/ Tenerife car hire, any horror stories?
Hi, I am off to Tenerife for just over a week quite soon and probably renting a car there, from the airport, from a major provider, not "Rhodium" or "Orlando" or whatever. Hertz, SIXT, Avis etc.
I know I am inviting people to recount horror stories of poor service and "enforced" fees and claims for non-existent damage etc but really looking for the opposite, for reassurance.
Bear in mind I've been hiring cars about 10-15 times a year for the last five years both for work and for leisure, in the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Germany and Italy (Sardinia) and never had an issue, so I am fairly confident that I won't get scammed. I have an external third-party insurance policy including CDW etc. Never had to use it in anger though!
I am vaguely aware that some of the apparently big operators sometimes run as franchises (is that right?) so there are some locations to be wary of....or is that just "bloke in the pub said" nonsense?
Sorry to "disappoint", no horror story from me
Read about some of the scams, found a seemingly ok local company (Autoreisen?), got a reservation (no credit card was required, I don't use plastic debt), got a cheap car, drove around, dropped it off on departure. No scam, no problems. Sure, the car was somewhat scratched up and had a nearly empty gas tank, but I just took photos of the gauge and the exterior for reference and put in the exact same amount of fuel when returning it. In the end, nobody much cared at all. For 10€ a day I couldn't care less about some scratches and neither did they.
That’s interesting, I asked the same question to friends who’ve often been to Tenerife and aside from the credit card aspect they took the same approach and use Autoreisen on the grounds that the slightly scruffier cars cause them less worry when parking in dodgier looking places!
I use credit cards and don’t stress about damage etc (as per my OP, got cover) but it’s interesting that you mention Autoreisen too. For my trip, as it is short notice, they aren’t particularly cheaper than any of the majors but I’ll consider them. There are some that are like £54 for nine days and you have to wonder what the catch is!
Another vote for any Tenerife car hire (normally the cheapest I can find at the time). Never had any sort of problem on any of my visits. The management of the Tenerife island seem so much more ‘in control’ than your usual mainland holiday destination resorts. Don’t worry, enjoy.
We used Cicar in September. The service was good and we were given a decent car.
There were some minor scratches on the car when we picked it up, but there were no attempts to blame us when we returned it.
Thanks all. Sounds positive. I get the impression that overall, hire car horror stories (of the total scam variety) are becoming a thing of the past, perhaps the industry has become better regulated? As per my OP, I must have had 40ish rentals in the last 5 years and never a problem. I just remembered that this forum amongst others used to have frequent postings along the lines of "never use Europcar or Gold_something from Malaga etc." followed by a description of post-rental charges for traffic infractions that never happened, or non-return of deposit etc. etc.
I'll book something today and not stress at all about it.
Another vote for Autoreisen - book online but pay at the desk, no worries. Got one car I didn't like (Chevrolet Aveo) but mentioned on return and was told I could have swapped it...
We always go for cheapest option but say "Not a Chevrolet please" on the booking form, no problem!
Really obliging company.
If it's of any use to you, CICAR which only operates in the Canary Islands, got a glowing report from Which? (Consumer' Association) a few months back.
I spend every winter in Tenerife, and always use autoreisen, never had any problems with them.
I used Ci Car a couple of times when we were there, didn't always get the car we hired but at least they didn't try it on with selling all sorts of bogus insurance etc.
The worst I've had is Gold car in Majorca, laying on thick in the airport telling me my excess insurance wasn't valid, trying to sell me all sorts of crap, I was having none of it and basically told them if I scratch it I'll just roll it off a cliff and get my monies worth out of the excess, that shut them up.
So approaching the desk in Teneriffe I was all set to do battle, all they wanted to see was my ID then gave me an envelope with a key in it, took all of about 5 mins, I was surprised.
Yes we had a nightmare with a hire co in Mallorca having booked through a web booker in Manchester. I stupidly ticked all the boxes without checking then later discovered that, amongst all the extras, I had paid about £15 for a "holiday advice service". We tried to claim that the charges hadn't been explained to us but they were having none of it.
We hire cars frequently now and have an annual excess insurance policy, which is much cheaper than paying their premium.
Hertz were slow, and tried to add extra driver charge which had been pre paid, but scratched the charge when challenged.
No quibbles with the car
Check the car over carefully. We hired from AutoReisen last month. On checking the car over we found that a wheel had been kerbed and there was a sizeable chunk of rubber gouged out of a rear tyre wall together with another small chunk of rubber gouged out of the tread. It would in no way have passed an MOT in the UK, and in fact would have been illegal. When we pointed this out to the car hire rep he tried to tell us that it "wasn't a problem". We insisted that it was unsafe and requested another car before accepting it.
