ITALY-ROME -- So on August this year (2015) I rented a car from Locauto. It all started when we picked up the car. We had booked an Opel Insignia with GPS. The car they gave us was a "Fiat 500 L living", a sort of a very very cheap smaller Chrysler Voyager... Obviously, still at the park, we complained and showed our reservation. The funny part is they said that reservation couldn't be right as they didn't even have Opels in that rental. All they had were Fiats, cheap Skodas and one or two VW Polos.
To make a bad situation even worse, the car had no GPS which we had explicitly paid for. As they said the only car with GPS at the moment was a small Skoda which didn't serve our space needs, nor was it ready to be taken. They said we probably would have to wait about 4 hours for it to be ready (but we didn't want it anyway as it wasn't large enough).
After all that hassle, we ended with the extremely crappy Fiat 500L, no GPS, and quite less space and car than we had paid for. Oh! I almost forgot, when they handed the car, it was a bit dirty. With that said, the following 2 weeks went fine. The car gave no trouble. So, on the return day, we gave the car back. I was very careful to check off the car with an employee (although it was hard to find one, I refused to leave without doing it) and all went well... apparently.
My problem, is that now, almost 3 months after, I find a 48.80€ debt on my credit card that I did not agree to nor was I informed of. 2 weeks ago I sent a fax to Locauto asking for clarification on the debt. They did not respond (and I was pretty generous in giving them a week to do so). As they didn't respond, nor did they inform me why I was charged with such amount, I've been illegally charged. I'm cancelling the credit card tomorrow so they don't get any other ideas...
With this said, they do not deserve to be trusted. The people on customer service are often rude, extremely incompetent and the company itself has many disloyal practices especially designed to trick the customer. For the time being I believe I'm lucky for having gone with full insurance, as I'm now reading many people were charged with damages they didn't do...
So, bottom line Locauto is NOT a good deal. It's a monumental hoax. They are absolutely dishonest and won't get back at you when you try to speak to them via email, phone or fax! Use a bigger international company, with a good reputation. Might look more expensive, but you won't have surprise expenses nor will you have to deal with all these issues everybody is reporting.
ITALY -- Booked car for pick up in Florence and drop off in Pisa. Booking confirmed. Arrived to pick up car. Locauto had no cars available at all in Florence. Everybody in queue was vaguely pissed. Car rental company with no cars. Only got car when they realized that, I was not making idle threats about how rapidly legal action would ensue. Didn't get car I wanted. Car was not clean, fuel tank was half full, tyre pressure indicator was on all time. No pre-inspection of car or explanation of controls. Given key, get on with it.
Car was returned with more fuel than started off with. Car went nowhere near kerbs or other obstacles. On return they claim damage to wheels and demanded tank filled up, even though not full at start. This company has serious probity issues. AVOID DEALING WITH THIS OVERTLY DISHONEST COMPANY.
TREVISO AIRPORT -- Handed mini bus back to guy who was running the front desk as well. He went around vehicle with my husband and said all is ok. He will close the contract and forward an email to my husband confirming no money would be taken from our credit card, which they had done a pre-authorization on for 2500 Euros! We didn't take any of their so-called additional insurance out which he looked very disappointed at! On him completing his check of the mini bus I turned and double checked with him that "Everything was ok?" He said "Yes everything is fine."
We went to the departure terminal. Sat having a coffee and my phone rang. You guessed it - it was the Locauto man. He said there was a chip on the windscreen and needed to see us. I told him that was already there, he said it wasn't as it wasn't noted down on his check list on his IPad. He said we should have made him aware of it, to which I replied "We didn't know it was there as you handed the vehicle to us in a filthy state. It wasn't until we used the window washers a lot that the chip was revealed!!"
I told my husband to walk off as he had already closed the contract. At this point the chap got really removed and said "You walk off and I will re-open the contract and charge your card with 2500 Euros." He was very aggressive. He also told us that we returned the vehicle to the wrong parking space inside a warehouse in the dark so he couldn't spot the chip. The thing is we returned the vehicle to the exact spot we picked it up from so I said "You obviously didn't want us to spot the chip either." We always got the upper hand of him and he knew that that's why he was getting aggressive with us.
