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Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

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Pensacola, Florida
posts: 11
reviews: 68
Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

This is the email i sent to Europcar and Expedia:

" I searched the internet and decided to use Expedia to plan my entire trip and get your offered trip insurance to make sure everything was covered in case of problems. I used Europcar Rental off your web site although I had never heard of them mistakenly thinking that if you offered them they had a record of performance with your company and could be depended on.

I emailed Europcar 3 days before our departure and received an email from them confirming my reservation of a Compact SUV with A/C and AT. We speak no Spanish and I was trying to avoid any problems. I was aware of the added mandatory insurance cost and had planned according in my budget.

When we got to the car rental they showed me my name on the reservation list crossed out and kept saying NO CAR. They could not explain why and did not seem to have any car available to rent to us at any price although other people came in and rented cars while we were there and there were lots of cars sitting on the lot. Using their phone, I called the 800 Expedia number hoping for help and after waiting on the line over 45 mins. the best Expedia could do was try and switch us from a $67.50 weekly rate to a $391 for the same car before all the insurance charges with another unknown car rental. Our phones did not work and it was raining and getting dark. We had a 2+ hour drive ahead of us we were extremely frustrated.

We finally managed to get one of the guys to call another company and found a Nissan Tilda which cost us $520 with insurance. I am very disappointed in Expedia and think you should remove Europcar from your car rental choice. Further research since I have gotten home shows it has a terrible customer service record."

We were sent to a small local car rental place U-Save Car and Truck rental and given a higher rate with a smaller car (not SUV). The car had a broken front bumper rubbing the tire which we ended up tying up with some found rope. We had two low air flat tires during the trip and then got stuck in the mud trying to turn around since we couldn't risk crossing a small river to get to one of the waterfall sites. I'm not recommending U-save Car rental either as the car was a constant problem and way more expensive. I wish we had known about the internet cafe across the street as we might have tried another big name company and saved.

I'm still not sure what happened to our confirmed reservation but I would say don't rent using Europcar or your vacation will start poorly.

I handled any problems over damage by making a production out of videoing the car inside and out with my camera and making them put everything I can spot on the drawing of the car. The car guy started out saying you are getting a new car and then he ended up with an almost all black with notes everywhere on the drawing showing rental condition. i then video it on the return and I had the guy sign my visa rental - no damages before we would leave.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
1. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. The only thing I see is that a rate of $67,50 for a week of car rental does not seem correct at all. No car rental agency here has such a rate, maybe in the fine print they charge you a lot more for insurance. Regardless of the above it is too bad to have a company not honor your reservation. Both companies Expedia and Europcar failed.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,401
reviews: 69
2. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

We saw similar reviews for Europcar in Mexico--specifically the Yucatan. We avoid them at ll costs.

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
posts: 2,427
reviews: 42
3. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

Incidentally, it happens once in a while that rental companies accept more reservations than they can actually handle. In all fairness, this is not confined to Europcar. Unfortunately, Europcar doesn't have a good reputation around here to begin with - not that this makes any difference to you after the fact.

I also want to point out that many issues are mainly related to the individual franchise in a given country. Thus, the franchisee in CR or Mexico may have a poor business approach but other Europcar franchises may be fine. Even though I have no love for Europcar Costa Rica, I have rented from Europcar in the US and the EU without any problems.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,180
4. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

Sorry to heard the bad news...in my country is a lot better to dealt directly with service providers...or a company that is in COSTA RICA..most middle people can not do anything for you in case of a problem...for others please book direct with rent a cars...the middle man is not a good idea...most of the time they can care less about you...they care for the commision!

roadadvisor

Alajuela
Destination Expert
for Alajuela
posts: 226
reviews: 18
5. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

As another commenter mentions $67.50 is not a car rental rate in Costa Rica for anything for a week. Perhaps if you posted their quote here we can make sense of it? I assume the other rates you got included the mandatory "basic insurance" that you have to have here? Internet quotes for some of the companies here fail to show this mandatory cost which I believe to be inappropriate - you should know the costs before you make a rental decision. A small SUV should cost around $400 to $500 a week with basic insurance. Price varies with high/low season.

If you had an email confirmation from Europcar with the price, I'd have insisted on this and not left the office until they provided what they committed to.

Berni

Alajuela

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 11
reviews: 68
6. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

MikeA943,

I agree that the basic weekly rate seemed too low. One reason I confirmed the reservation before we left. I figured that Expedia gives them such volume on customers and they all take the extra insurance above the mandatory that it somehow worked out. We have Groupons here where the cost is ridiculously low but companies are trying to get their name out and grow their business. I offered to rent another car from Europcar , any car but no luck.

The only reason I did everything via Expedia rather then individually was to get the travel insurance on all the compoments.

Thanks for all the feedback. We had a good time but it started rough.

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,606
reviews: 26
7. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

sorry it didn't work out for you. one thing we notice a lot of is that a lot of rental car disasters have a middleman in the deal. as luis stated, always go direct! also print off ALL correspondence with the rental company and bring that with you. mostly you should just deal with a reputable agency. i've had good experiences with alamo, mapache and adobe. no car company is without customer complaints, but these three, as well as a few others, in general do as they promised while europcar generate a high number of complaints.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
8. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

I am glad to hear that you had a great time in Costa Rica despite this very bad car rental problem. It is really poor customer service from both companies and it is too bad they did not provide any solution to you. I am really sorry about your problems. Not a good start for your vacation.

I actually think it is better to book car rentals through a GOOD local Costa Rica agency in order to secure the best and (most importantly) most reliable service. The reason for this is that that a local agency sends many clients to the car rental agency through out the year, so they know which car rental agency has proven reliability, plus that local agent due to the volume is a very important client to the car rental agency, so the car rental agency better makes sure the service is good or otherwise they would loose a lot of reservations.

Also in case of an overbooking the clients of the local agency would have priority over a direct client that would book only once for the same above reason. That said you can also book directly and be fine as well. Some good car rental agencies are Adobe and Alamo

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,401
reviews: 69
9. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

We use Tricolor, and have never had an issue. Their vehicles aren't as new, but their prices are very reasonable, especially the email quotes.

Roatan, Honduras
posts: 2
reviews: 4
10. Re: Europcar booked through Expedia is still a HUGE mistake.

Although I did not use Expedia, I did use Jetset vacations, who set us up with Europcar this past week. When we arrived they would not accept our cards, because the numbers were not raised, but they needed something for a deposit so I gave them $700. They assured me the exact same bills would be given back to me when I returned the car. However, when I returned the car the man said the money was locked in a safe and his manager was not available to get it out. I couldn't wait around because of my flight, so I left my information and was told I would be contacted to get my information for them to deposit it in my account. I have not been contacted. I have e-mailed twice now and still no reply. Another couple renting the same time we were, had several difficulties with them too. Play it safe, DON't USE EUROPCAR. You will get ripped off.