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 the web provided the most convenient rent-a-car at Stansted and we booked via CarTrawler for 2 days a car with Europcar. CarTrawler offered for Euro 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. With 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. We checked for any minor damage and returned the car with a full tank 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 realise that now we were a Europcar hostage. A day late our credit card was charged for an extra GBP 92. We should be happy we were not ripped off for a larger amount. Writing this note we found on the web numerous reviews mentioning true credit card scams by Europcar.
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 rented end of august '13 from Luton. I gave back the CAR perfect and with full tank. They took 500£ From my credit card without my consent, without previous advice!
Very interested to read William Miller's review of his experience with Europcar at Gatwick - Myself and a friend had a nightmare with them this morning, and I am wondering if we dealt with the same woman; if we did, then Gatwick have a problem with this person - if we didn't, and we dealt with someone else then Europcar have an even bigger problem with their absolutely appalling Customer facing teams.
My friend had returned to the UK from Australia, and had booked her vehicle online prior to arriving in the UK. Having been given the quote online, she thought she would be paying X amount, but upon arrival to collect the vehicle was informed by a very surly member of staff that in fact, with all the add-ons hidden charges (insurance for theft, damage, road tax etc) which had not been advised previously tshe price of the hire more or less doubled. My friend, unhappy with this, decided not to proceed, and stated very clearly that she would go to Avis/ Hertz or any of the other companies there to see if a better deal was available; Hertz were able to provide a vehicle for around 40% less in total than Europcar, so when she proceeded to payment her card was declined in the Hertz transaction - she rang her bank in Australia to find out what was going on to be told that Europcar had debited the full hire amount from her card only 5 minutes previously. Returning to the Europcar desk to politely enquire as to WTF was going on this same woman basically got all snotty, denied doing anything wrong, said she must have paid for it online when she made the booking (3 weeks ago, and patently not the case) and more or less refused to admit any wrongdoing at all. The Duty Manager appeared, backed up her staff member, refused to admit any wrong doing also, and any mistake on their part.
Only when I mentioned that I know senior management at Europcar at their Head Office did this Duty Manager come up with a solution, and offered a free 2 day hire for the inconvenience during which time my friend could return the car to them whilst the money issue was refunded, and then hire from Hertz.
Europcar - you are a complete shower, an absolute disgrace. If we hadn't found out from the bank that the money had been debited, at what point would Europcar have told us that they had effectively nicked the best part of £1000? And would it have been refunded? I doubt it. This is bordering on criminal incompetence.
My experience with the lady at the desk could be summed up in those three words but to elaborate; it was unknown to me that I could bring the car back on the 4th morning without having to pay for a full days use. Turned out that I wouldn't be entitled to a refund since I had booked it through a 3rd party. Saying all this while in an unapologetic tone, with an "I don't have time for you" attitude. Evidently unfriendly.
She did offer to put part of the overpayment toward increasing my insurance cover but when asked whether it could be put toward fuel, she started waffling and making no sense to me or my 2 mates. I looked at them as if to say "do you understand what she's talking about?". She was becoming more irate by the second, and then her colleague even bumped in making a snide remark. To add insult to injury, the only other customer who was waiting in queue, ignorantly interrupted and asked to be seen to, which the lady obliged and spoke to her between me and my friends. I was completely gob smacked. Clearly uninterested in helping me understand. All the while, I was apologetic for not understanding what she meant and didn't give her a hard time.
She then quickly printed out a docket for me to sign and had me on my way. When I did get back I spoke with a gentleman in the carpark who takes the cars in, explained that I had been over charged and without a second thought he said he'd give me a refund. Lucky for the lady, she wasn't at the desk when I came back.
Hired a Renault Clio this year, called myself to check the car over as I am a motor trader by profession. when we returned to the airport, apart from recording the mileage the girl went straight to the front left hand tyre and noticed a small clean cut in the tyre wall,this was not caused by myself the alloy was unmarked and the rest of the tyre unmarked too.This cost me 190 euros . After complaining to Mastercard they then let Europcar credit the full cost of hire and re charge my account with a further £45 which i am now disputing as i haven't a clue what this is for.Have read other peoples experiences and would echo their comments of never using Europcar again.
