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Hertz rental car charges in Italy

What is with the "Hertz Italiana Spa Roma" company in Italy? This is the company that adds extra charges to your credit card after you have paid your rental charge. The charges can be for gas, extra drivers, double charges on same date of service, verbal fine online (?), traffic ticket, administrative fees, etc. What is the company and what relationship does it have to Hertz? Google this name and see what the feedback is -- my question is: Why haven't we been informed about this situation in the guidebook material?

Posted by
1003 posts

I rented through Hertz (via Kemwel) 2 years ago. Never had a charge from hertz on my credit card even though they scanned it when we picked up the rental. Except for duplicate charges on the same day, which seems like it would be an obvious mistake, all of the others sound legit without more information to suggest they are a scam. Any car rental company will charge you for gas if you bring it back below the agreed-upon level, and the administrative fees and items relating to tickets are right in the rental contract. And often, a second driver is not free (depends on the contract). For the administrative and ticket/fine fees, the authorities can get your name from the rental company and they will charge you for it. I googled the name and almost every complaint I saw on the first page of search results was in relation to that 30-40 euro fee, which is not a scam. It's so the Italian authorities can send a driver a ticket for violating a speed or ZTL camera type thing. And every good guidebook already warns people about these driving risks in Italy. As for it's relation to hertz in the US, it must be related somehow, since if you go to hertz.com all the Italy locations are listed there as "corporate" location type.

Posted by
2828 posts

My two cents is that there is a bit more to this story than admitted here.

Posted by
2135 posts

"Hertz Italiana Spa Roma" is a franchisee of Hertz. It is in this sense a separate entity - related by name. If you have issues renting through them, you WILL NOT get support (especially billing support) from Hertz USA - I've tried before (futilely) to connect the two for points usage, upgrades, etc. as I'm a Hertz Gold member. Many rental groups with familiar names to US drivers (Hertz, Avis, etc.) are franchises. We have the same "relationship" here in Denmark with "name" vendors. If there is an issue, you will have to deal directly with "Hertz Italiana Spa Roma" and yes, they can be challenging. But in 15+ times using this company, I've never had any irregular charges? Sometimes confusing billings, but I've always managed to work through these. With them, there is a charge per day for a 2nd driver. We've used this often as both my wife and I enjoy driving in Tuscany and always take turns driving. These charges, and any additional fees for gas, are all in the Hertz contract. Having rented in Europe often, we know the price we're quoted online will not be the "eventual" price. Lots of local, admin, or vendor fees, etc. You really have to read thoroughly when booking here versus the USA.

Posted by
2135 posts

Unfortunately, the administrative traffic ticket fees are a bad omen. That means you'll eventually get ticket(s) in the mail from the police in whatever area you drove improperly (as per the Italian law). Too many people find this out the hard way – as evidenced by the Google complaints. It's not the fault of the rental company. Speeding and driving in ZTL zones, both captured by cameras, seem to be the most common offenses. As mentioned, it is in the contract and the rental company MUST, by law, inform the police who was driving their vehicle. Hertz Italiana Spa Roma, and every other vendor I've used in Italy, DO charge for this "service." It's usually your first indication of bigger problems to come.

Posted by
26375 posts

So, Judith, what happened to you? Did you have all those charges or have just read somewhere that you might?

Posted by
7 posts

Seems they are notorious. I rented with them in Rome in early June 2012 and just received a charge (August) for $45.45. No explanation. I disputed it with my CC company and will refuse to pay it. Lesson learned - don't rent international with Hertz!!!

Posted by
26375 posts

Antonette You may have noticed that the thread you opened was one last active last year. Asked for further detail the Original Poster didn't reply. If you look two posts above your post, RonInRome indicates what happens after you get the charge from Hertz. You don't specify what Hertz has charged you for. It could be a late charge for damage to your car. It is more likely to be the precursor of something less pleasant. It is likely that you are being pursued for a dreaded ZTL or other traffic violation and the charge from Hertz is their charge for providing your details to the Police or municipality where the alleged activity happened. You are likely to receive a bill for 100€ or more, probably just before next June. Refer to the very first answering post in this thread.

Posted by
26 posts

so what is a good car rental in Italy? My wife and I are planning to rent a car near Florence and drive around the Tuncany region for about 2 days....any suggestions to avoid the hassle ? thanks Shawn

Posted by
2876 posts

Shawn - one tip is to learn the international road sign symbols. Especially the red circle with the white center, which means Do Not Enter or Do Not Drive Past This Sign. Antonette - that charge that you're planning to refuse to pay was probably authorized by you in your rental agreement, in the paragraph about traffic offenses and fines.

