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Extra charges on Zero Deductible with Caveat emptor

I got hit up for 50.00 Euros because of a smudge on the back passenger's side mirror. Europcar. I saw a smudge of green paint. I wasn't in the car when this happened, is the only thing I can say for certain.
They actually claim it is a 2 cm scratch on the right side mirror housing. The 50.00 Euros is the administrative fee. Because I had 0 Zero deductible insurance through
Europcar charged me 23.26 Euros for using roads. I never did understand what that was about, it isn't tolls. Eurocar calls it licenses and Fees, the guy at autoeurope called it road something (after the 3 rd time I asked him to repeat and I still didn't understand, one of us has an accent, I gave up.)
Then they charged me up for 16.14 Euros of Italian Value Added tax on these fees.
Personally I don't see the value, but that's just me.
Caveat emptor

Posted by
1147 posts

I have rented from autoeurope many times. My paperwork always says that it does not cover administrative fees. Also, the $23.26 road use tax is common as well, It has nothing to do with your accident, I have had to pay it in Germany, France and England. I also did not understand what it was the first time I was charged it. (I thought it was the charge to release my info to the police because I had a camera speeding ticket coming. I was actually very relieved to find our it was a road tax. I still have not had a camera ticket). It is on the AutoEurope web site. After you choose your car, you get to the page that begins the rental and asks for your address, etc. At the bottom there is a "terms, Condition, local fees" that you have to check the box that you have read it. If you click on it to read it, and read the "what your rental does not include" it clearly states the road tax for Italy (Vehicle License fee of approximately EUR 3.40 per day, maximum of approx. EUR 51) and the administrative fee for Italy (In the event of damage or theft of the rental vehicle an Administration fee will be charged in addition to the deductible of approx. EUR 60.50.) While it is never pleasant to be hit with unexpected charges, I do think Autoeurope is a reliable, honest company that does disclose all its fees. Having said that, I don't think I really read the terms and condition and fees the first time I was charged the fee and it took me by surprise as well. Obviously, I now read everything on their web site before agreeing to their rental. I had a particularly nasty rental experiences with a sly counter person at National Car Rental at Heathrow. He basically was not going to let me get a car for the agreed upon amount and said I absolutely had to take their insurance. (I had my own 3rd party insurance.) I called Autoeurope's help line in the states, and they cleared up the matter. The guy was a snake in the grass (while being very friendly, "I am here to help you", etc.)

Posted by
1752 posts

The sad news about car rental is that it's an ugly business that preys on jetlagged tourists who don't speak the language. Or for that matter, people whose car is in the shop for repairs and "just need something to get around in." It's pretty well known that the counter folk are under pressure to get everyone to buy as much CDW and insurance as possible, and they live in danger of being fired if their take rate isn't high enough. And sadly, some of them are just despicable folks who decided that they would/could fleece as many renters as possible. I always have problems with Enterprise desperately trying to force me to get insurance. To the point of insisting on knowing the policy number on my car insurance, my agent and my policy limits! And then writing warnings in big letters on the contract.

Posted by
4522 posts

Funny how one response calmly explains the various charges and how they are clearly spelled out in the terms of the contract, and the other just calls all rental agencies a money-grabbing scam.

I will say this - if you don't like a rental agency or think you are not treated well by one - use a different one next time. There is still a good amount of competition in the industry.

Posted by
755 posts

This is why, if you are going to need a car for 3 weeks or longer, you never ever rent, you lease. The lease prices are good, you get a brand new car that is insured to the hilt, there are no second driver fees, the only age restriction is that you must be over 18, there's no BS about not taking it on a ferry and when you return it they don't even look at it.

Posted by
1752 posts

I'm just reporting my experiences, good AND bad. I recently rented from Avis in Dijon and it went just ducky. Also used them in Tours a few years back without problem.