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Drat! -- Always cancel credit card after European car rental

Drat! -- Always cancel credit card after European car rental

Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 02:31 PM
  #41  
 
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Folks do not read the fine print and then complain about being cheated!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 03:57 PM
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I have also seen admin charge in T&C of every rental in Europe.

For example, Avis has this wording for European rentals:

<i>The fines charged to the Customer and/or Avis for any violation of the Road Code and/or infringement of other applicable regulations during the rental period, as well as a 35.00 Euro flat rate + VAT, as administrative fee for each such fine; </i>
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Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 05:19 PM
  #43  
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The 35 euro number (no VAT) is correct, it's not 40 like I thought. Funny they would not put such an apparently frequently used fee in the contract itself (unless it is in French on the back without the fee amount specified).
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Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 05:36 PM
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PLEASE--stop confusing Tom with facts. He HATES when you do that.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 05:58 PM
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Gretchen, thank you for the chuckle!
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 05:19 AM
  #46  
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What rankles is that the fee is charged before knowing what the infraction was and whether it was even valid. It sure seems punitive even if Avis/Budget calls it a fee.

I guess I should just write off the whole experience as a quintessentially European one, like being invaded by Putin.

I do rent cars in the US all over and have never run into this. There are only 500 communities in the US that use these cameras and even then rarely outside of school or contruction speed zones, never the wholesale blanket-the-countryside approach seen in France.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 05:37 AM
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Yes, it's in your contract, but you are still ignoring it. From their t&c:

Contraventions
En vertu du Code de la route, en tant que locataire du Véhicule, vous êtes pécuniairement responsable du non respect du Code de la route, et devez régler vous même, dans les délais requis, les amendes imposées à ce titre dans le cadre de la location.
A défaut, Budget communique vos coordonnées au Tribunal de police, qui vous adresse l’avis d’amende majorée.
Dans tous les cas, Budget vous facture, pour chaque contravention, une indemnité forfaitaire (35 €) pour le coût de traitement administratif supporté par Budget pour communiquer vos coordonnées et vous envoyer l’avis d’amende majorée ou de contravention.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 06:28 AM
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The rental company gets a request from the issuer of the fine for details of who rented the car at that time. They do not see the details of the infringement or fine, and even if they did since they weren't present when it took place there is no way they could know if it is "valid" or not.

One of these days you will encounter something similar in the US with a rental car.

Meanwhile I hope you keep your opinion of Europeans to yourself and stay on your side of the Atlantic.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 06:46 AM
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>>What rankles is that the fee is charged before knowing what the infraction was and whether it was even valid. <<

It has nothing to do w/ the validity of the infraction. It is an administrative fee to provide your detail to the relevant police/court entity.

>> . . . and stay on your side of the Atlantic.<<

Oh great ?! Now WE'RE stuck w/ him.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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If you don't like the process, you can certainly avail yourself of your rights.

Option 1: Go back to Europe, request a hearing date, make your plea of innocence, sit your trial, hear your fate and pay the fine there.

Option 2: Pay up and pipe down.

As to option 1, at least you'd get a second trip out of it.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Canceling the credit card gains nothing. The credit card was valid at the time of rental and the rental agency can charge that card again. A late charge on the card is valid and you have agreed to it. Now it will become an additional fight between you and your credit card issuer when they try to collect. Now we are talking about your FICO score. You want to put that on the line for a few dollars and the principle? Get smart. Only tilt at windmills when you can win.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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I do rent cars in the US all over and have never run into this. There are only 500 communities in the US that use these cameras and even then rarely outside of school or contruction speed zones, never the wholesale blanket-the-countryside approach seen in France.>>

YOu haven't traveled very much in the US. They are all over my state (Maryland) and nearby DC and they certainly are not only in school or construction zones. IN fact, I don't know of any in school zones where I live, they tend to be on rather large, major streets where a lot of people might travel and speed. Since you obviously have no knowledge of where they are in the US, I'm sure you are quoting some source that made that statement, as well as it being "only" 500 communities. That's actually a lot, and it tends to be around cities, of course. And they aren't all over France, anyway, they also tend to be on major roads there.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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<I do rent cars in the US all over and have never run into this. There are only 500 communities in the US that use these cameras and even then rarely outside of school or contruction speed zones, >
Apparently, you don't rent cars "all over" the US, because Christina is right, cameras are all over the DC area and in many places in Florida, and CA...but do please limit your travels to places you can speed without being caught.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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Sorry Janis, maybe you'd better come back over this side .
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 12:56 PM
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I will bet that there is over a hundred communities in Colorado that use cameras. Denver even has mobile cameras mounted in the back of white, non-descript vans that move around from location to location. The hot areas now are the school zones.

Chicago is another hot bed especially on intersections. That we know from personal experience. Maybe Christina meant to say 5000.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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So cancelling a credit card after you've made an agreement with it for penalties as per contract - that lets you off the hook - I would think the c card company would still go after you for charges incurred while the credit card was active - or charges that were agreed to in the contract you used the credit card on?
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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It really shows Tom's level of sophistication. Charges are rolled over to a new card--OF COURSE.
He is "thinking", if you can really call it that, of about places you assign your card for automatic payments. He is SO sophisticated and knowledgeable!! LOL
BUT it probably DOES indicate the number of places he HAS been able to leave in the dust for automatic payments.
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Old Sep 28th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #58  
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Interesting if true, 50% of drivers captured by speed cameras in France are foreign (in summer months).

http://www.thelocal.fr/20130530/fran...oreign-drivers

Reference for the 500 US communities cited earlier
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws...ed_enforcement
of course that's red light camera only, speed cameras are much rarer.

About the various quotations from the Avis websites about administrative fees, not sure that they are valid unless in the contract, and the contract we signed has no specific 35 euro fee in any language, I will post scans tomorrow since nothing else will satisfy this surly crowd. There is general language about such a fee, however.

Gretchen, what if the card is canceled and no new card is issued?
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Old Sep 28th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Gretchen, what if the card is canceled and no new card is issued?

Not Gretchen, but the card issuing Bank would still have your address (unless you also plan to move residence to avoid this $250 fine) and would seek payment from you.
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Old Sep 28th, 2014, 05:51 PM
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>>> I will post scans tomorrow since nothing else will satisfy this surly crowd. There is general language about such a fee, however.<<<

Scan the backside as that is often where you find such things. It's a lighter print than the rest of the contract. Although I don't see the point since you already admitted the fee language is there.

>>>Reference for the 500 US communities cited earlier
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws...ed_enforcement
of course that's red light camera only, speed cameras are much rarer.<<<

Red herring. Has nothing to do with you violating laws in another country nor is it accurate as it lists my state as not having any cameras and they do.

>>>Gretchen, what if the card is canceled and no new card is issued?<<<

Doesn't matter.

***Note that it won't help for you to cancel your credit card when you return home. The date on which you signed your rental agreement and gave your credit card details to the rental company will predate your cancellation and the car contract will still be honoured by the credit card company which, one way or another, will extract this money from you.***
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