Car Rental Scam – Car Rental Complaints

Renting a car is not a cheap thing to do, so you need to be sure that you avoid the scams where you can. Many of what we consider scams when it comes to car rental scams are not really scams, but ways in which the car rental agency tries to make a quick buck. We often forget as consumers that the companies that we are renting from are businesses and they are just trying to stay above water. That doesn’t mean that you should pay anymore than you have to for your car rental!

Don’t Pay When You Don’t Have To

When you rent a car gas is one of the biggest sticking points. Most companies require that you have a full tank when you return the car, otherwise you are subject to a fee. When you receive your payment invoice you need to look at the list of charges and make sure that you are not being charged for the fill up fee. Many times this fee is small enough, such as $10 or $20 so you may not even notice that you are being charged for it. The problem is that many car rental agencies are charging this fee to those who have filled up. Make sure when you return your car that it is full and then look at your receipt, if they charge you for it, pull out your receipt and show them that your car has just been filled and that they need to remove the charge.

Another issue that you may have when you rent a car is that you may be billed for damages that you did not cause to the car. This is scary because these damages could run in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Car rental companies have been known in the past to bill more than one customer for the same damage, so make sure you protect yourself from these car rental scams. When you receive your car be sure to make any notes right on the rental agreement to any damages that you observe and make sure that you not only sign it, but that you have someone from the rental agency sign the form. This will protect you from being blamed for damages that were already on the car when you received it, and it will also communicate to the car rental agency that you are not someone who will be easy to scam.

Make sure that you know the rules when you rent your car. Car rental scams are becoming more and more common all the time. The result is that they are creating fees where no one knew they existed. For instance, you may have been told that you could return the car on Monday but the car rental agency didn’t tell you that if you didn’t have the car in by noon that you would be subject to a $10 per hour charge until you return it. This is just a simple way for the car rental agency to make a few dollars and what can you do except shake your head, knowing that you have been the victim of a car rental scam?

There are more and more fees being tacked on to car rentals all the time, so car rental scams are becoming more common. To protect yourself from car rental scams, be sure to ask for a copy of the contract that you are signing and actually read through it. This will help you protect yourself from the common scams, so you know when you need to have the car back and what fees you are subject to if anything goes wrong. When you appear to be a well informed consumer the car rental agency will be less likely to scam you and you will know what your rights are under the contract, which will help you fight back. Car rental scams are avoidable, you just need to be sure that you protect yourself at every term, buy the insurance coverage options that the company offers, and that you know all of their rules. When you do this you will be able to stop a scam in its tracks each and every time.

Do you have a car that you no longer need? Consider donating your vehicle to a charity near you. Or refreshing it’s look with some car accessories.

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17 thoughts on “Car Rental Scam – Car Rental Complaints”

  1. I believe I am a victim of collision fraud. When returning a vehicle in the daytime, a dent was noticed in the bottom of the rear bumper of a dark blue mini van that I did not noticed at night backed up against a concrete wall. My gut is telling me they have pulled this scam before. I have requested copies of the 3 previous rental agreements and they refuse. Is there any legal way to make the rental company produce the previous rental agreements?

    Thanks in advance

  2. This happens many times. Especially with small scratches. Don’t pay. Talk to your insurance agent and/or company and tell them what have happened. If they refuse to give you previous rental agreements and car damage reports, most likely something fishy is going on.

  3. Do not rent a car via Do You Spain who use Record as their associated car rental company in Spain (and other European countries). They rented me two really beat up cars. The outside of both cars was badly scratched and the insides had not been cleaned all that well. The first car broke down and I had to waste an entire day of my precious holiday sorting this out. The second car’s air conditioning did not work – and in 35-40 degree heat that was not funny. The central locking also did not work – so I could never lock the car once parked up. The worst part of all of this is that they are not responding to my complaints and sorting anything out for me. So I would recommend – you spend your money elsewhere.

  4. In the article it talks about “Another issue that you may have when you rent a car is that you may be billed for damages that you did not cause to the car.” I can confirm that I have eperienced this with Hetrz rental and it appears to be a systematic way they use to boost profits-
    I strogly recommend not to use Hertz and if you doensure you have witness on the condition of the vehicle by photographic evidence .If anyone has such evidence I would be interested to recieve and compile in a case against Hertz.

  5. We got to the airport Fuerteventura and a company called Orlando meet us. It turns out this gorup operate under 3 names – Orland, Hire300 and Traveljigsaw. In short, we, as well as 2 other groups, were not being given a car. The one family had booked in Jan 2010!!! and still didn’t get a car. The car company said we would get a car in 24 hours but that didn’t happen. We had to phone them to see what was happening – no calls from them even though they had our phone number. The phone numbers in the UK don’t work and when we finally got through on one number we have been refused a refund. This can’t be legal and stay away from them no matter what deal they offer!!

