By James Bryce

HOLIDAYS can be an expensive business.

With costs such as buying new clothes, booking flights and arranging accommodation – many of us have already forked out hundreds of euros before we have even felt the sun on our face.

And more often than not, the list of expenses also includes car hire.
Queuing up to collect the keys on arrival at a foreign airport is a familiar holiday routine as hiring a car is often the only realistic option for getting around.

But while there are genuine bargains to be had, some of the less charitable companies are being accused of cashing in by taking advantage of what is a captive market.

Following the Olive Press’ recent stories about Brian’s Rent a Car and One Way Van Hire, we have been inundated with calls and emails from readers complaining about being similarly ripped off when hiring a vehicle.

We told how both companies had provided sub-standard vehicles and failed to return deposits, despite customers denying having caused any damage.

Among the biggest complaints levelled at car hire firms are the hidden costs, which often leave consumers with a far higher bill than they had anticipated.

The true cost of this practice was exposed earlier this year, when it was revealed holidaymakers were being forced to pay up to three times as much for a hire car than the original advertised price.

According to a survey by consumer group Which? Travel, many are being forced to pay for a full tank of fuel on arrival that would ordinarily be expected to be included in the price.

The car must then be returned with an empty tank with no refund being given for fuel left in the car.

“Consumers are not being given the full facts about these extra charges,” said Which? Travel spokesman Rochelle Turner.

To compound the problem, the hire firms who have adopted the ‘full-empty’ policy are seemingly charging a hefty premium for the fuel, with customers handing over up to €20 more for a full tank than they would at a petrol station.

This policy is becoming more and more common in Spain, as hire companies come under increasing pressure to make a profit in what remain tough economic times.

But not all have adopted it, with some firms keen to distance themselves from the more mercenary suppliers.

“We clearly inform our clients that the car will be delivered with a full tank of fuel, which is paid for on arrival, so they don’t have to worry about trying to find the nearest petrol station,” Christine Fleischer, marketing manager at Malaga-based rental firm Helle Hollis, told the Olive Press.

“We refund any remaining fuel to the nearest quarter of a tank and we clearly indicate on our website what is included in the rental price so there are no nasty surprises on arrival.”

One of the firms which does have a ‘full-empty’ policy, Record Go, are also at the centre of another controversial hidden cost being levied on travellers – a ‘mandatory’ insurance payment.

This is said to act as a damage excess waiver, but it has provoked anger among many customers who claim to have separate insurance policies which deem the extra payment unnecessary.

But some firms are allegedly refusing to hand over the keys until the payment is made, with customers who refuse to pay having up to €1,200 frozen on their credit cards to cover possible damage.

Record Go, a hire company operating out of Malaga airport, is among the worst offenders for using this tactic, which has caused angry scenes at pick up desks due to the insurance demand.

Rival company Goldcar has also been accused of ‘ambushing’ customers with the hidden charges.

One Record Go customer, who asked to remain anonymous, was forced to queue for nearly two hours behind other disgruntled customers before being told he would not be given the keys until he paid.

“I explained that I was here on business and I didn’t want the insurance because I have annual cover, but they told me I couldn’t take the car without paying,” he told the Olive Press.

“I eventually paid a deposit but I have since demanded a refund, which I have been told I will receive soon.”

Phil Walker, from Saddleworth, was also forced to wait in a long queue at the Record Go desk before being made to pay a fee which nearly doubled the total cost.

The 54-year-old, who runs a lifestock supply company, had booked through car hire broker Holiday Autos.

But on picking up the vehicle from Record Go for a three week holiday in Malaga with his wife, he was forced to hand over an additional £174.

“I thought I’d got a good deal because it was only £175 for the whole trip, but I couldn’t believe it when they made me pay the extra charge,” he said.

Holiday Autos acknowledged the ‘industry wide issue’ of companies charging hidden fees and vowed to end its association with any firms found guilty of wrongdoing.

“We are very aware of the ongoing industry wide issue whereby low cost suppliers push their insurance products locally on collection,” said Jo King, Head of Brand and Marketing Communications at Holiday Autos.

