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Old 09.10.2014, 19:11
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Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

An article in Bon Savoir Romandie consumer magazine about a Swiss couple who were truly 'Spanished' on holiday. They rented a car in Malaga for a tour of Andalucia, and did 1500km without a hitch (he is a mechanical engineer and used to driving manual cars)- returned the car, car checked and form signed and happy their returned home. Three weeks later they get a letter from Europcar with a bill for 1180CHF for replacing the clutch- which worked perfectly during their holiday and showed no sign of any problems. The letter was written part in Spanish and part in English.

Europcar Malaga refused to discuss the matter, and when Bon Savoir got involved, they just did not reply to any correspondece. Europcar Switzerland explained this could never happen with them, as they sell cars on at 30.000 km to avoid such problems (the Spanish car had 40247 on the clock when returned)- but that they could not get involved as Europcar Spain is a different franchise.

It would certainly leave a bitter taste and ruin what was otherwise a fantastic holiday. Anyone had similar problems in the past?

Last edited by Odile; 09.10.2014 at 23:17.
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  #2  
Old 09.10.2014, 19:25
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

Just ignore and don't pay. They're trying it on.

Unless you get a registered letter with clear demands and a deadline, they haven't actually demanded anything.

If they refuse to get back to you, how are you supposed to make a payment?

Sounds pretty scammy to me, and probably safe to ignore.
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:28
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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Just ignore and don't pay. They're trying it on.
This. And always, always, always use Amex for any travel and travel related bookings. This sort of stuff has happened to me a ton of times. Once, I called Amex to tell them the story and the woman just laughed and said "how ridiculous we'll remove the charge from your bill immediately".
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:39
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

We never had a problem, and we used them before (but never in Mlaga).

Once we got a bill with a weird amount a month after coming back, something like 65.70E. We realised later that we forgot to fill the tank .
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:46
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

car rentals are such a rip-off, anywhere.
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:54
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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Just ignore and don't pay. They're trying it on.

Unless you get a registered letter with clear demands and a deadline, they haven't actually demanded anything.

If they refuse to get back to you, how are you supposed to make a payment?

Sounds pretty scammy to me, and probably safe to ignore.
That's why they take a credit card I'd imagine.

Whole thing sounds ridiculous.
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:55
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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This. And always, always, always use Amex for any travel and travel related bookings. This sort of stuff has happened to me a ton of times. Once, I called Amex to tell them the story and the woman just laughed and said "how ridiculous we'll remove the charge from your bill immediately".
Could you kindly explain how using an American Express card is different from using other cards please?
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Old 09.10.2014, 19:57
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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Could you kindly explain how using an American Express card is different from using other cards please?
An outrageous annual fee. But super speedy and reliable costumer service.

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car rentals are such a rip-off, anywhere.
Depends. In most of my rentals the cost per km was super low. Do not know how they made profit.
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:13
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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Could you kindly explain how using an American Express card is different from using other cards please?
They have a customer service where you can actually talk to somebody who listens and is genunely interested in resolving the problem.

Other CC companies (in my experience) just try to make excuses for inaction.

But of course you pay through the nose for the priveledge. So its a personal decision we all have to make.

I am in the fortunate position of having a corporate AMEX, which combines the best of both worlds.

(a further downside of AMEX is that in Eurpe there are quite a few businesses who don't accept it)
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:28
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

I rented cars with Europcar and never had problems. Also from other companies in Malaga or Marbella. And we always took pics of the outside and inside as soon as we got the car so that they don't say we did something to it.
That is a big amount of money.
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:37
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

I had similar problems (but not as high) with Europcar UK, wanting to take the full excess for a part that cost less than 30 quid.

The problem is, that they take the amount straight away from the credit card - in fact IIRC, they deduct it at the start of the rental, but then cancel the transaction on return, only if there are no problems.

This may be the same across the industry, with the other companies, but again, another unsatisfied Europcar customer.
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:38
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

Whenever I need to hire a car in Spain I go to Solmar. They are a small and low cost company, but part of the savings is because they don't have high gloss brochures and have their offices in low cost locations (but still reasonably reachable). I never had trouble with them. Once a car developed a problem with the clutch and they sent a guy out with a replacement car immediately. We were able to continue our journey within an hour. And no extra charge.

http://www.solmar.es/carhire/
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:39
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

What I don't get is why a renter would be liable for service costs, I bought an ex hertz Peugeot & did 180,000 on the original clutch.
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Old 09.10.2014, 20:55
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

I'm a big Europcar customer.. they even gave me a shiny golden card.

In Switzerland and Germany - it's always been excellent service and value. In other countries, not so much.

As someone said above.. there are different franchises and you can never really know what to expect.
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Old 09.10.2014, 21:00
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

I have car excess insurance which covers me for exactly this type of thing. An annual worldwide policy costs 55
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Old 09.10.2014, 21:01
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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Could you kindly explain how using an American Express card is different from using other cards please?
There is some protection via Visa or Mastercard but not much, customer service is usually via the issuer and the issuer is usually small and doesn't bill the merchant directly. Amex has huge clout with merchants and they're also a direct bridge between the merchant and you the customer. In addition, there are all sorts of added protection, insurances, refund guarantees in Europe and much more.
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Old 09.10.2014, 21:02
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

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I have car excess insurance which covers me for exactly this type of thing. An annual worldwide policy costs 55
Yup this comes with my Amex annual fee. Invaluable.
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Old 09.10.2014, 22:27
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

I havr used Europecar well over a hundred times all over the world and never a problem. Thete is a lot more to the story
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Old 09.10.2014, 23:04
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

So have I- never had a problem with them. Quite sure Bon Savoir and their legal advisors would not publish the story if they didn't check it was genuine.
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Old 10.10.2014, 01:08
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Re: Car hire in Spain Europcar- warning

hmm Malaga seems to be a hotspot for issues... We once rented with Goldencar - never ever again.
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