April 21, 2018 at 11:10 am NZST #4430
I’m in the process of getting car rental quotes for a holiday to the UK in September.
Europcar, after selecting all the usuals, as well as a zero excess waiver, presented me with this gem as one of the exclusions:
“Translation is managed in the ETM. 18.64 NZD per day.”
Anyone come across it before or want to speculate as to what it might be. (The inclusions correctly showed $zero excess). I asked the question of one of their online chat agents who told me to contact the branch. I have since emailed them and am waiting to hear back, but thought I’d also post it here in case someone has seen it before and knows what it means.
Reading up about inflated damage claims, high-pressure upsells, etc., UK and Europe car rentals sure are a bl**dy minefield.April 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm NZST #4432
Was this direct from Europcars site? I’m thinking I now look at vroomvroom website and rental cars.com as they vary in price and a couple of airline websites to compare prices but I’ve never seen that level of detail on either of these sites.
Have you called a local Europcar branch or an airport branch to see if they know? (I realise you’ve specified UK/EU but on the off chance). I haven’t emailed car companies often but it takes what seems like AGES for them to reply. And not all replies are useful. Skype is another way maybe of contacting a European branch? I haven’t actually used Skype like that myself but it’s something I’ll look at when needed.
I’ve not seen the ‘gem’.April 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm NZST #4433
No great rush, so we’ll see if they come back with anything. If not I’ll certainly try and get in touch in some other way as you suggest. Here’s a couple of screensnips.
This came up linking to Europcar through the Accor loyalty website. Get no such thing if I do it through europcar.co.nz (all screens are very different), but the price is about $100 (which is less than 10% of the overall booking) higherApril 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm NZST #4436
Prompt response from Europcar, but not overly helpful yet:
‘We cannot see such specific message on the website. The first sentence “Translation is managed in the ETM.” makes reference to the time zone (Elapsed Time Meter). The second sentence seems to be referring to the charges of another extra, whichever is next to it. ‘
They then ask for the exact URL (linked to through the Accor Hotels site) and some screen shots which I have just sent them.
(Incidentally, I have since actually made a booking with Hertz, same product at approx £90 cheaper.)April 23, 2018 at 7:56 pm NZST #4439
I did have a brief look at your issue but didn’t find anything that helped make any sense of the sentence. Either way it looks like an extra charge to be added to your calculations. Seems you have yourself sorted in any case.April 25, 2018 at 11:01 am NZST #4446
Every UK car hire I’ve ever had has been a nightmare.. Ranging from a 5hr wait at LHR for Hertz because they had no cars, to waiting for 90 mins in a queue at Europcar in London to end up getting a car that somebody had spewed in and they’d done a pretty terrible job cleaning it. After a few hours parked in the sun we were about to spew as well..April 25, 2018 at 4:45 pm NZST #4451
Every UK car hire I’ve ever had has been a nightmare…
Yeah, I must admit that’s the most anxious part of our upcoming trip. Hopefully for every bad experience you read about there are hundreds of good ones that don’t get written about. I like to think I’ve done my homework, planning for the worst, hoping for the best. There are things that we simply can’t control – like the rental firm running out of cars. Fortunately we’re not under any time pressure.
We fly into Manchester at 07:00 on a Tuesday and will be heading for the Hertz counter so probably their peak time (or maybe just before all the business travellers arrive). Decided to go with their excess waiver called SuperCover and have prepaid that. (Travel insurance does cover rental car excess but for the extra £150 decided it was wort the peace of mind, particularly when you read about how employees get financial incentives to find damage when cars are returned.) After that we’ll also be renting for five days in Madeira which I have yet to book. Have read some shockers about practices there as well.
No word back yet from Europcar (been about 48 hours) since providing them the additional info.April 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm NZST #4452
We’ve rented a couple of cars in the UK and Europe and never had any issues but partner booked them. I booked one in Germany but that was fine.
Incentives to find damage is pretty dodgy. Hence I like my videoing!April 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm NZST #4453
… Hence I like my videoing!
Yes, I do intend to do that, regardless of having bought the SuperCover.
There’s a thread on FlyerTalk where a Hertz manager has fronted up to ask questions and in one of the posts just about admits to the incentives I mentioned
Although that thread is very old now, things may have improved.
(The whole thing makes for quite an interesting read, there’s also some discussion about the supply issues that Steve has experienced.)
