Motoring Discussion > FIAT 500 - Car rental woe Legal Questions
Thread Author: legacylad Replies: 64

 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
After years of hassle free rentals on the latest I came a cropper. Late afternoon flight to the Canaries, huge queues at immigration meant that it was almost dark when I collected the well used and abused 500. I immediately noticed 4 large scratches not on the paperwork, long trudge back to the rental office as the PortaCabin in the parking area was closed. Marked the scratches on paperwork, walk back in dark to rental office, eventually drive away 3 hours after landing !
The first time I’ve never taken comprehensive was dark and I was alone so no one to illuminate the scene. Every panel had minor scratches and on return yesterday evening two groups of very minor scratches were spotted not on the paperwork. Return to office, fill in ‘accident report’, and receive invoice for €400 today (2x €200) to be debited from my card.
Looking through photos on my phone on the flight home I spotted one close up taken the morning after rental having filled the boot with provisions at a supermarket, and another photo taken 48 hours later of the other area which had been allegedly scraped during my tenure. Both clearly show the scratches were already there.
I hate being ripped off by this company...InterRent ( part of Gold).
Should I inform the broker I used (DoYou Spain) email my photos direct to InterRent as a reply to their invoice, or contact my CDW Insurance company, or just put in a claim?
Note to self: always take a headtorch to illuminate car panels in the dark allowing decent photos to be taken. My bad as they say !
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - zippy
Dispute it with your card company. Don't let them win!
Last edited by: VxFan on Wed 24 Jul 19 at 10:40
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Fullchat
Unfortunately its very easy to alleged and for them to dip into your credit card.
Difficult to dispute and fight when you are back in this country

To not have a handover and allow you to check the vehicle before driving off is bad practice but it seems even the big outfits are the same. Give you the keys and let you drive off.

We had a Punto in Greece which had a few dings and scratches. Although I did a full video on exit they weren't at all concerned and no issues.

A retired Cop on a different forum had an issue with a big hitter at Heathrow. The claim contained images of the damage which were added to a blank return form. The images were also time stamped from before he handed the vehicle back. He took the matter up at the highest level. Apparently there is a bonus to be had from detecting damage.

As an aside I returned a Kuga a week ago to Hertz at Stuttgart. Not a bad substitute for the Fiesta we had ordered with only 800 mile on the clock. Handed over in a large garage area. Reception guy conducted a quick walk round and then it disappeared into the black hole of the multi storey facility via a car wash. As we were about to go through security Mrs FC states that shes left the sat nav in the car. FFS ! Check in desk met by shoulder shrugs as keys had not got back to them. Long walk to back to the rental storage area and found the sat nav had been found and handed in. Would have been easy to pocket. So a thumbs up for someones honesty.

One would imagine the CDW company would have some leverage but as they are not paying them directly the fight is with you.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Wed 24 Jul 19 at 12:14
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - zippy
Just out of curiosity, do you have to tell your UK car insurance co if you have a claim on a car abroad?
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bill Payer
>> ....well used and abused 500.

We got a Clio like that one year in Tenerife - I might be mis-remembering this, but I'm sure it had done 40,000 kms. They huffed and puffed when I marked every panel as damaged, and it still picked up a new scrape on a door while we had it but I never heard anymore about it.

Stories of hassle with rental cars puts me off holidaying in Europe.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad be fair it was my first problem in probably twenty rentals over the past 5 years.
Never having rented from Tenerife before, I should have gone prepared....there was no outside lighting to illuminate the parking area, and I should have at least taken photos with my phone using the flash. Other companies I’ve used have totally disregarded such minor live and learn.
I’ll await further responses from folks then phone my card company tomorrow, as well as forwarding my own photos to the rental company.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Dulwich Estate II
I'm now recalling the hire car we had in New Zealand in 2012. I hired it here through Rental Cars dot com, very, very cheaply. It was an old scruffy Japanese car, Toyota I think, with about 100, 000 km on it. We drove more than 4,000 km over 3 weeks and it never missed a beat.

Without doubt it was the most tatty hire car around and at times I felt the "poor relation" when parked up by other tourists' cars.

