We were booking a car in Palermo.
At the time of booking, the provider had not advised that the car rental place is miles from the airport.
The instruction given after the booking were non existent and we went to a "car rental" building. Apparently "our" car rental place wasn't there. We had to search and were lucky to find a van that was picking us up (which we didn't know about).
Then a trip for 20min to a different village.
During booking, the car's papers were already filled in and we made a mistake not checking them.
We paid for this dearly on the return of the car. They told us, that there is a new scratch and charged us £90, without even getting our approval. The scratch must have been there before, as it was going across 2 doors and they had problem with only one, the other was marked on the paper.
On the return to the UK, we contacted holiday autos, but they haven't even bothered to reply.
Horrible experience - NEVER again!
Have a look at www.myrentalcar.co.uk! Used these a while back and really good!
Awful customer services, have complained 3 times with the same issue and each time received an automated apology from somebody who cannot speak english.Have attached files proving this and sent to complain again but get exactly the same automated response back. Awful.Would not reccommend.
I have used Holiday Autos several times in the past to book cars in Spain, so clearly I was happy to go back to them this time. I had paid for the full insurance available on their website and the voucher stated that for rentals less than 4 days I could take the Full/Full option on the fuel.
When I picked the car up I was told that the insurance didn't cover everything and that because my rental was 3 days and 5 hours that this meant I was into the 4th day.
Consequently I was relived of Euro81 at the rental desk. I have had numerous emails with Holiday Autos, but one can see where it is headed. They have their party line which appears to be "get as much out of the punter as possible even if it means using underhand tactics."
To me 3 days 5 hours is less than 4 days, but to them it means that the rental is into the 4th day. Sorry to labour this point, but I want to be clear.
Please be careful with this company. Times are obviously hard and they are now just pulling strokes to deceive their loyal customers. I will not be back and will tell as many people as possible not to go there.
Do your homework - find out which car hire companies are in your airport and book direct.
I went with Holiday Autos for my Sicily holiday purely because they were the cheapest option for what I wanted and I was aiming for a budget holiday. Their website I must comment is excellent, slick, fast, clear to understand. I read the small print thoroughly before signing on the electronic line. I took out their 'total damage excess waiver' as I was dubious about what I'd heard about driving in Italy! It was only an extra £10 or so so totally worth it I suppose. I certainly was grateful I took it out when I bumped my poor hire car.. I dented the bumper, heavily scuffed it. As heavy as that scuff was, I was flabberghasted when my credit card bill came to me on return from holiday - £800! I almost dropped through the floor! None of that was the fault of Holiday Autos of course, it was my bump, and it was the car rental company in Sicily that was charging me such an extortionate rate. Anyhow, I knew what I had to do to claim back this £800 that I could not afford, it was all explained on the FAQ of Holiday Auto's website. So I sent off the email to the relevant department. It was met with a stony silence. I phoned, I emailed again, and again. I was finally answered on email after one week. I had to email my credit card statement - more than happy to do that! To cut this one month and one week long story to its bare bones, I was refunded the money owed to me, in full. However, for that one month and one week, I wasted countless hours telephoning and emailing, being lied to, and ignored. So it's a mixed bag of a review. I am so happy that I got a bargain-priced service and for only £10 extra saved myself a £800 bill that I could not afford.. But I had a whole month of worry that I was not going to get the money back. I certainly would not use them again due to the awful handling of my insurance claim.
Getting a car from Holiday Autos is always just a bit of a gamble as they are a broker so the quality of service is dependent on the quality of service of whoever they get the car from. And they come in as a company that wants the cost to be low. Nevertheless they always to take you to one of the fairly high profile suppliers and not a shoddy back streets one.
Hired a car from Holiday Autos for a family holiday in Portugal. The car I asked for was not available so three days after the booking they emailed an apology, saying that the car I wanted was not available, and asked if I would accept a slightly smaller car that would cost only half as much. It turned out that the new hire was with Hertz and that the slightly smaller car was quite big enough.
I also liked the insurance deal which covered every eventuality with no supplements payable either to them or to the actual car supplier apart from the fuel.
