10 June 2008

Europcar car rental damage scam !

When I was in Australia recently, I needed to rent a car to get around town and such. In the US there is not much difference between car rental places, so I investigated online and made a booking with National.

It turns out National is some how partnered with Europcar. I didn't see a National counter at the Adelaide airport, so I checked with Hertz, Avis, etc. They were all sold out (weird), but I finally figured out that Europcar==National.

Like a good little renter, I declined the obscene insurance offered. I have car insurance and a platinum credit card after all.

Upon returning the car, the guy noted this 'damage' to the left front wheel skirt. Not much all if you ask me. Maybe it was there when I got it. I didn't run into anything while driving !

The Europcar people ask me if I want to wait for the damage assessor to make an evaluation. I say "no thanks" as THIS IS AN AIRPORT AND I HAVE A FLIGHT TO CATCH.

I return home to find a charge of $1180 on my credit card for damages. WTF !?

I call and dispute the claim and then speak to the Visa rental car insurance people. They explain all I need to do, so then I get on the phone to National.

The lady with National was *very* nice and competent. She gave me her name, number, and email address for follow-up. It turns out since I booked through National, they would go ahead and get all the documentation from Europcar.

When I receive it, I notice the only repair bill is $98 for paint touch-up. Hmm. I forward this to the Visa insurance people and they said this means they would only pay out $98. The insurance guy says this is definitely something to pursue with Disputes.

I finally heard back from the Disputes people today. They found in my favor !

I am not the only person who has had this happen. So be careful renting from Europcar !

28 comments:

wutthi.25 said...

Hi everyone.
Thanks for this information.
Insurance Informations

Eric Baker said...

They scammed me too. Their employee inspected accepted our car as undamaged at Lyon airport (5 of us as witnesses) then later they hit our credit card with nearly GBP1,000 for "Damage Surcharge" - no attempt at an explanation. Still fighting it and will never touch Europcar again.

Pod renter said...

Ditto.

Exact same cirumstances as Eric. Came home to $1500 in additional charges.

Avoid Euoropcar like the plague

Anonymous said...

check/twitter/ShitEuropcar

neil.han@optusnet.com.au

Las Pocas said...

The last three times I've rented from Europcar I've been charged for damage. The first time I have no idea if it really existed, though I doubt it, as I had to leave the car late in the evening when the Europcar office was closed. The second time I stupidly didn't check the car initially for damage and a scratch was found on the driver's door. I could not remember any time when i could have done it and the scratch looked old. The third time I carefully checked the car and found two scratches, one quite big, also on the driver's door which had not appeared listed as existing damage. I had this remedied. On returning the car an invisible dent was 'discovered' on the side of the car and I was charged 50 pounds despite my strenuous objections. Clearly existing or invented damage is being claimed for by Europcar. I shall never use them again.

Bill Phillips

Anonymous said...

europcar car me too, to the effect of about 700 euros,
including a 40 euro cleaning charge! never again!

Saskia said...

Never ever use Europocar. We bought full insurance and they still charged us 200 euros for the flat tire that they had to help replace. This is not an incident of poor customer service. This is a scam. There are so many similar stories to be found on the web.
Boycot them!

John said...

Just has happened to us at the airport in Launceston Tasmainia. No one to inspect the car when returned despite us specifically asking for an inspection. Yet within minutes of leaving the keys as instructed they have dated an timed photos of a scratch on the front bumper allegedly cause by us. Charged our credit card (at 10 pm on a Friday night) within hours for AUD751.
Told us there would be a refund if the repairs were at a lower cost.

omallesu said...

DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! If you rent a car with them, completely video the entire car, top to bottom, with full date stamp and ensure you look over the car with a light and a fine tooth comb.
When we returned the car we were told we had damaged the rims...this is despite the fact that there were ABSOLUTELY no corresponding marks on the tyres (which we photographed). Our "insurance" suddenly had a $300 excess and we were charged an extra $112 because it was the airport. The damage to the rim was there...we did not see it when we picked the car up as it was parked against a wall. The scratches were, however clearly very old...rusty in fact!

Happyeverafter said...

OMG! This happened to us yesterday! I can't believe its happened to so many people before us and we didn't read up on this. Our invisible dent showed up after we returned the car and we were charged airport taxes $50 on the insurance excess charge $125. Wierd thing is some other guy in the Europcar place was going through the exact same thing as us and all these stories here that you are all writing about. How disgusting! I never will use them!

Paul S said...

I Had the same problem at adelaide airport. I was told that the car was perfect and for me to look for any damage. So I walked around and checked the body ect. When i returned the car the person checking it went straight to the front wheel and found a scratch. It looked old to me but they were hell bent that the car was perfect and then wanted me to settle on a matrix of charges or they would deduct the whole excess.
Begrudgingly i rolled over as i could not prove them wrong. I will never use eurocar again.

Paul S said...

I Had the same problem at adelaide airport. I was told that the car was perfect and for me to look for any damage. So I walked around and checked the body ect. When i returned the car the person checking it went straight to the front wheel and found a scratch. It looked old to me but they were hell bent that the car was perfect and then wanted me to settle on a matrix of charges or they would deduct the whole excess.
Begrudgingly i rolled over as i could not prove them wrong. I will never use eurocar again.

Paul S said...

I Had the same problem at adelaide airport. I was told that the car was perfect and for me to look for any damage. So I walked around and checked the body ect. When i returned the car the person checking it went straight to the front wheel and found a scratch. It looked old to me but they were hell bent that the car was perfect and then wanted me to settle on a matrix of charges or they would deduct the whole excess.
Begrudgingly i rolled over as i could not prove them wrong. I will never use eurocar again.

ufu said...

