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Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

London
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Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

Just wanted to give a heads up on a hire car problem in Italy.

I booked through Global Car (cheap-car-rental.com) in August. I paid up front £150 to Global Cars.

The car was actually hired from Auto Europa. Once at the pisa desk, I decided to also get car insurance (always advised!) and paid an extra £30 directly to Auto Europa, so they now had my card details.

After a very fun week, not a scratch, the car was returned.

Last week I get an email from Global Cars saying that i should not pay any odd charges originating from Auto Europa. So I keep a look out.

Now, this week i have noticed a charge on my statement from 'Autonoleggio Sicily by Palermo' for £150!

I try to call Global Cars on their customer service numbers - all three divert to full voicemail boxes. Odd.

I send them emails, no reply.

I then call Auto Europa in Pisa who redirect me to their head office for an explanation.

Apparently Global Cars haven't been paying Auto Europa for their cars for the last couple of months. As a result Auto Europa have taken drastic action with the 100+ customers who are in the same position and decided to charge those customers directly!

The net result is i get charged twice.

Auto Europa explained that they know about the Global Cars email and that it's advice to cancel the Auto Europa charge is incorrect. Auto Europa have since sent out a letter to all affected customers explaining the above.

They then gave me a number of Global Cars, spoke to them and they pretty much again advised i cancel the Auto Europa charge! By now i was pretty unimpressed by Global cars so asked for a refund, they agreed but said it would take two weeks!! They also promised to send me an email to confirm the refund, I have not yet seen it.

Global cars have acted unprofessionaly to the extreme and suggest anyone out there thinks twice about booking with them.

We shall see if i get my cash back but i'm pretty doubtful.

Sorry for the length but wanted to make sure anyone else in the same position understood what was happening. If you have been affected, contact me and i'll let you know who i spoke to etc.

north carolina
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1. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

This is great information. We need to have a major forum just on auto rental in Italy. My experience with Avis in Italy has always been very good, and my experience with Hertz in Milan has been very bad.

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2. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

I've also had bad experiences with the Hertz offices in Malcesine (Lake Garda) and Florence, although we didn't book directly through Hertz but one of the can rental agencies/brokers.

London
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3. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

Update:

Global Cars have since sent me that email, but only 5 minutes after i sent them one reminding them of their agreed obligation and including a link to above post!

That made them pay attention.

Agreed car hire in italy is a mixed bag.

In general, getting a cheapo internet deal works to an extent for flights and hotels - it is clear in this case it doesn't really work for HIre Cars.

Saying that, I know this is just my experience, would be interested to hear if anyone else has had problems with Global Cars.

st lucia
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4. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

I feel it's best to spend some of what you have saved on a cheap flight and pay for a car rental with one of the big boys-----Avis, Hertz Europe Car etc.

It means that if things go wrong you have more offices to contact and a better chance of a follow up.

Also if you have a breakdown you will also have more chance of a speedy recovery service.

Smaller local firms tend not to have the same standard or safety for their vehicles.

Have seen lots of problems regarding the smaller companies.

West Sussex
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5. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

I've used both Hertz and Avis for the last five years from Pisa and have had no trouble with either. Don't use an intermediary; book direct and there's every chance that you'll also get an upgrade depending on what's available on the day. In my opinion it's a false economy to try getting a "cheapo" car deal in Italy - you'll almost certainly be dealing with a third party as evidenced by "Tuscan Traveller's" posting above.

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6. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

In my experience even though we had booked through a third party broker, the Hertz offices we were picking up the cars from had received precise and correct instructions in good time, and we had the right documents with us. There was still a 3-4 hour delay to find an available car for us, solely due to the disorganisation of the local Hertz offices. This lead me to strongly suspect even if we had booked with Hertz directly the same problems were likely to occur.

Making a complaint and claiming compensation afterwards from Hertz was another long, painful process.

West Sussex
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7. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

OIBS - was that at Pisa? I'm surprised because I've never had to wait more than about 15 minutes and three times out of every four I've been upgraded. When was it? My last trip was in June, so perhaps it's deteriorated since.

Sunny Isles Beach...
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8. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

You probably know this, but your credit card company can go to bat for you in a situation like this. Many of them will even issue you a credit while they are fighting the battle on your behalf.

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9. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

Scribbler - We rented from Malcesine and Florence on two separate occassions a few years ago, never rented from Pisa so wouldn't know..

elliemae - Thanks for the advice. It was a bit complicated in our case, the credit card holder was different from the named drivers and we all met up in Italy from different parts of the world.. At the time what seemed like the most straightforward procedure was to deal with Hertz directly. What a big mistake, as we learnt later.

St. Louis, Missouri
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10. Re: Car Hire Alert - Global Cars

Dear Tuscan Traveller, Your exact situation happened to us at the Firenze Airport. Once there, Auto Europa informed us that our paid in full voucher from Global Cars was not acceptable and that we would have to hire a car from AutoEuropa directly. Have tried to call Global Cars and only reach a voice mail and emails to cheap car rental are never returned. Oddly enough, the rental amount from Auto Europa was only $50 more than Global Cars.