Hertz looked after us very well even letting us use their toilets to change from our holiday beach clothes into something more appropriate for arriving home in UK late at night.
Great service, no queues, low cost.
Thank you to both Holiday Autos and Hertz.
I will book with Holiday Autos again this year.
Rented a Ford Focus with the Dutch site off this company and got an Opel Corsa! Imagine 4 grown man in a little Corsa for 3000Km! Ans no refund because the Corsa was supposed to be in same "class" in Brasil as the Focus. Stay away, they are not to be trusted! They make money by promising bigger cars but actually renting smaller ones.
Booked a 9 seater minibus with discount car hire.co.uk an affiliate of holidayautos.co.uk, for arranged family outing, a surprise for my Daughters Birthday. 30 minutes before the end of their business day and on the eve of my Daughters birthday, Tony the so called Director of Discount car hire, rang and changed everything that he had agreed to in his confirmation e mail . He would no longer deliver or collect the mini bus from our home address and changed the size of the minibus. His attitude was take it or leave it. Because everything had been arranged for our outing we were left with no choice but to agree. He also took a deposit for the minbus a week before even though the terms of the agreement stated that no monies would be taken until delivery of the vehicle. Another £100 deposit had also been taken from our account for fuel, which had not been agreed or discussed and I did not find out until I recieved a bank statement. This company has no ethics and has no qualms about reducing you to tears. The Director bullies you into accepting his demands and changes the terms of the agreement at the drop of a hat, his excuse" READ THE SMALL PRINT", "I CAN DO WHAT EVER I WANT". Avoid at all cost before it costs you!!!
Beware this company has fraudulent terms and conditions for some locations. I booked through the lastminute.com web site and was offered the car for £22. When I picked it up I was charged another $45 (£28) locally. I later found out that there was a mandatory local fee hidden in the terms and conditions and not mentioned on the web page where the £22 was stated or on the confirmation email which has the line "Extras: USD 0.00" !!!When I complained they told me it was my fault for not reading the terms and conditions more carefully.
Worst experience with a car hire company ever.I was left high and dry without a car at an airport after a confirmation. They did nothing to help me then acted like they were doing me a favour refunding my money.Their customer service was the rudest I have ever dealt with. Turns out they don't actually confirm their bookings - they just book and hope. My view of this is that it works a large percentage of the time, if it does you are lucky and may get a good deal but if their booking does not go through then you are left on your own to pick up an expensive same day hire car. Its your gamble whether to use these cowboys - I know I'll never use them again.
Avoid holiday autos especially if booking forr Italy. This year the car we rented through them broke down near the top of a mountain even though it was brand new. The english speaking helpline woman could not understand us. The car was towed away the next day and we were given no replacement. In fact we were left stranded in the middle of nowhere. My husband managed to get the mechanic to take him to herz in the nearest city over an hour away to hire another car (cost us an extra 180 euros) because the local rental company refused to help us because we hadn't paid for taxi cover. We weren't told we would need that when we picked the car up in Pisa. So not only have holiday autos ignored our repeated emails, they haven't refunded us the 4 days rental we failed to get and the money it cost us for a new hire car. Once they have your money they don't care.
I booked a car in London with Holiday Autos. They have charged extra for a full cover insurance. But, when I reached the showroom to pick up the car they have no idea of the insurance. They are again asking me to take insurance!!!If I do not take insurance there they will take almost 650 pounds from my credit card. I had no other choice but to pay for the insurance again!!In the receipt I got from them, there was a post code of the showroom which is not even there in google!! There was no contact no, customer support no.. in the receipt!! :(If u want a pleasent journey DO NOT GO 4 Holiday autos.
I was left stranded in France when a car I booked through holiday autos (via targa rent - italy) broke down. They basically washed their hands of me.
I have a very love/hate relationship with the lastminute group - the people who own Holiday Autos. Lastminute.com have been responsible for some great moments in my life over the last few years: some brilliant hotels; some massively discounted theatre tickets; even a few meals. But they've also been responsible for sitting me behind whacking great posts in theatres; for booking me on a ryanair flight without telling me I'd have to pay for luggage; for selling me a "city break" to Florence where I stayed about 20 miles out of Florence (imagine booking a city break to London and ending up on an industrial park in Luton and you're about there); and most unforgivably for making me deal with Holiday Autos.
