Over the past 1o years, I have had numerous car rental agreements, mostly in Spain (probably in the region of 100 rentals). I normally use a company called www.Carjet.com whose unprecedented superb customer service and accuracy means I return to use them most of the time. Not least they also get recommended to all of my customers, who generally need to book car hire.
Last week, I found myself using Holiday Autos as the broker for car rental at Knock Airport in Irealnd.
When I arrived on 7th Janaury, the local agent/car supplier was europcar. The customer service was good (the lady was very friendly and enthusiastic). However the sales methods were not. It was pointed out to me that the car is just below completely full, and if I return the car with the same level of fuel in it, the fuel charge that they had applied to my credit card of 60 euros would be refunded. I could not help but feel cheated by this mechanism of “nearly full” tactic. Surely it is much easier to establish when a car if full of petrol, and the petrol nozel clicks… My thoughts were that more to the point, customers returning their cars, would find it more difficult to gauge the amount of fuel they were putting in, and would probably go for the easy option and completely fill the car up, resulting in Europcar benefiting from the difference between nearly full and completely full (about 1/8th of a tank in my case). I certainly ensured that I did not fill the car completely, and returned it with the same amount of petrol in.
I did notice that there was a sign in the the little Europcar kiosk stating.. “you may be charged 75 euros if you return the car dirty”. It seems a little excessive to me..
I was the only person using the car, and I simply drove from the airport to my wedding venue. No food had been consumed or litter placed in the car, so the car was as spotless when I returned it. There were not even any muddy footprints on the drivers carpet (as the temperatures were freezing, so there was no soft mud on shoes)!
I return home to find that a value of £29.68 was debited to my credit card on 8th January (before I returned the car). There was no mention of this value on the agreement/invoice.
With Europcar, you have to check the car when you accept it. Check it for scratches, bumps etc. And you have to return it without any bumps/scratches.
If you use www.carjet.com there is no excess or fees for getting a scratch on your car, so there is no need ot check it on acceptance.