They didn't have one immediately and we had to wait for over an hour while they reluctantly washed and prepared an alternative insisting that there was "no problem".
After that all went well and smoothly and they just accepted it on return without checking it over.
Again, thanks all. I am always prepared to spend an extra 5 minutes explaining that I am not to be upsold any extras (I know in my OP I say "never had a problem" but that related to post-return magic big fees); less than a year ago in Germany I collected a 5 day rental at Hamburg airport which was about 220E, but suddenly the form showed that "the final price" would be over 700E, the agent tried to give me a load of "it is mandatory in Germany to have all the full insurance" with the implication that I could not take the car without signing this high price off, and I said "it IS fully insured without all that extra daily stuff, take it off or I'll cancel", she started asking for a load of details I would have had to dredge up from my Hertz login etc, which required booting up my laptop, which required a mains power source, there was a queue building up behind me, and eventually she quietly handed me the touch screen thing to sign, back at the original price, but still sort of threatened that any little damage would be 30000 Euro I can deal with all that and for sure a good check around, I am arriving in daytime so there won't be tiredness or a rush to deal with.
I ended up booking the smallest car from Sixt, as it was cheaper than Autoreisen by a margin that made it worth it.
Rigid Raider, with respect, it sounds like your problems were your own creation?
Interesting though that you mention it was via an agent. I use the agents like Travelocity to get an overview but usually book direct with the company. I know you sometimes get a discount via an agent but aside from one recent rental in the USA, it's trivial. Direct with the company always feels a little smoother.
> Direct with the company always feels a little smoother.
The advantage of booking through and intermediary is you have someone to back you up in a dispute, Auto Europe have come through for me twice in this respect. Something I had on my last trip a couple of weeks ago which I have not had before was have the option to pre checkin with the car hire company, driver licence and passport info, it did speed things up.
We've been hiring monthly from Enterprise at Glasgow Central and haven't had any problems on the charging and admin side. We have our own excess insurance with Better Safe, which is excellent value.
Where we have had problems has been with the sometimes shonky state of the cars - one had an empty washer bottle and it wasn't until I discovered that the bonnet wouldn't open that I realised why the black paintwork on the bonnet was covered in hand prints! Another car had a rear wheel grossly out of balance and we've had windscreens obscured with plasticiser mist, so we always make a fuss and they always write out a card giving us free petrol next time! The worst cars by a long chalk have been the Mercedes A and C classes, both of which were cheaply built, blingy, vulgar, impossible to understand the digital screens and the A class had an alarming judder at speed, which we were told later was the "lane assist"! Best cars so far have been the Astra and the Fiesta. They once offered to upgrade me to a BMW for only £25 extra but I told them they'd have to pay ME £25 compensation for damage to my reputation if anybody saw me driving it.
thanks, all interesting stuff (apart from the BMW bit)
> We've been hiring monthly from Enterprise at Glasgow Central and haven't had any problems on the charging and admin side. We have our own excess insurance with Better Safe, which is excellent value.
> Where we have had problems has been with the sometimes shonky state of the cars - one had an empty washer bottle and it wasn't until I discovered that the bonnet wouldn't open that I realised why the black paintwork on the bonnet was covered in hand prints! Another car had a rear wheel grossly out of balance and we've had windscreens obscured with plasticiser mist, so we always make a fuss and they always write out a card giving us free petrol next time! The worst cars by a long chalk have been the Mercedes A and C classes, both of which were cheaply built, blingy, vulgar, impossible to understand the digital screens and the A class had an alarming judder at speed, which we were told later was the "lane assist"! Best cars so far have been the Astra and the Fiesta. They once offered to upgrade me to a BMW for only £25 extra but I told them they'd have to pay ME £25 compensation for damage to my reputation if anybody saw me driving it.
BMWs are consistently better to drive than their immediate competitors Audi and Mercedes, and miles ahead of the sub-premium pack. I suggest you take up the offer next time. For years now, it’s been Audi drivers who are the fast lane wankers*. Beemer owners just like driving a well-honed machine.
* BMW X6 excepted
Cicar all the way. Never had any problems with them in Lanzarote, Fuertventura or Tenerife. We used them last November in Tenerife for a party of 5 - we paid for an Opel Combo but got a Zafira (minor upgrade). Three days from the end of the trip the check engine light came on - we were near the airport at the time so just went straight to their office. 20 minutes later we drove out in a Volvo XC90 with a fuel refund because we'd just filled the original car.
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