Be Careful With Europcar

During the last fifteen years I’ve being spending at least one week a year vacationing in France. Love this country for their culture, traditions, gourmet food, great wine, great skiing, and friendly people. Once in a while I rent a car and drive there visiting all these nice little villages and chateaux.

In January, I rented a car for 7 days from Europcar in France. The price was very decent: around 430 Euros for a good midsize car. The rent was prepaid in advance, but at the rental counter I was asked to provide them my credit card for accidentals, besides, I was warned that there will be small additional licensing/ecologic fees. I also asked the Europcar lady if I could purchase a GPS device, and she sold me one explaining that it’ll costs me 10 euro a day, but not more than 30 euros total. We got the small device and our trip exploring Provence begun. I’ve been also warned for additional 39 euros charge for the second driver.

After driving a couple of miles I noticed that our car has an excellent built-in GPS system. The first question was, “Why they sold us a second GPS device”? Three days into our journey we called Europcar asking not to charge us these 30 euros because the car was equipped with the GPS in the first place. They said, “We’ll see what we can do”.

The trip was over, Provence was great as expected, and, in about a month, I got a letter from Europcar stating that they charged my credit car for another 425 euros. The letter conveniently included the breakdown of the charges. I’ll just mention that ecology/licensing contributed only about 10% of that charge. They also charged me 70 euros for using the GPS for 7 days plus other fees.

Quick call to Europcar produced “Sorry, there is nothing we can do about the GPS charges”. Quick call to my credit card here in the US: “No problem, we’re opening the dispute with Eropcar. But first, we’ll refund you full amount.” God bless America! I said, “I’m not planning to dispute all the charges”, but for this particular credit card company was easier to dispute all amount so the vendor can start discussing details.

A week later, I’ve received two more letters from Eropcar notifying me that I made two traffic violations and my card was charged 25 euros for each one. I was never pulled over in France, but hey, there is no such thing as a saint driver. I might have been caught by one of the hidden video cameras while speeding or making an illegal turn. This happened to me in the past in the USA, but I’d always received a letter with camera photos showing my car in the midst of breaking the rules.
Europcar didn’t bother giving me any details other than date and time. The brief explanation reads “Fees following French authorities request for penalty process traffic rules violation. License plate, date, and time”.

I made another call to my credit card company disputing these 50 euros too. Let the conversation with Eropcar begin, and I’ll pay whatever I deserve to pay. But it seems that the dialog ain’t gonna happen. The new letter from Europcar simply states “Your credit house rejects our transaction” and if I’m not going to pay, the case goes to legal department and you’ll be placed “on the watch list which will prevent you from renting a car in all Europcar’s network”.

Oh well, I’ll wait until Europcar decides to talk to me explaining the validity of each and every charge. Meanwhile, I’ve placed them on the list of car rental companies to never rent from. I’m sending the link to this blog right to the service department of Europcar – if they want to talk, my phone number is on the record.

18 thoughts on “Be Careful With Europcar

  1. Thanks Yakov! Europcar will not get any of my business. By coincidence I am booking a trip and require a car. They just lost my business.

    Duane Nickull

  2. I had a similar experience with Hertz in Denmark: they tried to bill weird “services” afterwards and were total jerks regarding the GPS “fee” as well… is there a pattern?

  3. The same happened to me last week when I received 2 letters from Europcar for 2 traffic violations in France. 50 Euros was charged to my credit card with same kind of letter than you. Did you get the real ticket from the French Authority later? I just want to know what should I expect to pay in extra of these Europcar fees to fill the case… I live in Canada.

    1. Never got any extra tickets. Expect a surprise next time you rent from Europcar.

      It’s been 5 month since I rented from them. They don’t give a damn about talking to me. They just keep sending threatening letters requesting unexplained fees in French, which I accurately dump. I’ll never rent from them again.

    2. After about 3 months I received 2 speeding tickets from the French Authority. Speeding of only 6 km/h higher than the speed limit (96 km/h when the limit was 90 km/h). I found it very stupid to give tickets for such a small speed difference. Cost of each ticket was 50 Euros.

  4. hi, your forum is interesting, given that i have just received the exact same letter. they have charged me 25euros for giving my details to the feds. the payment was taken from my credit card.

    who should i contact to dicuss? france hire co (europcar limoge?) – customer services in the uk?
    and exactly what violation have i breached… speeding?

    thought about contacting the credit card company?

    1. I contacted my CC company and disputed the payment. They immediately return the money. Europcar sent a couple of threatening letters, but ignored any of my requests to discuss the matter. I’ll never use their services again.

  5. Just got a 36 pound fee from Europcar UK for telling me they received a notice from the Police they will prosecute me for doing 8 mph over the speed limit. Don’t mind paying the fine but charging 36 pounds for sending me an invoice is excessively greedy. I rang Europcar UK and the consultant said there is nothing he could do, but they do have quite a number of complaints about these fees. I assume they don’t worry about customer loyalty too much at Europcar.

    1. rented from Alamo, a Partner of Eurocar prepaid in the United States 6 wks in advance, arrived in Scotland and they refused to rent me a car, told me I was on a watchlist, and would not tell me why. They put me to a tremendous amount of inconvenience, to rent another car as I had not pre-booked cost me four times as much this was Feb 15th 2014. Going to consult with an attorney as this is a violation of the Data Protection Act, they had ample time to inform me before I flew over from the States that there would not be a car available for me, but, they chose to be a bunch of inconsiderate pricks.

  6. I’ve been through a similar scam. Europcar have claimed for a valeting charge since the car was slightly soiled on the inside, something which could be removed by a brush or would have been better in rubber carpets were installed. I mean, you cannot expect that a car should not be cleaned after renting especially in winter!! They have claimed 80 euro and have now ended banning me from their network. Good luck to them, I am anyway never using Europcar again since this is not what I call customer satisfaction at all.

  7. This is such BS.. My son also got a letter in the mail in Canada after renting from Europcar prepaid in London, UK. With no explanation, they wrote that he has been put on “watch” list!!

    I run a decent size travel company with over 5k customers – we too will be sharing this story with our peers and other insiders!!

    1. I recived a letter from them in algherho i recived a traficc ticket on a trip to boza in sardinia i psid the traficc ticket
      When i arrived home in Norway no they are saying i havent paid and sending treath letter to charge my credit card with 45 euros this must be scam

  8. When I hired europcar last year they sent me a bill for damage I didn’t do as well as some I did. By the time they corrected the bill I’d been “watch listed”. Fair enough. In fact I overpaid the damage by mistake and it took europcar 6 weeks to return the excess payment. Fair enough, except when I went to collect my car today I found the watchlist is still in place, and nobody around to discuss it on a bank holiday. Also fair enough, but why accept my reservation and keep me waiting in a queue for 30 minutes only to break our contract?

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