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Rental Cars and paying the electronic tolls in Portugal

Rental Cars and paying the electronic tolls in Portugal

Old Oct 9th, 2015, 03:54 AM
  #21  
 
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Be warned about the automatic toll option from Europcar as it could cost you more than you expect in the end.

I booked a 10 day rental with them in Portugal and paid by UK credit card. At the end of the rental, the agreed invoice amount was deducted from my credit card plus a transaction fee from the card company for converting from EUR to GBP. A few days later I received a full refund from Europcar on the credit card (less another transaction fee from the card company) followed by a slightly higher charge from Europcar deducted from my card (plus another transaction fee from the card company on top).

After enquiring further with Europcar, it turns out that to pay them a EUR 8.70 toll fee, I have in the end incurred costs of GBP 95.41 in wasted transaction fees paid to my card company. Apparently due to the way Europcar's billing system works they could not simply bill the additional toll fee to my credit card (thus avoiding the transaction fees on the larger amounts debited and credited) or charge me the correct amount in the first place.

Lesson learnt the hard way.
northernash is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2015, 05:32 AM
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I'm not sure that I understand your last main paragraph on these additional fees. Surely the card company would only charge a nominal few €'s for any transaction?

If this is correct I would complain to Europcar and ask them to refund your charges incurred for their errors.
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Old Oct 9th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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welcome to the forum.
The extra cahrges are nothing to do with the tolls.
You should question the charges with the CC company.
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/rec...t-card-charges
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.u...t-card-charges
ribeirasacra is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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In the future it would also make sense to start a new thread on such a topic. Adding onto a three year old thread of mostly completely outdated information really doesn't make a lot of sense, northernash
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Old Oct 13th, 2015, 03:35 AM
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Apologies for not starting a new thread - this seemed a very appropriate place to post given the content.

There are usually credit card charges for converting currencies and I accept that. They are often calculated as a percentage of the amount being converted, although sometimes they are hidden in the currency conversion rate you are given.

Europcar's billing system means that (a) toll charges don't always get deducted in the first invoice/payment which you pay at the end of the hire, and (b) if you end up incurring toll charges which only get registered after the first invoice/payment has been made then Europcar will refund the full amount first paid and then deduct the revised amount, rather than simply deducting the extra amount for the toll.

It seems odd, but that's the way Europcar do it and it means you incur higher currency conversion charges than you need to. Just thought people should know so they can try and avoid the mistake I made.
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Old Oct 13th, 2015, 04:37 AM
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Sorry, if you misunderstood my point. Sure what you are saying is good information, but people aren't really going to want to go to a three year old thread and read through a bunch of other posts that are completely outdated compared to the issues now with chip cards, some toll gates not even taking ANY US cards (as we ran into twice in France this summer on the same autoroute where all the other booths did take US cards). There are a lot of issues here, but who knows to read through all the outdated issues just to get to the new issues and then try to figure out which are still valid. That was my only point about starting a new thread, since the old posts are much outdated.
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Old Oct 13th, 2015, 04:52 AM
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hire cars cannot deduct money for the tolls right away as they do not know the amount until they are billed by the toll companies.
All Portuguese car hire companies work the same way. If you read the contract you will understand the car hire company ensures you are liable for fines tolls and other fees incurred during the rental period.
I get the feeling that this is another case on not read the pages of small print that goes with any agreement. That is the important message that comes out here.
BTW I also never read these agreements, but then I feel I understand the rules we have to play too.
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Old Oct 13th, 2015, 04:58 AM
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By the way, northernash, maybe it's time for you to switch to a credit card that has NO foreign currency exchange charges. There are a lot of them these days.
NeoPatrick is offline  
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