Reading all the complaints here why didn't I check it out first? Europcar has been nothing short of a farce. Unprofessional, disorganized and all round vile. My rental was for pick up and return at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England. It turns out they don't have an office here and you have to tee up a time for a 'meet and greet'. I was told to ring once I'd landed and it would be sorted. 7 phone calls and half a day later I got a car. The wrong one. A smaller and cheaper one. More phone calls meant i got a swap next day. Bear in mind I was in the uk to say farewell to my seriously ill father you can imagine the stress I was already under without this rubbish. The car is due back tomorrow. Am taking bets on whether there will be anyone there to take it back. And whether I will be able to hand the car back in fewer than 7 phone calls. I tried to complain online (sorry, provide 'renter feedback') and was refused for using an 'illegal character'. That's a cunning ruse.
I have been renting cars through various agencies like Expedia,Autu Europe and others but my worst nightmere came true when I was directed to Europcar at CDG.This happened around 15 months ago Jan 2011 and after lot of negociations I was given a credit note for Euro 200.
The note sqid thqt 200 Eoro zill be credited to the Credit Cqrd I used to book the cqr.The pro;ised q;ont zqs never credited.Qfter severql co;plqins I zqs told the credit cqn only be applied agqinst future rental of the car.there I thought is my chance to recover the Euro 200 I have been promised.The latest excuse I have been given is that the amont may have been refunded to the agency through which I rented the Car.
So far Europcar has neither been able to provide any details about the amont in question wheter it will be applied to my current rental or when and to whom has the amont been refunded to.In the mean time my credit card been debited for the current rental from 27th February to 7th March 2012
When it comes to product quality and customer care from a global company, it probably doesn't get much worse than this.
I am willing to try anything once and when I made a booking direct with EUROPCAR 4 months ahead of my arrival, I believed I had allowed ample time for them to prepare a nice car for a new customer.
For several years we'd been making regular trips to Spain to relax and also to work on our house renovation project and, when we collected the car late at night from a dimly lit compound at Murcia airport, our main priority was to get moving as soon as possible. We faced a long journey on a mixture of motorways and twisting mountain roads and would not reach our destination until well after midnight at the earliest.
THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN INSPECTED FOR YOUR SAFETY." Not much chance of misunderstanding that statement and, when coupled with an image of a car covered in yellow ticks and a 20-point checklist, the large green, yellow and black tag hanging from the rear view mirror of our hire car was an unequivocal warranty. It had no purpose other than to instil confidence in the quality of the car. For reasons of copyright, I can't show my photograph of this tag but as events were later to prove, we felt that we were grossly misled by it. We had always enjoyed fairly new, good quality low mileage cars on our previous 20 or so trips and it didn't occur to me that this car would be so greatly different.
However, In the cold light of day I noticed a large stain on the ground under the car and discovered a significant leak of oily fluid. I was then concerned to find that the front passenger side tyre was almost completely bald. When I examined the car's paperwork I found that this vehicle was nearly 4 years old and had covered 66,942 km. This seems excessive for the rigours of a multi-user hire car and, judging by the long list of dents, scratches and stains described on the schedule, it had not been driven gently. It was becoming clear that this car was not up to the standard we had expected or were accustomed to. I then noticed that the international insurance certificate (production of which, is required in the event of an accident) had long expired and was now almost 9 months out of date. For this and the defective tyre the Spanish Police could have fined me heavily on the spot or even arrested me. Clearly I needed to report my concerns to EUROPCAR.
My call to Irini at the service desk at Murcia Airport produced a polite but casual response and I was told to contact the emergency number if I was worried about the car. After several unsuccessful attempts and an ever increasing mobile 'phone bill I gave up and didn't pursue it which, in hindsight was a mistake because the most serious defect of all hadn't yet come to light.
We made just one trip to the supermarket for essential supplies and on our return I parked and locked the car outside the house, which is in a small hamlet of other houses that are built on a natural platform of solid rock. The pathway in front of the house slopes very slightly and leads to a ridge beyond which, is a deep valley. About 25 minutes after parking the car, I heard a faint sound of crunching gravel and caught a glimpse of the car rolling past our kitchen window. When I rushed outside, it had disappeared over the edge and into the abyss. Racing to the edge of the ridge I could see that the car had somersaulted and landed upside down 20 metres or so down the steep hillside. Precariously, a front wheel had snagged a branch of an almond tree, which was all that had prevented the car from crashing to the valley floor far below. Others had witnessed this distressing scene and many of our Spanish neighbours gathered to offer help and solace. As they made signs of the cross, the sheer horror of what had just happened began to sink in.