“We will review our relationship with any supplier found to have been engaging in this practise of selling customers additional extras they do not require.”

She added: “We take these complaints very seriously and are constantly looking at ways to improve our business to ensure customers are treated fairly by our suppliers.”

A Goldcar spokesman said: “Goldcar takes these claims very seriously and we are continuously looking for ways to improve the information provided to the customer.”

Other extras which holidaymakers are regularly finding themselves shelling out for include child seats and additional drivers.

As with all things, the best advice is to shop around and to establish exactly what is and is not included before hiring a car.

Helle Hollis checklist for car hire:

1. What does the rental rate include?
2. What insurance is included?
3. Which fuel policy is applied – and what is the fuel price charged?
4. Can I only pay with credit card?
5. Shall I prepay the rental?
6. Do the staff speak my language?
7. Does the rental include 24 hour road assistance?
8. Can I hire baby seats, GPS or other extras?
9. Is the extra driver for free?
10. Is the office open 24 hours 7 days a week?
11. Are there minimum age requirements?
12. Are there upper age limit requirements?
13. Where do I pick up my rental car?
14. Will I be driving a new car?

 

66 COMMENTS

  1. Paco : Bit difficult to visit Los Pueblos Blancos by cab. As with many things in Spain, if one loves the place, fiddles and scams just have to be swallowed. Would be marvellous if the bottom line that was shown, was the price you pay. We can only dream…. Here’s another good one. Last year in Alicante, complained about lack of antenna on car. Was told to “try and pinch your neighbours, we don’t supply them, they get stolen”
    Don’t get me started on spare wheels that aren’t provided with “Smart Cars”. What’s smart about that?

  2. The cost of Car Rental is less now than we were charging in 1990, the competition means companies quote a low price to get the order then triple the price with extras.
    We charge the price we quote as we need repetetive business, the internet companies do not car.
    Paul Richardson
    Briansrentacar

  3. Gold car quoted me €30 for 4 days a year ago. By the time they added €115 euros for a tank of fuel I did not need, €3 a day additional driver and accident damage insurance the cost was €190. I never went back to hire another car from them but they do seem to still be taking people in with their untrue online fees. I go to Europ car now. You may well think they are more expensive online but you do not have to buy the tank of fuel. If you go via the easyjet page it is normally cheaper than going direct. I am going to have my own car there soon even though I will only use it for a few weeks a year but i have had enough of these people now.

    • Goldcar, Lisbon airport, October 2015.
      This company seems to be on a verge of a FRAUDLENT activity.
      If you think you have found a bargain because of cheap car rental referred by various rent-a-car search engines, then you are totally fooled. Just an example for 5 day rental and a small car: your base price is 35 euro. Then you will learn, if you are not very lucky, after about 3-4 hours (?! yes !!) of waiting, that you have to pay the fuel (about 90 euro) and 87 euro of insurance. No insurance? OK, we will block you 1200 euro on your cc. No toll road device – let us better listen, we can persuade you to take it with you (and pay). This is still nothing. You returned a car in a perfect condition and you think your nightmare with this company is over. But no – they suddenly charge your credit card for some hundreds of euro and you will never know why. Nobody answers phone calls, nobody replies to e-mails, they fake the response on their FB profile. And yes, they hide a real car condition before the customer (like damages you are not able to spot during your inspection)!!! This is insane but they act like this.

      Unbelievable? Just read the others opinions!!! My advice: if you, by chance, have made a reservation with them, just cancel it even losing some money. It will be much less than you will lose if you go with them!

  4. Bringing it back full won’t help when you’ve already been ripped off for a full tank at extortionate prices. The fact is, car hire is a minefield. When you fetch up at the counter, maybe late at night, they have you by the short and curlies. “You don’t like it? Go elsewhere” There isn’t an “elsewhere” of course. No. there’s no problem HIRING a car in Spain, you just have to suck it up and smile, when hit by extra charges.