Holiday Autos is the imaginatively titled car hire branch of the lastminute group. You can hire a car through them from most international airports that you would want to travel to (destinations in Iraq and Iran are notable exceptions) and many other locations - often city centres. They act in a similar way to lastminute.com, which is as an agent. Holiday Autos are not going to give you a car themselves. Instead, they are going to get you a good rate with a third party company.
Booking your hire car is pretty easy through either of the online channels. All you need to do is enter your requirements on their website - where you want to pick up and drop off your car, the dates and times you want to do it and they will come back with an instant quote. The quotes are usually fairly competitive, but often not a huge amount cheaper than you'll find elsewhere.
The first time I used Holiday Autos, we had no problems at all. All we were interested in from our hire car was four wheels and an engine so that we could get from Venice over to a nice remote B+B in the Veneto countryside without having to negotiate trains, taxis and buses. All went smoothly. We had a nice little Fiat Punto, we picked it up and dropped it off as planned - perfect. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and with the benefit of it now I can see that we had a good experience only because we didn't have to use their customer service.
So when we went back to Italy (the same destination actually - it was that nice!) this year, we used them again. This time there were six of us going on holiday, so we wanted to order a six seater car. As you do, when there are six of you.
Problem number one happened while booking online. My partner's switch card wasn't being accepted by their banking systems, with him being told it was one digit short to be a valid card. It wasn't. So he phoned up their customer services department, where he was greeted by an under-trained and over-smug operator who said that, yes, his card number was wrong. After around 40 minutes of useless chatter, including the line "but in my experience, all switch cards have more digits than that" (remember that one, it becomes funnier later), he asked to be passed on to the supervisor. The supervisor, to his credit, managed to get the payment through (hardly rocket science really) and told my partner that the operator he'd spoken to had only started two days ago (so "in his experience" was two days and the computer saying no in front of him!). After an apology for the attitude problem of operator number one, we were on our way, having received reassurances from both the original operator and the supervisor that we had hired a suitable six seater car. With six whole seats. Which would seat six people.
I think you may be able to guess what is coming. It's more predictable than Titanic. We arrived to a Renault Scenic - you know the ones - five seats, quite ugly? Yes, that's five seats, each of which was designed to take but one human rear end.
We immediately went back to Sixt (the car hire company we'd been assigned) to ask them for a six seater. Unfortunately for us, there were no six seater Sixt cars in Venice airport. Luckily, two of our party were arriving separately to us, so we were able to take the unsuitable Scenic and phone Holiday Autos when we got to our B+B to sort out the problem... in theory.
So we did just that. Unfortunately, Holiday Autos' customer service department are completely ill-equipped to deal with any problems that may crop up. We were told that they couldn't do anything "because the booking was put through for a five seater" - which, as we'd had to book over the phone and two of their staff had assured us that we'd booked a six seater, didn't feel like a great excuse. Despite around three hours spent on the phone to their call centre (not cheap from Italy), the key importance of the car having been booked over the phone and so being their responsibility failed to register.
After two of these three hours of tedious phone calls, one supervisor decided to start looking for a solution to our problems - an additional car so that we would have seats in cars for all of our party. He even managed to find one. But then when it came to the crunch, the best he could offer us was allowing us the privilege of paying for it in full ourselves and then trying to claim the cost back from them when we got back to the UK. "Trying to claim", not claiming. We decided to pass on their kind offer.
Other things they managed to get wrong included:
Holiday Autos hadn't told us about the credit card deposit of Euro500 that is required when the car is picked up. It was just as well we were travelling with my Dad, is all I can say - we hadn't had this charge the previous year.
Holiday Autos refused to offer us our suggestion of a part refund - the difference between the cost of the Scenic and their cheapest five seater car - by way of apology for the error (frankly, I thought this was a more than reasonable suggestion on our part).
Holiday Autos' useless service ended up costing us around an extra £50 in phone calls while we were aborad, and a small fortune in train tickets.