The handbrake is designed to prevent the car from moving even after the brake components have cooled down and contracted. The circumstances of this incident were wholly consistent with the failure of this essential safety device.
Calmly and repeatedly I tried to contact the emergency number but in the end I had to contact my son in the UK to 'phone them and get them to 'phone me. Once the incident was reported, the process of recovery began but it took 3 separate crews and a variety of trucks and cranes over 3 days to haul the wreck away. Only after the car was recovered did EUROPCAR arrange for a taxi to take us to collect a replacement car. Because the location of the house is fairly remote, we were effectively stranded for 4 days out of a 15-day trip.
Upon our return to England, I immediately sent a comprehensive report to the EUROPCAR customer service office in Leicester together with photographs of the bald tyre, the fluid stains on the ground, the crashed car and, copies of the expired documents. My reasonable expectation was that EUROPCAR would take prompt action to address my genuine concerns with diligence and honesty. In a nutshell, the car was supplied with a visibly bald tyre and was therefore defective, dangerous and illegal before we ever got into it. In the interests of life and safety, It should never have passed an inspection or been allowed to leave the parking compound in that condition and, given the photographic evidence, it's hard to imagine how EUROPCAR could argue with that.
However 2 weeks after my letter was sent by recorded delivery I received an e-mail stating that I would be charged over 1,800 euro's for the recovery of the car. I replied to confirm that a complaint had already been submitted to Head Office but I then discovered that the sum of £1,671.11 had been charged to my credit card. I immediately wrote to complain and informed my credit card company that the matter was in dispute.
Then, 4 weeks after my original letter I received a letter from EUROPCAR stating the reasons why they would not refund the charges. To my astonishment their response suggested that the car was in good order and my complaint was unjustified. It triggered a protracted exchange involving 3 separate EUROPCAR officers and its CEO (Mr Kenneth Mcann,) independent tyre quality experts, a major road safety organisation, solicitors, a bank and a credit card company.
My file is thick with documents and correspondence but in brief, EUROPCAR said, "I can confirm that this vehicle was inspected and was in suitable condition and safe to drive." (Extract from Michelle Shuttlewood's letter.) "The Spain customer service manager confirms the tyres met the minimum legal standard." (Extract from Christopher Caruso's letter.) "The handbrake was operation when the vehicle was repair and checked over." (Exact wording in Stuart Hayes' letter.) However, an independent tyre expert stated, "the tyre is worn substantially below the limit- in fact it looks almost smooth in some parts and therefore illegal and extremely unsafe." Tyresafe.org say "drivers risk death by driving on illegal tyres. My solicitors informed EUROPCAR that "the unroadworthy condition of the car was a fundamental breach of contract and of the criminal law."
7 months after my dispute began, I received a letter from my credit card company to whom I had previously sent my evidence. They informed me that, following their representations to Europcar's Bank in Spain, a full refund of the £1,671.11 charges would be made.
The matter was therefore determined in my favour by third party intervention and my complaint vindicated but EUROPCAR then ceased to acknowledge all further letters and e-mails. They have never responded to the outcome or to my demands for reimbursement of the £580 losses that I suffered in respect of legal fees, interest charges and other expenses during the process. In the end I decided against the tortuous process of further litigation but felt compelled to publish the details of my traumatic experience.
My expectations were not unrealistic but in my view, EUROPCAR knowingly supplied a car to me that was inferior and defective. Their preparation of the car was either non-existent or negligent and their local service was inadequate. Given the clarity of the evidence that I supplied, the members of their customer service team in England and certain officers in Spain were either disingenuous or just had to be compliant with some inflexible aspect of "company policy" relating to liability.
In the absence of any statement from EUROPCAR to suggest otherwise, I can only conclude that my experience as a whole is typical of the service that they might provide to anyone as a matter of routine.
Perhaps this information will be of value to those formulating plans for car hire in the future.
