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Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Tel Aviv
4 posts
Beware! Auto Europe car rental


Auto Europe is avoiding paying insurance excess by giving ridiculous arguments. For 10 years we use Auto Europe services and were quite satisfied, but June this year we discovered on our last day, hurrying to the airport, some scratches on the rented car. We have purchased the Auto Europe Refundable Excess Program and were sure that we are covered and there is no place to worry. After we were charged by the rental company with 1500 CHF, we sent all the material to Auto Europe. Their answer was that they need a police report in order to confirm the accident description and to rule out gross negligence. Isn’t that ridiculous? Few scratches, no third party involved, no witnesses, you have to catch your flight and try than to get police for that. In most countries the police will not come and I’m sure that Auto Europe knows that.

Under “Accident Procedure” in T&C: “In the event of an Accident or upon discovering new damage to the rental vehicle, it is important that the details are reported to the supplier within 24 hours.” and this we have done. So here we see distinguish between “an Accident” and “discovering new damage”. Farther: “Local police should be notified in the case of accident and a signed police report obtained”. So a police report is requested in the case of accident, not in the case of “discovering new damage”, which is our case.

We wrote 2 times but got no answer. The third time we got a reply without any reference to our claims.

We had never such problem with any other insurance company. True, their programs are a little bit more expensive, but at least, as AutoEurope wrote , “you’re free to make the most of your holidays with no concerns” and that’s not the case with AutoEurope.

233 replies to this topic
Arboleas, Spain
Level Contributor
9 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
11. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental


Hi have had the same problem. The excess shown on my contract with Auto Europe shows £650 the paperwork to sign and give my credit card with at Hertz/Firefly counter at Newcastle Upon Tyne airport showed an excess of £900 (no idea which company was relevant as not stated on contract but collected from Hertz counter who showed they were agents for Firefly), I pointed out the difference to their representative on the counter and told them my contract showed £650 and would not give my credit card over unless guaranteed that my contractual excess applied, she said OK and highlighted a £200 amount on their paperwork so I signed reiterating that the £650 only applied. The car was not ready so she was on the phone trying to sort it whilst talking to me and as I thought indicated OK. When I returned the car the rep told me to wait in the office whilst he checked the car then came back saying their were scratches. I told him it was OK Sunday evening as my friends had been looking at the car and it had been parked up in a private sheltered Accommodation car park till I drove it back and when I went to look and take my own fotos there was 1 borderline size (his description) deep scratch -very fresh and clean considering the inclement weather it had been parked and driven in - and 1 faint scratch further back that could be polished out with Tcut. We went to the office to complete the form and he put the details into their system and came up with an extortionate cost that equated to €895 He said that if I put a complaint about the cost on the bottom of the form they would ring me before takingnpayment to discuss and considering the damage would probably waive the cost - they took the full amount that day not phone calls!! Could this be a scam where they do damage to get the money back for the cheap rentals one asks oneself???

I consulted my repairer, who is an appointed I surname accident repairer, and he was appalled and asked if they were doing a re spray and gave me a quote for €200 and that was to a walk in off the street not a contracted business customer who would get discount.

Sent all the details and asked my credit card company as I considered this payment unauthorised for the reasons above Hertz are blanking. Auto Europe keep fobbing me off with mentioning Refundable Excess and it taking put to 45 days!!! Firefly who I am not aware of contacting (only bank, Hertz & Auto Europe) emailed me saying the charges were correct and I had signed the papers so no further action was necessary , They were very rude and condescending in the tone of the email.

I have contacted CAB to refer to Trading Standards and am going to contact the rip off programmes on TV and newspapers.

5 posts
12. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Sue them!

Arboleas, Spain
Level Contributor
9 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
13. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

After my experience with Auto Europe I now purchase a personal excess policy as do most of my friends it is much cheaper and safer

Prague, Czech...
1 post
14. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Thank you all for sharing your experience. I was going to book with Auto Eurpe and changed my mind after reading this.

Athens, Greece
1 post
15. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

I had a similar experience with Autoeurope and would like to state facts on how they fall below sub par when talking about their claim process.

1. I had a minor car accident at France with a 3rd party with no physical injuries but only car damage.

2. I contacted French police with the help of a French citizen and was informed that police is not available in minor car accidents.

3. I contacted shortly after Autoeurope and informed them about the car accident and requested assistance about what paperwork they need from me. They replied after a couple days that the only need the damage report from local car rental supplier.

4. When i got in my home country I sent all documents to Autoeurope. I waited one week and had no reply. I called their customer support and asked to be informed about the progress.

5. They send me a list of extra documents that they require to start the claim process including a police report.

6. I explained that French police never came to the accident location when called AND that their representative asked me to bring only the damage report back.