But, NZ has thousands of miles of gravel roads you just can't avoid and we had no worries using them not fearing a scratch or two if we'd had a near new Ford Focus or something.

I even washed it on the return to Christchurch airport - I needn't have done as the company reps said I shouldn't have bothered.

A very contented experience.
Last edited by: Dulwich Estate II on Wed 24 Jul 19 at 17:42
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Dave_
I had a similar experience to you DE.

We hired a 112,000km Fiesta at Bologna airport from Firefly a few years ago, my first car rental abroad. Having done my research beforehand I knew to check it over before signing anything, so they sent me to inspect the car but didn't give me the keys (understandably).

The black car was in a completely unlit corner of the metal multistorey car park and didn't have a straight panel on it. Each corner was biffed through to the primer, two wheel trims were absent and it had seen a supercell hailstorm at some point in its life.

I videoed (with flash on) the whole car and went (trudged) back to the desk, where the assistant marked every bit of damage I could show her.

Amazingly enough, the car was immaculate inside and drove absolutely spot on, covering 500km in a week. Even the aircon was easily able to cope with temperatures similar to today's.

No damage quibbles when I returned it the following week either.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bobby
I wonder if that was a test car? Never heard of Firefly with mileages of that size!

Try and give it to someone who won't check it?

Assume, unless it was the previous hirer, that the hire company has had compensation for all those scrapes, dents etc but haven't done anything about it.

If you had taken it without checking I am sure they would have made a pretty penny out of you on its return.

And then immediately hired out to the next one?
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bobby
A bit of a tangent here - for those who hire cars as part of their work do the same criteria apply?

And how does it go with your employer if there are any charges applied? Do you need to foot that bill? Depends on size of company I would guess, if it is one off hires or whether your company has a dedicated logistics dept dealing with hires and therefore maybe more pull with the hire car companies?
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - commerdriver
In my case, big IT company, hiring cars on business, UK or abroad is all done via Hertz and on company insurance which covers complete hire including cdw etc.

Hire after accident was Enterprise last time I used it (no fault, all costs passed to other party)
In all cases new/virtually new cars < 10k miles cars unmarked, fuel full - full whether collected at hire car office or delivered & collected to office/home.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
There are a number of rogue car hire companies in the Canaries. There are also some excellent companies, Cicar and Auto Reisen spring to mind. Both include no excess insurance in the price. Book in advance for the best price. No deposit required. A good source of information as to who is reliable in any destination can be obtained from the appropriate Tripadvisor Forum. Just Google. There is always a thread on hire cars!
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - tyrednemotional
I've posted recently about the Santa Fe I ended up with on the holiday in Canada.

It was picked up in central Vancouver, at the Pan Pacific Hotel at the cruise terminal. Paperwork at the desk in the Lobby, pick-up 5 floors down the underlying multi-storey. *

It was like finding the proverbial black-cat in a coal hole down there. The despatcher (who was allocating vehicles) read my paperwork via the light of his laptop screen, and I ended up with a black Santa Fe parked some way away (which I found by using the remote to open it, and following the indicators).

At best, I could check that it seemed to have all body panels, and was acceptably, but not completely, clean inside. Since the car-park disgorges straight into the central Vancouver traffic, there was no opportunity to check it over before getting to our hotel to pick up luggage.

It had two stone chips (paintwork, not dings) on the drivers door; the door edges showed signs of the doors having been opened against walls, and there were notable paintwork scratches on the OSF wing and rear bumper (cosmetic really, but scratches on black cars always seem to show white under coat through). The interior definitely could have been cleaner (it might have seen a photograph of a vacuum cleaner between hires, but that's as close as it got).

The vehicle was but months old (2020 model) and 13000km.

I did give it a bit of a wipe over inside, and discovered that all the little gleaming slivers I could see weren't sugar off a child's sweets, but glass shards (my finger ends picked a couple up). Oddly enough, though it was odds-on it had had glass replacement, all the glass was still OE Hyundai marked. I suspect the scratch on the wing might have been associated with the replacement.

On return in Calgary, I rather go the impression that as long as all the body-panels were still attached, and they didn't have to actually disinfect the interior, everything would be acceptable.