I have always rented cars from Europcar Doncaster Balby Road when I travel on business to this area from Glasgow. On this rental I was sure I had taken out all the usual insurances, I am driving a strange car in an area I do not know well, so I know the risk of bumps and accidents are higher than normal. On this rental the counter clerk swept me through the procedure with great speed. welcome at the time, but I discovered later that I did not have full excess cover, even though I had booked and paid on the website including this.
I did not damage the car, but because they could not organise the pick up and delivery they advertise so freely on their website and elsewhere, the car had to sit outside my guesthouse in Doncaster overnight. Very decent area - Windsor Road, but someone broke the passenger front window, presumably looking for satnavs etc, but stole nothing - nothing to steal.
Europcar advised me to leave the car a the smashed glass on the seats could cause damage or injury to me. I would have been happy to drive it the 2 miles to the depot.
They then left it on the street with a broken window for 8 hours!!! It was only my persistent phone calls that got it uplifted.
Now I have £600 casually "snifted" from my credit card to cover the excess they stated on their booking form they had supplied me with cover insurance for.
Obviously I have called and emailed, but they appear to have a policy of not responding, giving a "7 day response time" as an excuse.
I checked with Hyundai (it was an L20 I hired) and they tell me that a new passenger front window should be £145 fitted absolutely top charge and could be done in 2-3 days (same day if they had the part). So no need, in any circumstances, to take £600.
As it happens, I am one of the guys who runs 360 Legal Group, the largest association of independent lawyers in the world. So - should I sue their buns off? Possibly close the Balby Road depot...and Robin Hood Airport for good measure.
I think there is a class action here, which means, at no cost to you, Europcar can be challenged on these activities legally and all the money you have lost refunded to you with Europcar paying eye-watering legal expenses (twice). I have a major law firm client of ours ready to eat them for breakfast. Interested?
I do not know about you you, but I hate large firms treating us as "little people". Get even
Please note, I am not a lawyer, neither is 360 legal a law firm.
I recently booked a car via Europcar through Easyjey and paid Easyjet 100% in advanced.On arrival at Innsbruck airport the car was ready but 'the computers were down'. On returning the car (on-time, undamaged and full) the desk was unmanned (at 3pm).I now find Europcar have charged my credit card 750 Euros, refunded this at a poorer exchange rate, then made two subsequent charges of another 750 Euros and 426 Euros.Easyjet were initially helpful and asked for pdfs of all the documents - however subsequently they said I had to take this up with Europcar even though they acknowledged that I paid for the car via Easyjet.Europcar have not even has the coutesy to acknowledge my email.This is a rip off
I worked for this franchise and know that serviceing and repairs are NOT carried out as it affects the profit margins. The same damage can be charged to numerous clients without being rectified. However when work is carried out, scratches etc it is VERY expensive. 2 or 3 minor scuffs/scratches on a clio cost over Euro1000 at a main dealer bodyshop..Get an independant CDW insurance and checking the car in poor weather or at night write on the forms the car will be checked in daylight, they must allow this.Apparently the review will not allow zero stars so i have given one but they don't deserve it !!
On tuesday of 14/12/10 I returned a rented car to Europcar Gatwick (South), I had rented via Carhire3000 Traveljigsaw, I may need to stop using them as I do not wish to rent from Europcar or Alamo again.
When I picked up the car I checked it fairly carefully including checking for under body damage although the ground was wet and snowcovered. The only additional damage I found was a scuff to the front nearside wheel trim which I pointed out and was told that plastic wheeltrim damage was not a problem.
I do not now wish to use Europcar because of what I considered to be a scam to raise additional charges. When I returned the car I was accused of damaging the front nearside tyre as it had a small clean cut the size of a small fingernail in the sidewall.
During the rental I had not scuffed the tyres at all and no scuff marks existed on the tyres, when I pointed this out I was told it wasn't a scuff but was probably a knife mark, however the car had been parked on private driveways in good areas and if vandalised I am sure that it would result in more than a shallow 1/4inch clean scratch - described by Europcar as code 306 Left Side - Front Tyre - Torn/Ripped, pehaps the ripped means customer ripped off!
