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.


30 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.

      1. had same thing happen to me last night landed at dusseldorf went to get my car and was told I’m on a watch list and there is no car for me. went to other agents which had nothing. ended up at hertz and had to pay 4 x the price for a smaller car. asked why I was on there watch list and they couldn’t say. I asked why I hadn’t been contacted regarding this before. not our policy to do that. told the lady this is a mistake seeing as ive never rented from them before how could i be on a watch list. i will never use them again

  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

      1. Maybe you could read the booking policy better next time. Most of car rentals charge you for administration costs related to giving your personal details and contacts to the local police. No need to mention that if you drive as you should, you could spare all these money, right? 😉

  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?

  9. Europcar cheated me on my last trip during summer 2016 to scotland. The front wheel tyre went flat (non-radial tyre). They charged me for the new tyre , they deducted from the CC which they had put on hold with the car rentals. After 1 month they again sent the same damage charges for tyre replacement claiming additional $500. I reported to my CC company about the fraud and refused to pay for the new tyre(which they had already deducted from the CC hold with the rental charges). They sent few threatening letters and said they will put me on Black List. Anyways I am never ever going to rent from them, Can anybody advice which are the other reliable and trust worthy car rental company.
    Because I refuse to pay this fraudulent charges will this cause any other travel problem to Scotland, UK? I am from Canada

  10. I had the same experience in UK, they charged me full rentals+flat tyre ( they had non-radial front tyres) on my CC (which they had put on hold). For my surprise, after a month they mailed home the same charges for flat tyre again, saying they would charge my CC. I reported to my CC company and refused to pay. Europcar threatened me with few letters and said they would put me on Black List. Anyways I have black listed them from my side, I would never rent from them again.

    Can anybody suggest reliable and trust worthy rental car company in Scotland,UK. I am worried that since I have refused to pay the fraudulent charges to Europcar, will this cause any future travel problems to UK
    I am from Canada .

  11. Dear all, I also had a terrible experience with Europcar UK. I was in the UK for a 3 days trip and took a EUROPCAR vehivle at LUTON to return it to Stansted. The guy who delivered the car to me asked me to sign a form for the state of the car. When I asked him about some scratches I saw hes said they are negligible and aksed to sign to goon with the process. When I delvered the car 3 days later in Luton the employee saw the scratch and aksed me to declare damage in order to pay for it. Of course I denied and since then they are sending me letters and morever saying that they get off my account 600E for the repair of a tiny scratch for which I never accepted responsibility. In my repeated claims they never answered personally. Guys AVOID europcar UK…

  12. @Yakov Fain Thanks for sharing the experience. I am also undergoing a similar trouble from Europcar. When I returned the car after a weeks trip on January 2, 2017 (in Germany), I was told that I would be charged for the scratch on the door. Never did I image it would be an amount around 800euros. I wrote them several emails stating my refusal to pay this unreasonable charge, and of course they replied to none. And now, all of a sudden in May, they send me another post asking me to pay 450euros and threatening that else they would go for legal actions. I am now preparing to send another asking explanation for the difference in amounts, but I think they will ignore it as always. I refuse to be cheated by them. But I don’t know what else should be done? Have they put you in legal troubles? Could you tell me if there was any further progress in this dispute. Europcar did not get to charge my credit card because they were able to block 1000euros from the card only until 2 extra weeks after I returned the car-And they send the first damage bill after almost a month.

  13. Does anyone know the abilities of Eurpcar to induce legal troubles on someone? They’ve sent me a 120 euro processing fee to let me know about 4 “violations” that we received in Italy in September. I’m from the US

    1. Hi Zach, What became of this? I’m in the US as well and had rented from Europcar UK. I got caught by a camera in Oxford on a road apparently reserved for buses. I paid the fine to Oxford, but ignored Europcar’s requests for their 40 pound fee. That was back in June 2017. I just received a letter threatening legal action.

      1. Nancy, what is the outcome? I am presently in Europcar limbo with notification of a traffic violation, but no ticket and an administrative fee bill of 40 GBP.

  14. Same experience. Two months since our holiday in French riviera. Got two Euro 25 charges for intimating french authorities about traffic offences.
    Have not heard from French authorities yet. Two months seems reasonable period to receive a speeding ticket in post.
    Email to europcar not very helpful. They just said that the fees were processing charges for traffic offences. They did not specify which offence, place and time.

  15. Bad, do not book! Put me on blacklist after I refused to pay for a (so called hiodden) damage (a missing areal which would have been clearly visible on return of the car) although the return slip confirms there were no issues. CC withdrawal was refunded by CC company with no issue, debt collection ceased also. Trying to sign up for second driver for business trip (payed on company account) refused in Germany as AUS department put me on blacklist. German department confirmed my position but is not able to unlock my account reffering me to down under, any mail send there stays un-answerded. I AM REALLY PISSED !!! PLEASE WARN ANYBODY YOU KNOW BOOKING EUROPCAR AND GOOGLE EUROPCAR BLACKLIST

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