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Europcar faces overcharging probe in the UK

The UK headquarters of car hire firm Europcar has been raided by Trading Standards as part of an investigation into overcharging for repairs.

The raid took place on Friday (June 23) as reports emerged in the UK media alleging that Europcar may have been overcharging customers for car repairs by up to 300 per cent.

The Daily Telegraph says that Europcar may have made “millions of pounds” by overcharging for damaged windscreens and other repairs to its rental vehicles.

The car hire firm said in a statement: “Europcar takes the allegations very seriously and is conducting a thorough internal investigation.

“The company is co-operating fully with Trading Standards in its investigations. It can make no further comment at this point.”

Europcar, which is based in France, announced last week that it was purchasing European low-cost car rental firm Goldcar.

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Comments

Just after Easter I was initially charged a damage fee of £72 for scratches to a plastic car hub (Astra 1.6). They charged me £40 for the admin costs, although reimbursed me £13 when they realized that the agreement stated a charge of £27 for car repairs. They where late with the delivery of the car due to not being able to validate my order (their computer/ network error). They refuse to recognized that their costs are inflated and will not compensate me. I did say I would pay for the hubcap (£15-20 from a shop, much cheaper on-line), although felt that the initial charge of £72 was a serious overcharge.

Many thanks,
Jeff Lee

Jeffrey.lee@ntlworld.com

Jeff Lee's picture
Jeff Lee (not verified)

same thing happen to me £258 for a new tyre after a puncture when real cost was £130 ish sent screen shots of tyre prices and even said cost were fraudenlent now it all becomes clear of the racked they were running

ke's picture
ke (not verified)

Several years ago i returned a hire car back to Europcar and the attendant walked the 50m to my car and immediately said the winscreen was damaged - without looking at it! When it was pointed out to me i looked at the damge...but saw nothing! i looked again and still saw nothing. Just how he saw something ( which by the way didnt exist) from 50 yards away beats me.The attendant didnt know i was in the travel business - not that it would probably have made any difference. From that moment on my suspicions were aroused by Europcar and '"questionable'" claims of damage. In my scenario he also told me how to get out of paying when he saw wife and kids in tow and that was by writing a complaint letter to their HQ. He seemed well versed in all this. i cant recall the outcome in fairness but at best, it was a '"try on'".
This incident followed on several months after one of my staff had an issue with Europcar in Italy where again she disputed claims of damage against the car she borrowed and a long argument ensued even after she was (incorrecly) charged.

Mark Thomas's picture
Mark Thomas (not verified)

In their defence, the rental companies are as much a slave to regulations and the garages as they are 'running profit-making rackets'.

The BVRLA stipulates that repair centres must be on an approved list which removes the competitive pricing element. So while you may speak to Tony down the road who says he'll fit a hubcap for £20 plus the cost of an ebay purchase, the rental company don't have that luxury.

Impartial opinion's picture
Impartial opinion (not verified)

I'm travel manager for a large global company and have had problems with this practise by Europcar for several years now so I welcome this being investigated I see multiple examples of it everyday and it needs to be stopped

Sharon Wolstencroft's picture
Sharon Wolstencroft (not verified)

Then call you a few hours before collection to say they have no vehicle and don;t refund you for 28 days!!

Simon Matthews's picture
Simon Matthews (not verified)

I just received a bill from Europacar for over 400 pounds covering a small scratch less than 2 inches long which took place in July ,as well as the 40 pound admin fee.

These people are disgusting

David I Hughes's picture
David I Hughes (not verified)

My daughter hired from Europcar when I was home, the car was barely used. Three weeks after returning it they're claiming £400 plus admin fees. Really upset about this...it's a definite scam! Please avoid EUROPCAR!

Michael Mooney's picture
Michael Mooney (not verified)

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