I must admit that, however, on the basis of attack being the best form of defence, I'd mention the glass early on (bits were still finding their way out of the folds and cracks of the dash). I genuinely think the guy booking it back in thought I was going to get litigious when I showed him the still remaining pin-pricks in my finger ends. Once I made it clear I was only informing, not overtly complaining, there was a visible relaxation, and it was all smooth from there.

*The guy doing the paperwork at the desk informed me I would have to be downsized from an intermediate SUV to a standard one, as that was all they had. (I stated that the agent I'd booked through would be chasing the rental difference, but accepted). The despatcher downstairs looked at the paperwork, was about to give me a standard SUV and then noticed it was one-way to Calgary. He then upgraded me to a large SUV (the Santa Fe), one higher than my original group, largely because it was an Alberta car he could send home. I also ended up with a $30 rebate as it wasn't quite full of fuel - about $10s worth short.

I did enjoy that car.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - bathtub tom
Decades ago, hired a Golf from some 2-bit place where I was staying in Cala Bona, (I think) Majorca.
It was an old pile-of-poo, but sufficed to my needs at the time. Travelling to the North of the island, it started to rain - the wipers worked for a while, but then didn't. I looked and found a blown fuse, with the help of a local garage, we replaced it and it promptly blew again. Tried one of higher rating and it blew. Used the old trick of some string and the passenger operating them from inside the car.
For some reason I turned the ignition off and back on again, to the resulting cloud behind me. Tried it again when someone was right up my chuff, to have a resulting loud CRACK as a result.
Returned it and complained about the non-existent wipers, for a complete refund. Thankfully they didn't look underneath to see the well bellowed silencer!
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - helicopter
By coincidence Tom , I hired a car in Cala Bona over 40 years ago and it sounds like the same company..the first car was returned within half an hour when the brakes were noisy and very ineffective as we descended a steep hill.

Replacement was a Seat 500 which we took all around the island.It was only on the last day of hire that SWMBO for some reason lifted the mat on her side of the car to see the road rushing by through the rust...

 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
End story. Two months down the line I’ve finally recouped all the money from my CDW Excess Policy.
It took several emails, in addition to the original online claim, which was for 2x €200 for miniscule grazes front and rear, plus adding insult to injury a €50 admin fee charged by InterRent/Goldcar.
Originally I didn’t recover the €50 admin fee, but fair play, after an email querying why not they paid up.
Quite a lot of hassle to recover the €450, but several lessons learnt. Never pick up a rental car in the dark from bike sheds with little illumination. Always take both video and photos ( this was the first time I hadn’t) Never ever ever use that thieving rental company again.
I did get in touch with my broker, ‘DoYouSpain’. I expected no response and was correct. My card company were sympathetic but I didn’t need their involvement.
Off to Alicante this Saturday and hopefully arrive in daylight, using one of the two rental companies which I prefer..OK Cars in this instance. Canaries again in December, and I probably won’t bother renting this time. A friend lives and works there and together we’ve covered most of the island, although her frantic style of driving in a clapped out C5 is proper scary, so I may well change my mind if Cicar have any last minute cheap prices.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - sherlock47
Just out of interest, did/will you declare the insurance/accident? claim to your UK insurers? With the possible impact on ongoing UK premiums?

And what was their response.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
>> Just out of interest, did/will you declare the insurance/accident? claim to your UK insurers?


OMG, you have a second comedy career blooming
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Goldcar are notorious. Surprised a frequent hirer like you. would use them. In Canaries I recommend Cicar or Autoreisen. Both honest companies and rentals have no excess.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
Used goldcar a fair bit at Alicante, never had an issue with them.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
No Sherlock. I didn’t contact my UK insurer. I can’t think of any reason why I should. Even if I had been involved in an RTC with a third party I don’t think I’d need to. Being scammed by InterRent ( at the time I had no idea they were the same as Goldcar as they had their own office at the airport and parking area) for some already existing scuff marks, meant it never even crossed my mind.
Interesting that Z says he’s never had an issue with Goldcar. My CDW policy provider, when I initially contacted them, told me that InterRent and Goldcar are two companies who don’t subscribe to some Code of Practice governing rental companies. I’ve no idea whether that’s factual, but I’ll be using OK Cars and Firefly as usual at ALI. Neither have a presence at Tenerife according to the brokers website.
If I rent in Tenerife again it will be either Cicar, Francoise le taxi or Titsa SA buses
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
Used Firefly at Alicante, part of Hertz as you know. Very slow service (not helped mind you by a yank in front who had none of the right paperwork but assumed because he was American he needed nothing anyway), and a car with several scuffs and dings. No problem returning it tho in its scuffed and dinged state.

