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Budget Rental Car Screw-Up!

My husband and I returned a Budget rental car to Budapest on May 25. We have just now been billed an extra 90 euros for gas charges....accusing us of not having the gas tank filled. We had just filled the rental car up before turning it in. We were asked by the Budget Car employee if it was full and we agreed that it was. We are trying to get to the bottom of this unjust charge....the various parties, AutoEurope and Budget, are asking for a credit card receipt for the fill-up but we paid for the gas in cash to get rid of our local currency. We are ANAL ALWAYS about turning in our cars FULL! Anyone else ever have this problem?

Posted by
12139 posts

Sorry Jane. That can really mess up memories of a good trip. When this sort of thing happens to me, for peace of mind, I consider three things. First, I might have screwed up. Second, it might be their honest mistake. Third, I condisder how many times in life things went in my favor that I wasnt necesiarily entitled to --- and just figure it's the back side of karma. Sorry, I know thats not much help.

Posted by
6539 posts

The only fail-safe approach is to always keep the receipt, no matter how you paid for the gas. I do it with each car rental as a precautionary measure because I've learned that some rental companies are real sticklers over this issue. That's the only piece of real evidence that will work in your favor; otherwise, it's "I said, they said".

I have had to produce a receipt in the past, so that has been my experience.

Posted by
1854 posts

Jane, sorry that happened to you. Annoying when you're so cautious to always return cars with a full tank. Hopefully you'll be able to sort it out.

For other readers ….in addition to the sound advice to keep the gas receipt, I like to take a photo of the dash showing the mileage and fill level of the gas tank when I return a car. That's in addition to taking photos of the condition of the car on return, in case there are contested damages.

Posted by
315 posts

Agree with all the above. If it is not resolved with rental company. A suggestion could be to dispute with CC. We had a recent incident with rental car return time. Our contract stated return time Noon. We returned at 1140, which I wrote on the contract. The company charged an extra day. CC resolved the charge and eliminated the charge. I have disputed CC charge twice in 3 years. In the future, I may take a pic of the phone clock and the car. Hubby does still wear a watch.

Posted by
20972 posts

There is a lesson for everyone - documentation. I learned a lesson about credit card receipts and gas stations a long time ago. Filled up at a very busy gas station/truck stop, paid with a credit card at the counter and got the receipt. Pulled back on the interstate, had gone about 20 minutes and was pulled over by the state police. The gas station had reported me as a runner. Even with a receipt in hand sitting the police car, it took over 30 minutes for me to be cleared. I wonder what would have happen if I had paid cash? In those days, I did that fairly frequently. I have never paid cash for gas since then.

I will also circle the car taking a number of cell phone photos, check the spare tire, and carefully photo the windshield for dings.

Posted by
7121 posts

We were asked by the Budget Car employee if it was full and ?we agreed that it was.

Did the BRAC employee look at the gauge when you checked in?

What does your receipt show for 'fuel level' ?

If you rented in Hungary, why are you being charged 'euros'? Hungary's currency is the Forint

Posted by
12139 posts

A lot of international business operate in Euros. Even the AirBnb's operate in Euros....

Posted by
487 posts

It looks like to me no receipt, no proof that you purchased gas. We always use our CC's whenever possible, even if you misplace the receipt you can get a copy through your CC company.

Posted by
491 posts

News on the screw-up.......my husband did not have the receipt for the cash purchase of gas online......but did have a record of our license tag on our rental car.......and Budget credited us the 90 euros! YEAH!!!!!!!

Posted by
5624 posts

Congrats on persistence paying off. But I don't understand how ".....but did have a record of our license tag on our rental car......." demonstrated to Budget that you returned the car with a full tank. Care to enlighten us?

PS Your story is a good reminder to get and keep gas receipts. Some rentals have required me to demonstrate that we refueled within X miles of the rental station.

Posted by
12139 posts

Jane, that's fantastic. Most of all I'm glad you called it a screw up and left the company the benefit of the doubt. I'm very happy it worked out.

Posted by
132 posts

We had the same problem with our rental car we returned in Munich (not Budget). It was so busy at the car return at the airport that we just dropped the car off where they said and later were charged for not having filled the tank. My husband said he threw out the receipt but we fortunately found the wrinkled up receipt for a gas station a block from the airport and were able to get a refund! I sure learned a lesson ... Never throw out the receipt or make sure you get something from the rental agent saying the tank was full! So glad you got your refund, too!

Posted by
7315 posts

This is where renting via AutoEurope really benefits you. They do work on it for you. Over the years, we’ve had a few screw ups taken care of by them. They have reps from the car rental agencies working in their Portland, Maine home office so can negotiate solutions seamlessly.