When I returned the car it seemed as though the agent knew exactly what she was looking for as it was far from obvious (hence me missing it at pick up) and she headed straight for that wheel. I was told I must have damaged it and although I protested said they would be charging me for a new tyre ( although no mention was made of the fact that the tyre was part worn).
I will write to the Europcar head office and copy Carhire3000 Traveljigsaw.
My experience resembles that detailed by Blue on 3/10/10 and I too would love to know if this car went straight out on another rental!!
While I do have an annual carhire excess insurance there is probably an excess on that that makes it unworth claiming for, I have in past rented several times from Europcar but this experience and that of Blue's makes me reluctant to do so again espercially at aiports as I like Blue feel an airport rental that involves Europcar will end in cowboy tactics, so please be warned!
When my 6 month old Audi broke down the dealer provided a hirecar from Europcar. After a week I handed car back to dealer who cancelled the rental. I filled tank up immediately before. Two weeks later I spotted a fuel charge. Complained to Europcar Tamworth who insist they had to put fuel in.
I hired a car from Europcar at Tarbes/Lourdes airport in France in September. When I returned it the man at the desk didn't want to examine the car, so I insisted that he signed the rental agreement to confirm that there was no damage and that it was full of fuel.I was very surprised then to find that they charged my credit card with another £32 a few days later. I phoned Europcar and had a surreal conversation with someone called Joe in Customer Services. He said that they had no record of taking £32 on their system. He confirmed that there was no payment outstanding and suggested that I register it as a fraudulent transaction! I have now had a refund from my credit card provider, but no apology and no explanation.
I have waited 2 days before writing this, as I needed time to remove the anger.
I rent cars in various locations (USA/UK/Europe) around once a month, and several years ago made a conscious decision not to use Europcar because of what I considered to be their fraudulant techniques to raise additional revenue. This decision was made after a rental at Glasgow Airport when on returning the car after a one day rental I was accused of damaging a tyre as it had a cut the size of a fingernail in the sidewall.
During the rental I had driven less than 30 miles and at no time parked the car on the side of the damaged tyre wall, or had any incident where the tyre could have been damaged. On returning the car, it seemed as though the agent knew exactly what he was looking for as it was far from obvious (hence me missing it at pick up). I was told I must have damaged it and they charged me an additional fee, despite my protestations. Funnily enough I had until then taken out their extra insurance at £12 per day to take the xs to zero and had no issue, but the day I decide not to, they trigger the scam.....coincidence???
I did eventually get a refund via their Head Office, but I still have a feeling they were actually aware of the problem before the car was returned, (if true they had rented me a potentially dangerous car) if not true, their inspection processes are flawed.
Anyway, since then I have primarily used Alamo and Hertz when visiting Glasgow, however recently the Alamo business has been taken over by Europcar, and on a visit last week I found myself collecting my Alamo rental from Europcar. I joked with those with me at the time that there would be a scam at the end of the rental and all four of us inspected the car, and found a scuffed wheel trim, which when reported before driving off triggered the comment - 'we're not too worried about wheel trims' - not until the car's returned was my immediate thought.
24 hours and 30 or so miles later I returned the car, and I honestly thought it was a wind-up when the agent advised the windscreen had a chip in it. Nothing whatsoever had damaged that windscreen during my rental, and I had not noticed any chip either at the time of rental or while I was driving the car, but there was indeed a chip, that all four of us had missed the previous day. I thought it was even more of a wind-up when it appeared that the chip they pointed out to me seemed to have resin in it from a previous repair, but as usual they are allowed to miss scuffed wheel trims when they present a car for rental but there is no way they would miss a chipped windscreen...of course not, and coincidentally as I thought I was renting from Alamo I did not take out their additional insurance, so they billed £35 extra to my card.
I would love to know if that car went straight out on another rental!!
While I do have other insurance I can claim on for the £35, I really don't see why they should pay, so I will once again be writing to Europcar Head Office to advice of my disatisfaction.
Because I have the other insurance, it is frankly no skin off my nose to admit that something happened on my rental to damage the car, but in 35 years of regularly renting cars, the only place and company which I have ever felt scammed, has been Europcar at Glasgow Airport - twice!
It narrows the field a bit when they now handle Alamo and National, but I would rather pay £20 extra to Hertz or Avis than feel as though a every rental that involves Europcar will end in cowboy tactics, so please be warned!