LISBON -- I wish I had checked reviews for Europcar before I rented a car through Hotwire. Nothing but a bunch of crooks. Booking and picking up and even returning my car was easy as pie. No problems at all. But when I got my invoice???
A difference of over $500 in charges was charged to my credit card over what they had originally quoted me for the vehicle. When I try to email? No response and it's been multiple attempts over a week. When I try to call? I'm always "disconnected" or I get hung up on because they "can't hear me" as soon as I mention I'm having a problem with an invoice. And apparently this is a VERY COMMON occurrence. Never again, Europcar. Never again!!!
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.
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.
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.
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- Below is the original email to Europcar once I received a bogus $98 repair charge. It has now been 5 months, at least 10 phone calls from me to them, 4 personal visits to the depot and promised returned calls from state managers that never happened. Basically the repair charge is bogus and they owe me money for charging me for more hire time than used. The worst customer resolution service known to man.
The vehicle was collected from Salisbury depot at 1541 on 14/1/09 at which time the exterior of the vehicle was inspected and discussed with the site Manager but I was assured the damage was due to general wear and tear and I wasn't to worry further. No damage was obviously noted in the interior as nobody would realistically check the boot release. The vehicle was driven to my house in Ridgehaven (15 minutes drive) at which time it sat in my garage for approximately 3 hours until my interstate guests and I were leaving for dinner only to discover that one tyre was completely flat.
Naturally we then went to change the tyre and discovered the boot release was broken when going to open the boot for the spare. The tyre was changed and then I promptly rang Europcar at the airport to see if a spare tyre could be brought to my house the next morning as my guests were preparing for a day in the Adelaide Hills with a view to ending up in the Barossa the next night and wanted to make sure they had a spare in case of another flat tyre.
The female operator I spoke to at the time explained to me that because of the time of the call (approx 7pm) she couldn't give me an answer on getting a spare to me until the next morning when the Salisbury branch reopened. At this time I also made a mention to the operator that the boot release appeared broken. No mention of being charged for this occurred as she clearly understood it must have occurred prior to me collecting the vehicle.
The next day I was told over a series of phone calls over 5 hours from the Salisbury depot that my guests would have to cut short their time in the hills and return to the Salisbury depot in the afternoon to then have to go to a tyre dealer for a replacement. They therefore did rearrange their plans to ensure they had a spare. Based on the letter I received it appears that Europcar are happy to charge people for an inconvenience to them but assume it's fine for the client to be inconvenienced when having to assist in sorting out a problem that isn't theirs to fix?
On top of this I have been charged for 4 days vehicle hire when in actual fact the vehicle was only used for 3. The vehicle was returned 28 hours prior to the original booked time so I am expecting the balance to also be credited back into my account with the false damage charge. As a person who has hired countless vehicles from Europcar across the country I would hope my support of your company will count when settling this matter.
Rented the a/m vehicle via Auto Europe UK and paid full rental in advance for 4 days. At the Stansted station I paid for a full tank of fuel and extra insurance to remove all excess. Before leaving their office I was made to leave a thumbprint which my solicitor advises is highly irregular and will be investigating what course of action we can take. On collection at Stansted airport I discovered that the first vehicle (also a Kia) had a malfunction light flashing. The vehicle was changed to a different one.
On Sunday 02/03/08 I was involved in an accident at around 09.00 A.M. and RAC advised that the car could not be driven and arranged for a recovery truck to take the car to the nearest Europcar station being Bristol airport. I phoned the Europcar desk at Bristol airport and the person on duty advised that no replacement vehicle was available before 14.00 hrs. at the earliest.
I advised that this was not acceptable being 5 hours after the accident. I advised that I was ready to accept a smaller car temporarily. Europcar however said that nothing was available as the key to the office at their station had been taken away by the employee on duty on the previous shift and they had no access to the office in which all car rental keys were kept.
I advised that this was not acceptable and to speak to a person of higher authority as I was on the last day of a family holiday with a party of 6 pax including a 5 year old and had planned a day in surrey at Thorpe Park (250 kms away) with pre-paid tickets costing gbp 102 in total. Europcar put me on hold (for a good 20 minutes) and finally confirmed that a replacement car (7 seater) would be ready and waiting at Bristol airport on my arrival there with the RAC recovery truck & damaged vehicle.
