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Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

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Fleetwood, United...
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Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

We had previously used this company when it was Advantage Car Rental where they wanted to pre-authorise my credit card 1500euro for a car that was barely worth that, we ended up having to take their additional insurance premium at nearly 100 euros to avoid that. The car was a wreck.

I then was charged 38 euros in January for a traffic violation they had to provide information on, which they then wrote to me about in May. I still have no notification from the police about this.

I was very perturbed for this holiday having booked through a different broker to find that in fact Firefly was the same company, clearly having had to change the name due to adverse publicity. Their practices have not changed, nor have the quality of their vehicles. Bald tyres, empty washer bottles, dents and scratches all over the car and dirty inside. The staff are rude and attempt to be quite intimidatory if you do not do exactly what they want ie pay out additional premiums and hand over your credit card for whatever they choose to fraudulently add to it months after the event.

Oh and by the way, you can't withdraw consent with your credit card company and even cancelling your card doesnt help as you have already consented to them taking from it. I'm on the look out now for additional billing coming through on my card!!

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1. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale


if you don't take the insurance, they block 1500€, which is not correct already.

2 weeks later my 1500€ are still blocked and I can't do much, just try to block the payment I have to do my self. Just for that I will avoid this company in the future

Destination Expert
for Rome
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2. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

From the firefly website:

Should Super Cover not be accepted at time of rent, the Non Waivable Excess will be blocked as a guarantee on your credit card and de-blocked at return of the vehicle if no damage is detected.

This is part of the agreement you signed, that if you declined the additional coverage they are allowed to block off your credit card. They have done nothing that isn't in writing and that you agreed to.


Mestre, Italy
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3. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

It's normal to block you the amount of the excess, every carrental does it if you dont' waive.

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4. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

Thanks for the warning but as the others have said it is normal procedure to block 1500Euros if you don't take the super cover.

London, United...
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5. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

Hi, so I recently used Firefly in Venice and I have to say that it should be fairly obviously what you're getting yourself into when you pay at least 50% less to rent a car. Here is my list of views:

YES I paid £102 for an economy car for 6 days in Venice

YES it cost less than a third compared to Hertz or Avis

YES I booked through Auto Europe and took the waiver insurance for £3.40 a day for my protection which also meant that I had Auto Europe on my side if anything went wrong

YES the car was scratched and a little dirty but you get what you pay for!

YES the guys were very professional and polite and even said not to be alarmed if the car is a little beaten up

YES I got the full Hertz roadside assistance should I need it which I didn't

YES I checked the car before I drove off checking lights, oil, and tyres

YES that is something you should do whenever you drive a car unfamiliar to you especially when renting

YES I would recommend FireFly Venice to anyone looking for a budget car rental in the area

AND YES I will use them again!

You have to be diligent when renting a car, read the conditions of the contract you sign to rent the vehicle, understand your rights and also the policy of the company you are renting from. People who don't do this are generally the ones complaining. Don't expect a premium service when paying budget prices, you get what you pay for.

At the end of the day my experience in Venice, and I am only reviewing for that location was great. The 10 minute minibus ride from the airport to the Hertz depot was easy, the guy from Firefly was there to meet me at the terminal and loaded my luggage into the minibus. The checkin process was the same as hertz, he went through the policy and the conditions of the rental, showed me where the local petrol stations were and walked me to the car. We checked the car together and once I had checked everything I went on my way. On returning the car early due to a change of plans and having called ahead I was advised to leave the car in the Hertz drop off area at the airport so that was a bonus. They did take a deposit of about €1400 from my credit card but most do so nothing new there.

I am sure people have had bad experiences with Firefly but for me being prepared and knowing what i was going into I had a very positive experience and thank the guys at the Venice FireFly office for a great experience.

London, United...
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6. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale


I hired a rental car and had to drop off my car for a 7am flight. Their offices don't open until 8am. I asked if they had a key drop facility on site but they did not, however I could drop it at Hertz in the airport. At an additional cost to me of 50 euro. So for them to wander over and pick up my keys and car from a neighbouring office because they don't have a drop off box themselves, I'm paying 50 euro. This is completely unacceptable. And I would not advise using this service at all. Unhelpful and when confronted about this they were rude and unwilling to help.

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7. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

to k992061. I just wanted to say how helpful your review was. I've hired with Firefly, Venice and through Autoeurope. I didn't take the Auto Europe Insurance but I have insured through a third party. All we wanted was a car to get us from A to B. If the dents are listed, fine. We'll take photos and inspect the car and as far as it being dirty, even if it was clean it certainly won't be after my son has been in it!

Edited: 3:08 am, May 03, 2015
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8. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

A bargain car hire. At only £46 for 1 week's rental. Booking was easy and block on credit card removed within 3 days of returning car. The only point that I have to make is that the pickup in Venice is by the side of a white tower and not on the first floor as specified on the receipt. We waited around 20 minutes for the transfer vehicle to arrive. As specified, on the receipt, upon arrival at the airport, one should call the company to arrange pickup. We tried calling from the airport pay phone but they were out of order and swallowed our last change in Euros without us being able to make a call. A mobile phone is therefore recommended as I ended up using the mobile phone of an airport member of staff. The Firefly staff were friendly and helpful. We were surprised that the car was in good condition - yes a few scratches but nothing more than expected and only visible if you are really looking. These were all documented prior to our acceptance of the vehicle. Upon return the car was inspected and we were informed that it was "perfect." Don't expect a Porsche if you are paying for a Panda and use the money that you've saved to explore the wonderful Venice.

Edited: 3:33 am, June 01, 2015
Inverness, United...
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9. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

Just come back from Venice and used Firefly for a week's "budget" rental though our airline Jet2. Car was 100 km on the clock and minor dents but no arguments on return and I had taken photos of the car on my phone on pick up. Staff were not full of chat but were professional and happy to help. As previous posts have said you get what you pay for and hope for the best with a high risk deposit.

10. Re: Firefly Car Rental: a Cautionary Tale

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