Essentially I'll use whoever has the best on airport prices, knowing they are all much of a muchness.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
You were lucky. These weren't.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
How many rentals do you think they handle? how many valid complaints do you think there are? I see that thread is 7 years old with 280 posts.

I bet I am not the only untroubled customer.
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 25 Sep 19 at 17:05
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bromptonaut
We hired from A Goldcar group outfit in March, picked up at Malaga and left at Granada. No problems but I had selected full comprehensive super-duper cover at booking which took price way over their basic 'come on' rates but still cheapest.

Had to swap out car because of a fault that brought anti pollution light on. No issue. Funny thing was guy apologizing that they couldn't give us another C1 and giving us an Aygo instead. POssibly slight trim difference but otherwise identical.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
>> How many rentals do you think they handle? how many valid complaints do you think
>> there are? I see that thread is 7 years old with 280 posts.
>> I bet I am not the only untroubled customer.

Goldcar have a larger percentage of complaints than nearly every other car hire Co in Spain. Of course not every customer has cause fo complaint but a good many do. Just Google. I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. They survive by deriving a high proportion of business through agencies where the offe low prices and seek to make their profit by dubious practices. Not all hire companies are the same, Auto Reisen in Lanzarote for example are honest and reliable and treat customers fairly. I always try to use a well recommended local company and am happy to pay a fair price. You get what you pay for.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
I have a Goldcar right now in Portugal. It was extraordinarily cheap but there are small print extras which bump the cost up a bit (refuelling charge mainly!).

I'd booked a Fiesta but they told me I'd got a Fiat 500, which i scoffed at but the lady said it was an upgrade. When I got out to the car it was an XL which is like a small SUV and is a lot larger than I was expecting!

Fully expecting to get charged for unseen damage on return but if it's too much I'll pass it on the the insurers.
Last edited by: smokie on Wed 25 Sep 19 at 23:23
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
I hope it isn’t a Fiat 500L Popstar. Had one for 3 weeks two years ago. The Fiesta ‘or similar’ as ordered through DoYouSpain wasn’t available, so a free upgrade. Suits you Sir.
The worst handling, awful pile of poo I’ve driven in many years. Better plastic on my toothbrush. I really enjoy hustling along mountain roads on the Costa Blanca, for which previous Fiestas were perfect. This was the polar opposite. Some kind of Diesel engine.
After 3 weeks and the end of that rental period, I got a tatty old Fiesta for the next 3 weeks. Bliss.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - PeterS
>> Used goldcar a fair bit at Alicante, never had an issue with them.

I’ve used goldcar a few times from the old Murcia airport and never had a problem...their cars are older and tattler than Avis from Alicante, and usually no cheaper. But the alternative on-airport rental firm at Murcia is europcar, and having been stung both times I’ve used them they’re off the list!
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
I'll check what model when I go out in it but it's about a year old and in pretty good nick, with about 3000k on the clock. It is a diesel. I'm not trying to prove anything with it, and am happy pootling along with the rest of the traffic here so I'm not that concerned about performance. It does have lane warning which I've not had before and I quite like.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Came across this. Pretty much confirms my view.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
So you have a view and I have experience.

 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Kevin
I've used Goldcar at Alicante airport 4 times in the last 12 months and OK Cars twice. No problems with either of them. No quibbles about refusing their super-dooper insurance and no spurious damage claims. Goldcar even ask me which car I would prefer if they have a choice at pickup. You just need to walk around the car with a torch (it's a multistorey) and make sure that any damage is noted on the rental agreement although I've had no problem there either. Goldcar handily give you a little template and say that any scuffs smaller that this will not be charged for.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Yes only a view based on a number of people I've spoken to who have bad experiences with Goldcar and posts on numerous Tripadvisor forums in a similar vein.
Now I am sure you have had a perfectly good experience with this Company but it cannot be denied that many haven''t so I think I will stick with my view based on the experience of the many rather than that of a single argumentative bloke on the internet and continue to avoid Goldcar.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - PeterS
>> So you have a view and I have experience.

