Car Hire in Europe

Has anyone been ripped off or accused of damage? I hired a car in Spain from a place with a lot of bad reviews and didn't have a problem.

I'm looking to do the same again this year in Croatia but all the companies have a lot of bad reviews.

Car hire reviews are very hard to judge because sometimes the customer didn't check the car properly before leaving and then gets blamed for damage, then they leave a bad review.

So have you had any bad experiences with hire cars in Europe?

Comments

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    So have you had any bad experiences with hire cars in Europe?

    i hired cars from hertz in germany and poland and it was fine, apart from getting a different car to what i booked.
    booked an eclass got a volvo v90 wagon in germany
    booked a audi q5 got a volvo xc60 in poland

    i used the code from here to get a deal on them
    http://defcom.com.au/MC_hertz.html

    •  

      Cheers, I used carwiz for croatia, but all the companies there have crap reviews, maybe it's worth using a prepaid visa to pay so that you have some leverage if things get dodgy.

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    Recently a friend of mine hired a car in the UK, once he got back to Australia the rental called him up asking for $400 to replace the spare tyre as it was 'apparently' missing.

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    I rented a car in Europe im almost 100% sure they will gouge you for even the smallest scratch i took the 'top' insurance where there is no excess and if i had any damage i wouldnt have to pay a thing lucky because i did scratch the alloys curb (this was in Croatia) they couldnt charge me anything but if you are not 100% confident then just pay the extra Euros i was i think 25 Euros more a day which is a lot when you think about how long you have the car for but i had never drove on the other side of the road so i was a little nervous.

    But i do know people that have been charged 500 euros for really minor scratches - I love Europe but they rip tourist off left right and center for everything - croatia is no different….

    •  

      This is what I've read a lot but it didn't happen to me in Spain and I didn't take insurance.

      •  

        look people do exaggerate stories especially on the internet. My advice would be just give them a debit card that has no over draw so if something does happen the most they can take is the couple hundred they put a freeze on when you take the car out - it is what i do when i rent anything!

        I know even if (touch wood) something was to happen the most money they could charge x amount of dollars and because you are a tourist you can just not pay and fly off home…

  • +1 vote

    hired a car in Paris 5 years ago and drove around europe for 3 weeks. not a problem.

  • +1 vote

    Yeah you will never get the car you ordered. We tried to get a BMW 3 series in Germany and ended up with a Volve X60 SUV - which was freaking massive and like driving a bus. We ended up taking it back a day early because we didn't feel comfortable driving such a massive car around the place without damaging it.

    • +1 vote

      I felt like this with a fiat panda in some of the underground parking in Spain ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    •  

      Haha, I ordered a VW golf from Prague to drive around Czech, ended up with a hatchback Skoda that was shaking past 80kmph. On the plus side, when we picked up our car from Germany after booking a BMW 3 series, we got a suv Alfa romeo which cost more than the beemer

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    One problem I had was even if you picked a mainstream company like Hertz - often it was subcontracted out to some local scary mob…

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    Just get car rental excess cover with your travel insurance. Avis wanted to charge me $600 for a near invisible scratch I didn't do, insurance sorted it out

  •  

    Every time I go to Europe I use this https://www.citroeneuropass.com.au , Never had a problem. Brand new car with full insurance, green card and registered in my name. Few times I had minor damage, scratches but never been asked for payment.

  • +1 vote

    Take lots of photos, or a video, of the car when you pick it up. Particularly showing any damage. Do likewise before you drop it off.

  • +1 vote

    I had hired a car in France from Avis using Auto Europe. Avis tried similar rip off strategy with me for an existing damage. I had no choice but pay up. After coming back Auto Europe contacted me for feedback and I wrote back to them explaining what happened. Auto Europe sorted it out with Avis and I was refunded within 10 days of feedback.

    I guess Auto Europe is big there and have the power to negotiate with car hire companies there.

  • +1 vote

    I'm from the UK and sadly this is very common all over Europe. Hire prices have come down 75%+ over recent years and now they all make their money by claiming you've damaged the car but not actually repairing it.
    A lot of small unknown brands are actually owned by big names as they're slowly buying them, but even the big names do it and I can't recommend anyone. A lot are franchises also. It's rare that people get their money back.
    In addition to damage, another common trick is them refusing to give you the vehicle unless you buy the expensive extra insurance when you try to collect it, as the staff are on commission or there's targets. Even people who have bought independent extra insurance (really common now as everyone knows about the damage trick) risk having to have big arguments at collection and there's stories the places just turn people away if they won't pay more or they present the contract for you to sign with extras added anyway written in the local language and refuse to let you see the English copy. If you sign it you won't get money back. If you don't sign you won't get the keys.
    There's a EU company called GoldStar who are known to be the very worst.
    If you have to hire choose a big name like enterprise or hertz. Smaller companies will claim there was damage underneath the car that they found when they put it on a ramp!
    Take photo and video on collection of absolutely everything, timestamped and showing its on their property still.
    On drop-off do the same and insist on waiting while they inspect it and get written paperwork saying no damage before you leave, and photograph the paperwork in the shop so there's proof it's genuine and timestamped, as they will claim to have issued other copies or put it on a ramp later and found something. If you have something saying no damage on drop-off it's about the only way you will get money back when they try charging you weeks later. Lots won't give you paperwork on drop-off or will make you wait an hour.

    You are the only person I know that's hired a car in Spain in the last year and not been ripped off!

    •  

      Crazy, I used Malagacar in spain and I thought they'd try it on for sure after reading the reviews, I did thoroughly check the car before leaving and made comments on the paperwork so maybe this deterred them.

  •  

    Hired car from Europcar via AutoEurope and although also had insurance via RACV that would cover the excess if Europcar claimed I'd damaged something, I took out separate car rental insurance to cover everything - the devil is in the details, and standard rental insurance frequently does not cover things like tyre or windscreen damage. All went fine so didn't have to claim anything, but felt a lot more secure…..

  •  

    i've done 3 rentals in europe (all ex-germany as it's so cheap) and 1 in UK.

    I used rentalcars.com (it's an agregator) without issue. My travel insurance covers the excess.

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