Anyway we got back home to find a text message left on my husband's work phone from Barclaycard, thankfully they had declined a payment of 2500 Euros as they wanted to know from us whether it was a genuine transaction. We told them under no circumstances to release the payment and on telling the fraud team there what had happened they canceled our card so they cannot claim a penny. Thank goodness for Barclaycard.
MILAN -- Locauto is a very bad car hire company. They try their very best to rip off their customers. I paid the balance in cash for insurance, roadside plus & GPS when I returned the car & they assured me that the credit card voucher I signed before would be void. I was given a receipt.
When returning home I found that the same amount was charged to my credit card. With the receipt & credit card statement, they still refused to refund the money. After the first correspondence via their online customer service, I can never get through again. 3 months after returning home, I received an e-mail from Locauto saying I had a traffic fine notification (which I never received from the traffic authority in Italy) & I would be charged a related administration fee of Euro 48.80. They won't let you reply the e-mail & no way you can reach them via their online service.
I believe this is one of the ways they use to take money from their customers. This is a very very bad experience & I am going to tell everyone I know about this. I wish I had read those bad reviews before I went to them. Stay away from this company - a crime organization.
BERGAMO -- Charged for the damage, that was already on the car. I showed this damage to the representative, and he marked it on his iPad (since he does not have a paper version), or at least he said he marked the damage. I was given to sign the acceptance of the car on his iPad, where only the place for signature is shown, but not the damage that he marked, so I was unable to verify. Name of the representative is Francesco.
Now, when I returned the car, I was charged for that particular damage, that he failed to mark, and I was shown an agreement, where my signature is on the old version of the damage report (without the additional one that I showed him and he said he marked "on the system").
So, one of the two things happened. He failed to mark this new damage, but I was unable to confirm, since they did not have a paper version of the report, and only showed me a place to sign on iPad, or he deleted the markings, since I signed not on paper form. In any case, this is a fraud.
We have always rented cars for our holidays, and we never had any problems, but deciding to rent from this company (Locauto) has effectively ruined our last holiday in Italy, and I would like this to at least be a warning to other people considering this company. Unfortunately, as usually happens, I only now - when it is too late - realize what a huge dissatisfaction rate this company has with its customers, as can be easily seen by doing a search with their name.
Our car had been pre-paid in full over the Internet, yet because we arrived a few hours later than the time I indicated in the booking, they said they cancelled our booking and have no car for us. All of that was said in a very rude and completely unapologetic way, and we were left both without a car for our holiday and with no refund whatsoever.
No one from Locauto had called to warn us that if we don't show up in the next X hours or so we'd lose the car, and a subsequent careful inspection of the Contract revealed that there was no mention of how long the "tolerance interval" around the indicated pick-up time ("no-show") is. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that if you showed up on that day later than time specified, it would only be your loss because you will have the car for less time. Since I had already paid for it, the car should have been put aside for us in the parking lot, rather than being rented again to someone else, as it has been!
Had the people behind the desk been at least a bit friendly and understanding at the huge inconvenience they had caused us, I would have probably just left it there. In the meantime, however, I have sought legal advice and I will be going after them for every penny they took from us, including compensation for our ruined holiday plans.
I rented a car from the Auto-Europe website and thought I was getting a good deal. We flew into Venice Marco Polo and the agreement I had printed off from Auto-Europe said to pick up the car from Locauto. We were trying to keep costs down so said no to any extra things like extra insurance and collision damage waiver to the lady working behind the counter.
I specifically asked how much the excess would be if we had an accident. The lady said it would be around 750 Euros without collision damage waiver. I turned to check with my travelling companion and we both agreed not to take the CDW. Since we were going skiing we decided to get chains for the car and that was the only extra we agreed to. Stupidly, I signed the agreement trusting that it was filled out as discussed. What an idiot I feel like now.
Upon my return to home, my credit card was charged an extra 189 Euros for collision damage waiver and for snow tyres. The snow tyres were laughable as I had never rented a car that slipped around so badly in my life. We'd agreed to chains which the agreement clearly states but the invoice they sent us specifically says “Snow Tyres”. I realize there is a language difference but if a car rental company can't tell the difference between chains and tyres then they are most definitely in the wrong line of work.
