Car Rental - a warning

Antinello Image
11/23/2009 - 07:06

There seems to be a practice developing (maybe it's always been there) among the cheaper car rental companies in Italy to actively search for the tiniest scratches on the bodywork of returned cars and then charge customers once 'a quote for the repairs' has been obtained.We experienced this earlier this year when we returned a car to Fiumicino. The agent rep. found a tiny scratch on the rear bumper that wasn't recorded on the form when I collected the car. We were then charged 250 Euros on the credit card 2 months after returning home.The behaviours demonstrated by the person collecting the car clearly indicate they have been trained to go out of their way to find 'damage'. Of course this is how these companies can rent at a much lower price as they find ways to charge you when you return the car. The agent even had a little memorised speech on the benefits of paying for additional insurance...See the reviews at this link which show how widespread this is you do use one of the cheaper companies I would suggest thoroughly checking the bodywork of the car on collection and making sure every scratch/dent is clearly marked on the contract documents.A couple of days before returning the car it's worth checking if you've acquired a surface scratch and if so obtaining some Scratch Out/T-Cut and polishing it out yourself.Antinello



We had a similar situation when we rented a car in Pisa Airport. We found the car to be damaged and when I picked it up ,went back to the office and I was shown the damage to be on the paper work that I was given- ( Normally this is pointed out before you leave the office) Went away happy but found £500 taken off my credit card 3 months later!!! Followed up by letters and copies of the paper work but they insisted that the paper work was not proof that I had not done it.So far I have not paid it as my credit card have taken the matter up!!!Now I prefer to pay that little extra for a repitable firm. Anybody interested in knowing the company can E-mail me.

Having hired a car six times this year from Autoeuropa/Car Hire in Sicily at Ciampino airport and experienced great customer service, last time I went they had completely new staff and I had the same problem as described above. Car rented to me when it was dark and tiny scratch on door when returned - 406 euros worth. Fortunately I had an annual policy with a company which covered me for the excess and I've just received the cheque. Needless to say, I'll be going to a different car hire firm next time

If this is always the case, I would prefer hiring a chauffeur. Ha-Ha! I don’t mind paying that expensive cost of their service at least I am contented than paying for a damage that is not even made by me.Okay, honestly speaking, I found this advice stupid. Telling their agent to find discrepancies and deceive their customers just to get a bonus? What a company! Couldn’t even afford paying a bonus for their good agents!Website

Fortunately I read this before hiring a car at Pescara airport, and took out insurance.  On going to the rental office, the condition form  for the car was clear, but there were minor scratches when we picked the car up. Being a Sunday the staff had disappeared by the time I went to complain. So we took pictures. On return at 05.00 of course no-one was there to check in the car. One month later a bill for €400 accompanied with there pictures that actually show no damage.   Moral of the story , if you are returning a car outside hours take out insurance, and dont use Autoeurope at Pescara. 

NEVER rent a car from Auto Europa / Sicily By Car or through Nova Car Hire, which uses this company in Italy!! Thinking it sounded like a good deal, we hired a car through Nova Car Hire / Auto Europa ex Rome Airport in May 2013. The car we were allocated was already damaged and dirty but the damage was noted on the rental agreement so we thought all would be fine. We returned the car in exactly the same state to central Rome a week later, the car was inspected and OKed. A few weeks later we arrived home to find that Auto Europa had fraudulently altered the check-in document AFTER it had been signed and had taken 600 euros from our credit card. Don't ever hire in Italy through Nova Car Hire or Auto Europa, especially if you are non-EU, as we seem to be a common target for this kind of theft, if you trawl through lots of online reviews. I wish we had before we hired through Nova.

I can't talk about other parts of Italy but every time I’ve hired a car in Sicily from Palermo the staff never inspect the car with you, they just tell you where it is parked and tell you that it has been inspected by them.On more than 1 occasion I have had to go back to the office and point out damage or half empty fuel tank. Last time the car was dirty with wax drops (the car had been washed but not wiped with leather) in an attempt to hide damage but fortunately I noticed damage after a careful inspection.The care hire companies must be so desperate that they heavily rely on illegitimate claims for damage and fuel to boost their income. They must earn more from this type of activity than actual car hire costs.

Car rental service is in high demand now a days And it is most popular because there are lot of people those who can not afford to buy a car . Car rental is the most useful where you can rent a car and go for a trip. The total risk of car is on the owner but you have to be liable for that car fo the specific period only. In car rental service also you can apply for the insurance.

Hertz in Pisa not necessarily immune from some of the "nefarious" practices of lesser known and/or "discount" car rental agencies. We have used them for a number of years for transport to and from the airport with no problems. This year, we were given a "new car" with about 5k kms.Upon return after an overnight rental, the check-in girl, or, as I would name her, "the scratch scrounger," came into the check-out office and announced there was a scratch on the back of the passenger side rear view mirror for which we would have to pay extra.  I asked the manager to go out with me to view this "scratch."Upon inspection, I wet the tip of a finger and wiped off the remains of an unlucky bug.'Nuff said.

This sounds funny “The agent even had a little memorized speech”. I guess they are a cheater rental agencies. Accusing and charging someone for the damage that is already occurred but haven’t noticed. I don’t believe all rental agencies do this so better search for the one who can be trusted and certified.

Seems to be standard practice;Had another “experience” with Hertz in Pisa. Returning a one day rental went through the scratch search routine and the “scrounger” found a “discrepancy” under the front of the car. We went into the office and scoured their computer pix of the car and found that the “discrepancy” was pre-existent, however not noted on their form. Returning to the US, spoke with a relative new-hire with Hertz who told me that “agents are paid minimum wage and are encouraged to earn bonuses by finding “discrepancies” on returned rentals. He actually said he felt uncomfortable with the training from his manager and personally felt it bordered on the unethical. Seems to be an unavoidable situation and the advice given previously about taking your own pix is probably the best defense. 

Lots of interseting stuff here. I got really 'stung' before I got my car at Venice Treviso. I turned up for my pre booked car with Holiday Autos. I was asked to provide a credit card. I do not have a credit card. My debit card that I had used to make the payment was no longer acceptable and the car was refused to me. I was stuck and had to hire again in the airport from another company for twice the pre book amount. I have hired many cars over many years and never been asked for a credit card as opposed to a debit card. I now have been compleled to have a credit card for the first time in my life.I am taking issue with the company who have offered a small refund which I have refused. You can take out annual car hire insurance to cover all eventualities often for less than the cost of a single trip.

Car rental is the best source of income. F irst of all before giving a car rent we must properly share our rules and guidelines to the rental person. We must have driving license and check the car before driving it. Once in Florida airport wehave taken AUDI car rent for 12hrs without checking its defects. Then after returning and paying rent the driver has charged for car defects whiich were not made by us. From that before taking on <a href="">car rental</a> I use to check the car properly.