Reader issues with car-hire companies in France
I hired a car for 10 days in July through Europcar but the hire was actually with InterRent.
I had paid for full no-claims cover, so when I returned the car and gave the keys in at reception, I was just asked whether I had filled the car with petrol. I confirmed that I had done so that morning.
When I received my credit card statement for August, I discovered I had been charged £50 by InterRent, presumably for petrol. I immediately emailed them and, after various acknowledgments, was asked to provide proof of purchasing petrol.
I sent a copy of my card statement, showing the payment on the morning in question. After several weeks, I have still to receive any confirmation of a refund.
Andrew Nicholson, Dordogne
We flew from Toulouse to Glasgow with Ryanair, and had paid a deposit of approximately £50 to hire a car there. At the pick-up point, I was told I had to pay the balance with a credit card.
They would not accept my debit card or cash. I do not have a credit card. I could not take the car and I lost my deposit. No refund and no response to my inquiries. A bad and costly experience!
Richard Smith, Gers
I hired a car for four days with Goldcar from Bordeaux. When I collected it, they asked if I required insurance. I said I had a prepaid policy as we travel a lot and have a second property in France.
When I arrived home, my receipt showed I had been charged four days additional insurance, more than the hire of the car!
When I said I did not agree to it, they told me I had signed the waiver – which was included in the collection of the vehicle. When I sent details showing I did not need the policy as I already had one, they simply said I had benefited from it – and that was that! I always query what I am signing for now.
Paul Jordan, by email
Last year I hired a car from Hertz at Rennes airport. The tyre got a puncture and a passerby changed it for me. When I returned it to the airport, a woman at the Hertz desk said it would cost me €300. I challenged that, as it seemed ridiculous.
Her colleague immediately said no, about €120. Then the manager, on hearing this, rolled his eyes and waved me off.
I didn’t hear any more about it. If I hadn’t queried it, I might have had to pay a large bill. It was for a Fiat 500, not a Merc!
Siobhán McCarthy, by email
A few years ago we had a bad experience at Dublin airport with Sixt. We reserved with debit card and on arrival they wanted credit card or else higher price.
I didn’t have a credit card and refused to pay the difference.
They wouldn’t accept cancellation – you have to ring phone support. Rang three times and left contact details – I’m still waiting for that call back now.
MT on Facebook
I booked a car via the Ryanair site and it was a total rip-off. Booked with a debit card and they then wanted a credit card, which I don’t have.
Then they refused me as I didn’t have a credit card! Left me totally in the lurch without a car, late at night. It took months to get the money back and cost me a fortune to hire another one – they wouldn’t accept my husband’s card unless he was a second driver. Don’t use the Ryanair links.
G.G. on Facebook
If you use a online broker, you will get a collision damage waiver (CDW) in the price as standard. Always check, however, what this covers. Don’t just go with the cheapest price.
KS on Facebook
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