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Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

VictorMature
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2 posts
5 reviews
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Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

This depot has an unbelievably over-the-top vehicle inspection policywhen you return your car. My partner and I have booked and returned hire cars to all sorts of hire car companies all over the world - in the USA, throughout Europe, in the UK and Asia - and we have never had to pay any excesses or extra charges for vehicle damage ever before. (Maybe we've been lucky.) That was before Europcar in Faro. I have never ever had to go through an inspection like the one that we suffered when we returned our (pristine) car to them near Faro Airport on Sunday August 15th this year. It was like watching forensic scientists at work. I was surprised the officious return inspector didn't have a microscope and a micrometer. The result? A tiny, tiny mark on the driver's door - no scratched paintwork or anything like that - for which we got charged 150 Euros for 'repair and administration.' We felt that this was sheer extortion - particularly when the office manager said - Oh, don't worry - you'll get it back from your private insurer.' (Yes - we hadn't taken out the 10 Euro a day excess insurance with Europcar, and have our own annual excess insurance.) I wonder if they would have been so exacting in their inspection if we'd paid for their excess insurance? Don't go near them. Any of the local firms are better - we know, we've used them, and as long as you keep your wits about you with them, they're fine.

Bath, United Kingdom
2 posts
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1. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

Us too:

We hired car from Europcar on 3rd August 2010. At the check out I was surprised by the meticulous attention paid to all the defects – the representative even pointed out scratches that we had not noticed and were barely visible. These were noted and signed for on the documentation - but how detailed do you go?

As someone who has regularly hired cars, it should be noted that this inspection was above and beyond anything I had previously encountered when hiring a car.

When we returned the car, the person inspecting the car found a small tear/cut in the front offside tyre.

This led to a demand for 130 euros (!) for a new tyre plus an

“administration charge” of 30 Euros.

I pointed out to the Europcar employees that it is impossible to inspect the car with a microscope upon collection and I implied that the tear/cut on the tyre may have been made by the person who inspected the car on its’ return. It could also have been normal wear and tear.

I asked to see the manager, who played the “It’s not my decision” party line.

Of course, we had to pay.

2. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

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Removed on: 3:05 pm, September 21, 2012
UK
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3. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

Last month I went on holiday with my family and I used the services of Europcar in Faro. For starters, the person who assisted me on arrival was very ignorant and rude. They didnt had the car we reserved, and forced me to pay for a basic insurance that already had with easyjet, however had to pay twice. They checked the car at night and pointed a few scratches. When I returned the car, I was waiting over 45 minutes.They only had one person to close the rentals and another person smoking a cigarette on the right side of the office talking to the driver of the van that brought us from the airport to Montenegro. And again the person was very ignorant and rude, he was an old gentleman with white hair and glasses, I do not remember the name of that person. Anyway, it was marked on my car a scratch and a tire problem, it cost almost 500 euros. He said we had no choice at all because they already have the credit card details on their system so they can charge anything. Not advise anyone to use the services of EUROPCAR FARO. There are many other companies that are much cheaper and with a much better quality service to the customers. Europcar Faro never again!! Watch out,they want OUR money!!

Dublin, Ireland
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68 posts
51 reviews
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4. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

Hi guys I have a car out with them at the moment. I've noticed lots of scratches on the front alloys but only 2 marked on their sheet. I have taken pictures before I left their yard. I'm thinking of returning it early and get one off hertz for remaining days. If I wait until the morning I cannot afford to miss the flight whereas if I go in a day or 2 early I will have enough time if they start messing me around. Should I also call the police? Would they be any help to me? Can they speak English? I really don't want this to ruin my holiday

Wolverhampton
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4,124 posts
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5. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

Unless you are covered for tyre damage (an extra insurance option) they may have you on that, unless the damage had been noted on collection.

That said, as you have used your credit card, you may have some recourse. You could take your complaint to them, and given what evidence you can provide they are at liberty to question the car hire company - for them to actually prove you have been charged fairly and correctly.

Faro
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25 posts
9 reviews
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6. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

There are a few companies operating at Faro who are notorious for making extra money by charging for damage which wasn't picked up at the initial vehicle inspection. Taking out the full CDW cover is advisable if you are booking with companies with a dubious track record.

Just search in Google for the car rental company + reviews to get an idea of customer feedback or search on this forum

Below are a few good smaller companies which operate from Faro Airport

http://www.farocar.com/

http://www.yorcar.com/

http://www.bluevalleycarhire.com/

Dublin, Ireland
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68 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

Hmmm ok but what about the position I am in? Will the pictures hold up as they have date stamp? Should I involve the police? I do have car hire excess policy cover with another company should I just go that route and if I do will they actually pay up? What documenation would i need? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have never been caught lke this before and I know this is what they will try on me when the car is returned

Faro
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25 posts
9 reviews
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8. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

I would try not think about it until you get to the airport - enjoy the rest of your holiday. I don't think the police will be much help.

If they try to charge you for damage that you were not responsible for, you could take some photos and tell them you are going to give them some rather bad publicity here and on other holiday forums. This type of publicity is very bad PR for Europcar.

Wolverhampton
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4,124 posts
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9. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

They'll certainly be able to speak English and agree with John that you should not let this spoil your holiday. It just might not happen. Anyway some of these wheel scratches may have dust on them. I don't believe that the company insists on you returning the car scrupulously clean.

It should be noted that CDW and CDW Excess insurance are significantly different. You'll find quite a few posts from myself posted on this, but no need to be concerned with that at this stage.

In answer to your dated photographic evidence, then yes I would say that would help a lot. My only reservation is that (in the worst case scenario) they may say that you just changed the date on your camera. So, may I suggest that you consider mailing the original photographs to your email account. Just a thought.

Faro
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25 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Do not use Europcar at Faro Airport. It's sheer extortion.

As a postscript my father had a car "keyed" in Faro last November when it was left in a hotel car park (the hotel had a bar which got quite busy). The scratches were very noticeable, but he had taken out the additional "No excess CDW cover" which was a few euros per day.

He had to drop the car early in the morning at the airport and leave the keys in the car. Because he had the additional CDW insurance he was not charged a penny.

My advice would be take out the full CDW cover in Portugal and Spain.