AUSTRALIA, WASHINGTON -- Firstly, it took Europcar more than a month to give me a response on my authorization charge inquiry, despite me calling and emailing on 3 separate occasions. I had to chase Europcar for an answer. Secondly, Europcar's process of placing an authorization charge on customers' credit card is ridiculous. When I picked up the car at Perth Airport on 18 Aug 15, a charge of AUD 1,410.74 was made to my credit card. This was the deposit plus GPS and additional driver charges. But, the very next day on 19 Aug 15, the same amount was debited back into my credit card account!
When I returned the car on 31 Aug 15, a charge of AUD 1,409.74 (-$1 deposit) was made on my credit card. Because of the transactions on 18 and 19 Aug 15, I lost SGD 98.69 due to the exchange rate. Why is there a need to debit back the amount into my account? Why can't Europcar hold the amount until I return the car then debit back the deposit? Renee from Customer Relations Australia was defensive and stubborn by saying this is company policy and that I agreed to the terms & conditions when I signed the rental agreement. This was not what was written in the T&C:
[General Rental Terms, Section 6.2 Terms of Payment]: "When payment is made by means of a credit card, an authorization will be requested prior to the start of the rental... This amount is not debited. It is held on cardholder's bank account until the final rental charge amount is debited." [Prepayment Terms and Conditions]: "An authorization will be obtained at time of rental and only on return of the vehicle will the corresponding charges be posted to the credit card."
Lastly, another charge of AUD 512.38 was made on my credit card on 1 Oct 15. I did not receive any invoices, statement, or document to explain what this charge was for. When I called to get an answer, it turned out that they had keyed in my email address wrongly thus the invoice didn't reach me. And the charge was for a small glass chip on the windscreen!
When I finally received the invoice and damage report, they had spelt my name and email address incorrectly again! I have requested and have yet to receive the updated invoice and damage report as of now. This administrative lapses is outrageous and unacceptable. It is affecting my insurance claim. I've never been more disappointed and upset with a car rental company like this one.
LONDON, UK -- We reserved our vehicle online for September 2 of 2014 for our day trip to Stonehenge and Dover from the 12 Semley Pl location in London. When we got there we had been told that the mini cooper we had reserved was not available and were offered a BMW 330 for the same price. So far so good I guess, I suppose a BMW would be just as fun for our trip.
We were then asked if we would be using a full tank and would like to buy the gas in advance for returning it. Since our trip would be roughly 330 miles, we accepted that. Not knowing that they would be giving us a diesel car (the customers in front of us were given a car that required gasoline) and that the car got like 50 miles per gallon. So when we returned it after only using a half of a tank of gas, they basically said tough luck. But that is not the worst of it.
When we were given our car, we were expected to look over the vehicle in a dark parking garage with no assistance. Not seeing any damage to the car we were on our way. After returning from our trip we dropped it off in the same place we picked it up. Only this time the attendant had his flashlight ready to go, and made a b-line directly to one of the tires. "Oh, there is a cut in the tire" he says. Except that I never hit anything, and it was right next to previously documented damage to the wheel rim. So I was sent back to the office to take care of it.
After talking to the manager or whoever he was for a couple min, he said he would go look at it and took some pictures. About 20 minutes later he came back with his camera and showed us the tire -- which, there was no way to even tell it was the tire to the BMW. It looked like someone had taken a knife to it and carved part of the tire away next to the rim. Or even something that would have caused major damage to the rim other than the few scratches that were there from previous users.
He claimed this kind of thing happens all the time when you hit curbs or leave the parking garage. Except in all the vehicles I have ever owned I have never seen anything like this and I don't go driving around hitting curbs either. So he hemmed and hawed for a few seconds and said we would have to pay for a new tire and wondered why I didn't buy some fabled "tire insurance." Tire insurance??? Nobody ever mentioned tire insurance, let alone why the hell would anyone need tire insurance unless you're running some sort of scam.
He just kept saying this happens all the time, and to call and complain to Europcar. But there was nothing he could do because someone would get in trouble. So with our great day of seeing the sights ruined we head back to the hotel awaiting the day we returned home to call customer service. When we looked at our credit card statement it turns out that they not only took our online pre-payment, but also charged us again for the rental at the office!