I suspect, based on my experience albeit with no real evidence, that all car hire companies try it on at times, but that their staff are also experienced enough to know who to try it on with! So, those that regularly hire cars tend not to have many problems, but infrequent hirers tend to have more. I also think that the likes of goldcar have more holiday than business type bookings, and so attract less frequent car hirers, resulting in a higher % of complaints.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Netsur
On two occasions recently I have returned a car and the company have spotted new damage. Being fairly certain it wasn't new I expressed some frustration. However, on both occasions the company went back to the record of the previous rental of that car and checked the damage at the end of that rental. Turns out that record had not been updated so I was exonerated. The company was most apologetic and it was clear that whilst I was 'expressing my frustration' they were already looking for the previous rental documentation.

Shouldn't happen, but at least make an effort to satisfy the customer as I will use that company again.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Kevin
>..their staff are also experienced enough to know who to try it on with!

I suspect there may be some truth in that Peter.

If you know the drill, you're friendly, speak some of the local lingo, have all your documents ready and are firm but polite when they get to the upsell then they might be less likely to try it on.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bromptonaut
>> So you have a view and I have experience.

(A) There is widespread 'anecdata' from surveys, Which reports and experience in this and other forums that Goldcar has a huge number of complaints specifically around the issue of damage. Given it's MO is to offer silly quotes (it was offering me a Berlingo for five days @ <£20) and then add all sorts of extras at pick up this is unsurprising.

(B) Plenty of it's customers emerge unscathed because they're lucky, in right, took out enough extra cover or whatever.

Both of those things can be true; neither is exclusive of other.

In trying to pick an argument with CGN you're trolling (again).

Please do not.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Fri 27 Sep 19 at 07:54
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
>> In trying to pick an argument with CGN you're trolling (again).
>> Please do not.

- tell him.
He's trying to pick an argument with me,

And all because I had made an innocuous statement of fact that I had first hand experience of their service, and had had no issues nor been stung with or accepted any additional "fees"

And you have absolutely no idea of what trolling is (like most) so use it as a term correctly please.
Last edited by: Zero on Fri 27 Sep 19 at 08:10
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
My experience, approx 25 + rentals in the past 4 years, is that Goldcar at Tenerife ( not Alicante where Zero has had a positive experience with them) are the ONLY rental company who asked me if I had taken photos/video of the car when I returned it. When I said no ( it was dark & an unlit area) he began looking for any damage not on the paperwork.
I don’t know if these bad asses operate on a commission basis for damage found but I won’t be using interRent/Goldcar ever again. In all probability, collecting in daylight, taking both video and photos, there wouldn’t be a problem. But stuff em.
OK Cars tomorrow at ALI, where to be fair on my last rental with them in June I found damage not on the paperwork which they had to amend. If I hadn’t spotted it maybe it would have been the same scenario as my InterRent experience.
* one reason I have so many rentals is that on my 8/10 week winter trips it’s far cheaper to book 3 different rental periods than one extended rental period. No hardship being less than 90 mins from ALI and combining it with a Sunday lunch trip to Sherrys at Benidorm or a day in Alicante
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
My primary requirement in car hire abroad, is lack of hassle and speed at the airport. YOu have been on a flight, you have queued through passport control, waited fir your bags, you have negotiated the confusing route to the concourse, You have wife bags and personal baggage with you and you have somewhere else to go, a bit stressful because its different driving.

So I need a pretty efficient and quick process. That means it needs to be on airport, and it needs to have well staffed booths with fast processes and systems. Cars are a quick walk away in well lit areas.

At Alicante that is what they have (had? not used them for 18 months), and for me, over numerous visits they have met my needs with no hassle.

Let it be said tho I consider all car hire companies to be useless thieves scoundrels and liars, three card trick conmen to be negotiated with care.