I was also done at Adelaide airport late in 2010. Apparently an employee called 'Tobias' does a roaring trade in barely perceptible damage. Only after taking legal action did I get my money back. Please beware!

ufu said...

I was also scammed at Adelaide late in 2010. Apparently an employee called Tobias does a roaring trade in very minor damage. Only after taking legal action did I get my money back. Please beware!

Johny Marsh said...

It is very bad thing for Europcar.How can they do this.Thanks for sharing your great experience with us.
Airport Car Rental Adelaide

Sydneykiwi said...

Europcar are Scammers!! **BEWARE OF EUROPCAR** - I hired my very first and only car from this company, back in August 2012 from Auckland Airport. Their contract stated “no damage”. When I went to the car, I noticed some damage on the rear bumper and at the time didn't think much of it as I had seen worse damage on other hire cars that I had hired from other companies and no fuss had been made of it, either when taking the car or returning it. Just to be certain I took two photos of the damage. There was no Europcar staff in their carpark.
I returned the car seven days later. Two days after this, I noticed on my credit card statement an extra charge for $350NZD. I rang Europcar to ask what this was for and they stated it was for the damage I had caused. I explained to Europcar that I didn’t cause the damage and that I had photos with time stamping and GPS stamping to provide that I had taken the photos before driving off. I have sent numerous letters to Europcar and they have refused to refund my $350NZD claiming I did the damage to their car.
I will NEVER deal with Europcar again. I hire cars regularly.
Channel 7’s - Today Tonight here in Australia ran a story on them earlier this year.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/consumer/article/-/12513483/rental-car-scam
I plan to tell as many people as possible about their systematic scam and to warn people away from hiring cars from them. Europcar are Scammers!! **BEWARE OF EUROPCAR**

Sydneykiwi said...

Europcar are Scammers!! **BEWARE OF EUROPCAR** - I hired my very first and only car from this company, back in August 2012 from Auckland Airport. Their contract stated “no damage”. When I went to the car, I noticed some damage on the rear bumper and at the time didn't think much of it as I had seen worse damage on other hire cars that I had hired from other companies and no fuss had been made of it, either when taking the car or returning it. Just to be certain I took two photos of the damage. There was no Europcar staff in their carpark.
I returned the car seven days later. Two days after this, I noticed on my credit card statement an extra charge for $350NZD. I rang Europcar to ask what this was for and they stated it was for the damage I had caused. I explained to Europcar that I didn’t cause the damage and that I had photos with time stamping and GPS stamping to provide that I had taken the photos before driving off. I have sent numerous letters to Europcar and they have refused to refund my $350NZD claiming I did the damage to their car.
I will NEVER deal with Europcar again. I hire cars regularly.
Channel 7’s - Today Tonight here in Australia ran a story on them earlier this year.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/consumer/article/-/12513483/rental-car-scam
I plan to tell as many people as possible about their systematic scam and to warn people away from hiring cars from them. Europcar are Scammers!! **BEWARE OF EUROPCAR**

Richard said...

Hmm we turned in a car yesterday @ Liverpool airport. I had 4 witnesses in the car that we had a safe and no damage trip. To my surprise this guy finds some scratches above the wheel in bright sunlight. We picked up the car in the morning and did not see any damages. He only mumbled he woud mention it to customer services. Don't know what they are going to do and we had to catch our flight. Hope they will let it fly, your posts don't give me a good feeling though :(

Terry Saxby said...

I rented a car from Europcar in Scotland and got charged equivalent to $250.00 for a scuffed tire. I don't believe that I caused the damage. The damage is so slight that it be would be impossible to see it standing up or slightly bent over in the sunshine, let alone on the rainy day that we had when we inspected the car.
Even if I was a malicious tire scuffer $255.00 is way too high. I could buy two tires for that.
In the three months that I spent in Europe these guys got me for more money than the pick pockets in Rome. They only got me for $65.00.
Do not rent from Europcar. They are dishonest and their employees have no honor.

Richard said...

Ok the Europcar "agency" seem to have played their trick on me as well ^&*^%*^%%
I am disputing. Juicy detail? The bill they handed over as evidence is dated AFTER the day I complained about the damage they charged me.

This is not the last they have heard from me yet!

People stay away from this so called rental company!

Richard

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nick said...

Had the Same Issue at Perth airport. Nov 30 - Dec 7 2013
Inspected vehicle when I dropped it of no damages. They sent me an email making me aware of damage. No pictures .. No details.
I am disputing the claim.

chris london said...

I decline excess waiver insurance, they circled the excess fee of £1000 which would apply if there was any damage which I was aked to sign.
I then receive a invoice including damage waiver insurance doubling the price of the hire.
Euopcar say there is no dispute and will not refund.

Never again and I will advise others to avoid them as well.

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Sair said...

Same here. rented a car in july in germany.
I had them write down the damages before I rented the car and got the receipt with no damage from them on return.

Still they send me a bill of 950Euros after 2 months, hoping that I would have thrown away their receipts with 'no damage' written on it. I have sent them a mail that i won't pay it.

Hope they can't do nothing.

Ramil Rallos said...

This is just happend to me now. I'm going to file for a dispute as I have rented the van for 2 days and with insurance in it. When returning the van the agent told me that there is a dent on the rear portion near the tire on the driver side, I told him that it's already there cause i've carefully use the van, then after a month which is today 17-08-2015 they've charge me $990 for a damage that i havent done! And as far as i know it's an existing small dent! as in SMALL dent and it's existing already. I will never ever use EUROPCAR anymore!

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