We all (5 adults + 1 child) arrived in the recovery truck at Bristol airport Europcar desk at around 10:15 hrs. On arrival at the Europcar desk and after filling in all papers relating to the accident I was advised by the Europcar duty clerk (the same person who I spoke to on the phone) that the replacement car was not yet ready as it was being washed and would be ready in a few minutes.
A good 30 to 45 minutes later the car was nowhere to be seen. The Europcar clerk said they were now checking the mileage of the damaged car. Meanwhile he was joined by the duty clerk from the National Car Rental desk who confirmed the car would be available within the next few minutes.
30 Or so minutes later and no sign of the replacement car, a female employ (dressed in civilian clothes) turned up and was seen handing the keys of the Europcar office to the duty clerk and she told him "you **, did you have to wake me up after such a heavy night", to this the Europcar clerk, the National clerk and the female employ started laughing etc. The Europcar clerk also told her that "he were hoping for a peaceful Sunday" and then "this guy had to screw it all up."
The Europcar employee then went into the now open office and retrieved a number of wooden boxes with contract pouches and keys etc. On seeing this I remonstrated with the Europcar employee and told him in no uncertain manner and in fact in a high voice and maybe not exactly using proper language that I would not accept being taken for a ride and that the story of the car being washed was a pack of lies and the real problem was the missing keys.
Suddenly the lady on duty at the Avis desk started shouting and saying that I was disgusting and I should address my wife in that manner. I told her to mind her own business to which she replied that it was her business and to go back home. I told her that shortly before she was seen taking the mickey out of an old gentleman who was trying to obtain a better car rental rate. She objected to this but a number of people in the building said it was true and that her behaviour was shameful. She then shut up and did not intervene again.
The National clerk then said that they would not be replacing the car. This was confirmed by the Europcar clerk. I am aware that Europcar, National & Avis form part of the same group. I said I was going to contact Europcar customer service but they would not provide a telephone number. I got even more excited and so did the other members of my family with the 5 year old literally terrified. I told the family to move out of the building and I joined them.
Once outside my wife told me that a lady (**) on duty at Hertz had approached her and told her that she had called the police and that we were absolutely right and the behaviour etc. Of the Europcar, National & Avis personnel was not on and Europcar were having problems all morning with the key problem. She said she and her colleague at Hertz were shocked with their behaviour. She also said she would do her best to provide us with a car.
The police turned up after a few minutes, by which time I was very emotional and asked me for my version of events. One of the officers then asked me to stay outside with my family and the other officer whilst he spoke to the Europcar clerk inside. ** from Hertz was asked to go outside to give her version of the incident to the officer who remained outside. Which she did. Having spoken to the Europcar clerk the first officer came outside again and the second officer advised him that **'s (from Hertz) version agreed word for word with my version.
The first officer advised that Europcar had given a totally different version and were adamant in not providing a replacement car. He advised that he could do nothing about this. I asked him to accompany me to Europcar to close the contract which he did. I advised Europcar that I was being deprived of a vehicle 1 day early (having paid for a 4 day rental in advance through you+ 1 day full insurance to remove all excess charges paid on collection.) And that the damaged vehicle was returned with a tank 0.75 Full of diesel for which I opted to pay for a full tank on collection.
The clerk advised that all these charges would be refunded and credited to my credit card account. When asked for a hard copy of the closed contract the reply was "not possible as we have problems in our system", this to the amazement of both myself and the police officer.
The officer advised that he could do nothing further at that time. He accompanied me to the Hertz desk and waited with me and my family till Hertz (**) provided us with a family car to resume our holiday. Before parting he advised ** that he would be back later to speak to her again about the whole matter and see what further action he could take. Please note that for the replacement car I was billed gbp. 298 (Including full insurance) for a 2 day rental as by then the time was Sunday 13.00 hrs. and as originally planned I was to return the car to Luton on Monday at 15.30 hrs.