  5. Gold car are the biggest rip off ever!!
    . Sol mar rented an old banger to us and is very very far from the airport..we missed return flight whilst having to wait for them to inspect the car and then waiting for courtesy bus to fill up.
    all companies overcharge for petrol knowing that clients will leave fuel in the tank on return…who wants to run out on the way back to the airport?
    Centauro are now taking a deposit 600 euros (small car). Even though we have our own annual insurance policy to cover the supposedly EXTRA insurance that they do not include!!! + 60 euros fuel.
    Most companies greet you at the airport with all their hidden extras and this can cause lots of aggravation and tempers flying amongst people in the queue not expecting these high priced ad ons. Most staff are hard faced in ripping people off knowing there is no alternative as you lose what you have paid beforehand if you do not take the car, with cancellation fees they apply so you are doubly screwed! Something should be done to stop these rip offs once and for all.
    Disgruntled car hirer.

    • They have done the same to me €400 saying that he parcel shelf was missing…(it was a mini van! I didn’t know it was ment to have one so never questioned it) after a lot of ringing and emailing we got told the charges still stand ???? So we have contacted are cc company and they have said to leave it with them!! Did you ever get your money back? If you don’t mind me asking. Regards Darren

  6. Always take photos of the car with your phone with something with a date on it like a newsspaper of all dents and scratches.

    Note on the rental form anything they have not recorded.Take pic of milage at start.

    Insist on a full tank return option then refund of petrol cost. Take pic of fuel gauge on return and milage.

    Verify that in car there are two breakdown vests, a spare tyre or tyre pucture kit. There should also be spare bulbs, but not as vital.

    Sometimes they dont fill to top but just below so make sure that you refil to same spot.

  7. One I would avoid is Briansrentacar. You will be lucky if they return your deposit. Then claim you damaged the car but won’t produce any evidence. After that if you contact them you are faced with foul and abusive correspondence.
    Different so called clients will then post in defence of the company usually from the same IP address ( as identified on this site)..
    Then the owner will post in different names.
    All very strange but effective in making the situation more difficult when trying to get your deposit back.
    Better to go with a more reputable company in my opinion.

  8. Be warned: Economy Car Rentals and Fiirefly
    I chose Economy Car Rentals .com who finds the best car rental company for you. When I received the confirmation it stated that they had chose Firefly (formerly Advantage). For an eight-day car rental
    I paid 28,73 in advance. The remaining 40,80 euro to be paid at the Firefly Desk (full insurance included!).

    At the Firefly desk I encountered the worst renting experience of all times (I have an apartment on the Costa and have been coming here for the past 20 years!). The sales rep informed me that the written confirmation From Economy Car Rentals. Com WAS ALL WRONG and had to be rewritten. Nothing I tried worked, so at 1:15 am what do you do but accept what you’re told. To cut a long story short:the total I ended up paying was 231 euro (when returning the car with full tank, I will get 53 euro back). On top of everything I received a For Fiesta that has 100395 km on the odometer! The car works, but honestly I have never driven a rental that is this used. Instead of getting a decent car, I was given a wreck.
    I emailed Economy Car Rentals. Com and Firefly, neither has responded.

  9. Hello I have been hiring from HH for a lot of times
    I have in the last couple if years hired from Malaga car hire
    The last 2 years from Record , their policy’s are as fair if you know the system that’s hiring for 3 days giving back tank full or over 3 days giving back empty , the insurance waver I think is unfair as they all have additional block policies to cover the damage this is in Ireland with all the top car companies as well , the 1200€ blocked in your account should be deemed illegal as you have paid for insurance , but there are like Ryan air another opportunist easy jet & all the other vultures in the travel business
    The fairest deals have to be the hotels who suffer the most from price fixing
    It’s only time when a honest respectable company will replace these a users
    As well taking an action in Spain against any of these large companies is a joke as no small claim courts are here & paying some joker of a solicitor to deal with it , Spain is full of so called legal & professional vultures & money grabbers

  10. I have a friend who booked a car via doyouspain.com collected the car from Record and paid for it, returned the car and 2 weeks later Record debited his card again for the cost of the rental. He has been fighting for a return for this money for over 3 months. Beware.

