South Africa Car Rental: Do Not Rent from Europcar


Oct 13th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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South Africa Car Rental: Do Not Rent from Europcar

Do not rent from Europcar in Cape Town. We arrived at their City Centre office early on a Sunday morning and were informed that we were required to purchase a damage waiver if we did not have a written letter from our insurance company proving we had coverage. We have never encountered this before in all of our travels and we were not in a position to go to another car rental company. When we received our final invoice several days after returning the car, we discovered they had added several additional charges (including a Documents Assessment Fee, if you can believe it) increasing the price of our rental to half again more than the so-called "guaranteed price." They have been totally unresponsive to my attempts to ask them about the bogus charges. There are numerous other rental agencies in Cape Town. Do yourself a favor and use one of the other agencies.
greymare is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2014, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Don't know where you are from.
We are in/from USA and when renting a car out of USA we always choose a USA rental company. In South Africa it is Avis for us. They will not pull tricks on you like you had and if there are any problems you can deal with it back home with the parent HDQ. Good luck trying to recover fraud charges with email or "international law" with some little one-horse-office in Timbucktu.

Also, had you used your local (your town) travel agent they may have given you to a "learning opportunity".

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2014, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I'm pretty sure Europcar hasn't cornered the market on being difficult to deal with in SA. Over the last couple years I've seen posters at other forums vent their spleen about Hertz in SA (e.g., see ). I don't stick with one company, normally preferring to go with the lowest bidder. I've used Budget several times with good results, although I did have one instance that cost me a fair amount of time but not money. Recently, I used Firstcar which offered a great price for which I prepaid. Though I consider myself a seasoned traveler, I missed the fine print about a supplement for rentals <72 hrs. The supplement was posted to my credit card and no amount of complaining resolved it favorably for me.

I'd like to think Avis is the exception to car rental company problems. However, judging from the last post at the above cited thread, that's apparently not the case. The poster is very savvy and perhaps will get satisfaction, as Tom suggests, by following up appropriately.
sdb2 is offline  
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Oct 14th, 2014, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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They are unlikely to be bogus charges. There are several charges that make up the price of a rental. I would not rent a car without adequate insurance coverage nor can I imagine a rental company renting a car without CDW cover from the rental company or proof that there is CDW cover via another source. Avis in South Africa is South African, it is not the same as Avis in the US. I've rented from all the major rental companies in South Africa, but book through Autoeurope or Holiday Autos, I prepay and have never had issues described above or in the TA link. I do keep the receipt for refueling and the rental companies want you to fill up at the station right by the airport, which I do. When you sign the rental contract, the charges are listed out so surprise charges should not appear.
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