The best experience ever was in Launceston airport. think they were just a happy to see a punter

Last edited by: Zero on Fri 27 Sep 19 at 08:49
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
Speed at the airport is not within your control. I’ve used Firefly at Ali probably 15 times in 4 years. Reason for using Firefly being that they offer free cancellation through DoYouSpain so if suddenly there are 5 of us in a villa, not 3 as originally, I cancel and book a larger vehicle.
Some times it’s been a 30 min wait. Other times no wait at all..the desk area, often with 4 desks open, is deserted. Hit and miss.
A 30/45 min wait doesn’t bother me. After travelling to the airport, check in 2 hours before, flight, then a 90 min drive to resort I’m not unduly concerned. Chill. I’ll soon be sat outside eating a curry and drinking a few litres of cold beer at the Royal Buddha in Moraira.
Last edited by: legacylad on Fri 27 Sep 19 at 08:59
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
>> Speed at the airport is not within your control.

To a certain extent it is. Choosing your flights is one thing that is well within your control. Packing hand baggage is another.

>> Some times it’s been a 30 min wait. Other times no wait at all..the desk
>> area, often with 4 desks open, is deserted. Hit and miss.

Some are more hit and miss than others. You choose those (with expereince0 that are more often less miss

>> A 30/45 min wait doesn’t bother me. After travelling to the airport, check in 2
>> hours before, flight, then a 90 min drive to resort I’m not unduly concerned.

It bothers me, I dont like getting my bags off the bus, waiting with them for the "off rental" bus, loading them on the bus, getting them off the bus again, and then queuing at the check in with all the other bus load of people who have all arrived at once on the same bus.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Perhaps a more Zen approach to travel might help you. Delays and queues are a more or less inevitable part of the process. They don’t really matter in the long run. What after all would you do with the hour you could have saved?
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
>> Perhaps a more Zen approach to travel might help you. Delays and queues are a
>> more or less inevitable part of the process. They don’t really matter in the long
>> run. What after all would you do with the hour you could have saved?

Well I know a good bar on the coast. And one does not need to be Zen about it when one can save the time and hassle quite easily without deep breathing and Hmmmmmmmming.

Zen is no substitute for good travel planning.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - No FM2R
>>Perhaps a more Zen approach to travel might help you.

We all have a speed we are comfortable with. Any delay or any rushing which shifts us out of that zone irritates us. The more it irritates us the more effort we will put into preventing it, fixing it or avoiding it.

So when I am travelling socially, I know the environment I have put myself in and I know how much time it can take.

I also travel a lot so I know when someone is taking the pee and know how much I am prepared to do about it. Which usually is not much.

Things get irritating when we haven't allowed ourselves enough time to do whatever needs to be done.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Kevin
>Things get irritating when we haven't allowed ourselves enough time to do whatever needs to be done.

I used to get irritated when things didn't go according to plan when travelling. The queues at passport control, slow baggage claim and the queue at the rental desk. Your plane lands 15 minutes late so you're behind 300 Americans who are all surprised they need to show a passport. Your luggage is last to appear on the carousel so you're behind the Americans again at the rental desk. I soon realised that there is very little you can do about it so there's no point in getting wound up. Just accept it and chill out. The only thing that saves me a few minutes is being a Hertz Gold member which means I can go straight to the pickup and collect the keys. Expensive for private rentals though.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - BiggerBadderDave
"Perhaps a more Zen approach to travel might help you."

I need it because I detest it and I tend to do a return flight every 4-6 weeks. Man, I hate it.

I just hate carrying anything at all. Even laptops, I hate carrying those too. So much that I keep an office with an iMac set up in my UK pad. All I carry now is a phone and a magazine on the way out and and a phone and some chocolate treats on the way back.

The less I carry, the more I relax.

And queueing... It does make me laugh when people pay a tenner for priority (Wizzair), especially as more than half of them in the flight seem to take it. It's allocated seating, dummy. I couldn't give a crap if I'm the last to board, I'm in my seat before it leaves. I sit at the gate till most of them have gone and that tenner they spent for nothing gets me a coffee, sandwich and a few quid in change.