7. Almost 4 weeks after my trip ended they declined my claim process claiming that I have failed to provide the police report which is clearly written in the fine print of the contract.

I can provide detailed logs of correspondence and evidence the above is true and precise. Very dissapointed with Autoeurope because although they provide a very smooth experience with booking services their claim process is bordering fraud.

Pasadena, California
1 post
16. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

I recently returned from a 2-week trip to the south of France. We rented a car from Europcar through their US affiliate, Auto Europe in Portland, Maine. The Auto Europe representative was courteous but disingenuous. I don’t know if this was intentional but it caused us two expensive problems.

First, we were sold a car that was too large. The streets are narrow, parking is impossible and everyone drives scooters and mini-cars. We told the rep we were three tall Americans who might have three suitcases between us on occasion. The car he recommended was almost the size of a minivan but we couldn’t tell because it was an unfamiliar European brand. When we arrived in Nice the Europcar representative told us the car was much too big and we would have trouble parking it. He didn’t have anything significantly smaller but convinced us to take a Jeep Renegade (somewhat smaller) at an additional 8.33 euro per day.

The BIG problem was the damage waiver. We specifically asked Auto Europe for zero-deductible coverage against ALL damage. We were assured that we were covered at 100% with no deductible and the only additional fees due in Europe would be the airport pickup charge, road taxes, and a second driver charge. Sure enough, while at a museum in Nice our car window was broken (next time I would leave the windows open). There was nothing in the car to steal. Europcar told us we did not need a police report because we had full coverage.

However, we were charged to repair the window as well as a 60 euro “Damage Administration Fee”. It turns out that buried in the fine print of the Auto Europe contract was the phrase, “Insurance does not provide coverage for damage to windows, tires, roof, underside, or interior of the vehicle.” Now considering that this type of damage was EXACTLY what we were concerned about in the first place and that we were assured explicitly that we had ZERO deductible for all damages, I have to assume that Auto Europe was disingenuous and deceitful by omission. When we questioned the additional charges we were told essentially, “You didn’t read the terms and conditions, too bad!” Auto Europe refused to make any concessions.

BEWARE! When renting in Europe be sure you understand the car you are getting, the conditions you will be driving in, and all of the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

Our rental car had a huge Europcar sign on the back which might as well of been a bullseye. Auto Europe had a wonderful opportunity to provide awesome customer service and they blew it. TWO THUMBS DOWN!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 posts
46 reviews
27 helpful votes
17. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Thank you for all the comments. I was just about to rent a vehicle with Auto Europe but have now decided to look elsewhere as I can't be dealing with the stresses if I was going to be taken for a ride.

Wellington, New...
1 post
18. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Wanting to pick up the vehicle reserved (and paid for) 3 months in advance at Toulouse Intl Airport, I was told by the Citer rental vehicle representative that “we don’t have any cars”. A cue of people in front of me, and soon behind me, got the same message. I was offered to get my money back or take a large moving van. After negotiating for 2 hours with Citer and on the phone with Auto Europe, it was agreed I could rent a vehicle from a competing company and have the excess cost refunded by Auto Europe. Auto Europe followed this instantly up with an email, asking for the invoice.

When it came to making my claim, it was denied on the basis of having announced myself close to 2 hours after ETA (I later heard from other duped customers that this is a standard way out for rental companies).

Despite a clear verbal agreement, wasting hours of valuable work time I am left with a large bill to pay. Auto Europe does not bother to react to the matters raised in my complaint. And has lost a frequent customer.

Walnut Creek...
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
15 helpful votes
19. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Don't waste your time with Auto Europe’s refundable excess policy. I rented a Hertz/Dollar car in Spain and I think rental companies go out of their way to find damage when you don't purchase their own Collision Damage Waiver. I was certainly given the hard sell by Hertz to buy their CDW when I checked the car out. They warned me they would find something when I returned the car and sure enough they found a scratch on the wheel arch by running their fingers over its surface. You would think the policy I purchased from Auto Europe would promptly cover everything Hertz charged for the damage. No way! I submitted a claim on June 9 and had to wait until August 8 to get any kind of refund. Then the refund did not cover the rental company "administrative fee" that I was told by the Auto Europe rep "is always billed in the event of damage". Nowhere on the Auto Europe agreement is this exclusion mentioned even though it is always billed. Skip the refundable excess policy and consider renting from a company that does business in straightforward manner.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
1 post
21 reviews
28 helpful votes
20. Re: Beware! Auto Europe car rental

Thanks for all the comments .

I was about to rent from auto europe but I don't think I will bother now.

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