europe, Fiumicino airport. Only 3 people in line at the counter, 2 clerks, and up to half hour waiting before being attended. First surprise is that I have to leave a 1200 euros deposit, otherwise no car. The terms and conditions were not transparent about the deposit, the amount was never clearly stated, I only found out at the counter. I had asked for a small car, the cheapest, they gave me a Fiat 500 automatic instead. Allegedly new, the car had 8800 km and was full of bumps.
I left Fiumicino airport and after 20 km of highway a red light came up with an alarm and the car made a tremendous noise, like grinding metal. I stopped under a bridge, there were 30 degree outside, and with my son began to read the instructions manual. After a few minutes we identified the problem, the automatic shift was not functioning, presumably because there was no oil.
I called the counter at the airport, they said it was impossible, the car was new! Then they said I had to call the central service in Milan. I did, and the guy said I had to call the counter in Rome! Then he said he could have me towed away (but where?), but it was better for me to try to go back to the airport and change car. Luckily the car had a double shift, automatic and sequential. I got it in sequential mode and very slowly went back to the airport.
When I got to the garage, the clerk told me again that the car was new that it was impossible it had a problem. He then checked whereas spare tire and tools were still in place, and finally had me sign a declaration about the problem and gave me another car. Four days later, when we brought the car back to the airport, I was charged 7 euros for gas, since I had not refilled the first car before bringing it back. I will never again go back to Auto Europe, I ended up with them because my usual car rental company had a problem with the internet site the day I made reservations. It was the first and last time I rented with them.
To all: I have been traveling to Italy to for many years. I have learned several things. Italy or any other foreign country is not the US. There are cultural differences, insurance differences, and many other things that are different from the states. I have used many agencies to rent my vehicle, while on stays in Italy but the one I use the most is Auto Europa because it consistently has had the best prices and good safe vehicles. The agent in Bologna usually recognizes from past rentals and makes my time at the desk as short as possible, which is not always the case in Italy.
I think part of the reason for my good experiences is that I do my homework ahead of time. I know what kind of a car I want and I know I want to waive the excess insurance coverage. Of all the credit cards out there most exempt Italy from insurance coverage. Visa is the only card I know of that will cover your vehicle from accidents and stolen vehicles up to the replacement cost of the vehicle. You must waive the excess coverage and you cannot be renting an exotic vehicle. Also the rental period cannot be greater than 15 days.
I know not to expect an automatic transmission because Europeans love the gas mileage benefits and handling of a stick shift transmission. Auto Europa I have found is very honest about what they cover and what they don't. Vouchers are paid ahead of time when you use a broker. They receive a percentage of the rental as a broker fee for running their website and facilities to help you find your best deal.
The balance due at the time of rental can be in Euro or US dollars but you should know that before you make the deal. In dealing with Auto Europa I have always received the auto I wanted, I have never been pressured into upgrading, I have been asked about the excess insurance and when I have declined it has not be a problem.
Their to be has been outstanding. I leave on March 10th 2010 for another trip to Bologna Italy, and I am using them again. I know everything will be just fine. I have also witnessed many "Ugly Americans" at the rental desk verbally abusing the agents. This is not just in Europe but in the states as well. People just do not do the homework and then get angry with everyone else when things go bad. I am not affiliated in way with Auto Europa. I am an American born in the US who bought a condo in Tuscany and Auto Europa is helping me get there. Thanks Auto Europa for the fine service over the years.
I've booked two cars (one in O'hare, and the other one in Orlando MCO) through Auto Europe, and the rental car company turned out to be Dollar Rent a Car. The first car that I've been given in O'hare Chicago was making all kinds of noises on the road, that I had to stop and ask for a change in Oregon Airport. The first car I've been given was also not-safe-to-drive, therefore I asked another one. The last one was so noisy, that you can not speak inside the car, had no power windows or door lock. But I had to take the car as I was already late.
I called Auto Europe's 1-800 number several times. The person answered the phone always connected me to some numbers in Europe, with answering machines speaking all languages but English. At last, when I reached a person, she asked me to drive back to O'hare-Chicago, and try my chance to change the car there. Three hours drive… I'm trying to make a business meeting. A very creative approach.
The worst was on the way back. As I did my online C'in, I arrived at O'hare, one hour before my flight. I delivered the car, and started to wait for the shuttle to take me to the terminal. As the shuttle bus did not leave on time, I entered to the building and asked what is happening. I've been told that as I'm the only customer, the shuttle will wait for the next group of customers... Even if I begged, I had to wait there for more than 30 minutes, and therefore missed the flight.
I arrived to Florida, at 1:30 AM, and started the car only at 3:30 AM. Each transaction in Orlando Dollar takes at least 30 minutes. They had 2-3 personnel and only 6 customers when I arrived, and it took two hours to get the keys of the car. The first car had problems with the breaks. The second car a bad battery, that I had to jump start using some help around, as Dollar Emergency Number called me back only after 1 hour, and told me that the help is on the way, and may arrive in one hour.
The last car was the only decent car that I ever had during the entire, and last experience with Dollar Rent a Car and Auto Europe. I've missed a flight, spend one sleepless night, had to look for helpful people to help me on the road (in US!) to start the junk that I've been given by Dollar and Auto Europe, and lost at least my 10 precious hours for to sort out all those problems with the junks. Make yourself a favor and keep away from Auto Europe (Dollar's partner in UK) and Dollar Rent-A-Car.
Months before our trip to Israel in 2000, I searched the Internet for a rental auto. Auto Europe offered me a good rate on a car from Budget. Since I didn't want to purchase the CDW, I asked them to remove that from the quote, and they did. Their voucher says explicitly "CDW optional." Based on that information, I made the reservation with Auto Europe, and paid the required advance via VISA.
When I bellied up to the counter in Jerusalem, I was informed that Budget does not rent autos in Israel without CDW (Budget calls it LDW--Loss Damage Waiver). With the family waiting, and time running out on my appointment 100 miles away, I had no choice but to pay $113 for CDW so that I could rent the car. I did this through Auto Europe because it was the cheapest option open to me at the time.
Back at the ranch, I contacted Auto Europe to get a refund on the extra money that I had had to pony up. The way I see it, they are required to provide the car rental for the price that we agreed to. As it was, I was forced to purchase a service which I explicitly did not want, and the fault clearly lay with Auto Europe for providing me with incorrect information. The price and conditions on the voucher are as legally binding for Auto Europe as they are for me.
After exchanging lots of emails with their service manager, Bruce **, he finally bucked the decision up to the president (and CEO) of Auto Europe. I waited for two months, but I never did hear anything from the pres. During that time I exchanged two emails with Bruce **, and sent a warning with a deadline. Nada. The moral of the story is: beware of doing business with Auto Europe. A reputable company would have acknowledged their mistake and compensated the damages. Auto Europe has done neither.