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Warning On European Car Rental

July 30, 2014 Motoring No Comments Email Email

AUSTRALIANS  planning on renting vehicles’ in Europe this northern summer need to be aware of a range of sharp practices being employed by some car rental companies.
The warning comes from  the Sydney-based globalCARS, which has specialised in car rental and leasing in Europe for 15 years.

Director Andrew Morgan warns that booking on-line with overseas operators, even internationally-recognised brands, can expose renters to rip-offs in respect of insurance, rental rates, service charges and fuel costs in particular.

Mr Morgan says they are ruses which are difficult to refute for travellers who don’t book and pay with Australian operators before departing overseas.

He said that insurances and excess waivers are always  “grey” areas which can be better initiated with a fully licensed Australian company.

He adds,  “Booking and paying in Australia avoids disputes in foreign locations, often with people who have limited English.

“Another practice employed by some rental companies  is the minimisation of their headline rates to get deals listed near the top of the website comparison tables  and then make up shortfall with unreasonable extra
charges, notably a demand  to pay for a full tank of fuel and sky-high excess waiver insurance charges.”

He said that fuel charges applied in these cases were invariably 20 per cent higher than ordinary pump charges, adding that there was no refund offered for unused fuel.

Mr Morgan said this scam was  particularly prevalent in Spain.

The answer, he said, was to book and make full payment in Australia so you know exactly what the total rental will cost before leaving home.

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