Holiday Autos re-attempted a failed payment on my debit card eight times before we managed to book on my partners' card (which only happened when we got to the supervisor anyway) - this resulted in my bank blocking my debit card when I was away as they thought it was being used fraudulently.
Holiday Autos were responsible for hiring us a car through Sixt, who decided to inexplicably charge my Dad £80 after we'd returned the car - for a tank of petrol (which we'd filled at the airport, so they were clearly trying it on) and for damage to the car that wasn't there - which we are disputing.
So, in summary, you'll probably have an ok experience with Holiday Autos if you want to rent a cheap small car. Make sure you have funds available on your credit card for a deposit when you pick your car up; make sure you take photographs of the car when you leave it at the airport (although how much difference this makes is anyone's guess); and most importantly make sure you don't have to make any changes to your booking or call their customer services team for anything!
For a more specialist car than the very bottom of the range, don't even look at Holiday Autos. If you anticipate your plans changing at all, or any other reason why you may feasibly need customer service, don't use them. Like a lot of things in the wonderful world of travel, Holiday Autos is a false economy. It may cost you £10, maybe even £20 less than the competition, but it really is worth paying the extra to save yourself the huge costs you will run into if something goes wrong. Example - once we used Car Hire 3000 (who you would imagine to be a bunch of cowboys with a name like that) but had managed to book a car at the wrong airport. They proactively called us to query our booking as they wanted to check we had the right airport. When we discovered we had got it wrong, they changed it for us at no extra cost and with one day's notice. I can promise you that you will not find service like this if you book with Holiday Autos.
I have used Holiday Autos a few times and cannot say I have had any problem with them at all. It is true that they don't own any hire cars themselves but are simply a middle man - they describe themselves as brokers - but in itself this isn't important. Holiday Autos find you a hire car with a national operator at a price lower, sometimes far lower, than if you would get if you approached the hire company yourself. I always check rates before making a booking and this has always been the case for me, even where a special deal was being offered by the rental company.
How do they do it? I don't know but I guess it is to do with the large volume of bookings they make gives them a good discount with the rental companies.
My most recent experience was earlier this month (September 2008) when I needed to hire a car from Stansted Airport for five days. I was flying in on RyanAir and they have a special deal with Hertz, which looked very good. But when I checked with Holiday Autos they were a few pounds cheaper and offered a car with higher specification (it had air conditioning). It was only after making the booking that I knew which hire car company was Holiday Auto's "partner" in their jargon. It turned out to be Budget, who I have also used before.
Making the booking:
For convenience I made my booking on the web (I think this is the only option). The Holiday Autos website is clear, well organized and I was able to find all the information I needed without resorting to e-mails or telephone calls. The site even includes 12 "top tips for cheaper car hire", all of which are sensible: e.g. shop around for the best deals and book as early as you can. The contact information includes a phone number that can be called from outside the UK, which the standard 0871 number can't be. They even offer a "price match guarantee" complete with a dedicated phone-line for anyone claiming to have found a better deal elsewhere.
The hire experience:
In short, very straight forward. On arrival at Stansted I went to Budget's office, handed them my car rental voucher (printed off Holiday Autos website), showed them my driving licence, passport and gave them a credit card as deposit for fuel - exactly as if I had been Budget's own customer - and all explained in Holiday Auto's reasonably clear terms and conditions. At this point the booking clerk asked me if I wanted insurance to cover the collision damage excess of £650 at over £11 per day. In fact I had already taken out this cover using Holiday Autos' own "Total Damage Excess Waiver" for £4.50 per day, which was quite a saving, and wouldn't need this cover. The clerk then explained that in that case I would be charged for any damage (up to £650) and would then need to claim on Holiday Auto's policy, which is understandable. Fortunately I didn't need to make a claim.
Home again, home again
On arrival back home I received an email from Holiday Autos to welcome me home, wish that I had had a good trip and invite me to inform them of any problems I had had. OK it was just a standard email, but showed the right attitude to customer care.
By the way
If I were hiring cars regularly I wouldn't use even Holiday Auto's "Total Damage Excess Waiver" but look for an annual hire car policy from around £50. Alternatively if you have your own car insurance it may be possible to apply it to the hire car, saving you more money. I have done this once though admittedly it was several years ago now.