QUEENSTOWN, NZ, TEXAS -- In all the years I have rented cars, and due to business travel that is hundreds of times, I have never had as bad an experience, or ever asked to pay for damages due to a nick on the windshield. This was a nick that we felt was already there but grew in size during our rental. Regardless, this is not something that I caused, and I have never been billed for this by a car rental company before.
I wish I had checked out the reports on this car rental company. As can be seen by other reviews, and an article in 2017 by The Telegraph in the UK on Europcar's various nefarious practices, one of them being claiming money for minor, and often insignificant damages, you have to be particularly aware for these practices by this specific auto rental company.
After my rental the company charged me $267 for a windshield replacement due to what they measured as a 10mm chip in the windshield. You should either not rent from Europcar, or at least take detailed pictures of the car before and after, since they do not prompt you to inspect the car, do not provide you any schematic to record any damage, and have it in the contract that you should do that and bring up any issues before you drive away. You should also ensure that your credit card company insures you for any damages while you are driving a rental, so you can be reimbursed for such charges.
LONDON, ENGLAND -- As a last resort when I arrived at Heathrow airport, I rented a car from the only auto rental company around. Not only was I charged about three times what it should have cost me, I had to rent a GPS separately from them because they claimed they couldn't get me a car that had the GPS built in. Anyway, the GPS malfunctioned and I couldn't reach anyone to complain.
When I eventually complained at the end of my trip, I was told to send an e-mail and get a refund. They reneged on that promise and I didn't get a refund. Needless to say, my experience with Europcar convinced me to ensure that I don't ever use that company again. In fact, I will inform everyone I know to stay away from Europcar. In the future, I plan to make all arrangements from home before going on my trip.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
SZCZECIN POLAND -- Hello. My wife and I have rented a car online through your website to be picked up in Szczecin Poland on July 17th, 2010 at the Novotel Hotel for 9 days. We were travelling from Edmonton Canada to Poland for a few weeks and needed a car to travel and see our family in Poland including attending a family member's wedding.
Our reservation was confirmed via email from your office: "Europcar@mail.europcar.com" on July 2, 2010 at the time of booking the car. We showed up at the Novotel Hotel on July 17th, 2010 at 9 A.M. as your confirmation email advised us to. The price we were to pay at the time of arrival was 358.68. We were suddenly advised by the Europcar representative that Europcar does not have a car for us at all and they cancelled our reservation. The Europcar representative male told us that we were notified by email of the cancellation on July 15th, 2010.
We have asked the male representative to pull up our email account on his computer to confirm that we were never notified and he allowed us to do that. This is when we showed and confirmed that we NEVER received a cancellation email from Europcar by showing our email inbox to the Europcar representative to see no cancellation email was ever sent to us.
At this time the Europcar representative told us "TOO BAD WE DO NOT HAVE A CAR FOR YOU". He was not only rude to us but not even once apologetic. He did offer us a different car for 900 Euro Dollar to pick up the next day. This is more than double the price of what we made the reservation for. We requested to take the car that he was offering us but for the price we made the reservation for. We were told "absolutely not". No other offer was made to us and we were told to leave the Novotel Hotel at this moment as he was busy.
We asked him what are we to do today as we have no car for today and no way to get around and travel to a wedding in a different city. We confirmed that we did not receive any cancellation email from Europcar and we were left now stranded without transportation. He told us "GET OUT OF THE OFFICE AND GO TO A DIFFERENT RENTAL PLACE TO FIND A CAR". We asked to speak to a manager and the representative told us no manager was on site that we could speak with and to contact the Paris head office to file a complaint!!!
We were mortified with the service we received and left stranded on our vacation to cancel any plans we had. This company is a huge disappointment to any traveller booking a car with them. We were guaranteed a rental vehicle, no cancellation email was sent and then we were told rudely to get out of the office and go somewhere else upon our arrival to pick up the car. I do not recommend Europcar to anyone wanting to rent a vehicle with this company as they will not only be disappointed with the service but will be left stranded without a vehicle on their vacation. Thank you.