Posted by
3183 posts

Judith, I'm with you on this one. I think Hertz in Italy are the worst crooks in a field famous for its lack of integrity. One example: the agent in Catania tried to convince me to return the tank empty because, he oh so sincerely informed me, there are no service stations near the airport. I had the wit to check with our host; and of course, there are. One 5 km from the airport exit and another, just after you leave the ring road. Cars start showing empty when they still have a couple of gallons left, but who wants to risk running out on the way to the airport? Therefore, I would have made a gift of a $20 or so to Hertz, if I had fallen for that one, not to mention the unlikelihood of them truthfully measuring the fill-up. I also was charged for the super CDW which I clearly stated I did not want. I guess I wasn't vigilant enough about the final contract with its various items, some unfamiliar - - 200euro hold for ? and all listed in Italian. They also did "dynamic conversion"*, which, in the fine print says I was offered a choice of; but I wasn't. They just did it. I tried to complain via their customer service site, but I couldn't get it to work. The other rental companies may be just as bad, but I'll never do business again with Hertz in Italy.
*If you don't know what this is, do search on this site. It's truly a scam which puts a few more dollars into the pockets of the vendors

Posted by
1549 posts

We made reservation through AutoEurope who contracted with Eurocar. The contract was very clear as to what was covered and what was not covered including the oneway drop charge from Frankfurt to Florence. (I find that Hertz, avis, etc, don't seem to be so clear when obtaining quotes on line). We prepaid so the only thing we expected to be charged were some local taxes in Florence ($15-20). After arriving home and receiving our American Express bill, Eurocar charged us the $500 drop charge again. AutoEurope took care of the duplicate charge in a very timely manner. Easier than dealing with a company in Italy.

Posted by
1 posts

We just received two charges from Hertz Italiana Spa Roma. Both were listed as Verbale Fine On Line. They were within 15 minutes of each other. So they claim the authorities contacted them twice to get our information. Credit card company says its legal because its "in the contract". Hertz USA agent says on the phone "just between you and me, I would not rent a car in Italy" If we receive the actual traffic violation, I will believe it slightly more than I do now. Even then, sounds like a great way for a cop and rental car agency to make some extra bucks.

Posted by
2916 posts

Scott, I think if the agent had been even more honest he would have said "Just between you and me, I wouldn't rent a car from Hertz anywhere in Europe." In the US, Hertz is no worse than the others, and maybe even better. But that stops at the Atlantic Ocean.

Posted by
2799 posts

Hertz is no different from any other rental car company in Italy. The contract says they will charge you an administrative fee for reporting your name to the authorities if you get a parking ticket or traffic fine. Don't blame the rental car company for your own mistake. You violated the traffic laws. Two violations 15 minutes apart is not uncommon when you are unaware of the ZTL and other signs. You rent a car in Italy at some risk of running afoul of the ZTLs and other traffic laws. But many many of us have done with no problem at all ( and no tickets). You just don't see us posting about it, until a case like this.

Posted by
4524 posts

Sasha is right, there is nothing underhanded in what they are doing or unique to Hertz Italy. Italian law requires rental agencies to turn over renters information if they commit traffic violations. Most, if not all, will charge you for their "administrative time" to provide that information. And it's all spelled out in the agreement you signed. It's also a good warning that tickets are forthcoming.

Posted by
9363 posts

I think what Scott is referring to is the double charge, for presumably contacting Hertz twice within 15 minutes for his information. Yes, it is entirely possible that he might have run afoul of a ZTL twice in that time period, but it does seem unlikely that they would have called Hertz immediately after each incident, causing two separate charges. It would seem that once they entered his information the first time, there would be no need for the second call.

Posted by
2876 posts

"It would seem that once they entered his information the first time, there would be no need for the second call." I'm just guessing, but I doubt any phone calls are involved. More likely the offender's license plate is entered into a computer system, which determines that it belongs to a Hertz car and then generates an automated online request to Hertz for the renter's information. Hertz's response is probably automated as well, and I suspect the Hertz computer is programmed to charge the customer per request. In this day and age, I can't imagine that humans are much involved in the process.

Posted by
2799 posts

If there were two violations, that would trigget two separate contacts with Hertz by the authorities, and each one incurs a charge. It is too bad, but that is what one agrees to in the rental contract. And who knows how that contact takes place. Maybe there is a clerk who sits down at the end of the day and runs the license plates, then sends off the requests for information to the rental car company wieh one shows up in the list of owners. I don't think the proximity of the contacts says anything about the timing of the violations, although it is also very possible (probably easy in a city) to violate two ZTL's within a short time. Or so we've heard from the stories. We just totally avoided driving in or even near a city, and did fine.

Posted by
1067 posts

Since I see the thread started off as referring to 'Hertz Italiana Spa Roma', but then somebody morphed it to 'Just between you and me, I wouldn't rent a car from Hertz anywhere in Europe...'. My personal experience is that I have rented from Hertz in France, Germany, and Switzerland and had good experiences each time.

Posted by
6891 posts

Yes, I think the Hertz USA agent was saying that he wouldn't rent a car in Italy from Hertz (or from anyone else for that matter) because of all the complaints s/he receives from customers after their return from Italy with the ZTL fines, etc. To my mind, the emphasis was on not renting a car in Italy . . .the agent's frame of reference being Hertz, of course.

Posted by
26375 posts

Hertz gets the flame because the renter rented from Hertz. If the renter had rented from a different company they would have had the same result from them and it would then be that company who would be the object of the flame.

Posted by
2916 posts

I agree that maybe I was unfair to Hertz Europe. But I have read a lot of negative experiences about Hertz rentals in Europe (maybe mostly Italy, which would explain a lot). I personally have never rented from Hertz in Europe because of negative experiences the few times I considered or attempted renting from them 15-20 years ago. But I wouldn't refuse if the broker I used put my rental through Hertz. It just so happens that it's always been through Europcar or National/Citer.