  6. I think something seriously needs to be done about Do You Spain and record go rent a car. They promise that you are fully insured, no hidden costs and brand new cars. All statements are false. You are not fully insured and we were stung for an extra €90 insurance or a deposit of €300 to cover for any damaged to windows, tyres, undercarriage or keys. You have to pay for a tank of fuel at Double the cost and our car was a disgrace. It was covered in damage, not clean, service warning light was on and no manual. It had over 51,000 on the clock. You do don’t pay for the hire on booking and now I know why, you would cancel straight away! You pay on collection. The complaints on line about these companies are horrendous and they do not reply to email. There is no telephone number to contact them! They are hiring out old, dangerous cars and with children in them too. They are breaking laws. They need to be stopped.

  7. Avis Complain, Avis scam:
    Re: Avis from Frankfurt Airport, car rental scam
    We were scammed for 449.00Euro by Avis car Frankfurt car rental.
    We rented a car from Avis ( Frankfurt Airport, Germany). After checking in they gave us keys and off we went. When we returned the car after 2 weeks. Person from Avis checked the car with a microscope and claim there was a damage. There was a scratch less than 2-inch long on the front bumper of the passenger side. Since no one accompany us to check the car before we took the car, there is no way of knowing if it was already there or occurred later. We were not the 1st customer to drive that car, car already has several thousands KM on it.
    But Avis promptly charged our credit car for 449.00-Euro Even though the credit card we used for the car rental cover car rental insurance. This is a Avis-scam. They have done similar damage-scam-claim many times before. I just wish we knew before we rent car from Avis, never again.
    All car rental should be careful. If there’s no procedure for a walk-through on the rental car you should take pictures carefully before you drive off the parking lot — to avoid this type of Avis rental car scam.

  8. Denis Grimshaw Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 7:02 am
    In the article it talks about “Another issue that you may have when you rent a car is that you may be billed for damages that you did not cause to the car.” I can confirm that I have eperienced this with Hetrz rental and it appears to be a systematic way they use to boost profits-
    I strogly recommend not to use Hertz and if you doensure you have witness on the condition of the vehicle by photographic evidence .If anyone has such evidence I would be interested to recieve and compile in a case against Hertz.

    We had fraud committed against us in Guadalajara MX by Hertz. They said the vehicle was damaged when we got back and we could not see the chip they were telling us about in the windshield. They used a pen and said they could feel it. They charged our Visa Card and said if we didn’t sign the tickett they would not take us to the airport 20 min. away. Not having a phone or knowing the language was an added burden. They charged the card over 2000.00 US dollars

  9. Re: Avis car rental complaint, Frankfurt, Germany airport
    I would like to contact H. Schnappi, who posted their complaint on September 22, 2010 at 8:56am.
    We are presently being scammed by Avis car rental in Frankfurt.
    Our negative experience is almost exactly the same as theirs, down to the scratch on the front passenger side.
    Dial Dan


    140 Regina Rd, Vaughan, ON L4L 8L9, Canada
    [905] 264 3654
    E-MAIL [email protected]
    4166671057 or 1 877 898 0422


  11. I was scammed by Avis at Southampton Airport with a similar scenario to the Frankfurt Airport scam. In my case I checked over the car prior to taking it out but as it was parked in an indoor car park at night and between two other cars I would not have spotted the tiny dent which was ‘discovered’ on my return. When I returned the car the dent was noticed by the attendant in the few seconds it took for me to turn off the engine and open the door, so I strongly suspect that he knew it was already there when I’d collected the vehicle. According to the hire contract Avis state that they do not charge for small dents and scratches less than 2cm in diameter where the paint is not damaged. In my opinion the small dent fell into that category. Nevertheless my credit card was charged £450 and I have been pursuing a refund for 11 months now. My principal complaint is that the repair estimate is actually for a different vehicle to the one I rented! All the garage has done is change the registration number to correspond to my vehicle’s but some twit has forgotten to update the vehicle type (possibly not expecting anyone to notice?). Anyhow, I am imminently about to make a claim against Avis in the small claims court. My advice, wherever possible avoid hiring a car but if it is essential then take out the damage waiver insurance. If cover is arranged independently from the hire car firm then get written confirmation in advance that they will accept it in the event of your making a claim for damage. Normally the hire companies expect you to take out their own insurance as it is generally 2 to 3 times the going rate and hence very lucrative for them. They will obviously therefore try to tie you in to taking their own cover. If in doubt, avoid using that firm – you may have better luck elsewhere.