  11. I arrived at Malaga airport yesterday and had purchased car hire via ‘doyouspain’ . I also purchased their gold insurance package, which was supposed to cover you for the hidden extras. When I got to the desk, the assistant demanded that I pay for their insurance (€92). I had already paid out €53 for the broker’s policy. I even showed the policy document and she told me it was no good. She said that if I did not pay for their cover I could not rent the car. If I had not already pre paid I would have told her to park the car in the rear car park, but it would have meant paying exorbitant fees from another provider. I had no choice but to cough up the money. Luck would have it that I have been promised a refund from doyouspain insurance, after a snotty email was sent to them. This will however not recompense me from the stress of having to deal with the very obstinate Record sales assistant. I normally book through Carjet and had no problems in the past. Lesson learned! BTW the car was in the wrong bay and had more dents than a banger racer.

  12. Unfortunately I am one of many victims of Brian’s car hire who me of damaging their vehicle. They should have returned my deposit in full but have not even returned the balance after deducting the costs of the alleged damage. There are many similar stories to mine. The Spanish authorities should crack down hard on this company and any other car hire company that behaves in this manner. My advice is to do your research first (there is a lot of information about Brian’s in particular) and also to pay a bit more for a reputable company.

  13. About Record Go car rental in Malaga.

    They promise to return gasoline deposit money but they never will.

    Cheap price in internet is at the end almost 3x..

    Car was in bad condition also, I don’t know what was the problem but it was really unstable to drive and had lots of scratches etc.

    Never again.

  14. RECORD GO: I rented a car from Malaga airport and paid fully comprehensive insurance.
    When we finally found the hire car at the airport it was completely dented down one side.

    I had to report this back to them and it took over an hour to do so. Not very convenient at 12:00 at night when travelling with a child and with someone waiting to let us into our holiday apartment.

    On returning home I have checked my a credit card bill and they have added an extra £ 675.00 to it. I have sent them 3 emails and so far have got one back with the standard thank you we will get back to you.

    NEVER RENT A CAR FROM THIS COMPANY. HOW CAN THIS GO ON!

  15. This August I hired a Seat Alhambra because we needed more seats than my car had for a visit by the family. I don’t often hire cars because we have our own vehicle here in Spain. Having heard all the bad reports I was quite wary. If a company an its me I will be the first to complain so when I get good service I should be the first to sing their praise.
    We hired from Enterprise Artesa at Malaga airport. The car was fully equipped and clean. On pick up we were taken through the controls including a driver’s manual in the glove box. We were offered fuel options, we chose full to full and insurance options. On return the service was quick and efficient and the rep spoke excellent English (not needed but a nice touch). We were told that the deposit would be returned quickly to our bank account and it was.
    Probably, at face value, not the cheapest company but it turns out cheaper and less stressful when the company doesn’t try to cheat you.
    A thorough recommend (and I have no connection with the firm)

  16. I have an apartment in Palma since more than 10 years and I spend a part of the summer there. I always rent a car for a short period and it always works out fine. This year I made a huge mistake and hired a car from Record Go.
    I only needed the car for one day and they had a nice offer; 26 Euros including insurance.
    When I came to the Airport to pick up the car the first tried to make hire a more expensive car. When I declined and said I wanted the cheaper one I still got the more expensive one. They obviously didn’t have the cheap car I had ordered and the whole thing was just to make me take the cost for them not having the car I ordered. A serious car rental companies had told me upfront that they didn’t have the car and offered me a better car without extra charge. Next the girl behind the service counter told me that I needed a car Insurance. I thought I had read that the Insurance was included but I thought I had mistaken and asked for the price. The answer was a bit slurred but she said seven eigthy Euro (in broken English). I said OK not knowing that she should have said seventy-eight Euro. I am positive that she scammed me right there and then. Had she said seventy-eight I would have walked away to another company. Then, as a final blow, she told me that I had to pay a deposit for gas which would be returned to me when I returned the car. It would be credited to my card. It still hasn’t been credited and almost two months have passed. I have written to the company but haven’t heard back from them. Avoid Record Car at all cost.