AVOID EUROPCAR AT ALL COSTS! It may look like you will be saving money on your rental, but this place is running a scam on their customers, and you will end up paying even more money on top of your rental if you are not careful. I am just glad they didn't try and pull the 'old' damaged spare tire trick on me that apparently they have been doing to people in Mexico.
Our family travel abroad every year. We planned to visit Western Australia in September. My daughter rented a 12 seater from Europcar via Rentalcars.com. She paid the full rent and the excess damage insurance fee to Rentalcars.com one month ahead, in August. We were advised to get our vehicle at Europcar's counter at Perth Airport. We arrived on time as our agreement indicated. First, the lady of Europcar told us the 12 seater was damaged. She could offer an 8 seater or 2 small cars.
Considering the road risks, gas bills, and other problems, we prefer to travel in one vehicle. So we went to the parking lot to check if the luggage capacity was enough for us (we were a group of 8). Then we decided to hold some bags on our laps to take that 8 seater. As to the price difference, the lady said "NO REFUND". That meant, we paid more money for a cheaper vehicle! OK, our family group included three generations -- I and my wife were around 75 and my youngest granddaughter was not 5 yet. We were tired and we just wanted to hit the road ASAP.
We accepted the unfair condition just because we really wanted a vehicle. Then, when we showed our domestic driving license and the international driving permit for the usual procedure of renting a vehicle overseas, we were asked to show the English translation of our domestic driving license. We had traveled so many countries, it was not the first time for us to travel in Western Australia, and we were a returning customer of Europcar. We'd never been challenged with this issue.
The international driving permit has the English translation of our Taiwan driving license in it. The international driving permit was issued according to our Taiwan driving license by our government. It was impossible for us to produce the English translation of the driving license with notarization at Perth Airport! That lady insisted the third document no matter how hard we tried to explain.
As a result, we had to give up our booking and turned to the next counter, Hertz, to rent a vehicle for moving on. Out of our surprise, we got the exactly the same vehicle with 2/3 price of the bill my daughter paid to Rentalcars.com. Besides, we weren't asked for the English translation. Just in a few minutes, we got our vehicle!
My daughter contacted Rentalcars.com for their non-fulfillment. The answer was the cancelation fee was the full payment my daughter paid in August. Think of this: we didn't use the car or the insurance for a second, why we should pay all these? They said, according to their Terms & Conditions, the cancelation is only accepted with refund when you notify them 48 hours before the picking-up time, AND the renter should prepare the valid driving license.
My daughter is still contacting with Rentalcars.com and Europcar. Because the truth was Europcar didn't fulfill the agreement, how could we predict the issue 48hrs ahead? AND, according to the Transport Department of Western Australia and the T&C of Europcar, there's no regulation says the English translation is mandatory. There's a regulation says the driver needs the domestic driving license and the international driving permit OR the English translation of the driving license.
Both companies ignore my daughter's complaint. My daughter's bank started to contact Rentalcars.com because the bank had paid Rentalcars.com already. Then, Rentalcars.com email my daughter and said they closed the file, so my daughter's bank won't have the solution. What a fraud it is!!! Please avoid using these fraud companies.
DUBLIN -- Rented a car for a vacation in Ireland. I rented the car through Expedia and I thought I was renting with Alamo. At the time I rented the car, Expedia offered full coverage insurance. I have rented in Ireland before and I know that insurance is an issue there, so I bought the extra coverage.
When I got to the Dublin Airport to pick up the car, I found out that Alamo was Europcar and I was concerned since I had reviews of how awful they are and that they use bait and switch tactics, but I was stuck. The line for those of us who reserved a car was very long and people were taking up to an hour to get their cars. Once I got to the counter I understood why. The first thing that happened was the clerk changed our car from gas to diesel adding $5/day to our fees.
That was OK, but I then realized what they had done on Expedia's website by offering a low rate. They hoped to get customers in the door and talk them into something more expensive, so I was on the alert for any other changes. At that point, the clerk said I had to buy insurance. I provided her the voucher Expedia had provided proving I had already purchased insurance. She said it was not insurance, although it clearly stated it was. She insisted I take out a $30/day policy with them or leave a $5000 deposit. I told her I wasn't doing either of those.
