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Europcar's "invoice" = final receipt?

I rented a car from Europcar in Germany in September and discovered some scratches on the bumper while I was in Italy. I sent out two SOS emails, in each of the Germany and Italy forums. Kind souls in this forum provided me with precious advice. I would like to thank you again for all your help.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/germany/please-help-rental-car-scratched
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/sos-somebody-scratched-my-rental-car

When I returned the car at Munich airport, the in-take agent (who works for all agencies, not just Europcar) did not say anything.

Once I was back in the US, I asked Europcar for a receipt, which they did not issue at Munich airport. So, I was hoping that this written receipt would be the final piece of document that I would ever receive from them regarding this rental. In other words, if they wanted me to pay for any damages, they should state so in this receipt.

Yesterday, Europcar emailed me an "invoice" which only itemized the one-way drop-off fee (which I paid already), without mentioning any repairs or damages. So, in this case, does this mean they are not going after me for potential bumper damage repair costs? After hearing horror stores about rental agencies over charging tourists for small cosmetic damages, I hope that this document can close the chapter for this trip and that I can sleep better at night. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks again!

Posted by
5366 posts

Yes, I think you can rest easy, it would be unusual for an agency to bring up damages so long after the fact. I always get a receipt at the time of return and expect that to be final, if there were damages, they would note, and inform you that they will provide you with a repair cost at some point, but it needs to come up at time of return.

Not to worry you, but there are other charges that may come later. If you suffered any speed camera or ZTL violations, the authorities will eventually track down the rental car company, and the rental car company will provide them with your contact information. The rental car company would then likely charge you 40 euro or so as a service fee, the fine for the ticket will come from elsewhere. This is unlikely if you were careful driving and watched where you went, but every once and a while, people get surprised.

Posted by
596 posts

Thanks a lot, Paul. I will update everybody about this episode.

Posted by
884 posts

Once that particular car is rented again, it would be impossible for them to claim you did any damage because it left their lot with another renter. Rental companies have an obligation to notify you of assessed damages in a timely basis. I always rent directly from an American based company like Hertz, Avis, etc. This makes it easier to communicate about the rental even if I pay a couple hundred dollars extra.

Posted by
596 posts

I didn't cause the damage. Some other car did it. However, I didn't notice it when I checked out the car.

In Italy, the cars were parked so close together that I would not be surprised to be scratched.