  17. As per my above thread – An extra £675.00 was stolen from our credit card account after renting a car from RECORD GO.

    RECORD GO sent us an email with break down of costs – this made absolutely no sense but I’m sure they don’t care.

    Barclay Card have investigated and refunded us the full amount!!!

  18. I think the lesson for everyone is if you get stung by one of these very poor companies fight for your money back, these bad companies rely on us just paying up and going away.
    Well times are hard and money is tight so these companies need to realise not all people will just pay up and roll over.
    The authorities in Spain need to get a grip of this type of rip off because it’s causing damage untold damage to the local economy .
    Mr Evans

  19. It seems that the people who are fortunate enough to retrieve all or part of their funds do so either from their credit card provider or via some insurance cover. The actual thieves are still getting away with it without any penalty. I wrote a detailed email to the Tourism Department regarding my experience with Brian’s Car Hire. They eventually got back to me referring me to the Consumer Affairs Department. Making a complaint via them appears to involve appearing before a tribunal etc. etc., not exactly a viable proposition for me as I live on the other side of the planet. It has also been suggested to me to start a Facebook page dedicated to outing these parasites however this will probably just end up being a whinge-fest and not result in any firm action being taken. The only real remedy to stop the illegal retaining of monies is for this industry to be regulated, at least for the small operators as these are the ones who are the culprits. The Spanish authorities should introduce legislation forcing these operators to credit deposits taken to a centralised system, controlled by an independent body, and the onus should be on the operator to show absolute evidence to substantiate any retention of funds, otherwise the deposit should be refunded in full within a prescribed time period. The involvement of the appropriate Spanish authorities is critical in controlling the lower end of this industry.

  20. Report these companies to the Malaga police cyber crime unit , I did and they wanted anyone who had suffered at the hands of Brians rent a car to do the same.
    The authorities need to regulate these poor outfits to minimise the damage they are doing to the local economy otherwise people will just stay away.
    Mr Evans

  21. Warning for small letters!
    When renting a car from Record Go at Malaga Airport for a month, I was planning to take a trip ro Alicante. Howewer, befor starting my trip I was reading the small letters in my contract and noticed that Record has a restriction, saying that You must come back to the rental office before driving more than 2000 km in order to change the car. Which means that I, despite of my free mileage, could not drive my planned trip. If you drive more than the 2000 km´s there is a penalty of 2 Euro/km which was impossible to discus with Record.

  22. Sorry that You don´t get the point Stefanjo. As I have rented a car for one month, the trip to Alicante is not the only one I like to do. Of course I also like to see the surrondings of Malaga and Granda, as well as the Alpujarra. My point is that I can be punished if not coming back with the car before 2000 km when renting free milage. And there is no extra information when picking up the car.

  23. alicante airport I collected a car from drivila this was 23,30 on return I was told two wheel trims where damaged they charged 200 euros for some very minor scratches which where propably there when I collected the car this is a scam . I have just replaced my wheel trims on my car cost £8.99

  24. Having said I would never go back to RecordGo Car Hire I made the mistake of once more booking with them. Worst Car Hire company in Spain, The price is never what you have agreed with all their little extras. Also they asked me for a 1200euro excess charge on the car as I would not pay their 96euros insurance scam for 6 days hire. Normally, with other companies the excess is held on your card but not deducted from your account, Not with RecordGo, they deducted the money from my account and into theirs for the duration which meant as it was a credit card my bank charged me a £32 conversion fee, which I can’t get back and they had my money earning some interest in their bank account. Lesson learnt…NEVER EVER use RecordGo.

