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Europcar - a surprisingly good service, despite bad reviews
Member Name: karlsm93
Advantages: Free upgrade
Disadvantages: Try to sell you costly fuel
Whilst in Edinburgh for a short weekend break, we knew we needed to rent a car, as public transport really wouldn't suffice for where we were staying or where we wanted to visit.
So I began pricing around, trying obviously to keep the price down as much as possible since it was only for a few days and it wasn't that we were goig to be in it all the time. Having previously used auto europe for car hire in Norway, I went straight to their website. THey were the best deal at the time, offering me a refundable excess as well, should I be liable for the excess to the car hired. After purchasing, auto europe then sent me a voucher for the car hire company, which turned out to he Europcar. Now, I had previously read reviews on this company and not be terribly impressed, so I was slightly apprehensive.
Anyhow, when we arrived at the Europcar desk at Edinburgh airport, we were greeted by a very friendly assistant, who told us that they would upgrade us (for free) to a bigger car. My husband and I were slightly sceptical as suddenly we went for a three door mini car, to a five door volkswagen golf, but everything seemed to be fine, and we concluded after looking around the car parking lots, that they didn't appear to have any small cars parked at the time, so there probably wasn't any of what we wanted. The assistant also offered us insurance, which we declined as I had already taken it out with auto europe. He also started to try and explain to us, that if we were likely to be using a full tank of fuel, we would be better off buying the petrol off them, which would be more economica to us. After having him explain it to us a couple of times, we were still rather confused and declined. In the end we were very glad that we had, as we only used a quarter of a tank of fuel over the course of the days, as the car had quite a large tank, so we would have been well and truly dupped if we had taken up his confusing offer.
The assistant also told us that if we noticed anything wrong with the car we were to ring the company before 10 am the next day. There was no way that we were taking the car out of the garage until we reported any scratches etc, as we knew if we rang the next day, we would probablyu take the blame. My husband inspected the car, and recorded the few scratches that were on it and took it to the europcar carpark hut, where a worked signed it. So, we left the europcar parking area happy that we wouldnt get the blame for scratches thatwere already there. There are too many stories floating around the internet making us sceptical of car rental companies and their tricks.
Anyhow, the car itself was terrific, and we left it back on the Sunday morning. A guy from the parking hut came and looked round, said it was okay, and took the keys from us.
All in all, I was continually expecting something to go wrong with europcar after reading so many negatvie reviews, however, apart from trying to sell you fuel, that would have been very costly, we had a very good experience with Europcar, ad certainly very pleased with our upgrade. You do need to have your wits about you, checking the car for scrathes before you leave and making sure you tell the company at the time, but if you do that, you should't have a problem. We certainly didn't and it has filled me with more confidence for using europcar again.
Summary: A decent place to hire a car
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