Caution Concerning Car Hire Petrol Costs
I recently hired a car through a car rental ‘broker’. It was actually Rhino but there are several others that this cautionary tale could equally apply to.
I received the car and they had added the cost of a full tank of petrol. I was told to return it empty as there would be no refund. The bottom line is that I was only visiting Cyprus for 4 days and so only used up a quarter of a tank. As a result the real cost of the car hire was about £30 to £40 more than the quoted price. The original price, paid for online, had been very competitive and had I been going out for 2 weeks I would have received great value for money.
The actual car rental was with Europcar and on their terms and conditions it did clearly state their ‘receive full, return empty’ clause. I hadn’t read it properly before purchase so it was my fault.
Rhino had not forewarned me because their online system had automatically sourced the cheapest deal without regard for the actual car hire company’s small print. Rhino informed me, when I raised the issue on my return, that I had just been unlucky on this occasion.
I could feel a little aggrieved by Rhino’s attitude but instead I’ll just make sure, in future, that I read the small print first.
Incidentally, this is a clever tactic by Europcar. When I picked up the keys from their desk at Larnaca airport they informed me that if I had booked direct with them I would have avoided this ‘receive full, return empty’ game.
I suspect in the future that I will book direct with a car hire company like Europcar, for short visits, and then take advantage of the cheaper ‘bulk’ prices achievable from brokers (like Rhino) for longer trips (where I know I will be doing a fair bit of driving.
So……read the Terms and Conditions (message to self)!Tweet