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Mick10 Aug 30th, 2013 06:03 AM

Language Barrier Issues in Declining CDW from Spain Car Rental Co.?
I decided to rent a car in Spain using Credit Card/Visa/Amex for CDW coverage. Will use Auto Europe ( or another broker ) for reserving vehicle: Basic rental with no CDW.

Is language gonna be an issue? I need to explicitly decline the car rental CDW as per provisionof Amex or Visa. And I'm not signing a contract that's not in English. Quotes below are from Gemut dot com article re: CDW

Qoute 1: "... you will be required to sign a rental contract in the local language - ... Italian, Spanish, etc. That is the law and, though it may do so as a courtesy, the rental company is not required to provide a copy in English (be sure to ask for one, however)."

Qoute 2. "...rental companies no longer obtain customer initials that indicate acceptance or rejection of additional services; just one signature on the bottom of the contract . . . .This shows agreement to all terms of the contract, and that might include a charge for optional insurance."

Really? Though my voucher from AE (or another car broker) is Basic rental no CDW, will Europcar or Avis at time of car pick up try to sell me their CDW?

Knowing that you are an American, will the car company insists on giving you a car rental contract in Spanish? Which I won't sign until they give me one in English. Is there a standard checkbox or paragraph that will make sure I'm declining the car rental company's CDW?

Thank you Fodorites who have had experiences in car rental in Europe/Spain.

jamikins Aug 30th, 2013 06:20 AM

Mick you seem to be very nervous about renting a car in Europe - I think you may be over thinking things!

The voucher from autoeurope will be in English. Where are you picking up the car? I have found that's at everyone at car rental places in airports and terrain stations speak English - they deal with tourists all day long. In our experience the agreement has always been in English and they walk you through it and circle the pertinent sections like declining extra insurance, where to return the car and when, and whether it should be full of gas or empty.

If you rent through a major player like Europcar, Avis, Thrifty, Hertz etc you should have no problem.

Any questions just call autoeurope for help.

jamikins Aug 30th, 2013 06:22 AM

Everyone at car rental places at airports and train stations speak decent English! Argh stupid autocorrect!!!

DebitNM Aug 30th, 2013 06:31 AM

IF you have an AMEX card and it doesn't ave the car rental insurance as a benefit [lower end ones don't] I urge you to sign up for it. IT costs $24.95 and it is primary insurance and covers everything. We used it on a rental in France and it was easy to deal with all of the issues regarding damage to car.

I thought it was a superior product with helpful agents on the phone.

ira Aug 30th, 2013 06:56 AM

Hey mick,

>I'm not signing a contract that's not in English. <

Then don't go to Spain.


colduphere Aug 30th, 2013 07:17 AM

"Really? Though my voucher from AE (or another car broker) is Basic rental no CDW, will Europcar or Avis at time of car pick up try to sell me their CDW?"

They might but pretend you don't understand that part of the conversation. And I read the other day that only 37% of renters purchase the CDW. They are used to being told no. In Norway a couple of weeks ago there was no upselling.

Michael Aug 30th, 2013 07:20 AM

My contract for a rental in France, done through Autoeurope, is in French, and I would not expect it otherwise. On the other hand, the piece of paper I received in Frankfurt from Europcar--for some reason a copy of the full contract with my signature could not be duplicated--is in English.

Robert2533 Aug 30th, 2013 07:30 AM

There will be two copies of the contract you have to sign, one in English and one in Spanish. There are exactly the same. It's a standard rental agreement contract.

spaarne Aug 30th, 2013 09:03 AM

I have no idea how many scores of cars I've rented in my life and I've never read a single contract. Do you have some idea that the terms are negotiable?

Ackislander Aug 30th, 2013 10:14 AM

Well, the reason to read the contract is that there are all kinds of things in them that, while counter intuitive, can leave you in big trouble.

Two classics in the US, just so we don't pick on Europe:

1. You rent a 4x4 SUV and discover in the contract that you can't drive it off the highway. Why would you rent a 4x4 if you didn't want to drive on unpaved roads? Tough on you if do any damage because the insurance you paid for doesn't cover you off road.

2. You rent a boring sedan on a business trip, go out to dinner, get in a fender bender, and discover that all the rental insurance you paid for is null and void because you had two drinks with dinner. No, you weren't DUI, you ere simply bound by the contract not to drink AT ALL.

StCirq Aug 30th, 2013 10:21 AM

I have never seen a rental contract in Europe that was in English. And it's not their responsibility to ensure that you can read and understand it. The vouchers from AutoEurope, Kemwel, etc., are of course in English - they're an American company.

If you won't sign a rental contract in a foreign country's language, you won't get a car, so you'd best have a plan B.

Michael Aug 30th, 2013 10:24 AM


Shall I e-mail you a copy of my last contract in Germany?

StCirq Aug 30th, 2013 07:45 PM

Sure, Michael. E-mail it to me. But I speak/read German, so if it's that you're referring to, I'd actually read it in German rather than the English translation, as I would assume that no rental company can have reliable translations of their contracts in all the many languages that might apply to renters from all over the world.

Michael Aug 30th, 2013 11:11 PM

My point is that it is all in English.

jamikins Aug 30th, 2013 11:24 PM

Ours in Italy have always been in Italian and English...I can't remember in france for sure as we speak French, but I can't ever remember thinking it was a problem. The person has always spoken enough English to explain and circle the important bits before we sign. Have never felt like we don't understand what we are doing...

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