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Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

Satellite Beach...
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Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

We just returned from 2 weeks in Ireland; good except for a terrible car rental with Europcar.

The reservation was for a good rate. But the first issue was that when we went to get the car in Dublin, the agent tried to sell us a number of more expensive options we did not want. Then he added a 60 Euro surcharge for refueling without asking us.

But it got much worse from there.

As we left Dublin, we noticed a warning on the Ford Focus that the tire pressure monitoring system wasn't getting a signal from the tires. A few days later, I barely avoided loss of control of the car on the road due to two flat tires I didn't know I had because of this fault. We called the Europcar roadside assistance numbers but they never answered. And they did not answer the Europcar Dublin number either. Then we called AA which was also suggested in the Europcar rental document. I told them where we were and that we had 2 flat tires and they promised help within an hour. The AA truck arrived after an hour and did nothing because he said he could only replace one flat tire. Then as night fell he told us we were on our own and drove away.

A local tire service suggested by a good Samaritan replaced our tires after 3 hours roadside and at night. He also told us that one of the wheels was missing the tire pressure transducer. So Europcar rented us a vehicle they knew had a safety fault!

I emailed Europcar and it took them 10 days to reply that they were unwilling to give me a refund. I've disputed the charge with my Mastercard and contacted a couple of organizations to intervene.

If others have had similar experiences, please let me know as perhaps we could make a legal claim as a group.

I've traveled in 30 countries and rented hundreds of cars. I've never experienced service as poor as Europcar. Now I want to do what I can to keep others from being treated so badly by Europcar.

10 replies to this topic
Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

Point One, why did you not get straight onto the phone when a light came on the dashboard.

Point Two did you not think to check the tyre pressures when the light came on.

Point 3, "As we left Dublin,we noticed a warning on the Ford Focus that the tire pressure monitoring system wasn't getting a signal from the tires" That indicates to me that when you collected the car there was no light lit on the dash.

Hence you were the first to notice the fault and no one at Euopecar would necessarily know about the fault. I have never owned a car with a Tyre pressure sensor and never had 2 flats at the same time, of course I have only been driving 40+ years.

Fair enough that doesn't cover other points but the tyre issue is something that could well have been avoided. The AA should have assisted but I don't know those circumstances either. 10 days is about par for course getting a response from any car rental operator.

I will agree that you were unfortunate, I will agree that things could have been done differently. But sorry when it comes to two flat tyres with the added benefit of a warning on the dash board! As an experienced driver and a mechanic I can't offer sympathy on that score.

Satellite Beach...
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2. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

These are the facts.

Europcar rented us a vehicle they knew had a fault that could endanger our safety (and unfortunately ultimately did). The first inexcusable breach of contract.

Europcar failed to answer telephone numbers they provided for roadside assistance, a breach of contract.

AA, suggested by Europcar in case they could not be reached, not only failed to provide any assistance but wasted 90 minutes of our previous vacation time, another breach of contract.

And had the tire pressure monitoring system been active, we could have exited the road into a service station and avoided hours of wasted time, stress and danger i.e. real damages we suffered.

And on top of that, Europcar was unresponsive to our communications of problems.

And finally, the unauthorized addition of the fuel surcharge was unethical.

Detroit, MI
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3. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

Was the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light on when you pulled out of the Europcar lot? If one of the tires had a missing (or failed) sensor the light would flash for 75 seconds when you start the car and then stay on. Not all cars have sensors inside the wheels - some rely on monitoring wheel rotation. If the tire is deflated it will rotate at a different speed from the others and the sensors used in the antilock braking system can detect it. It is basically a cheaper version of TPMS that requires no extra hardware added to the car - just software code. Internal sensors are more accurate.

Sorry, but the fact that you drove a car for three days with a TPMS light on and did nothing is your fault. Warning lights are there for a reason and ignoring them is not safe. Two tires leaking at the same time is uncommon, unless you drove through spilled nails. If that happened after you left Europcar they would have nothing to do with it. The only unethical possibility I could see is that someone at Europcar reset the system but didn't check the tires, but you have no evidence of that. You will be lucky if Europcar does not charge you for new tires. Getting it checked right away may have been able to be patched for a few euros. By continuing to drive on them for three days you may have damaged them beyond repair.

I did have the light come on in a Sixt car on the M4 a couple years ago on my way to Dublin. I pulled off the motorway at the next exit and did a visual check as I don't normally carry a tire pressure gauge on vacation. The tires looked fine so I continued on a few more exits until I found a service station with an air pump where I could check the pressure. All the pressures were fine so it was a false alarm. A quick Google search taught me how to reset the light.

I've also been dealing with the same thing on my personal truck after I had new tires put on a few weeks ago. One of the sensors decided to flake out 20 miles later and stopped transmitting - my truck reports the pressure in each wheel and even reports which one is not transmitting so I knew it was the left rear that was the issue. This is somewhat common after a tire change. Google again came to the rescue with a trick of adding a few PSI and driving non-stop for 15 minutes. Like clockwork the sensor started transmitting again and the computer automatically cleared the warning.

TPMS systems can be flaky, but if they alarm you need to stop driving as soon as is safe and check it out.

