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Car hire fuel rip off

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Broadway, United...
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Car hire fuel rip off

It now seems that all Mallorcan car hire companies have jumped on the band wagon and charge "the full tank out and bring it back empty" rip off. We rented from DoYouSpain in the UK and were provided with a car by Record at the airport. They charged us €88 for a full tank which, given we had a Ford Focus, works out around €1.60 a litre and we don't think it was actually full! In addition we were charged €3 per day for an additional driver something we'd had free on previous visits and the vehicle had definately seen better days. It was roadworthy as far as I could tell and it got us round the Island without any problems but it wasn't very clean and was scratched and dented on every body panel.

We checked on line with the other local companies and as far as we could tell they all use the same rip off system for fuel and also charge for an additional driver. At best this is profiteering, at worst it's fraud and I think it's about time the EU looked into this issue and outlawed it. It would be nice if the EU did something useful for a change but don't hold your breath.

275 replies to this topic
wirral
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1. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

You need to get your facts right before posting condemnatory comments in your first post..Not all the hire car companies at PMI operate a full/empty fuel policy.Admittedly some charge extra for full/full option but there are some who include full/full in the price.

Just because you were unfortunate to book through DoYouSpain (attracted by the lead-in low price?) it is not typical.

For future reference if you want a recommendation of a high-quality hire car company based at PMI just ask.I have no business association with any hire car company.

Edited: 03 January 2012, 22:36
Manchester England
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2. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

The full tank out and empty back scenario is very common throughout Europe as when i have hired a car in Cyprus....Turkey...and Spain...it has been the same throughout....

Maybe you just got spoilt last time?

Good comments WS...

MANCHESTER-GOLFER

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

This practice is very common in Spain and it's not meant to be a scam. I have rented cars twice from Spain and after looking around, the larger companies actually didn't cost anymore than these full out/empty back ones after considering the fuel cost. Therefore, I actually rented from Hertz twice. Of course, one should always look around and understand the charges and terms when booking.

Palma de Mallorca...
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4. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

The car hire companies (particularly the lesser-knowns and cheapest) have implemented this tactic in Europe for years to increase their margins.

The strategy is to rather "quietly" mention that the car is given to you full, and is to be returned empty, and there will be a €80 or so charge for that at the end. They charge your card as you return the car. This way, you unwittingly agree to the policy and have little choice.

The more well-known and "less cheap" car hire companies have a lot more risk to their reputation, and therefore are more inclined to give you the option FULL/EMPTY or FULL/FULL, and make the options and the costs highly visible at booking time.

I always recommend Sixt. They always deliver nice cars, great service, no hidden nonsense. But they aren't the cheapest.

Edited: 04 January 2012, 10:20
Poole, United...
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5. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

I've used Hasso several times over the years , they are based in Can Pastilla but run a shuttle bus to their office from the airport. Its only about a mile away and you dont get any of this sort of grief with them or the mile long queues at the hire desks. Cars are always newish and spotless.

You choose whether you want to return the car full or empty. If full you get a full refund of the fuel surcharge. They also include collision damage waiver in their prices which were competetive with the big airport vendors, which last time I looked, mostly added this on afterwards.

Shop around a do a bit of detective work before hiring is my advice.

Palma de Mallorca...
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6. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

Right. Always had great experiences with Hasso, too.

Aberdeen (Scotland)
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7. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

The main problem with using a broker like DoYouSpain is that they deal with many car hire companies so you never really know the supplying companies Terms & Conditions until you have booked and have confirmation of which company is supplying your car.

Because many people now use price comparison web sites when looking for hire cars the hire companies make the basic cost as low as possible to attract customers. The only way they can make these basic costs cheap is to add the charges on elsewhere so charging for a full tank of fuel or charging for an extra driver is common these days.

As with all rental agreements the costs are laid out in the contract and it is your responsibility to read these prior to signing on the dotted line.

Cala d'Or, Spain
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8. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

The fact that so many people use price comparison websites tends to explain why so many hire car companies use low head line prices then claw back via fuel, additional drives, extra insurance etc. etc.

As with all things in life, a little diligence is a good thing. Before parting with your hard earned cash check the terms and conditions and deal directly with the car hire companies.

Like mallorcat, I use Sixt not because they are the cheapest but for me the best overall. No up front fuel charges, no charges for an extra driver, no waiting at the car hire desks (using their online checkin), no rude staff and no feeling that the car hire company is about to rip you off. For me, I will pay a little more for that peace of mind.

All this was learned after bitter experience with most of the other operators at Palma Airport.

wirral
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9. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

Another vote from me for Sixt at PMI.Significantly better than the others I have tried in 25 years of visiting majorca.

cork ireland
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655 posts
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10. Re: Car hire fuel rip off

While only having rented once in Majorca, Sixt through economycarentals, I have rented numerous times on main land Spain and Canaries over the last 12 years and have NEVER had the condition of full/empty imposed.

I seem to have been very lucky.

The service from Sixt was top class I must add.

I have booked again with economycarentals for May and have been partnered with Hiper who give the option of full/full or full/empty.

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