Hate travelling. Hate it.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Perhaps because I travel a bit less frequently (four return flights this year and off to Turkey next week) and it’s all for leisure I do actually enjoy travelling. I share your views on priority booking. Surely you should pay more for getting on last! The rush to stand up at the end of the flight is also odd. I’m usually amongst the last to get of the plane. You can only travel as fast as your checked in luggage.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
Unless you’re attached to an airbridge at destination it’s best to be last passenger ( unless disabled awaiting the hydraulic lift like my old mum) off the aircraft. Last onto the bus. First off it. Then queue for ages at border control whilst those less travelled struggle with the new face recognition machines. Unless of a certain age or travelling en famille.
And even with hand baggage only, by the time you’re landside, feeling not quite so smug now, despite travelling light, like me every time unless on my long winter jolly, the hold baggage has been unloaded and is dizzy having been around the carousel several times.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
Where are you going in Turkey CGN ? A few years ago I was visiting Bodrum several times a year, then when I stopped going there it was to Dalaman to join a Dutch leased gulet at Gocek.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - CGNorwich
Dalyan, about 20 miles from Dalaman Airport. Last there 10 years ago. Hoping it hasn't been spoilt.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bobby
Just back from Olu Deniz.
Loved it
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Runfer D'Hills
I have become so averse to airports and all the faff that goes with them, that when possible, I favour taking my own car and making my own agenda.

Of course there are further flung destinations where that is simply not practical, but for anywhere I can get to on the same date as I set off by using my car, I'll generally do that rather than suffer the indignity and privations of modern air travel.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Zero
>> I do actually enjoy travelling. I

Air travel used to be fun, exciting, fairly hassle free and slightly glamorous, but since my first flight in the 60s its become a terrible but necessary way of travel.

As far as priority booking goes, it gives you first dibs at sticking your cabin baggage in the overhead locker, if they are full your plans for avoiding the carousel of suspense and boredom at the other end disappear into the hold.

 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
My 13:25 Ryanair ex LBA arrived early. Uneventful apart from the usual half dozen drunks, drinking their own booze when cabin crew weren’t around. How they were allowed to board is anyone’s guess. Best was the totally wasted moron who literally, 35 seconds before touchdown, lurched down the aisle to use the loo at the rear of the plane. I was in row 32 and after trying the loo at the front thought it was occupied. Not locked for landing. He staggered past before we arrived at the gate and asked, quite seriously, if we had landed yet.
I really hoped that it would be a hard landing and he would fall over and break his legs.
By the time we’d disembarked on the mechanical hoist used by wheel chair folks, waited ages for someone to glance at our passports, our case was looking forlorn and stationary on the now empty carousel.
OK Cars ( off site) had 4 desks open and only one customer. Normal paperwork and up selling, then the usual find the car, mark the damage, return the paperwork to office. 20 mins later after a few walk rounds, photos, video ( once bitten and all that) I’d found 15 marks. Matey didn’t believe me so dragged himself away from his desk and had a butchers. Yep. 15 marks.
Usual gutless low mileage Pug 208 but still manages to cruise uncomfortably at the 120 limit. And a bit. Cheap enough. €39 full to full for 2 weeks so can’t complain too much. Would Sir like to upgrade to an auto box for an extra €3 a day ? Only if it’s a PDK box says I. Johnny Foreigner didn’t understand so I went on my way.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
That's reminded me to look at the Goldcar parked outside. It's a Fiat 500X and it's only 3 months old, not a year as I think I previously said.

Not a bad car really.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
Aaaaagh. Another claim imminent.
As I’m away with my old mum until friends arrive in a few days to help keep an eye on her, it’s pretty stressful. I’ve stayed at this villa probably 12 weeks in total, and rarely use the garage as it’s atop a steep narrow ski slope. The old girl, a Blue Badge holder, can’t negotiate the slope so I have used the garage since arriving. This AM got her in the car, slowly reverse out down the 1 in 4, too much RH down to miss a metal fence and drop, straight over a concrete ramp into the gas bottle store and dropped the rear NS over an 18” drop off the other side.
Not good. Scraping noise and bodywork firmly jammed.
Called a friend, and we jacked up the car, using lots of timber and a metal ramp borrowed off adjacent building site chocked under the wheel, then 45 mins manouvering to escape the ramp. The bodywork immediately in front of the NSR wheel isn’t a pretty sight.
Looks like I’ll be pushing her wheelchair up the 1 in 4 in future....and the clutch isn’t in the best of health either.
Main thing nobody hurt. Just more paperwork when I get home and a big hit on my CC. Probably €1250. Hey ho.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - Bill Payer
I'm starting to feel sorry for the rental companies!
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
You have excess insurance don;t you LL? If so, just make sure you get the right docs for your claim.