When I checked my receipt, I noticed that underneath the areas that say “Collision Damage Waiver” and “Collision Damage Waiver Plus” there is a place that actually has the word “Signature” which did not have my signature but the word “Accetto” which apparently means ”Accept”, printed where it clearly states the need for a signature.
According to Auto-Europe that means I accepted it and that I have no actual claim for a refund. When they can't tell the difference between a signature from the customer and a printed word (which clearly is not a signature) let alone chains and tyres, the all I can say is avoid using them at all costs... because IF YOU THINK YOU'RE GETTING A GOOD DEAL THEN YOU BETTER THINK AGAIN. What a load of bollocks! Please remember to never use Auto-Europe or Locauto. They are a pack of scam artists. If you have no choice but to use them then do not trust them and check the finest print before signing anything.
BERGAMO - ORIO AL SERIO SIRPORT -- I think that it is fair to advice everybody not to hire anything from Locauto. I anticipate that, due to job reasons, I regularly hire cars and I know perfectly the contract terms under which the vehicles have to be taken in charge and given back.
I hired my car, a FIAT PANDA, at the Locauto desk, in Bergamo, Orio Al Serio Airport (Italy). After three days, I gave the car back, without damages and fully tanked. When I arrived, nobody of the Locauto staff was waiting for me. I highlight that for car rental companies it is the normal procedure to check the damages and the fuel levels together with the customer. After this check the customer signs a for acceptance.
Since nobody was there, no evidence of the inspection was submitted to my signature. Since I travel frequently I knew that this evidence is important and I asked for it at the desk in airport. Here they explained me that the immediate check was not possible due to the lack of staff, but that "I had no reason to be worried".
Some days after, my credit card was debited with the amount of EUR 48,8, partly justified with 5 liters of missing fuel and partly with a tanking fee of EUR 25+. I protested with the customer service, specifying that I insisted with the staff at the desk to obtain the evidence of inspection, but without success. With such evidence, it would have been clear that the car was fully tanked. However, Locauto refused to credit back the amount unlegitimately debited.
Since I was unsuccessful in my complaints, I also involved the agency which booked the car with Locauto on my behalf. However, not even the agency could obtain the money back. The agency itself must have been disappointed of the behaviour of Locauto, since they gave me a "present voucher" as partial compensation.
I think that the very dissatisfactory commercial approach of Locauto (I repeat: nobody was there to inspect the vehicle together with me when I gave it back), exposes the customers to the unjustified risk of being debited undue "tanking fees" or even not existing damages. Since many more car rental companies exist, I would suggest to avoid Locauto at all costs.
When in Italy I frequently used Locauto in the past, and had always had positive experiences. That is, until January 2009. I hired a car at the Treviso airport. Everything went as usual, just to discover a charge of EUR 570 after more than 20 days after the rental (the guarantee deposit had been unblocked from my credit card in the meanwhile, meaning that everything had gone fine).
I contacted their customer service, and discovered, to my surprise, that they charged me with damages not caused by me, and the customer service woman (not lady) was extremely rude and not at all professional (her literacy competencies in Italian were appalling). Their proof were photos of the damaged car, taken 10 days after I had returned it, and half of the documents were not in proper order - the little yellow paper with the state of the car had a different number plate written on it, it had not been signed by their front desk person, and so on... I therefore contacted my bank to dispute the charge. After exactly one month my bank credited me again with the full amount!
I will never ever use Locauto again! What a pity, I had used them quite a few times in the past, but after this experience, and especially after encountering the rudest customer service woman in the world I have totally changed my mind, and will never ever use Locauto again. I don't have enough words to describe the trickster approach of the front office man at Treviso airport, or the rudeness and illiterate emails from the woman in customer service. Use the major brands, not these ones, pay the extra Euro and you won't get tricked!
MILAN, ITALY -- We made a mistake of hiring the car from Locauto in Milan. If you had a traffic violation in Italy, this company will charge you 48.40 Euros just for their writing of the report, apart from violation charges. They did charge us 48.40 Euros - 15 (fifteen) times!!! On two different credit cards before we managed to close them down.