  12. Hi,

    I rented a car from Enterprise since I had my car at a body shop for a repair. When I returned my CAR the rep at the rental came and told me that the car has incurred a damage(crack) at the lower right bottom corner on the rear bumper. she claimed it was not there when I rented the car from them in the morning. When I rented the car in the morning, I was given a quick tour of the car (the tour was less than 1-2 minutes), the damage that she was claiming was in an area that could have been easily overlooked when I rented the car as I the tour was very quick and I am not a car expert. When I rented the car in the morning, I noticed the car had some scratches and paint scrapped off from the rear bumper (Looked like this car had it’s rear bumper already subjected to some damage), I showed it to the rep and she said that is ok. So I took the car (I was not aware of such scams these car companies do). I drove the car just to work and brought it back to the car company in the evening, I would have hardly driven 40 miles on the car from the time I took the car. For a major portion of the time the car was parked in my office parking lot in a spot that I could see from my office room. The car was standing in the spot all through the evening and I can guarantee that I did not induced any damage to it nor anything happened when the car was in my office parking lot. Now when I returned the car, they completed a their “Change of condition” form and claimed that the damage was not their when they rented the car to me in the morning. I can clearly see that they are trying to rip me off, I am very much worried about this. Can any of you help me out on how to fight back on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

  13. Avoid renting a car from Thrifty-Terstappen at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany!

    They have a ‘cushy’ insurance scheme with VISA that cost me 17 Euros per day or a total of 459 Euros over and above the contract price settled through last fall. Their agent at the airport refused to accept the Collision Loss Damage Waiver covered by my Citibank Platinum Master Card in spite of presenting a confirmation letter from Citibank. Yet, there was no hesitation in honouring that same Master Card for the total amount charged for the rental.

    As expected, my written complaint fell on deaf ears. The CEO of Dollar Thrifty, the CEO of VISA, and the CEO of Expedia chose to hide behind pages of ‘Fine Print’. Terstappen in Germany did not bother to respond and CitiMastercard hoped to retain my loyalty with a $100 credit. I am still short the equivalent of $550Cdn.


    Is it time to impose more REGULATIONS on the Industries implicated here ??

    Klaus Keunecke,
    Grand Bend, Canada

  14. wow,

    The same exact thing happened to me a couple of months ago. I am currently disputing with my insurance company. Not quite sure where to go from here. There was a small crack on the lower left rear bumper, they are trying to charge me 1000 for. I shouldve known better they kept insisting I upgrade into this vehicle which is beaten up. They ended up upgrading me for free. I told them to note the damages they did, but now are saying the damages they noted were only scratches. To top it off, they never checked the vehicle in from receiving it from the airport and lost the original receipt. They wanted to keep my pink copy. Enterprise is a scam.

  15. Good Morning

    I rented a vehicle through Avis from Miami airport using a prepaid voucher. I was pleasantly surprised not to receive the usual hard sell you get from some rental companies for optional extras(how niave of me to believe this). The only optional extra I was offered was the prepay fuel option, which I accepted.

    The rental agreement I was asked to sign was very complicated and therefore I queried some of the items on there, the agent informed that everything was included in my prepay voucher except the cost of the fuel ($56.97). 1 week after I had returned the vehicle my credit card was charged for $386 by Avis. I queried these charges and was informed that apparently I had accepted and signed for several optional extras (insurance, breakdown cover etc) to the value of $300.

    At no point was I asked by the agent if I wanted to purchase these extras. So not only was I misled and conned in to signing the form and unknowlingly accepting these extras, I was actually lied to by the agent, as I was told everything was included except the fuel. I have been refused a refund of these charges by Avis Customer care (who don’t seem to care at all about their customers)as I signed the form and therefore apparently and unknowlingly accepted these charges.

    They cannot seem to understand that If I had been aware of these charges and had knowlingly accepted them, then I would not be complaining now. This was blatantly misselling and I would never have expected a worldwide renowned and respected rental company like Avis to use such underhand tactics to con and rip off their customers. I am an Avis preferred member and a regular renter for both business and pleasure, needless to say I shall be taking my business elsewhere in future and will never rent another vehicle from Avis. I suspect that the rental agents are on commission for selling extras, however I am extremely disappointed that Avis can condone the misleading tactics used by these agents to get that commission.

    Kind Regards

    Terry Merrick

  16. I was recently scammed by Thrifty carvrental at the BWI airport. I was asked twice when I picked up the car if I wanted the insurance and replied No, my insurance covered it. The agent entered the information on the terminal, and asked that I sign the electronic signature box. I took the print out got the car and left. When I returned the car I was charged over $500 for the insurance. I protested to the manager that I did not take the insurance and he called me a liar to my face. He said that everybody takes the insurance and then claims they didn’t. I will dispute this charge to my credit card, and send a letter to Thrifty, but do not expect any relief. I will also be contacting my congressmen as this kind of scam needs to be stopped. Needless to say, I will NEVER rent from Thrifty again.

    Bill Leeson

  17. Rented a car in Puerto Rico through this website with a company calling themselves “U-Save Car and Truck Rental”, I should have know they were scammers because as I waited in their office to get my own situation cleared up, EVERY person returning a car had a complaint about hidden charges on the bill. When I couldn’t get my credit to accept charges they asked for my debit card. I told them I had just put the money on the credit card and it would go through the next day, and that I would come back. I’m sure he was reading my face and knew if I got out of that office I would NOT be back so he said, “No, I’ll just run the car rental WITH our insurance, (which more than doubled the price of the car), and we can take care of it when you return the car.” WHAT A LIAR!


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