Yesterday I noticed a small nick in the vertical bit of rubber which goes up alongside the passenger window. Haven't checked yet whether it was noted but the car goes back today (Goldcar) so I'll soon find out!!

Goldcar have this full to empty policy where they charge you for a full tank (of diesel, in my case), which (always) includes a refuelling charge of between €20 and €30, then give you credit for fuel remaining on return. I'm thinking probably their fuel cost is more than I'd pay in a garage so I am going to at least partly re-fill it (it's only about half empty anyway).

I'm picking up a different car for the remaining 2.5 weeks - doing LLs trick of changing car to keep costs lower - it really made a significant difference, plus I drop my daughter off at the airport at the same time so we are one person less.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
No comment at Goldcar re the damaged rubber (also a small chip to the paintwork - someone had tried to force the window). I forgot to sort out the fuel in my haste to get away..

New car is a 2 year old r't be doing many miles so I'm not at all bothered to have not got an upgrade. Mustn't grumble at €84 for 2.5 weeks.
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
These days, my previous 15/20 rentals have been through the broker DoYouSpain. InterRent/Goldcar always have the full to full fuel option, which costs more than the other fuel options. Firefly normally have free cancellation. OK Cars don’t .
DYS website allows you to pick and use your preferred rental agents, which is useful.
I normally book 4 weeks in advance if it’s cheap enough, and if using Firefly, cancel and rebook 48 hours prior when prices may drop to a few euros per day.
What wheels you got this time ?
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - smokie
Hmm lost the details in my post above.

It's a 2 yo Polo, pretty unexciting, but as I said I won't be going far in it. Also using DYS on a fairly regular basis, in a similar way to you (albeit in Portugal). This one is from Autorent.

Goldcar only had full to empty option here when I booked. I thought I'd snagged a good price by booking v early but in actual fact it was a little lower a week before I needed it - but couldn't be bothered cancelling etc. Goldcar are more expensive than the off-airport ones (by quite a bit, precentage wise) but the off site ones charge quite a bit (€40 IIRC) is you need to pick up before 8 am or drop after 8 pm.
Last edited by: smokie on Thu 3 Oct 19 at 08:14
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
In this weeks Costa Blanca Olive Press free paper, the letters page contains 5 Goldcar stories. A few horror ones..
Just booked a Fiesta or similar with Firefly, through DYS, at Alicante 5-21/11/19. €44 full to full with free cancellation, which I won’t use unless the price reduces drastically. I prefer collecting off site in daylight rather than an on site multi storey where very minor damage is less visible in the gloom !
Enjoy the rest of your trip
 FIAT 500 - Car rental woe - legacylad
A 15 minute wait at the Firefly desk on arrival Alicante earlier this month. No Fiesta ( or similar) but handed the keys to a new Opel Zafira. I declined the free upgrade and politely requested something smaller. Despite being low season the smallest available car was a Ford C Max.
I was really impressed with it. Petrol with 6 speed manual. 38000kilometres on the clock. No squeaks or rattles, quiet cruiser at motorway speeds, handled really well when driven hard on mountain roads en route to meet my walking group. Plenty of room for 5 adults when the friends I was villa sharing with went out en masse. On 17” rims it was a comfy drive, no idea of engine size, slick gear change, over sensitive front sensors, reversing camera, decent Sony stereo.
Before driving away I relocated within the multi storey to a lighter area, took plenty of photos and video, found another 5 small pieces of vehicle damage not on the paperwork which was duly amended.
Return was speedy and efficient, nothing to sign which I thought odd, showed them my fuel receipt after brimming the tank. So far a happy customer.
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