After 30 minutes of this, she got her supervisor, **, who continued to insist that I had to leave a deposit. I finally pointed out the website that the voucher mentioned. ** and the clerk read the terms and it was clear they realized they were wrong at that point, however, they refused to honor the terms and insisted that I still had to leave a $5000 deposit. They then said, "Let's start over and just see how much it will cost if you didn't have reservations."
At that point, I called Budget Rent a Car. ** said she would beat whatever price they offered. Once I told her the price, she said, "You should go over there." Obviously, she didn't want to beat the price. She also told me the company would sue me for libel once I told her I was going to tell of my experience with them on review sites. Do not use Alamo in Europe or Europcar as they really are a horrible company with no ethics or standards. They know once you are in their office, you are their prisoner and they will not have mercy on you.
IBIZA -- DO NOT TRUST EUROPCAR. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS - THEY COST ME £1000, PUT ME IN DANGER AND HAVE CAUSED ME NOTHING BUT STRESS SINCE. Europcar in Spain provided me with a dodgy car with a worn out clutch on the verge of failing, the clutch burnt out after just 90 minutes of hiring it as they failed to checked or service the car properly.
The car was dangerous which I would soon find out, the clutch failed whilst on a hill and would not go into first or second gear. It started rolling backwards down the hill with passengers in it so I had to push harder than normal on the clutch to stop us rolling off the hill and it burnt out. We had to jump out then and there, there was nothing more we could do.
Instead of rectifying the situation they shouted at me before even inspecting the car and gave me a bill of £1000. They ruined my holiday, the following 2 months were absolute hell trying to get this unfair situation resolved to no success. It was really upsetting and I've tried everything to stop them just taking my money but as it was booked in Spain there is nothing I can do, it is under Spanish law and would be very expensive to fight.
I have tried the ECRCS and other companies out there to resolve disputes but after battling for months it is pointless, the whole situation is hugely unfair. I had even paid extra for full insurance which turns out does not cover clutches or brakes. On top of it all they even charged me for a day's rental and 150 euros admin charge!!! Would you believe… just crazy. The big man wins. Please for your own sake, do not trust Europcar Spain. Do not give them your credit card details under any circumstances, it's not worth the risk. Europcar case number - **. (Ref Nr **)
JOHANNESBURG, SA, OREGON -- I booked a rental online for South Africa and paid ahead of time $370. On the reservation it says that the price includes Taxes, & Unlimited Miles and excludes CDW (collision damage waiver), PAI (Passenger Accident Insurance) and theft insurance. Again stated black on white at the time of reservation.
When I got to South Africa (Johannesburg airport) and pick up the car I mention at least 3 times to the Europcar representative that I don't need any CDW, PAI or theft since my credit card used for reservation covers that. I stated also that I don't want to see any other charges that those made at the time of reservation and he confirmed that, as long as the car is returned with a full tank of gas and in good condition.
That indeed happened; they inspected the car and said that everything is fine. Now try to imagine my surprise after returning home (US) when I see an additional charge of about $320. I tried contacting them but with no success. For instance the e-mailbox for South Africa does not accept e-mails.
Needless to say that I never received an invoice for the additional $320; it just showed up on my bank account. My guess is that they charge for anything they could. These people are thieves and here I'm referring in particular for the South African branch inside Johannesburg airport + Europcar website.
I don't like to generalize but judging by the volume of complaints, the issue seems a lot more widespread. I will never rent a car from them and advise other people looking for a car rental to avoid them like plague. Never come across a company that will tell you one thing online and charge you almost double in the end, since they have your credit card and they can. Caveat emptor!
LONDON HEATHROW -- Thieves and tricksters at all costs do not rent from Europcar!! I arranged a rental car online with Europcar for 12 days from 8th-19th April. I paid in full in advance the sum of $378.00. When I arrived at LHR to pick up the car I was asked to initial and sign some paperwork. I asked the agent what this was for as I had already paid and was advised that it was just for Europcar records. I duly signed (without reading the small print!).
