/ Car Hire - A Good Experience

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Trangia on 14 Nov 2017
Just to redress the balance.

A few years back I hired from Europcar at Edinburgh Airport. On the day that we returned the car we had an hour to spare so we decided to go and have a look at the Forth Bridge before returning the car. At the pay booth I passed my then wife my wallet, and she took out the money to pay, putting the wallet back into the little store space between the front seats behind the gear lever.

We duly handed the car back to Eurocar, checked in and went through security.

In the departures lounge I said "fancy a coffee?" and went to buy a couple of coffees. When it came to paying I reached into my pocket....No wallet!!

The penny dropped immediately. We had about 40 mins left before our gate was called. Panic!

I ran back to security, and explained. They said OK go back out, but I'd have to come back through all again when I came back.

Ran to the Europcar desk where the guy was serving another customer, and butted in apologising and explaining what had happened. He said that unfortunately the car had already been returned to the off airport compound. He rang them. Long wait whilst they went to search the car. Then yes! They had found the wallet. Said they would send it straight back.

Another long wait, then a call from the driver. There was heavy traffic going into the airport, and he was stuck in a jam which wasn't moving.

Then he called again and said he was only about half a mile away, so he would park up and come on foot. It was pouring with rain.

Another long wait, and finally a soaking wet bedraggled driver appeared and handed me the wallet.

When I tried to tip him he said "no way, it was all part of the service" !

Then back through security to join my worried ex as a last chance to board call had just gone out for us over the Tanoy.

Needless to say I'll always now opt for Europcar where there is a choice.

profitofdoom on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

True story I hired a car from Avis a few years ago and scratched the wheel rims up quite a bit. I was in fear of being charged when I returned the car but they just looked at the wheels carefully and gave me a thin smile and said something like 'Never mind off you go then'. They never charged me or my card
Dave Ferguson - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to profitofdoom:

They'll just wait till someone with an external insurance policy that hasn't been taken out with Avis hires the car and charge them, that seems to be how it works.
nniff - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

I hired a car form Europcar once. No problems and they gave me an upgrade voucher for next time. Next time we again hired the smallest two door car with air con they had. At the desk I told them I had an upgrade voucher - no problem, sir, you may have a Focus or an Alfa. A rental Alfa? Seriously? Needless to say the poor thing left most of its tyres on the roads of Sicily and was thrashed ragged. When we brought it back, my wife left her glasses in one of the pockets. We were just about to go through security when a Europcar person ran up with them - all part of the service!

Europcar for me whenever possible. Shame they stopped sponsoring a cycling team as that really did make it a no-brainer.
profitofdoom on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

> They'll just wait till someone with an external insurance policy that hasn't been taken out with Avis hires the car and charge them, that seems to be how it works.

I never thought of that but that is sad and disappointing if so. I suppose I am naïve and also maybe naively hope they did not do that. I am sure I would not do that if I worked at Avis ah there we go naïve again
marsbar - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Greenmotion at Stansted have always been lovely and helpful.
Ian W - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

People seem to have a massive downer on the car hire industry, but i've never really had any problems with them. Gotta be lucky at something, I suppose!
Best upgrade - working away, 2 week hire, turned up at manchester airport late at night back from holiday, booking for car had been made at the wrong terminal. Should have had Escort 1.6 (this was mid 90's), only car available was Mondeo ST24 with 7 miles on clock........

Nicest hire desk person was Budget in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Basically, the Arab version of Johnny Vegas. Which was as bizarre as it sounds.
Mal Grey - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Also had a good experience with Europcar, in Norway (OK, it wasn't cheap but nowt is there!)

Booked the smallest car ("Up! type") possible in Roros ("Frontier town" type of place), to get us back to our vehicle at the end of a 2 week canoeing trip. The franchise was basically a scruffy garage selling mostly skidoos down a back street. This was good because I was a scruffy canoeist who'd been carrying a canoe on my head for half the previous 10 days, and was worried they'd think I was a tramp. They couldn't have been more helpful. Europcar hadn't delivered the asked for car, which was apparently coming from Trondheim, 200km away). So they'd got their courtesy car, a large Mondeo Estate, ready for me. Slightly scruffy, with one hole that looked like someone had shot it, but otherwise perfect, and we could get all our baggage in rather than somebody have to sit with it for the 4 hours it took to fetch the van. On asking where I could fill up the tank on return, he just said "ah, don't bother". I was worried this was some sort of way to get me to pay extra on fuel but, no, they didn't use it often enough to need it filling up.

Less good experience with Hertz giving away our car after we arrived an hour late at Oslo once, apparently we should have phoned from 30000ft, but that's not for this thread and it got sorted eventually!

As an aside, I am trying to remember how many times when I've hired a car I've actually ended up with the type or size of car I booked. Always seem to end up with something entirely different (a Transit in the second case above!).
Trangia on 14 Nov 2017
In reply :

I first heard the following story about 10 years ago.

An aircraft arrived nearly an hour late. A young woman passenger went to a car hire desk and said to the representative. "I am really sorry I am late arriving here, but the plane was late! "

"That's no problem Madam" said the rep. "How can I help?"

"I've booked a car with you under the name of Mrs x"

At that moment a man in a business suit came to the desk, elbowing her out of the way, and said "Quick! I'm running late and have a car booked with you"

The rep said "Excuse me Sir, but I was serving this lady!"

The business man looked peeved, and repeated "But I'm in a hurry. I have a very important business meeting, and the plane was late"

The young woman looked at the rep and said "That's OK , you serve him"

The rep asked the business man for his name, looked at his computer, and said "Ah yes, Mr Y, I see that you have booked a Jaguar XJ. I'm afraid that I've got some really bad news for you, but because of the late arrival of your plane, and our being exceptionally busy, we've had to let it go already. It was our last one, but if you need something in a hurry we can let you have a Ford Fiesta immediately"

The business man looked really angry and said " Is there nothing else available similar to the Jag?

"I'm afraid not, Sir, unless you are prepared to wait whilst we prepare a Mercedes?" replied the rep.

" Oh f*ck it! " replied the business man "Gimmee the Ford!"

The rep duly completed the paperwork and off the businessman went.

He then turned to the young woman and said "I am so sorry about that Mrs X, it's been one of those days! Now I see that you have reserved a Ford Fiesta, and I am really sorry to have to tell you that we have no more Fiestas left! But.....we have just had a Jaguar XJ come available if you would be happy to accept a free upgrade with our compliments?"

This is reputed to be based on a true incident but I've no idea if it is - it still makes a good story

PS I've substituted the car makes to present day as I've no idea what run of the mill cars and luxury cars were on offer for hire 10 years ago.


LastBoyScout on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Enterprise car rentals, Sanford airport, Florida. Rocked up to check-in desk and picked up average-sized hire car for me and girlfriend without any issues. However, while driving away from airport, I noticed that there was a knocking sound coming from the front suspension on the Chevy on any right-hand turn, so headed straight back to the desk. "No problem", says the nice chap, grabbing a handful of keys, "let's find you something else". Basically took us back to the parking area and said take your pick - upgrade to Dodge Avenger If I'd known more about American cars at the time, I could probably have done better than that, but it looked cool and he seemed to think it was a nice choice.

Downside was I somehow managed to lose my sunglasses case in the switch, but fortunately not my Oakleys, as I was wearing them at the time.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.