This article, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/advice/car-hire-scams-europcar-employee-reveals-all/ , more recent, also suggests it goes on.April 26, 2018 at 7:46 am NZST #4454
I’ve booked cars in Europe and never had issues. I’ve actually used Sixt there a few times and found them great, especially with their pricing and one way hire fees – I decided a couple of years ago I needed to hire a BMW 5 series M sport to get us from Belgium to Germany. 🙂
The thing about the UK is you need to understand queueing is a national pastime so becomes accepted. While I waited at LHR for hours the absolute outrage from Americans was outrageous to watch, but the UK staff simply couldn’t have cared less.
As we were sitting near the counter we got to overhear lots of interactions, and the funniest experience was seeing the American family that ordered a 7 seater which was actually available. It was a family of 7 people all who had huge bags. Out they went only to return a few minutes later complaining so loudly that everybody could hear that there was nowhere to put the 7 bags. I’m not sure what sort of vehicle they were actually expecting in the UK!April 27, 2018 at 4:59 pm NZST #4460
Those are pretty crazy references. Bit of an eye opener for me really. I do like the 10 point checklist though.
Europcar in Adelaide had cameras on the way out and in and they take about 40 photos of the car. I think that’s really good. I felt a bit redundant.
Have to admit I don’t like signing the agreement without seeing the car but that is what the rental car agencies often get you to do. But if I find something significant I do go back. Most of the time the cars are pretty new. If they’ve marked damage on the car picture I’ll focus pictures on that.May 1, 2018 at 7:33 am NZST #4463
My greatest concerns are with companies like Apex in NZ. I’m used them on a few occasions when I’ve been unable to get a vehicle elsewhere, and in some places like Queenstown their pricing is really good if you need a vehicle for a week. While I’ve never had an issue with them there is always a first time for everything.
They have low cost older vehicles (some apparently come ex Avis/Budget who are their parent company when they get rid of them) and many of these cars do have significant visible damage. I had to get a car in Auckland about a week out from Xmas last year and they were literally the only place that had availability (couldn’t get a car from anybody onsite at the airport as they were all sold out) and had an old Mazda Demio that literally had significant damage on pretty much every panel along with windscreen chips. Their damage assessment form marked damage but it’s at the point where the form couldn’t really convey the damage that did exist to the vehicle.May 1, 2018 at 8:19 am NZST #4464
…. Their damage assessment form marked damage but it’s at the point where the form couldn’t really convey the damage that did exist to the vehicle.
Which again strengthens the case for the customer to take photos or video when collecting the car.
I’ve not heard of/read about any ‘made up’ damage claims by the rental companies here in NZ. maybe that’s because the base-rental price of the vehicle still makes them money, even for the cheaper operators. Whereas in UK/Europe it has got so price competitive that I suspect the base price is a loss-leader and they need other revenue streams – i.e insurance upsells and (fraudulently??) charging multiple customers for the same damage on a vehicle post-rental.
Base price comparison, compact car, 7 day rental in October:
AVIS (linked through AirNZ site) – Manchester airport pickup and dropoff – £187.12 (NZ$375 appr.)
AVIS (linked through AirNZ site) – Auckland airport pickup and dropoff – NZ$690
APEX (direct to website) – Auckland airport pickup and dropoff – NZ$360
APEX shows up explicitly as a 4-5 year old car, I ‘d expect AVIS both here and in the UK to provide a 0 – 2 yr old vehicle with no more than 35,000 ks on it.
(It’s hard to do apples-with-apples and there’s hundreds of ways to price this but I hope it illustrates my point somewhat.)
Incidentally, I haven’t heard back from Europcar since I sent them the additional info they requested, I’ll give them a nudge. (Even though it’s irrelevant now, it’s my private little war on these outfits to be transparent with their customers.)May 1, 2018 at 11:02 am NZST #4465
That nudge prompted a response, here is their latest:
Thank you for your reply.
We have sent your query to the appropriate department as we cannot find any information about this subject. They will answer you back directly.
We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause.
that has come from their reservations email address, who I was advised to get in touch with by their social media team after my initial query on their facebook page.May 10, 2018 at 5:41 pm NZST #4503
Thank you for your reply. We have sent your query to the appropriate department as we cannot find any information about this subject. They will answer you back directly. ...
9 days on, nothing from the ‘appropriate department’. I’ve sent them a sh*ttogram saying I’ve booked with Hertz and they’ve lost a customer to the competition, cc’d in the Europcar MD for the UK. I doubt very much that it will change anything but it makes me feel better.
I’m still genuinely curious what that exception statement means. It must be coded into their calculation software somewhere somehow.
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