  25. AtlasChoice & Dickmanns are criminals.

    I had my car booked for the total price of USD117.
    Upon arrival on the airport I was told I rented the car with Dickmanns, through AtlasChoice. I was taken to some industrial area where Dickmanns have their cars.
    Then it started. I was asked for my voucher. I did not had any because I was not sent one. I did not even know I was actually renting from Dickmanns until I arrived at the airport. Cost EUR 15.
    Then I was told to insure another time, while I already had an insurance with Atlaschoice. Extra cost EUR 112.
    With these scammers it is also not possible to just take the car full and bring it back full so you fill the tank up yourself. You take it full and must bring back empty. For that they charge EUR98.
    So the USD 117 was already charged to my credit card, but I needed to pay an extra EUR 225 to actually get the car. EUR 225 EXTRA !!
    Dickens did not give a crap about us so just said you have to pay or lose the USD 117 and you get no car.
    Fortunately I was there alone, with just a small bag. If you are there after a long flight with lots of luggage and children you just have no choice.

    This is how RyanAir used to be when they just started. This has to stop. It is criminal. Some North African people behind the desk and rude people on the other end of the phone.

    DO NOT EVER RENT FROM ATLAS CHOICE OR DICKMANNS.

    SCAMMERS!

  26. At least when you claim an incorrect charge back from your Credit Card company you have the satisfaction of knowing that they won’t let it go and will charge back the car rental company the full amount and an administrative charge, that’s quite substantial. Its meant to be a deterrent from overcharging people so the more that claim against the Credit Card company the more the Car rental company will lose.

  27. Hired vehical at Alicante Airport on 4th June, paid for vehicle through Auto-Europe so no charges at pick up point. As usual offered extra insurance. No thanks. Received credit card statement yesterday and the car hire company (Interrent) had taken 57 euro? I have asked Auto-Europe to explain this. Waiting for reply. The time before I had a similar issue with FireFly the sweet smiling person discussed insurance and as usual said “No thanks” suddenly she turned into a visious creature screaming at me because she had added the insurance without my knowledge. They swipe your credit card as accident deposit so they can take what ever they like. Please be AWARE. This is possibly the next scam they are using to rip us off. The European Parliment should be sorting this out. I for one will be selling my holiday home so I never have to go to to Spain again.

  28. I have used various Alicante car hire companies for over 8 years and believed I had learned most if not all of the tricks employed by car hire companies to extract as much money as possible from customers – but FIREFLY are the worst.

    I shall not list the tactics used by the run of the mill companies as these are well documented.

    However. FIREFLY have an additional trick up there sleeve – and this review will warn you of their tactics and tell you how to avoid paying their extortionate costs.

    I booked a SMALL car with Firefly for collection at Alicante. I received a SEVEN SEATER MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). so far nothing unusual. I used the car for two weeks. Nothing unusual. I returned the car with no additional scratches, dents or marks. Again nothing unusual.

    HOWEVER, upon returning the vehicle to Alicante the “check the car upon return” girl informed me that the parcel shelf was missing and that I would be billed 420 euros. WHAT!

    The car was a Zafira (auto air con model – not the catch fire recall version).
    Firefly deemed it to be my responsibility to check that the car was complete at commencement of hire. An unfamiliar model to me I had no way of knowing that there was a parcel shelf and that it is normally stored (when not used) “under floor” – the car hire company say that the customer is responsible for checking that nothing is missing from the car at commencement of hire (how would one know what is missing?)

    So – I faced the threat of a 420 euro excess charge being put on my credit card because a parcel shelf that was not supplied was still not in the car when the car was returned. I checked in for my return flight and then phoned my credit card company to cancel my credit card – this prevented Firefly from taking the 420 euros which would have been charged in the morning – because the “Manager” was not available at the time that I returned the car to “discuss” the problem.

    So – beware – be prepared – ensure your mobile phone has sufficient credit to call your credit card provider (or your bank) – should you need to prevent excessive and unwarranted charges being incurred just when you are about to leave the country.

  29. Booked a hire car from Dickmanns via DoYouSpain, but when I went to collect it, I was told my credit card was a debit card and unacceptable to them. However I could have the car if I paid about 200 euros for their insurance, still using the same card!
    The “lady” was very abrupt, insisting my credit card was a debit card, I have never experienced any problems with this card.
    I already have top up insurance so I definitely was not paying through the nose for that rip off.
    I didn’t leave with the car which was a bit of an inconvenience, fortunately I was not dependent on this car as my only means of transport while in Spain other customers were in the office arguing about similar things, I asked her to contact DYS so I could cancel but she said DYS will not answer the phone when Dickmann’s ring, I wonder why?
    I have used Dickmann’s in the past but after this experience I will never use this car hire company again.
    I contacted DoYouSpain and they immediately cancelled the car hire and refunded me.
    Absolutely no complaints with DYS.
    After reading the other reviews I’m not sorry I didn’t get a car from them.
    They obviously use any excuse they can dream up to extort money from people in vulnerable situations.

