I would have entitled this whole topic 'Worse Customer Service and More Violating Than Ryanair'.
Just had the terrible displeasure of renting with GoldCar at Pisa - done through Auto Europe, who were equally imbecilic as Gold Car proved to be.
Didn't get off to a great start with a two and a half hour wait (when all other companies seemed to be processing their equally lengthy queues in less than half the time). When we got to the counter, we were ignored for a further five minutes whilst the idiot behind the desk flitted between attempting to show her moronic colleague how to work the computer and arranging a 'bunga bunga' party with her male colleagues. Said moronic colleague was 'on training', which was offered as some explanation of the delay. Smashing idea to train people during peak periods.
Having paid all up front, we thought we were laughing and had marvelled at the length of time people were taking to process getting a car. After our five minutes of standing at the counter looking like weirdos who had gate-crashed a party, we finally got attended to. As everyone else has been saying, we were pillaged for a full tank of fuel, which was charged at the 'going rate' of €2 a litre. It was kindly explained they couldn't over-charge for fuel as this would be against the law. This is obviously a fairly flexible law, since we drove out and two minutes down the road saw petrol at €1.70 a litre - our friends at GoldCar obviously just like rounding up numbers for convenience.
Not content with robbing us for petrol, we were then subject to the 'optional extra insurance' sales pitch. Now, when you offer a car for rent for €15 per day, it's a little bit dishonest to hide the fact that you then charge €17 per day insurance - at no point was this information available in advance, neither from the clowns at Auto Europe nor from Gold Car (both of whom I emailed and got no response). When I ventured that I was a careful driver and may not need the 'extra super comfort deluxe relaxation insurance', I was treated to a particularly frightening display of a nutter behind the counter making 'loony' gestures and shrieking 'Italians are crazy! This is Italy! Cars get smashed and stolen and crazy crazy crazy', and then swamped by a price list for everything from smashing a window to having a speck of dust on the bodywork. Convinced that if I didn't part with the unbudgeted extra €120 this maniac may have taken it upon herself to smash up my car to make her point, I opened my wallet once again and spilled my money forth.
So, between fuel and nutcase insurance I was now over €200 poorer and I hadn't yet left the airport! Above all, at every step of the way, I was spoken to like a complete fool and treated with contempt when I tried to suggest they expedite things - remarkably, they offer the option of jumping the queue by paying €30 to join the express lane. I have to admire their audacity - rather than dealing with their inefficiencies they seek to profit from them!
In summary, save yourself the hassle. Book with a proper company, pay a wee bit more upfront and avoid the tragedy that is GoldCar. If you are really a glutton for punishment, it'd be much easier to stand around aimlessly in the airport for two hours, speak to the village idiot for a bit, then take out €200 and chuck it straight in the bin. Then go and get a proper car from a proper company and get on with your holidays!
Irate, of Ayr.