We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
64 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

I reserved a rental car in Crete with National Car Rental. The quoted rate for the car was 94 euro for three days, with pick up and return in the airport. When we arrived at the airport to pick up the car, they confirmed the rate, but then informed us (for the first time) that we either had to buy the insurance or authorize a charge of 8000 euro on our credit card (the full price of the car!). Obviously we chose to purchase the insurance, which raised our rental costs by 40-50 euro.

Since arriving home, I have contacted National Car Rental and been informed that this deceptive practice is apparently sanctioned by the company. I have filed a complaint with the company and requested a refund of the amount we paid for the insurance, but am not hopeful about it. So my advice to.you if you plan to rent a car in Crete is to ask specifically about insurance and required deposits before you rent the car when you are making a cost comparison. We saw lots of advertisements for rental car companies who claimed that they do not require a deposit or insurance.

sligo
Level Contributor
668 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

Hi Julie,

I am a little unsure of a couple of things:

1) Is it the international company National Car Rental ( which is U.S. based) or a more local company?

2) Regarding the insurance issue; did you enquire when you reserved car about insurance?

While I can understand rental companies claiming that they do not require a deposit I am pretty sure that if they claimed they do not require insurance that they would be breaking the law; that I am aware of you cannot drive anywhere within the E.U. without Insurance, Road tax and Drivers licence.

Bobo

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
64 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

The company is the U.S. based National Car Rental, not a local company. I rented the car online and was never informed that a deposit would be required if I chose not to purchase insurance. My husband, who was the listed driver on the car, has an International Drivers' License and we are both fully insured.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
88,250 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

I think you may have misunderstood what was intended with your credit card. It is totally normal practice, with just about every rental company in just about every country, to place a "hold" on the card for the amount of the insurance excess. Nothing is charged when the car is collected, but there is an authority to charge if the car is returned damaged.

There is nothing here that is specific to Crete or to National Car Rental.

sleaford
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

If you are going to rent a car in crete use athenscars-crete.gr. Rates include all insurances and you do not have to leave a deposit. You can pay by cash or credit card on pickup. I have used them 6 times in last 18 months and am paying 259 euro's for 14 days rental from 6 Jul 10. You will receive your quote from Babis and if you e-mail him asking for best rates you'll usually get an extra 10-20 euro's off.

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

As per sydney nicks comment, this would almost certainly have been a hold, not a deduction, however €8000 sounds extreme because many people wouldnt have that much credit limit.

Whilst I normally dont go for conspiracy theories, I'm wondering if its a scam by some of the local personel rather than company policy - it wouldn't be the first time someone exaggerated a situation (maybe the hold is €800?) in order to sell a comission-based product. Easily deniable if anyone enquires, they'll say "no of course the tourist misunderstood I said eight hundred not thousand".

If they really do attempt a hold of the cars purchase price, they arent going to be doing many rentals as I suspect most holds will bounce, how many of us here can buy a car on our credit card? !

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
64 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

Sydneynick, I don't know what the policy is in other countries, but in the US, if you have insurance, it covers you for a rental car. I frequently rent cars in the US and do not have to purchase insurance because I am covered under the terms of my own policy. I certainly understand that the situation might be different while traveling abroad, but am angry that this was not disclosed to me upfront. I am not the kind of person who fails to read "the fine print," and would have factored this cost into both my budgeting and cost comparisions between rental companies had I known this.

Dorset, United...
Level Contributor
1,298 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

I've booked rental cars on line several times for collection at Heraklion airport. On every occassion, except the most recent, I have been unhappy with the outcome. Either the cars have been substandard, I've been asked to pay additional insurances, or to provide a large deposit. These problems have arisen with both international and local car hire firms.

This year I booked with Just Car Rental http://www.justrentals.gr who were much better. I got a good price, the car was clean and almost new, the insurance was fully inclusive, and no deposit was required. I would recommend them.

NJ
Level Contributor
543 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

We just returned from Crete and when we were there we rented from autoway. The rate was good (discount for cash, of course) and it included insurance. Check autoway.gr.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

Checking the National Car Rental booking form you will see under “Important Policy Information” that it says:

“All rentals to be paid for in advance. A minimum deposit equal to the rental cost, fuel deposit, damage excess deposit (depending on car group).”

So if you did not have any insurance at all the damages excess could be up to the full value of the car!

Trying to “save” the cost of full insurance cover when you did your booking online got you into this trouble. So my advice to anyone that plans to hire a car, get full insurance cover when you can. (and watch out for cover exemptions!)

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
88,250 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Be aware of this if you plan to rent a car in Crete!

>>Sydneynick, I don't know what the policy is in other countries, but in the US, if you have insurance, it covers you for a rental car.<<

I think this is specific to the USA. In Australia, my car insurance provides cover only when I am driving my car. However, my travel insurance provides cover against the excess (deductible) on a rental car.

Thinking about the original post, I wonder if the rental agent said that there would be a hold of "a thousand euros" and that this was heard as "eight thousand euros". An insurance excess of €1000 would be a quite common amount.