  30. Rented car for 2 months (60Days ) and was charged 1200 euro on my creditcard, contacted my bank/creditcard and lodged a dispute over the charge .As we are away the creditcard company have sent a dispute form to my address, and OKd the fact that the form could be filled in (amount ect) and signed on my behalf and returned to them, and they would suspend the transaction until we return home. I might add that the Rental company is RecordGo at Malaga Airport, there was quite a lot of small damage ( scratches, scuffs, chips ect ) along with no Ariel, Spare wheel, or documents apart from the hire agreement from the desk. As I do not trust them, I have Photos of all the above mentioned faults, taken in daylight outside of the airport area with time and date stamped on the pics. I intend to do the same just before I return the car to them, just incase that they find “some additional damage” and try to charge me. I recommend that all hirers of this company do the same

  31. NEVER hire a car in Spain, perhaps, elsewhere, too. Cheaper and safer to hire and pay for the car in the USA from American Auto. Assoc. or other agency. This allows you to contest ripp-offs and with hold credit card payment till matter is rectified. I would think the same can be done from UK, Germany etc.

    • Willing to bet that when you fetch up at ANY car-hire desk in any Spanish airport, late at night, they will still find a way to screw you. The following hassle will spoil your trip, no matter what company you have “protecting” you. The people posting on this thread aren’t daft (mostly) but so many of them have been done over, despite knowing the score. The powers-that-be simply don’t care. If you are a foreigner, you are a mark, your presence is there for exploitation.

  32. Avoid hiring from Record Go at Alicante if you are over 70 years of age…tucked away in the fine print is this
    “Age Requirements:
    Minimum age 21 with one year driving experience.
    Young driver supplement (21-25) 5eur per day max.60eur.
    Customers aged 70+ must take the extra insurance from the supplier. The price of this insurance is 192.00eur.”

    This is in the fine print in the rental conditions form which is easily missed on the DoYouSpain Site…beware

  33. I lost my keys. Company took my 500 deposit and asked for another 500. I never called them but write threatening to denounce them at Marbella police station. After 2 days of emails deposit returned!! These guys are thieves and bullies. We have to expose them and fight back

  34. I hired a car via economy care hire (now zest car rental) in Ibiza in August and on return was informed that the operative dealing with me had “mistakenly” credited my credit card with the amount of the security deposit (600 euro). I was then asked for my card in order for the same amount to be withdrawn and told that these transactions would cancel each other out. When I returned to the UK I discovered the amount had been debited but never credited by K10. I am fighting this via nationwide disputes department and fully intend to trash the dodgy reputation of K10 and question why economy car hire (now ZEST car rental) would deal with such a dangerous outfit.