When I returned the car I had a bill of GBP 1334.98. I was absolutely astonished but on closer inspection I realized that the initials and signature for which I was told were only for Europcar records, was in fact authorizing an upgrade. I do understand I don't have a leg to stand on as far as any refund may be concerned BUT my complaint is the way in which the upgrade was manipulated. Clearly anyone who was paying less than GBP200 for a rental would not under normal circumstances agree to an upgrade costing more than 5 times the original rental cost had that been explained.
I believe I was tricked and the upgrade was obtained in a very deceitful manner. Particularly as I had directly questioned the agent what my initials were for. I have spoken to their Customer Services and the manager at LHR who were obviously not very sympathetic. (I'm sure they are all bonus orientated.) Having researched online I note that Europcar is very poorly rated. I think they should be exposed in terms of their terrible business practices.
SCOTLAND -- I rented through an affiliate of Europcar, Alamo, this spring . We picked up in Edinburgh and returned in Glasgow. We took pictures of the car and all the rest. No problems. Car was good, clean, etc. However, as soon as we got home I checked my bank account. I noticed a charge from Europcar [not Alamo, like the first charge] for nearly double the original! I called and then emailed Alamo to try to get an explanation. Nobody there knew why Europcar charged me. I tried to call Europcar, but was put on hold, transferred from person to person, etc., and never got an answer.
Then I contested the charge with my bank. The representative at the bank said Europcar claimed they were never paid by Alamo. I said that was not my problem because I clearly paid Alamo and it appeared on my statement. So the bank issued me my money back. Then I got an email from Europcar stating that there was damage done to the car while I had rented it. I strongly denied this and had pictures to prove my innocence.
They in turn provided pictures that were so low quality which were undated and unmarked. They could have been taken anytime and anywhere. They stated I damaged a mirror casing and took a picture of the back of the car [not the mirror casing]. They stated I damaged a tire and took a picture of some tire with a nick in it - but it could have been any tire taken anywhere at any time. They stole nearly $400 from me for these bogus charges! I called my bank back and they said, "We have no jurisdiction over foreign companies… They know this and these cases happen quite frequently…" Foreigners beware!
STANSTED -- Do not be sucked in by a price of Europcar 'too good to be true'. Europcar policy is to rent out cheap and later charge your credit card for phantom services. Please read on. In January 2014 Momondo provided the most convenient rent-a-car at Stansted and we booked via CarTrawler for 2 days a car with Europcar. CarTrawler offered for € 6.90 per day an insurance to cover the GBP 1,000 own risk Europcar applies.
Collecting the car at Europcar Stansted we were offered the same extra insurance for GBP 30 per day. We felt for a rent of less than 40 hours we could do without the extra cover. What a mistake! We drove the car carefully, no damage whatsoever and returned the car at 23:45 PM at Stansted. Notwithstanding Europcar claim to be open till 01:00 AM, the Europcar desk was closed. We had to leave the car keys at the key return box. We didn't realize that now we were a Europcar hostage. A day later our credit card was charged for an extra GBP 92.
We should be happy we were not ripped off for a larger amount. Endless calls with the service dept finally revealed that Europcar proclaims we had returned the car with a scratch. A true lie that brings Europcar money they miss by renting out cheap and not selling you an insurance that costs more than the rental price. Europcar is a rent-a-car company definitely to be avoided.
I hired a car from Europcar in Perth, Western Australia in October 2009. I previously was a long term Europcar customer, hiring through work probably once a month, and normally I would hire the most expensive luxury car available. Over the previous 12 months I noticed the customer service going downhill with each experience with Europcar getting more and more painful.
On this particular experience I hired an Audi A3 from Perth Airport when I was away with my girlfriend for a weekend. Our flight arrived at around 8pm and it was dark when we collected the vehicle. After collecting the keys from the pickup counter at baggage collection we had to walk nearly a kilometre to the parking lot where the car was located. The carpark where the car was collected from was dimly lit and after a 4 hour flight from Adelaide it did not cross our mind to go over the car in detail to search for damage as it was my expectation that after renting cars quite literally hundreds of times in my life that I would not have to worry about this.
