Avoid Europcar at Genoa
I pre-paid a rental for VW Golf or “similar” in July this year. On arrival at the airport, a Golf wasn’t available and I was first offered a Lancia Musa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancia_Musa) or a Citroen C3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroen_C3). These are both smaller cars than the Golf. I rejected both at the hire desk and after some argument was “upgraded” to Renault Megane estate (wagon) which was OK. When I raised this with Europcar after my return from holiday, they maintained that both the Musa and the C3 were similar in size and luggage capacity to the Golf.
I’ve also been charged on my credit card (the charge is in dispute and I’ll update later) for “renting a high visibility vest” with the car. Not only was I unaware that this charge was being levied, but as high-vis’ vests are a legal requirement for all cars in Italy, it seems simply wrong that a car can be hired without one. What next? An extra charge for seatbelts?
Europcar have been pretty unhelpful throughout. They have adopted a view that “similar” can actually mean “one class smaller” and maintain that they offered me what I’d agreed to rent. All the other major car hire companies operate out of Genoa airport – spend your money with one of them instead.