  35. Booked a car from Solmar Barcelona Airport Spain.(we travel abroad and hire cars at least 3-4 times a year) car rental from Barcelona Airport 24/08/2016 for 8 days, paid the rental price via ‘Do You Spain’
    Arrived on time at Barcelona airport and followed poor directions to bus stop (where there is no indication that it is for Solmar) to meet our transfer bus which Solmar said would be ‘waiting’ for us. What a joke !
    WE waited one hour and twenty five minutes for transfer bus to arrive in 30+ degrees heat, we watched other rental companies (i.e. Gold car) transfer buses come and go (3 x for one company !)
    When the driver finally came after 5 phone calls to Do you Spain, we and another French family asked him where had he been, he insisted he had been at the pick up 35 minutes previously, this was total rubbish !
    Transferred to car pick up reception area and one man initially serving a very frustrated business man who Solmar said was not the person who booked the car and hence he was denied a vehicle. The very cocky and rude reception man finally turned to us and started to process our rental, at the same time the French couple where having difficulties with their rental with another rude man who could not find their rental agreement on his computer and was insisting they have a different car and probably pay again!
    We where then told that we have to pay another 144 Euro for THEIR insurance and 25 Euro to have them fill the the tank plus pay up front for a full tank of fuel and then a 1500 Euro block on our credit card (even though it says in all their literature and the sign in their office for the type of car we were trying to hire was 1000 Euro) Which we refused, We phoned DO YOU Spain whilst in the office and explained the situation and Do you Spain confirmed the 1000 Euro block etc and i even handed my phone to the reception man, who was insisting that it is now 1500. I walked behind his desk and pointed out the sign behind him, at this point he said he was cancelling the booking!!! that was it !
    Three separate customers in the office and all three having problems !! I rang DO you Spain again and explained that Solmar are now not going to rent us a car and was apologized professedly and promised refund of initial monies paid (now 5/09/2016 and no refund as yet)
    To recap car hire was advertised at 87 pounds, what you have to actually pay is
    87 pounds Sterling Car hire
    140 Euros Their Insurance or 144 Euro for better insurance
    25 Euros to have the tank refilled
    50+ for fuel (can have refund on each quarter of a tank that remains (so they say))
    1500 block on your credit card

    So this company is not cheap at all, hidden costs which you feel you have to accept as you are so far from the airport you have to accept.
    We did not, and were left stranded with children in 30+ degree heat in a foreign country, this is diabolical behavior by this RIP OFF company.
    We managed to get a lift from another kind shuttle driver (NOT SOLMAR) back to the airport and went to SIXT car rental and for the total of 140 Euro we had a car within 10 minutes, and only 280 Euro block on credit card and can use external insurance. The difference between the companies is light and dark.
    BE WARNED, DO NOT USE SOLMAR YOU WILL REGRET IT.
    They were happy to strand a family with children !!!!
    Go elsewhere, anywhere, read the reviews, Why DO You Spain is associated with this RIP OFF firm is a mystery, they will be getting a letter of complaint as well about this company they are advertising.
    I have video footage of all the people complaining and having problems in SOLMAR offices which i will post when we have checked the legal implications.

    • Likely the big companies. I say this because I have Spanish friend, former assitant manager at Hertz Madrid. He told me this summer that ALL the Spanish rental companies play games, but less so at the big global agenies. Still, this will depend on the character of the service person.
      He also said do your homework first, appear indifferent and be able to walk away.
      Also, see what protection your credit card agency has to offer. And check about insurance coverage from your home policy or a travel policy not linked to the rental agency.
      The 4 games are: 1. Fuel rip-off; 2. Insurance rip-off; 3. Car damage (photo everything); 4. Excess mileage charges.
      You must do your research and see how your credit card issuer handles fraudulent charges.
      But don’t show up as a target looking hungry and tired with children.
      I have gone from one to the next in the airport, refusing stated prices till one agent called me over to ask what I would pay.
      If you are looking at long term rental, consider buying a used car. Perfectly good car can be had for €1000, even less, but again, due your research.

  36. Hired a car from Record Go at Alicante Airport on 3rd September 2016. Horrendous wait at the counter, everything seemed Ok and went to Javea,approx 65km away. returned the car on time on 15th September with a FULL tank of petrol. Handed the keys back together with the petrol receipt and was told we would be getting a petrol supplement refund. When the credit card bill came in found they had charged us 457euro extra and no refund. Eventually got through by phone to be told the charge was because we had exceeded the 2000km limit. Pointed out that Javea was only 50+km away and I doubted we had done over 200km let alone 2000. Eventually rep admitted it was a mistake but when I asked her to refund the money apparently they only deal with E mails and I needed a customer services reference number. Two emails later and still no acknowledgement or contact and now try getting through on any of the phone numbers, all automated systems. Have reported this as an unauthorised transaction to the credit card company. They say it goes on ALL the time with the Spanish car hire companies, they try it on.
    DON’T BOOK WITH RECORD GO IT WILL COST YOU

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