My girlfriend and I proceeded to drive the car to the Parmelia Hilton in Perth where the car was parked in an undercover carpark for the weekend, only taking it one night to a restaurant for dinner where it was parked in an onsite park out the front of the restaurant in a quiet Perth suburb. When returning the vehicle to Perth airport on the Sunday, I was surprised to be asked to wait around for 10 minutes whilst the Indian fellow who processed the return performed a detailed inspection of the vehicle.
After nearly 10 minutes of checking over the vehicle, he came across a tiny stone chip in the middle of the hood, something I would not have even been able to find if I had even inspected the vehicle. When returning the car, I noticed that he was holding paperwork that showed that I was a customer that hadn't taken out the excess reduction insurance - this is a scam where Europcar gets you to pay a large additional daily fee so that if they find damage of any sort they limit the amount you pay back to them.
It was quite clear that the company had advised the person in the incoming car park that I was a customer who had not paid the excess reduction and he was instructed to find any excess to charge me the $3,500 excess fee. It is a policy of Europcar if you do not pay their extra fees, then they will charge you $3,500 regardless of the level of damage.
The Indian fellow of course immediately proceeded to blame me for damage to the vehicle, however upon closer questioning of him, he came to admit that Europcar had absolutely no way of verifying that the damage was or was not on the car when I had taken it out. Knowing that I would be up for a fight with the company I immediately pulled out my iPhone and recorded a conversation with him, and this has kindly been hosted by the good folk at boycotteuropcar.com. The Indian fellow said that he had no choice but to report the damage to the office in the airport where they would charge my credit card for $3,500.
I then proceeded to move to the Europcar office in the airport. After 10 minutes of discussing the issue with the manager, they sent a team out to the vehicle with a ruler to measure the size of the stone chip. They came back and reported to me that the size of the chip was 1 millimetre over the threshold as to what they will consider to be 'wear and tear', as result they would have to charge me $3,500 for the 'damage'.
The most upsetting part about this was that both my girlfriend and I were absolutely certain that this damage did not occur whilst we were driving the car, and the staff at Europcar were completely unsympathetic, and almost excited to charge the $3,500 like they were getting a commission bonus from it.
I of course continued to engage in discussion with the manager in a calm, collected and mild mannered way. The manager at the desk told me that I was stopping her from serving the next customer and said that she was not willing to continue discussing the matter. She completely closed the book on further discussion and would not accept that it was unreasonable to continue discussing damage they wanted to charge me $3,500 for, over whether it was 1mm over the limit as to where they would just ignore it.
The manager's method of dealing with the matter was, "I'm sick of talking about this, go away now so I can charge your card and serve other customers". I claimed that I had a right to a fair dispute process and her response was that she pressed a button under the desk that called over the federal police where she reported me to be a nuisance and I was warned that if I were to be in an unhappy state that I would not even be allowed to fly home.
Thankfully the time in which she spent discussing the unreasonable customer who was unhappy about being charged $3,500 over a tiny stone chip that he didn't cause with the federal police gave me enough time to call my credit card company and cancel the card. This was the last I heard of the matter until January 2010. I received a letter from a law firm called Mendelsons seeking immediate payment within 7 days on behalf on Europcar for the amount $1,915.67.
I wrote back to this law firm advising them of what had happened. I received a call from the firm and they said that they were willing to reduce their legal fees by $225, and the final amount would be reduced to $1,690.67. I explained that I would like the matter formally reviewed and would like to start a dispute process with the company. I also advised the company that I had personal travel insurance that would cover this amount of money, however felt the charge was unethical and would like it to be reviewed.
Without any further contact, I received another letter from the law firm saying that negotiation was unsuccessful and they would take me to court within 7 days if I didn't pay the balance. I am now at a crossroads where I am being extorted by Europcar, either go to court, pay the money, or damage my credibility with my insurance company by filing a claim that makes me look like a bad driver. I warn people out there, do not trust this company, under no circumstances, NEVER hire with Europcar. I have been using AVIS ever since and their service is amazing, I wish I had been using them all along instead of Europcar.