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

oh dear. you accepted the car which was a1 when you drove out. a tyre pressure warning light later came on when you picked up a puncture. when you rent a car, from anyone, you are fully responsible for punctures. yet you continued to drive on an under inflated tyre. that was against the law! then you almost spun when you got a second puncture?

europcar call line only operates normal office hours so you had to call the aa. and they kept you waiting 90 mins? well that wasnt too bad but you could have been proactive and used the spare yourself

as for a missing transducer? i think that you were being had! the focus , as far as i know, uses wheel rotation based on circumference to check for tyre pressure and as the light was not on before you left, then everything was present and working.

frankly, you were very remiss in not heeding the warning light. there was no breach of contract . you were required under the terms of your contract, to bear the costs etc of any puncture and to safeguard the car. you didnt, so europcar are perfectly right in refusing to "compensate " you.

and paying up front or having a hold on your cc for fuel is now pretty standard. when you return car with a full tank, you get your money back. but as you accepted the t and c and signed for the car, then you knew about it.

all your emails and contacted organisations, whomever they are, can and will do nothing as the only person who was at fault was yourself.

you do realise dont you, that apart from yourself, you were putting other road users at risk due to you driving dangerously? tg that no one else was involved !

Satellite Beach...
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5. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

To clarify, first, the TPMS system on the Ford Focus uses transducers mounted on each wheel. The good mechanic that replaced our two punctured tires us informed us that the transducer was missing from one of the two tires that went flat after hitting an unseen road hazard. Ford documentation confirmed that the system would have logged and alerted Europcar of the fault in the TPMS before they rented me the vehicle. Yet Europcar still rented us that vehicle. It is clearly an irresponsible breach of contract for a car rental company to rent a car with such a known fault of a safety system.

Secondly, it would have done no good for me to change one tire with the spare because two tires were punctured.

And once again, Europcar failed to provide the roadside assistance they promised in in writing, another breach of contract.

We bought Europcar 2 new tires for 250 euros and appreciate the tire service we found suggested by the local good Samaritan. But Europcar's multiple breaches of contract resulted in other damages for which a court may find we deserve compensation. The purpose of my post is to determine if other have experienced similar issues with Europcar.

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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6. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

There is absolutely ~ No Excuse At All ~ for not checking the tyre pressures, especially when there was a warning light showing.

"If " ?? the warning light Was showing when you collected the car?? (As it would have been if the transducer was missing at the time) Why did you take the car??

If the warning light Was Not showing on collection?? then how could the rental company have known the fault??

The Transducer on a Focus is inside the tyre as part of the Valve ( https:/…s-l300.jpg ) so god knows what state they were in when you actually wrecked the tyres and noticed something wasn't right.

A term used by many mechanics, "the main problem with the car was the nut holding the steering wheel".

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

you did not have two punctures! you had a tyre with low pressure which you continued to drive on, despite being aware that there was something wrong with it, puncture or not. YOU wrecked that tyre. if you had pumped it up or had it checked, then you would have had only ONE puncture which you could have attended to yourself ! a puncture does not destroy a tyre unless you insist on driving on a flat.

europcar did provide you with the phone nimber of the breakdown service that they had contracted to provide the service. and in your case, it was the aa. so there is absolutely no breach of contract by them

but it seems that you are one of the thousands of people on these fora who claim "i am an attorney and i know the law". we get them every day.

but sadly for you, although i am no lawyer, i had to study contract for the job i had, and i can assure, that there has been no breach of contract.

tony's last sentence is 100% correct.

you have to take responsibility for your own c...ups

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8. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

Booked through Carhire which when you arrive is located inside the Europcar desk. This is a clever way of achieving business from people who have blacklisted Europcar after previous bad experiences like myself. We arrived and a very friendly agent advised us that our booked car was not available. Another would be driven over from another terminal. I had paid for 3rd party insurance only and was willing to take the risk of paying an excess. However the agent informed me that the excess would be taken from my credit card immediately, was Euro 1800 !! and that less than 10% received this back after the hire. The insurance assessor would only have to find damage of 2.3cm to keep the excess and this almost always happened !! The alternative was to purchase comprehensive insurance at Euro 900 and double the cost of the hire for 3 weeks. I congratulated him on a fantastic insurance scam. Another success as i had already paid for the hire. When we went to the car park to collect the car my wife and I and 4 europcar employees unsuccessfully looked for the car for 1 hour before they finally gave up and gave us another car which had just been returned so was uncleaned etc. DO NOT TOUCH EITHER CARHIRE.IE OR EUROPCAR with a 10 foot barge pole !!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

another ill informed and incorrect post. yes, europcar agents service carhire, but that is not a way to avoid anything. a number of main company agencies service cheaper alternatives....hertz / dollar, avis / budget etc etc

and so what if the excess is taken from your cc? you knew what it would be and consented to it when you booked. there is no insurance scam! scdw costs around 17-20€ per day, due to high incidences of claims, and for 21 days, that would be around 350-400 , NOT the 900 that you claim ! and i dont know what you are inferring about less than 10% get their excess back? do you mean that 90% of people do infact cause damage? fair enough...you take a gamble but if you cause damage you pay for it. do no damage and you get all your money back ....an incentive maybe to drive carefully ?

as for not being able to find a car? possible, as there are a lot of cars in the car park, and this has happened to me abroad, but no big deal !

Monticello, Illinois
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10. Re: Any other bad experiences with Europcar Dublin?

Lesson number 1 - Always make sure that the credit card you use will cover damage to your rental vehicle if any occurs and then deny their collision coverage.

Lesson number 2 -always refuel the car yourself before your return....they did ask you...you just missed it...easy to do.

Lesson number 3 - never ignore a dashboard warning light

Lesson number 4- always walk completely around your car and visually check the tires before driving it...every time ( my husband is a commercial truck driver

Lesson number 5 - lighten up....things happen...more than one circumstance caused your problem...you survived...

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