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Question re Europcar rental add for crossing certain country borders

Europcar web site indicates a $142 add on charge if you rent and return a car in Vienna but intend to cross the borders of the Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and several others.
1.Is this legit/necessary or is Europcar trying to make extra $?
2.If you don't pay for this when you pick up the car, will you get hit for extra fees when crossing the borders because you have no proof of paying it?
3.If the answer to #2 above is yes, are the fees equivalent to what Europcar is charging?

Posted by
28131 posts

you are not charged by the border agents, or lack of border agents, depending on the country.

It is a decision by the company based on what they want to charge, often based on their experiences regarding certain cars or car classes.

You could ignore it but you should know that lots of car rental places have downloadable trackers so they can know where you went even if you said you weren't going there.

Posted by
3332 posts

I’ll just add to what Nigel said that if you were to go ahead with your scheme to save $142 and if you were to have any kind of accident, your insurance would be rendered null and void. Even a minor scrape or fender bender repair costs more than that. While it may be galling to be hit with what seems like a junk fee, just pay and forget it. In the context of the total cost of your trip, $142 is not worth obsessing over.

Posted by
1331 posts
  1. It is legit an legal. It is charged because these countries have a high rate of stolen cars.
Posted by
21863 posts

Each country has it own set of rules about fees, etc., to drive on their roads. Some require a special sticker on the car or other id marks that makes it legal to drive in that country. Some have special insurance and/or equipment requirements. It is not like driving state to state in the US. There are no border checks but you need to be very truthful with the rental agency so that the car your are driving is legal for that country. Otherwise the vehicle could be stopped, impounded or towed if parked somewhere. Then you problem gets real interesting.

And, please, get out of the mind set than any fee or charge that is not common to the US is some type of a scam.

Posted by
180 posts

wow, I thought the $51 that europcar wanted to cross from Austria into German was bad. That's crazy

Posted by
8001 posts

This has been normal for many years when entering the former eastern bloc countries. Picking up a car in one country and returning to another always includes a high drop fee. We were quoted 1000€ Lisbon to Barcelona. The rental car company has to send a driver to the drop location to bring the car back.

Posted by
11 posts

We paid $132 to drop car in Milan that we picked up in Rome. A good deal.

Same thing as States.

Posted by
5648 posts

And some companies outright prohibit taking their car into certain countries, so at least they’ve allowed access to Czech Republic/B-H, etc., albeit with an extra charge.

Posted by
6950 posts

The deal with Florida is that the rental car companies rent massive number of cars to those going to Florida for the Winter. Come May, they often rent cars for $7.50 a day to anyone willing to take those cars from Florida and deliver them one way to anywhere north of Atlanta.
We once rented a car in Orlando and turned it in at the Baltimore Airport--getting on a discount airline home.

In Europe, some countries' regulations are not kind to rental car companies. Often, it's the old Soviet block countries, like the Czech Republic. Not every country's laws have caught up with the rest of the modern world. And every rental car company has their own lists of terms and conditions.

Posted by
2916 posts

I thought the $51 that europcar wanted to cross from Austria into German was bad

It was bad, unless it includes a vignette or other such document that you need to drive in Germany.

Posted by
11292 posts

"In the EU they would likely have no way of enforcing this short of GPS"

As said above, rental cars can and do have GPS trackers on them. Whether they are always monitored is a different matter, but you can't assume the car rental company won't find out where you took the car, even if you aren't in an accident.

If you don't like the terms of Europcar, look at other rental options. Try the consolidators Kemwel, AutoEurope, and Gemut, as well as other rental companies like Hertz, Avis, Sixt, etc.

I always tell the story (so I'll tell it again) of my friend who flew with her family to Munich, and booked a Mercedes. However, upon arrival, when she told the rental agent that she was taking the car to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and back to the Munich airport, that was the end of the Mercedes. She did get a different car, but her kids were quite bummed. I have no idea what she paid.

Posted by
5648 posts

So, Harold, was your friend “downgraded” to a Bavarian BMW?

If this was 30 years ago, maybe they’d be offered a Yugo!

Posted by
470 posts

The authorities will let you cross the border even if you didnt pay Europcar. It is not a state fee or a tax, it is a fee set by Europcar.

You wouldn’t be able to cross into Bosnia without a green card, which has to be provided additionally by Europcar or, more specifically, their insurer. As for travelling within the EU but outside of Schengen, you are correct.